Letter: It’s time to speak up on BLM plan for SE Oregon region

Comments on the draft resource management plan are due online this Wednesday, Aug. 28, to the Vale District of the BLM.

Bighorn sheep. Pronghorn antelope. Mule deer. Elk. 

If these species, that inhabit the wildlands of Malheur County, mean something to you…if you chase them every year hoping to put clean meat on the table for your family…if you love to hunt them with the your camera lens…or if you simply love the fleeting glance of them as you crest a rise…. you have a chance to speak up for them and the habitats they rely on.

On Wednesday, Aug. 28, the public comment period for the Bureau of Land Management’s draft Resource Management Plan for Southeastern Oregon closes. For years to come, this plan will guide energy development, mineral development, off highway vehicle use (OHVs), and grazing on your public lands.  The BLM’s Preferred Alternative of the current draft plan falls short of protecting big game habitat and the backcountry hunting experience this county is known for. As the human population grows, development pressures begin to affect the large un-fragmented landscapes wildlife depends on to flourish. Responsible citing of development, appropriate designation of where and how OHVs move across the landscape, and managed grazing will ensure that wildlife and our children have room to roam.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to ensure that North America’s wildlife legacy continues to thrive in Malheur County. Submit your comments to the Vale BLM at [email protected]

Note: Tom Segal of Ontario is a member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and is an avid backcountry hunter.