County in Oregon asserts greater role in use of federal land

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (AP) — The ruling body of a county in Oregon has voted to take some control over federal lands that cover half of the high desert, mountains and forests within its borders.

The Crook County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday for the policy, saying it would take effect in 120 days.

The vote on the Natural Resources Policy capped a public meeting in which citizens spoke out passionately for and against the policy.

The policy says the Crook County Court, as the county commissioners are known here, has a “legal right to full participation in the planning and other decision making processes … for developing and implementing land use plans and actions within the County.”

A spokesman for theOchoco National Forest in Crook County said the Forest Service would have to wait and see what the county’s new approach would be.