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Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan meetings in Bend, Oregon

BLM weighing public input on management plan
Series of spring meetings scheduled

From news sources
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Is the management of over 400,000 acres of high desert lands, open for public use and a wide variety of activities, an important value for those who live in Central Oregon?

The Prineville Bureau of Land Management certainly thinks so, and is scheduling a series of meetings to continue collaborating with community-based teams in the development of a management plan for these lands.

The 400,000 acres of public land, dominated by juniper woodlands, shrubs, grasslands and mixed conifer forests in the higher elevations, include very special places such as the Badlands and Steelhead Falls Wilderness Study Areas.

The area is particularly popular with winter and spring season recreationists, who enjoy activities such as hiking and geo-caching, recreational shooting, riding off-highway vehicles, mountain bikes or horses.

It is also an important area for maintaining ecosystem health and diversity including the management of wildlife, fire and fuels, water quality and quantity; special management areas such as caves, wilderness study areas and wild and scenic rivers; land uses such as livestock grazing, minerals, forest products and military use; as well as transportation and utility rights of way, land ownership, public health and safety and archaeological resources.

In a quickly growing region, these high desert public lands are “feeling the pressure” of the increasing demands associated with a booming population. Given these pressures, the importance of a strategic land use plan is vital to ensure the long-term health of the land.

Over the past two years, the Prineville BLM has been working with a community-based Issue Team to identify issues and draft alternatives in the development of the Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan (UDRMP) and Environmental Impact Statement.

In April and May, members of the team will participate in a series of meetings to consider the public comments received about the Draft UDRMP and to create proposals to modify the Draft Preferred Alternative. The outcomes will be incorporated into a Proposed Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement scheduled for publication in the fall.

The meetings are open to the public and will include a brief opportunity for public comment. For the meeting schedule, visit our BLM website at . For more information, please contact the Prineville BLM office at 416-6700.




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