Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash.
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News Release
Oak Basin Prairies Management Plan Public Meeting, July 14 - 06/22/22

Springfield, Ore. The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to improve and restore habitat within the Oak Basin Prairies Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The proposal would enhance and expand the savannahs, prairies, and woodlands in the Coburg Hills northeast of Eugene, Oregon.

                                                                                                                                 

The BLM designates Areas of Critical Environmental Concern as needing special management attention. This designation allows land managers to protect important natural, cultural, and scenic resources. Oak Basin is part of the Willamette Valley Ecoregion, a large complex of prairies, oak savannas, and oak woodlands. It provides habitat to the endangered Fender’s Blue Butterfly, the threatened Kincaid’s lupine, and other BLM Special Status Species.

 

To inform the public and gather input on the proposal, the BLM project team will hold a second open house on Thursday, July 14. The open house meeting will run from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. and there will be a short PowerPoint presentation at 3:30 and 5:30 at Brownsville City Hall, Council Room, 255 N Main St, Brownsville, OR 97327. 

 

Project team members will be available to discuss the proposal, answer questions, and listen to public input.

 

“The first public meeting on June 17 was a great success. We had a terrific discussion with about a dozen of our neighbors. We hope that anyone who missed it will be able to attend our second public meeting in July,” said Todd Bush, Acting BLM Upper Willamette Field Manager. 

 

The BLM’s proposal includes a variety of options for restoring and enhancing this unique landscape. Removing conifers, like pine or fir trees, would expand meadows and reduce competition for oak trees. Controlling non-native and invasive species would help native species thrive. Planting native nectar and host plants would improve habitat for Fender’s blue butterfly.

 

Some of this restoration work, specifically the removal of some conifers, would be accomplished through commercial timber harvest. Parts of the Oak Basin are O&C Lands, which is land that the BLM manages under the Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands Act. The BLM manages O&C Lands for sustained yield timber production. In this project, the removal and sale of timber will have the added benefit of improving the unique habitat of the Oak Basin.

 

Members of the public can submit comments via email at any time during the public scoping period, which runs from June 13 through July 15, 2022. Emails should be sent to blm_or_no_oak_basin@blm.gov with “Oak Basin Prairies ACEC” in the subject line.

 

For more information about the project and how to submit comments, visit https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2018529/510

 

Public comments, including identifying information (mailing address, phone number, email address, etc.) may become public at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

 

For more information, please email: blm_or_no_oak_basin@blm.gov. 

 

-BLM-

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs. 

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