BLM Announces Public Use Restrictions
Vale, Oregon – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Vale District is restricting public uses on public lands which will take effect on Friday July 24, 2009. To ensure the continued enjoyment of BLM public lands, visitors must be aware of the public use restrictions in place on the areas they travel to this summer. The restrictions that are going into effect are due to an extreme build-up of dry fine fuels and high temperatures.
Tracy Skerjanec, BLM Vale District Assistant Fire Management Officer, stated, “We constantly evaluate conditions in the district, and we don’t like to put unnecessary restrictions on public land users. But the indicators say it’s time to take extra precautions.”
In addition to the restrictions, the following other requirements are specified in the posted orders:
– You must not operate a motorized vehicle off of existing roads and ways. Off-road travel by any motorized vehicle is prohibited until this order is rescinded.
– You must not operate an automobile, pickup, truck, or any other motorized equipment that is wider than 50 inches or has a dry weight of 800 pounds or more on public lands without a shovel not less than 26 inches in overall length, with a blade not less than 8 inches wide, and a container with at least one gallon of water, or a fully charged 2.5 pound fire extinguisher.
– You must not park your vehicle in an area that is not clear of all flammable material. Class 1 All Terrain Vehicles and Class 3 motorcycles are not required to have a fire extinguisher or shovel but must have a U.S. Forest Service approved spark arrester as part of the exhaust system of the vehicle.
– You must not build, maintain or attend a campfire, or stove fire, including charcoal briquette fire, except within the existing metal fire rings located at the following Recreation sites: Westfall, Airstrip, Bob Creek, Spring Recreation Site and Carters Landing, in Baker County or Chukar Park in Malheur County. NOTE: Liquefied and bottled gas stoves and heaters are
permitted. When used outside of developed recreation sites they must be used within an area at least ten feet in diameter that is barren, or clear of all flammable materials.
– You must not smoke outside of a vehicle, trailer or building, except within areas barren of all flammable materials for at least three feet in diameter, or aboard boats on rivers and lakes.
– In addition, visitors may not possess, discharge or use any type of fireworks or other pyrotechnic device to include sparklers on public lands at any time. Violators will be cited and/or held responsible for the suppression costs should a fire result.
“We still want people to enjoy their public lands,” said Skerjanec, “we just want them to use caution and common sense so we can all continue to enjoy them. We’re committed to doing everything we can to prevent fires, ensure public safety, and protect the public lands. We are getting the word out that we need everyone’s help.”
Individuals who violate restrictions on public lands not only endanger themselves and others, but they may be subject to penalties including fines and imprisonment.
For more information on current restrictions within the Vale District BLM contact the Vale Dispatch Center at (541) 473-6294 or 1(800) 982-0287, or visit the web at:
About the BLM
The BLM manages more land – 256 million acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
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