Is the DOI dismantling the BLM?

Renee Patrick

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

voices

Durlin Hicock, Alice Elshoff Award winner

Durlin Hicock, Alice Elshoff Award winner

“Protecting public land is part of my spiritual being. It’s central to my identity to be in wilderness and to see it protected.” Durlin is proud to protect public lands for future generations, saying, “The highlight of my childhood was our family’s weekend outdoor trips. I look forward to my grandchildren having similar experiences outside in their lifetimes, and it wouldn’t be possible without ONDA.”

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...

Read More

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....

Read More

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...

Read More

Senator Merkley Steps Up
for Sutton Mountain

Today, Sen. Jeff Merkley, announced that he will introduce the Sutton Mountain and Painted Hills Area Preservation and Economic Enhancement Act that would establish the Sutton Mountain Wilderness to protect an area in the John Day River Basin renowned for spectacular scenery and prime wildlife habitat. “With this legislation, we’ll make sure that future...

Read More

Wild and Scenic Rivers

The Wild and Scenic Rivers of Oregon’s Sagebrush Steppe. America’s rivers face many threats — dams and alteration, excessive use and pollution among them. Thankfully, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which passed in 1968 with bipartisan support, gave people who care about rivers a tool “to preserve rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and...

Read More

Ursula Le Guin, author and desert lover

Ursula Le Guin, author and desert lover, dies at 88 On Monday, January 22, 2018, author Ursula LeGuin died at her home in Portland, Oregon. Le Guin is best known for her widely read and critically acclaimed science fiction novels, including The Left Hand of Darkness and the Earthsea chronicles. In addition to her...

Read More

What Now for Sage-Grouse

Our Efforts to Protect an Imperiled Species Greater sage-grouse, a symbol of the Intermountain West, are in trouble. Despite the clear evidence of the species’ decline the Department of the Interior has signaled that it intends to roll back the vital protections established in the BLM’s 2015 sage-grouse plan. We’re deeply concerned that this...

Read More

Our Take on Sec. Zinke’s Secret Monuments Report

The public finally has access to the Trump administration’s report on the review of 27 national monuments, but only because it was leaked to the press. Astonishingly, Zinke’s memo to the president still fails to provide key details on changes he’s recommending to these jewels of our public lands. Zinke’s report lacks clarity on...

Read More

Zinke undercuts BLM sage grouse conservation plan

Secretary of the Interior Zinke undercuts BLM sage grouse conservation plan. The Department of the Interior recently issued a set of proposed changes for sage grouse conservation that will harm the species rather than help it. ONDA has been a leader in sage-grouse protection efforts by investing decades of effort in habitat monitoring, stakeholder...

Read More

Oregon breweries call for protection of Owyhee Canyonlands

Over two dozen Oregon craft beer brewers from around the state have joined together to call for the permanent protection of the Owyhee Canyonlands. Ross Putnam, cofounder of Base Camp Brewing Company, shares why his brewery got involved and why it’s important to protect the Owyhee, now. In the fall of 2015, we packed...

Read More