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Jan-17-2020 12:32printcomments

BLM Releases Final Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act Decision

The reclassification does not change the management of the land

Oregon

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the Decision Record for the reclassification of public domain lands as part in one of the final steps of the implementation of the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act.

The Act, signed into law by President Trump on January 8, 2018, directed the BLM to transfer 14,708 acres of public lands to be held in trust for the benefit of the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians, and 17,812 acres to be held in trust for the benefit of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians.

Of these conveyed lands, 31,132 acres were lands managed under the Oregon and California Lands (O&C lands) Act of 1937.

In addition to transferring these lands into trust for the Tribes, the Act also required the BLM to identify and convert public domain lands to replace the conveyed O&C lands. Reclassifying these lands as O&C lands will allow 18 western Oregon counties to share in a portion of receipts from timber sales on these lands.

The selected alternative in the Decision Record ensures that BLM will meet the requirements of the law by converting lands of approximately equal acreage and condition. This will ensure that these converted lands have the potential to provide approximately equal timber receipt payments to O&C counties as the conveyed O&C lands would have.

The selected alternative will also reclassify plots to best match the condition of the conveyed O&C lands that were transferred to the tribes.

This means that the selected alternative will also match the estimated average annual payments to O&C counties from timber sales on reclassified lands that the O&C counties would have received from timber sales on the conveyed tribal lands.

The reclassification of public domain lands to O&C lands does not change the management of the land, which is governed by the 2016 Northwestern and Coastal Oregon Resource Management Plan and the Southwestern Oregon Resource Management Plan.

Additional information about the effort is available online at: https://www.blm.gov/oregon-washington/serving-america/western-oregon-tribal-fairness-act.

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.

Source: Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash.

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