Is the DOI dismantling the BLM?

Renee Patrick

fact

Badger

Badger

Badgers are generally nocturnal, but, in remote areas with no human encroachment, they are routinely observed foraging during the day. They prefer open areas with grasslands, which can include parklands, farms, and treeless areas with crumbly soil and a supply of rodent prey.

Badgers are born blind, furred, and helpless. Their eyes open at four to six weeks.

Latin name: Taxidea taxus

voices

Helen Harbin, ONDA Board Member

Helen Harbin, ONDA Board Member

“I connect with Oregon’s high desert through my feet, my eyes, my sense of smell, and all the things I hear. Getting out there is a whole body experience.” Supporting ONDA, Helen says, not only connects her with wild landscapes, but is also a good investment. “I felt like if I gave them $20, they might squeeze $23 out of it.”

watch

Stewardship Fence Building Timelapse

Stewardship Fence Building Timelapse

The BLM is moving out of D.C.

The Bureau of Land Management has moved its offices from Washington D.C. to Grand Junction, Colorado – a move that former agency officials have called out as an attempt to weaken the voice of long-time BLM staffers who might provide a more balanced approach to land management across millions of acres that the BLM manages.

More on this issue:

BLM’s latest acting director doesn’t believe in public lands

The Trump administration’s move to appoint William Perry Pendley to the top policy position at the Bureau of Land Management came as yet another blow in its continued assault on public lands.

When he assumed the role of acting director of the BLM at the end of July, the announcement caused widespread alarm across the conservation community, particularly in Western states. As The Washington Post reported, “By placing Pendley in charge of the agency, Bernhardt has installed a longtime crusader for curtailing the federal government’s control of public lands.”

Last week, 11 Senators, including Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, wrote to Interior Secretary Bernhardt to request that Pendley’s appointment be terminated immediately, stating, “The American people deserve better.” Pendley’s initial 60-day tenure as acting chief formally ended on September 30, but Interior Secretary David Bernhardt extended Pendley’s time leading the bureau four months via a secretarial order.

More on this issue:

BLM drops conservation from resource management plans in several Western states

This summer, ONDA brought the deficiencies of the BLM’s Southeastern Oregon Resource Management Plan to our community’s attention and people weighed in – to the tune of 6,000-plus public comments urging for conservation in the Owyhee Canyonlands.

Resource management plans are the comprehensive documents that the BLM uses to guide how they will address issues on the landscapes they manage. Every two decades, the agency revises these management plans and sets forth several proposals in an effort to balance development and conservation and ensure that the management of these lands reflects the public’s interest.

In a move that alarmed conservationists across the country, the draft plans released in this cycle – covering more than 20 million acres in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon – significantly reduced protections that had been in place for decades and proposed minimal new safeguards for only a fraction of 1 percent of the areas.

If you think it’s important that Alaska Natives can continue to depend on the fish and wildlife that live in the Alaska Bering Sea-Western Interior region, or you’ve hiked among the pinyons and pines in the Uncompahgre Plateau in Colorado, then the BLM’s Resource Management Plans matter to you.

More on this issue:


Is the DOI dismantling the BLM?

Having a hard time keeping up with public lands news lately? We can’t blame you. The instability in the White House certainly makes all issues hard to track and follow, and as this Outside article summed it up: There’s a lot happening at DOI right now. In Oregon, over 13.5 million acres, mainly in...

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Facing Climate Change Head On

Earlier this summer, we sat down for a conversation with Tia Hatton, just as she was wrapping up her service as a Wildlands Intern for Oregon Natural Desert Association. Tia is one of the co-plaintiffs in Juliana v. the United States, the landmark lawsuit filed by 21 youth plaintiffs which asserts that the government’s...

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Autumn – The Best Time to Visit Oregon’s Desert?

Spring, summer and winter are all strong contenders, but there’s mounting evidence that autumn could be the very best season to visit Oregon’s high desert. Consider … Temperature – Daytime highs are in the 70s, not the dripping-brow 90s and nighttime lows are in the lovely-for- sleeping 30s, not the teens. Color – Yes,...

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Anti-Public Lands Activist
Now Running BLM

The Bureau of Land Management’s new acting director, William Perry Pendley, is a longtime proponent of selling off public lands and waters The Trump administration’s move to appoint William Perry Pendley to the top policy position at the Bureau of Land Management comes as yet another blow in its continued assault on public lands....

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Tribal Stewards Program
Provides Career Mentorship

In early July, a crew of young adults – CeCe Andy (Warm Springs and Yakama), Monique Moody (Wasco and Northern Paiute) and Dakota Pablo (Pima and Navajo) led by Tiyana Casey (N’chii Wanapum) – began tackling a trail maintenance project on the Black Canyon Trail on the Ochoco National Forest. As August comes to...

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Southeastern Oregon Draft Resource Management Plan Released

A Disturbing Trend Hits Oregon’s Desert Public Lands Bureau of Land Management releases Draft Resource Management Plan for Southeastern Oregon, and conservation goals are ignored On May 31, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a Draft Southeastern Oregon Resource Management Plan Amendment covering 4.6 million acres in the Owyhee Canyonlands. The public...

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Three Amazing High Desert Inhabitants

Oregon’s high desert is a land of many superlatives. You’ll find North America’s fastest land mammal here, as well as its largest fault block mountain. Perhaps most intriguing are the ways that the plants, animals and insects that call the high desert home have evolved over millennia in ways that allow them to survive...

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The Creation Story
and the Malheur Cave

For the Paiute of the Great Basin of the American West, winter is storytelling season. Around the fires of Paiute camps and villages, storytellers passed on tribal visions of the animal people and the human people, their origins and values, their spiritual and natural environment, and their culture and daily lives. The book “Legends...

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A Conversation with
Kim Stafford

Author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, Kim Stafford is Oregon’s Poet Laureate for 2018 to 2020. He follows after Elizabeth Woody, who served as Oregon’s Poet Laureate from 2016 to 2018, and is the second Stafford to serve as Oregon’s Poet Laureate; his father, William Stafford, served in this role from 1974...

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Give yourself a pat on the back! You accomplished so much for Oregon’s desert this year! Flip through this year in review for just a handful of the many great stories to come out of 2018.

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