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Federal Government Working to Clear Ledger with Oregon
For immediate release                                                                             08-15
Contacts:     Julie Curtis, DSL - 503-986-5298
                   Michael Campbell, BLM - 503-808-6031
Salem – The State of Oregon, Department of State Lands (DSL), and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today the transfer of 240 acres of land to the State. The lands approved for transfer, referred to as the Cline Buttes parcels, are located in Deschutes County, Prineville BLM District. These parcels were previously classified by the BLM for disposal in its Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan.
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 the Cline Buttes acreage, approximately 200 acres of BLM lands, located in the Roseburg District in western Oregon, was recently transferred to the State. The BLM and DSL are currently working towards the transfer of approximately 2,200 acres in Crook and Deschutes Counties selected by the State in their current application.
"We’ve selected parcels with potential to produce income for the Common School Fund," said DSL director Louise Solliday. "We have a responsibility to current and future generations of schoolkids to grow this fund over time, and we’ve proposed lands with a high probability for appreciation in value."
The school fund sends investment earnings to Oregon’s 198 K-12 public school districts twice yearly. Approximately $55.4 million will be distributed in 2008.
"The BLM has an obligation to the State of Oregon and we have an obligation to our planning processes. As we clear this ledger with the State we’ll be making sure that our analysis of these selected lands is thorough and accurate prior to any actual transfer," said Oregon/Washington
BLM state director, Ed Shepard. "DSL and the BLM will be working closely to transfer these remaining 2,200 acres of land to the State in 2008, and we should be done in 2009," continued Shepard.
About the BLM
The BLM manages more land – 258 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1.8 billion, also administers 700 million acres of subsurface 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, and cultural resources on the public lands.
About DSL
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and State Treasurer Randall Edwards. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.