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BLM Seeks Public Comment On Reclassification of Public Domain Lands

Bureau of Land Management

The Oregon-Washington Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comment on the reclassification of public domain lands in Oregon. A recent environmental assessment reportfound no significant impact related to the transition.

In 2018, the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Acttransferred in trust 14,708 acres of federal public domain land to the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. BLM also transferred 17,812 acres in trust to the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians.

BLM Public Affairs official Michael Campbell said now they’re working on replacing land transfered to tribes to Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands.  

“Congress required under the law that we look at lands that are approximately equal in both acreage and condition as the lands being conveyed to the tribes,” Campbell said. “In other words we can’t swap out, you know a field of grass for a heavily timbered parcel of land.”

Those lands span 18 counties including Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill.

Campbell adds the reclassification won’t change management of the lands, only the name.

Public comment on the environmental assessment ends November 12.

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.