BLM Transfers Land to the State for its 150th Birthday!

Bureau of Land Management,

Bend, OR – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL), announced the transfer of 640 acres to the State of Oregon in Crook County. The 640acre parcel is commonly referred to as the Juniper Canyon parcel. The Juniper Canyon parcel is located approximately six miles south of Prineville, Oregon, the seat of Crook County.

The 640 acres of mostly flat, juniper and sage covered land are surrounded by privately owned property. Subdivisions are located on the south, east, and west sides of the parcel. Small acreage home sites border on the north of the parcel. The parcel is also located within a mile of other State lands.

The BLM analyzed the parcel and no significant impacts or conflicts were identified. An Environmental Preliminary Assessment and Mineral Potential Evaluation were conducted on the property and transfer to the State of Oregon was recommended as planned.

The BLM and the State have a long-standing relationship in Oregon. When Oregon was admitted into the Union in 1859, the federal government granted sections 16 and 36 within every township to the state for support of public schools.

However, if the Federal government had already disposed of these specific sections or reserved them for some other purpose, the state was allowed to select other public lands “in-lieu” of the unavailable sections. A 1991 federal court decision ruled that the State of Oregon was entitled to an additional 5,202 acres through this provision.

DSL has been working with the BLM since the early 1990s to resolve the state’s entitlement under a joint Memorandum of Understanding. In addition to lands near the Cline Buttes area that were recently transferred to the State in April 2008, the BLM also recently transferred lands located in the Roseburg District in western Oregon.

“Continuing with our commitment to the State of Oregon we thought this land would be a nice way to say “Happy Birthday” to the State,” said Oregon/Washington BLM State Director, Ed Shepard.

The BLM has also received an application from the State of Oregon for land in Deschutes County, commonly referred to as the Deschutes Market Road Parcel. The BLM is currently evaluating the Oregon DSL proposal to determine whether the proposal would be in conformance with the BLM’s 2005 Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan. The BLM and the State of Oregon held a public meeting regarding the Deschutes Market Parcel in July 2008.

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