Protect Private Property Rights on Steens Mountain

We need your help! The Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) has fought grazing and ranching for the past 15 years. They’ve filed more than 90 lawsuits against ranchers and the BLM. They use the courts to impose their agenda on Harney County from their law offices in Portland.

Now, ONDA is attacking the wind power projects that will bring more than $1 billion in green jobs to Harney County.

ONDA was part of the “compromise” that created the Steens Wilderness and preserved private property rights on Steens Mountain passed by Congress back in 2000. But now, ONDA is asking a small state agency, the Oregon Energy Facilities Siting Council (EFSC), to declare private lands within the Cooperative Management and Protection Area (CMPA) “protected” and off limits to wind power projects planned there.

If you are frustrated with outside groups telling you what you can and cannot do on your land, please help.

What would this Petition do?

The Petition would require the Oregon Energy Facilities Siting Council (EFSC) to list the CMPA as a “protected area” in which no renewable energy projects could be developed.  If approved, the CMPA would be the only area on that list that includes lands that are otherwise developable under both state and federal law.

Why is it important to stop this?

In submitting this petition, ONDA is essentially telling EFSC that they know better than the citizens of Harney County what is best for private landowners on Steens Mountain.  We believe that the citizens of Harney County know what is best for their lands, rather than conservationists located in Seattle, Portland and Bend.

What can I do to help stop this?

  1. Email or send a comment letter addressing ONDA’s petition to EFSC before May 28th, 2010.
  2. Click here for EFSC’s Summary to ONDA’s petition and Request for Comments
  3. Click here for a sample letter in two formats:  .pdf format and in text format (.txt). (Note: when clicking on the .txt version, the letter will no wrap in your browser. Once you select all, copy and paste it into your word processor the document should be readable.)
  4. If you would like to email or modify the letter, open the text format version, right click your mouse, select “select all”,  “copy” and then “paste” it into your email program or word processor. Click here to email to: EFSC, or copy and paste the following email address into your email program: energy.siting@state.or.us
  5. If you would like to send a physical letter, open and print the .txt or .pdf letter above and send to:

  6. Energy Facilities Siting Council
    Oregon Department of Energy
    625 Marion Street NE
    Salem, OR 97301-3737

  7. Talk to your friends, family, neighbors and ask them to send comments as well.
  8. Attend the meeting on June 11 in Harney County.
  9. Stay informed. Subscribe to our email list to be updated on our projects.

Thank you for your help!