On July 14, 2021, the lands involved with the Pine Creek land exchange transaction was closed and recorded. This project involve transferring nineteen parcels of public land, formally managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), totaling 4,224.36 acres to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The Tribes transferred nine parcels or 4,542.82 acres to the BLM. The outcome of these transfers were lands more consolidated for both the Tribes and BLM. The attached map shows the changes in the Pine Creek Conservation Area boundaries before and after this exchange. Formally, Pine Creek was 34,330.64 acres. Now that the exchange is completed, the conservation area is 34,012.18 acres.
This exchange of land was only possible with ongoing dedication from the BLM, Bonneville Power Administration, and the Tribes. The authorization for this exchange was in the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009. The past 12 years was spent on various land surveys, extensive document development, legal reviews, and discussion.
Pine Creek Conservation Area now has a new conservation easement for this new boundary. Tribal staff will be developing a new Land Management Plan over the next 18 months that will address new goals and objectives. Notable changes include ecotourism allowances which include potential for guided services on the property, possible fee hunting for specific seasons or species, rental of Rattlesnake Cabin (14 miles in the backcountry), and fees for camping. The property will remain with a regulated public access program very familiar to conditions experienced in the past, which offer unique, wilderness-like solitude condition in a landscape rich with wildlife.
The popular “Hazel Tripp Camp” along the Clarno road and the John Day River is now private land owned by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and managed as part of Pine Creek Conservation Area. Future camping at this site will be considered when developing the Land Management Plan. In the next few months, no changes will be made, but signs will be posted at the site.
Finally, Pine Creek and surrounding region is in extreme fire danger levels (IFPL 4). Please be careful. Public restrictions are in place. If you intend to visit, be sure to fill out a daily access pass at our kiosks or on the website. Be sure to carry plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and be careful. Daily high temperatures for the past month have been in excess of 100F. Do not engage in any activities that could ignite a fire. Follow regulations for the Conservation Areas. Pine Creek is currently closed to overnight use, until further notice.