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Leases for coal mining on public lands in the West are costing taxpayers millions because they should be bringing in more money, a new government study suggests — and the problem could get worse if that coal gets exported through the Pacific Northwest.
Tree sitters with the group Cascadia Forest Defenders are protesting a timber sale on BLM land east of Myrtle Creek.
The BLM says an experimental timber harvest in Southern Oregon balances healthy forests and a healthy timber economy. But conservation groups say environmental protections aren’t strong enough — and they’re opposing legislation that would bring more logging like this to the region.
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BLM Crime; Primitive Living
The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) controls much of the coal supply in the western United States. When the BLM leases coal to mining companies, the agency collects royalty payments on that land on behalf of American taxpayers. While there's been a recent rise in demand for U.S. coal on the Asian market, the royalty payments haven't kept pace. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has called for an investigation into this discrepancy. The main focus is on the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana, which accounts for 40 percent of the coal produced in the United States.
An independent panel assembled by the National Science Academy’s National Research Council has studied how the Bureau of Land Management manages wild horse populations. They recommend the federal government change its strategy. The panel says rather than going to the expense of rounding up and housing the horses, the BLM would be better served by investing in horse contraception. At the Science and Conservation Center in Billings, Montana, Jay Kirkpatrick and his team manufacture and distribute a contraceptive vaccine used in wildlife and horses — and train people to administer it. Kirkpatrick praises the panel's report, and says its conclusions are long overdue. We'll talk with him and with Oregon's wild horse manager to find out what the situation is like here.
The Long Draw Fire is the largest Oregon wildfire in nearly 150 years. Firefighters managed to completely contain the SE Oregon fire earlier this week, but ranchers, land owners, and public officials in the area are still taking stock of the damage. Meanwhile fires continue to start up across the state, and are expected to keep flaring until October. Once the fires are brought under control, a new discussion will begin about what to do with the land that was burned. Mark Wilkening of the Vale District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) explained to us that most of the burn area is BLM land. Ranchers graze their cows on that land, but after a burn, it is BLM policy to let that land rest for two years in order to rehabilitate it. Ranchers object, saying there is evidence that grazing after a fire doesn't harm the land.
local | Land use | News | Think Out LoudApril 1, 2016 6:57 p.m.
Two months after the end of the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Think Out Loud is returning to Harney County to moderate a discussion about how the community is healing and what its future may look like.
We enjoy them for the beauty, recreation, and wilderness. But many of our forests begin life in seed orchards. The seeds grown in Bureau of Land Management seed orchards furnish timber companies, restoration projects, and landscapers across the world with stronger, faster growing trees as well as sustainable income for the state.
In central Oregon there's an increasingly popular form of hunting that never kills animals. Kids and parents comb the ground in late winter searching for fallen antlers that deer naturally shed. Oregon Shed Hunters encourage responsible shed hunting in the hopes that the state leaves the sport unregulated.