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Your Voice in Public Lands Planning

Public lands planning processes are underway in eastern Oregon, and the resulting plans will make important decisions about how these lands are managed for the next 15 to 20 years. Your voice is needed in forming plans that represent the public in public lands.

 Hart-Sheldon Region_Ouimette
Public lands planning makes critical decisions on how our public lands are managed for a 15-20 year timeframe.
Photo: Brian Ouimette

Click HERE to sign a letter supporting the development and adoption of a conservation-based RMP.

Resource Management Plans

This year the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is amending its Resource Management Plans (RMPs) in both the Owyhee Canyonlands and the Greater Hart-Sheldon Region. Both of the amendment processes will make important decisions that impact how these amazing public lands are managed for the next several decades. At the heart of both plans is public participation, allowing for a voice in the management of one of our country’s greatest assets, our public lands.

RMPs set the framework for where certain land uses can take place on BLM lands. The plans do not make activity-level decisions like where a trail will be or what fences are needed, but instead provide a broader “landscape view” of the management of resources over a 15- to 20-year time period. The BLM’s Vale District and Lakeview District amendment processes are already under way. These RMP amendments are addressing key issues regarding lands with wilderness characteristics, off-road vehicle use and livestock grazing.

Hart Mountain - Jim Davis
The sagebrush sea, such as this expanse at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, is under increasing pressure to due to climate change.
Photo: Jim Davis
Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Similar to the the Bureau of Land Management's RMP process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is working on a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. CCPs guide the USFWS in fulfilling the refuge’s mission for which it was created. CCPs establish management priorities and create a clear, comprehensive statement for what the desired future conditions of a refuge or planning unit shall be over a 15-20 year time period.

In both of these public lands planning processes, the agencies must consider multiple planning alternatives. This allows for a spectrum of possible management scenarios to be discussed and evaluated. One of the potential alternatives in consideration for the Hart Mountain CCP is a refuge expansion alternative. This alternative could establish a USFWS-managed connection between Hart Mountain and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in northern Nevada, protecting an important migratory path and increasing connectivity in the region for wildlife.

Volunteer on Hart Mountain
Volunteer at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge.
Photo: Sage Brown
The Public's Role

During both the RMP and the CCP processes, there are multiple opportunities for the public to provide comments. These opportunities are required steps in the process and a critical element of developing plans that reflect the public’s interests and are viable over the long-term. ONDA is working to engage the public in these planning processes and will be looking for people to submit comments, write letters and get involved to help shape the management of public lands in southeastern Oregon.

For more information about these planning processes, CLICK HERE.



Click HERE to sign a letter supporting the development and adoption of a conservation-based RMP.

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Oregon Natural Desert Association
50 SW Bond Street, Suite 4,
Bend, OR 97702
Tel: (541) 330-2638

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