PRINEVILLE – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced the transfer of approximately 945 acres of land to the State of Oregon as part of a commitment by the Federal Government to help support K-12 schools in Oregon. The 945 acres selected by the State of Oregon have been identified as lands available for disposal and community expansion within the Prineville BLM’s Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan.
Specifically, these lands are south of the City of Redmond near the Deschutes County Fairground and Redmond Juniper Golf Course (see map below).
“BLM has been a long-time community partner throughout the State, and in particular in central Oregon. I am pleased that this transfer is taking place now in a way that furthers our continuing commitment to the State and to our schools,” said Oregon/Washington State Director, Ed Shepard.
When Oregon was admitted into the Union in 1859, the Federal Government granted sections 16 and 36 within every township to the State of Oregon for support of K-12 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 then select other public lands “in-lieu” of the unavailable sections. A 1992 federal court decision ruled that the State of Oregon was entitled to an additional 5,202 acres through this provision. There are approximately 2673 acres of “in lieu” lands remaining for selection state-wide. The BLM is currently working on the State’s remaining in-lieu application in accordance with a 1995 Memorandum of Understanding between the BLM and the Department of State of Lands.
“Ultimately, the BLM has a responsibility to the State of Oregon. Since 1992, the BLM has been working closely with the State of Oregon to transfer the remaining parcels on the in-lieu selection ledger,” said Ed Shepard.
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 sub-surface 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.