A new trend has started in Oregon. Conservation groups are buying up private lands and turning them over to the state to become public lands. Recently, Western Rivers Conservancy bought the Rattray Ranch in Gilliam County and announced its plans to sell a good portion of the land to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Keith Nantz, incoming chair of the Young Cattlemen’s Committee, is concerned about the high amount of private lands turnover. He said he fears the lands won’t be properly taken care of as “public agencies are already over extended and can’t take care of what they already have.” He believes that Western Rivers and others haven’t considered all the factors. “I don’t have any doubts the conservancy has good intentions, but I think there needs to be more of a team effort,” Nantz said.
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