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Bureau of Land Management

Projects that are completed, inactive, cancelled, or were changed or stopped through our involvement, may be found in the Library section on the BLM Archive page.

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Prineville District Office

Oregon Badlands Wilderness

Badlands Badlands Beauty
photo by Larry Pennington
This newest Oregon Wilderness is a 30,000 acre area located just 15 miles east of Bend. It contains fascinating lava flows and ancient junipers, and was named for its uplifted lava flows that result in very difficult terrain, especially if you were traveling in a horse drawn wagon. There are also beautiful spring displays of desert wildflowers, torturous dry river canyons, castle-like rock formations, and Native American pictographs. Its designation as the Oregon Badlands Wilderness on March 30, 2009 as part of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act was the culmination of nearly 20 years of effort by many Oregon environmental and community organizations, individuals, and politicians. A special thanks is given to Senator Ron Wyden for his enthusiastic advocacy of this cause. You can get involved, too! Much of the daily oversight and maintenance work such as trash removal, trail sign erection and maintenance, and barbed wire fence removal, is accomplished by volunteers working in close cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management office in Prineville. To join one of these happy bands of Badlands volunteers, go to the Friends of Badlands Oregon Wilderness web site and click on the "Join Us" button. (10-26-09)

Vale District Office

Owyhee River Canyonlands

Succor Creek Canyon Owyhee Area Succor Creek Canyon
photo by Larry Pennington
Coffee Pot Crater Owyhee Area Coffee Pot Crater and Lava Field
photo by Larry Pennington
Owyhee Three Forks Owyhee Three Forks
photo by Larry Pennington
The Owyhee River runs northward from the rugged hills of southern Idaho and southeastern Oregon into the Snake River just south of Ontario through a canyon cut into a geologic wonderland. Millions of years of volcanism, basin and range stretching, and erosion have created this dramatic and diverse landscape. A broad plateau of sagebrush is continually interrupted by volcanic cinder cones, craters, tubes and spires. It is home to pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk, bats, eagles, sage grouse, trout snakes and lizards. Surrounding the canyon are more than 3 million acres of mostly road less area, the largest remaining in the lower 48 states. Fewer than 31,000 people are spread over an area of a little less than 10,000 square miles in Malheur County, making this one of the least populated areas of the state. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees 18 Million acres of this area. About 2.8 Million of these acres are designated as Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) under the 1976 Federal Lands Policy and Management Act, however only 300,000 or these WSA acres have been recommended by the BLM to Congress for designation as permanent Wilderness. The Sierra Club and other conservation organizations believe all 1.3 Million acres should be designated Wilderness. Consequently, the Sierra Club in cooperation with other Oregon conservation organizations is mounting a focused campaign over the next few years to move Owyhee River Canyonlands Wilderness designation forward in the Congress. You can do your part by visiting the Owyhee Canyonlands yourself to see what precious and beautiful resource this area contains, and then working with us to convince our local, state, and federal politicians that action needs to be taken now! For more information on this campaign, visit the Oregon Chapter High Desert Committee web pages. (10-28-09)