Public Lands Debate Heats Up in Oregon
PRINEVILLE, Ore. — Encouraged by the Trump administration’s pro-development policies, an Oregon county wants to take some control over federal lands that cover half of the high desert, mountains and forests within its borders.
The three-member Crook County Court governing body unanimously approved the Natural Resources Policy after a public meeting last week in which people spoke passionately for and against the policy.
A sign at the building’s entrance asked attendees to leave their weapons in their cars, and they were told by County Judge Seth Crawford to be respectful of each other. Crawford is the elected county administrator, not a courtroom judge.
The policy notes that “timber harvest, ranching, farming, and mining are the lifeblood of Crook County’s economy” and that “humans are entitled to an equal opportunity to use federal and private lands for both recreation and economic growth.”
At least two other counties — Owyhee County in Idaho and Baker County in Oregon — have enacted similar provisions.