Public Comments for Mineral Withdrawal

Contacts:

  • Virginia Gibbons, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Public Affairs Officer, (541) 618-2113
  • Don Ferguson, Bureau of Land Management, Medford District Office, Acting Public Affairs Officer, (541) 618-2220
  • Megan Harper, Bureau of Land Management, Coos Bay District Office, Public Affairs Officer, (541) 751-4353

Public input is being sought regarding a mineral withdrawal in aid of legislation on public lands in southwest Oregon. The mineral withdrawal concerns 95,806 acres of National Forest System lands on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and 5,216 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands on the Medford District and Coos Bay Districts.

A five-year mineral withdrawal, if approved by the Department of Interior, would potentially begin before the end of a two-year segregation period which started with the publication of a Federal Register Notice on June 29, 2015 http://1.usa.gov/1RBNJzb. The segregation period is needed to process the withdrawal application, which includes environmental analysis. The publication of the Federal Register notice was also the official start of a 90-day public comment period that extends through September 28, 2015. Written comments should be sent to the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, P.O. Box 2965, Portland, OR 97208-2965 or may be sent electronically to BLM_OR_WA_WITHDRAWALS@blm.gov.

The withdrawal is subject to valid existing mineral rights but does not allow for mining claim location or entry under the mining laws, mineral lease or geothermal operations during both the two-year segregation period and the subsequent five-year mineral withdrawal, for a total of up to seven years. The segregation and withdrawal is in aid of legislation that Congress is currently considering: Senate Bill 346 and House Resolution 682, the “Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act of 2015” www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr682/BILLS-114hr682ih.xml

The public will also have the opportunity to verbally comment or provide written comments at two public meetings scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. on September 9 and 10, in Gold Beach and Grants Pass.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015:
Curry County Fairgrounds
Docia Sweet Hall, 29392 Ellensburg Ave
Gold Beach, OR 97444

Thursday, September 10, 2015:
Rogue Community College-Redwood
Campus auditorium, 3345 Redwood Highway
Grants Pass, OR 97527-9291

For additional information and maps, visit the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/rr-sis/projects.





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