News

U.S. Bureau of Land Management government shutdown | Mount Rainier National Park closed

As a result of the Federal government shutdown, essentially all services provided by the Bureau of Land Management will be suspended, with the exception of law enforcement and emergency response functions. Approximately 4,000 recreation facilities, including visitor centers, facilities, campgrounds, boat ramps and other recreation sites will be closed.

With an estimated $4.8 billion in revenues in 2012, the BLM nationally returns more than four dollars for every budget dollar it receives. The BLM manages 245 million acres – more than any of the nation’s major natural resource agencies, with the smallest budget, the fewest employees, and the lowest cost.

While the BLM will maintain the minimum staffing levels required to ensure continued safe management of the nation’s energy resources, issuing new oil and gas leases and permits will cease.

Limited work will continue to ensure safe operations of domestic energy supplies, including inspection and enforcement activities for more than 190 oil and gas leases in Oregon and Washington, covering over 320,000 acres.

Recreation activities on BLM-managed lands will be similarly impacted. Public lands receive more than 57 million visitors every year, contributing more than $7 billion to local economies. In Fiscal Year 2012, Oregon and Washington received more than 8.4 million visitors every year contributing more than $713 million to local economies.

The BLM in Oregon and Washington will furlough 1,967 of its approximate 1,994 employees during the funding lapse. After the initial shutdown procedures are completed, the BLM will maintain a total of 27 excepted employees with an additional 142 employees on call.

Suspended activities and services will include:

• non-emergency Abandoned Mine Land and hazardous-materials mitigation;

• processing of oil and gas drilling permits;

• processing of lease sales, permits and other non-emergency authorizations of onshore oil and

gas, coal and other minerals;

• permits and approvals for renewable energy and other rights-of -way issuances;

• Endangered Species Act and cultural clearances;

• range management restoration;

• wild horse and burro adoptions;

• sand and gravel permits;

• timber sales; and

• work on resource management plans, including those driven by court deadlines.

Suspended activities will resume once Congressional approves a budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

Because the BLM website will not be maintained for the duration of the shutdown, the BLM will be redirecting to Interior’s site, where additional information will be available at:

www.doi.gov/shutdown

or

www.opm.gov

The Bureau of Land Management – commonly known as the BLM – manages public lands in the Pacific Northwest that begin where the mighty Columbia River crosses from Canada into northeastern Washington and end at the lush headwaters of the Chetco River near California. Between these breathtaking natural guideposts unfolds a rich tapestry of diverse public lands revealing boundless enjoyment and escape as well as employment and enterprise.

Visitors to the 16.1 million acres of public land in Oregon and Washington are welcomed by a wide variety of climates, exceptional natural

landscapes, vital wildlife habitats, and countless recreational opportunities. These public lands are also a primary source of the building blocks of homes, cities, and commerce. In fact, the entire nation benefits from the Pacific Northwest’s sustainable resources such as timber, grazing lands, and, increasingly, renewable energy.

The BLM in Oregon and Washington also boasts a wide range of programs and initiatives that put keen focus on good stewardship of the lands entrusted to its care. Alongside local partners, cooperating agencies, and active volunteers, the BLM is committed to ensuring that our spectacular views, abundant fish and wildlife habitats, productive timberlands, exciting recreational opportunities, functioning rangelands, and healthy watersheds will be nourished to thrive for generations to come.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates