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April 22 public hearing scheduled on rangeland grazing rules
04/13/2009
 
For immediate release                                                                       09-10
 
 
More information:          Nancy Pustis – 541-388-6355
                                    Julie Curtis – 503-986-5298
 
Proposed changes include grazing fee structure 
 
The Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) will hold a hearing to receive public comments on draft revisions to the rules that govern the agency’s forage leasing program:
Wednesday April 22, 2009
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Burns Paiute Gathering Center
100 Pasigo St.
Burns
DSL leases to ranchers about 630,000 acres of state-owned rangeland in southeast Oregon. The agency currently has 44 leases involving large blocks of rangeland, and approximately 100 leases on smaller isolated parcels.
                                                                                                              
The grazing rules in place now were adopted by the State Land Board in 1999. The proposed new rules will implement changes to the grazing fee formula based on a 2004 Secretary of State audit, and 2005 and 2008 grazing fee advisory committee recommendations. The grazing fee is based on a formula involving calf weight gain and market values.
 
"Our goal is to balance the interests of lessees with prudent management of rangeland revenues for Oregon schools," said DSL Director Louise Solliday. All revenue from the grazing program is deposited in the state’s Common School Fund. Earnings from the fund are distributed twice yearly to Oregon’s 197 K-12 public school districts; in 2008, $55.4 million was sent to schools statewide. Distributions in Malheur, Harney and Lake counties totaled $710,656 in 2008.
 
The public may comment on the proposed rules in writing or by email:
 
Attention: Ms. Liz Martino
Rules Coordinator – Forage Lease Rules
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer Street N.E., Suite 100
Salem, Oregon 97301-1279
 
rangerules@dsl.state.or.us
 
The public comment period closes on May 8, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.
 
Additional information is available on the DSL Web site:
http://oregonstatelands.us/DSL/LW/rules_rangeland.shtml
 
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ben Westlund. 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.
 
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