MEDFORD, Ore. -- 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 District. The withdrawals are located in the Rough & Ready/Baldface Creek and Hunter Creek/Pistol River areas.
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, 2015http://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 toBLM_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 in Gold Beach and September 10, in Grants Pass. Those attending the meetings will have two minutes each to provide verbal comments. Arrangements are being made for a court recorder and sign language interpreter to be available at both meetings. Please contact Virginia Gibbons at (541) 618-2113 or Don Ferguson at (541) 618-2220 for special needs requests.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015:
Curry County Fairgrounds
Docia Sweet Hall, 29392 Ellensburg Ave
Gold Beach, OR 97444
Thursday, September 10, 2015: NEW LOCATION
Anne G. Basker Auditorium
600 N.W. Sixth Street
Grants Pass, OR 97526
For additional information and maps, visit the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/rr-sis/projects