BLM Approves Future Aquisition of 4,000 Acres in Central Oregon

Posted on April 19, 2023

Prineville, Ore. — The Bureau of Land Management approved a plan this month to acquire about 4,000 acres of private land in central Oregon to increase public access to recreation opportunities and restore healthy landscapes. The land is located on the west side of the John Day River, approximately 14 miles east of Wasco. The area is generally referred to as McDonald’s Ferry and is on the west side of McDonald’s Crossing, which was used in the 1800’s as part of the Oregon National Historic Trail.

Once acquired, these lands will be managed in accordance with the Bureau of Land Management’s multiple-use mission and will provide the public with a wide range of recreational opportunities, including boating access, camping, and hiking. These lands will also be managed to maintain and restore healthy rangelands and wildlife habitat, including the restoration of critical habitat for the Mid-Columbia Summer Steelhead.

“The majority of feedback we received about the proposed acquisition was positive,” said Acting Central Oregon Field Manager Stephanie Mckinney. “We look forward to expanding dispersed recreation and hunting access along the John Day River.”

The BLM will acquire the lands from the Western Rivers Conservancy based on the parcels’ appraised fair market value with financial support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The BLM still must complete the necessary realty transactions before obtaining the title to the land and will announce when public access is available. Until such time, the BLM requests that the public respects private property rights.

The Decision Record approving the acquisition is available on the BLM’s ePlanning website. The public may also request a copy of the documentation from the Prineville District Office by calling (541) 416-6700 on weekdays between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays. Those interested may also contact Chris Ryan, Project Lead, at (541) 416-6700 or at


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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

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