The latest news stories of interest in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from the digital home of Southern Oregon, Wynne Broadcasting’s RogueValleyMagazine.com
Monday, February 6, 2023
Rogue Valley Weather
Wolf Creek Woman Accused Of Helping Benjamin Foster Pleads Not Guilty
Tina Marie Jones was arraigned on Friday. Her attorney entered a ‘not guilty’ plea. Jones, who is 68 years old, is facing two felony counts of hindering prosecution in connection to Benjamin Foster.
Foster, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Tuesday after a standoff with police, is accused of kidnapping and severely beating and torturing a woman in Grants Pass. Foster is also facing murder charges after two bodies were found on the Sunny Valley property where the police standoff occurred.
Court documents say Jones unlawfully hid Foster in Wolf Creek. A probable cause affidavit says Jones even provided Foster with a ride home after he drove his car off an embankment.
The Josephine County District Attorney’s Office says when it comes to jail time, felonies have a maximum statutory sentence of five years. However, there’s still a lot to consider with Jones’ particular case.
“Due to the nature of her hindering charges, the discovery will be quite voluminous because of the underlying investigation involving Mr. Foster,” said Lisa Turner, chief deputy district attorney for Josephine County. “That has to be given to her attorney and the process just goes from there in regards to the case proceeding through the criminal justice system.”
During Friday’s arraignment, Jones’ attorney asked the judge to release Jones from the Josephine County Jail due to a medical condition. Jones has blood cancer and cannot receive the proper medication while in jail, according to her attorney. Jones’ next court date to discuss a potential release is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7th.
Moving forward, even though Foster is dead, the district attorney’s office says there is still a way for the victims’ families and the survivor to seek justice.
“What they will do or what family members will do will be up to them with regards to any civil recourse they may take,” Turner said.
Josephine County Grand Jury Indicts Accused Accomplice In Benjamin Foster Attempted Murder Case
A Sunny Valley woman has an indictment by a Josephine County Grand Jury yesterday. It accuses her of helping an attempted murder suspect by hiding him and helping him hide related criminal evidence.
A grand jury indicted 68-year-old Tina Marie Jones today for two felony counts of hindering prosecution. It says she helped 36-year-old Benjamin Foster evade police who were searching for him as a suspect for attempted murder, kidnapping, and assault.
It also says she helped Foster “suppress by an act of concealment, alteration or destruction, a vehicle, physical evidence which evidence might have aided in the discovery or apprehension of Benjamin Obadiah Foster.”
Grants Pass Police Department (GPPD) Chief Warren Hensman says Foster ended the police manhunt for him Tuesday night when he shot himself in the head while hiding beneath the house where he was accused of torturing and beating a woman there to the point of unconsciousness. She had been discovered in that condition one week earlier.
Police say, and the Grand Jury reinforces, that Jones helped Foster during the two days following the victim discovery near Shane Way and Sun Glo Drive in Grants Pass, January 24-26, 2023. Police say Jones gave Foster a ride to evade a police search for him after he drove a car considered crime evidence over an embankment.
Jones faces arraignment for two felony counts of hindering prosecution at her next court appearance.
The Benjamin Foster Case Includes Double Murder In Sunny Valley
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel confirmed that two men were found dead in Sunny Valley since that time frame late last week, attributing the deaths to Foster. Oregon State Police (OSP) Captain Kyle Kennedy says OSP investigators consider 36-year-old Benjamin Foster the sole suspect in those two deaths by blunt force trauma, discovered Monday.
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Identifies “Suspicious Death” as 29-Year-Old Medford Woman
UPDATE 02-03-23: An autopsy has been completed by an Oregon State Police forensic pathologist. The investigation remains ongoing based on the circumstances. Next of kin has been notified, the decedent is Alyce Deann Patee, 29, of Medford. Our condolences go out to her family and friends. There is no further information for release at this time.
Original Release 02-02-23:
MEDFORD, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) detectives are investigating a suspicious death that occurred at a residence in the 2400 block of Finley Lane in Medford. JCSO Medical Examiner detectives are on scene along with Central Point Police Department. Investigations are active and ongoing. Medford Police Department detectives are assisting. Further information to follow.
2/3/2023 Illinois Valley Fire Responds to an RV Fire – With a Puppy Rescue
2/3/2023, call time 2218 hours, IVFD, and AMR responded 4XX Schumacher Street for an RV fire. Arriving units found a large RV fully involved. Two other structures were threatened and saved by quick action.
Rural Metro Fire moved to IVFD station two to cover district while the fire scene was active. It should be noted, there was also a puppy saved.
Schumacher Street was shut down during the active scene. Mop up is complete and all units are clear of the scene.There were no injuries and the fire is under investigation
Fatal Crash Highway 238- Jackson County
On Friday, February 3, 2023, at approximately 5:30 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single-vehicle crash on Highway 238 near milepost 32 just outside of Jacksonville.
Preliminary investigation revealed a green Honda Civic, was traveling east on highway 238 when the operator lost control of the vehicle negotiating a corner. The vehicle slid off the eastbound shoulder and struck a tree before coming to rest. The right front passenger, identified as Mynor Johan Dubon, (37) of Medford, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, identified as Salvador Olivas-Espinoza (36), was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
OSP was assisted by the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Jackson County STAR Team, the Jacksonville Fire Department, and the Applegate Fire Department.
Suspected DUII Crash Results in Fatality
UMPQUA, Ore. – A 60-year-old Roseburg man died in Umpqua Saturday evening after he had crashed and then was run over by his vehicle.
On Saturday, February 4, 2023, at 5:40 p.m., 9-1-1 dispatchers received information of an injury crash in the 12000-block of Hubbard Creek Road. Deputies arrived on scene and determined 60-year-old Roseburg resident Russ Lee Vanderhoof, had been traveling in the 12000-block of Hubbard Creek Road in his 1997 Ford F350 pickup when he failed to negotiate a corner.
The vehicle had been stopped from traveling down an embankment when it struck a tree just off of the roadway. Upon further investigation, deputies believe Vanderhoof exited his vehicle following the crash when the vehicle shifted resulting in Vanderhoof being struck and ran over. Vanderhoof was declared deceased at the scene by fire and EMS personnel.
Deputies have determined that alcohol and speed appear to be contributing factors in the crash which remains under investigation at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 440-4471 referencing case #23-0458.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Douglas County Fire District #2, Umpqua Valley Ambulance, REACH Air Medical Services, Marshall’s Towing and the Douglas County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Medford Police Seek Information on Additional Victims
Medford Police Department Detectives believe a man investigated on child sex offense charges in Jackson County may have more victims. Twenty-year-old Kevin Crook, of Medford, was arrested on January 31, 2023 for multiple sex offense charges.
MPD Detectives received a report that Crook was having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old Medford girl. On February 2, 2023 a Jackson County Grand Jury indicted Crook on charges of second degree rape and first degree sexual abuse.
It was reported that Crook has had multiple relationships with juvenile females in the Jackson and Josephine County area. MPD Detectives are concerned Crook may have additional victims who have yet to come forward.
Anyone with relevant information is asked to call Detective Elizabeth Hull at (541) 774-2283.
Oregon Governor and other distinguished officials, host over 120 Oregon Army Guard Soldiers during demobilization ceremony
Clackamas, Ore.–Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek and other distinguished officials address more than 120 Soldiers in Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment, Oregon Army National Guard, during a demobilization ceremony at the 41st Infantry Division, Armed Forces Readiness Center, Camp Withycombe, Clackamas, Ore., Feb. 4.
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon, and Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon, also served as official hosts for the event. The event was held to acknowledge the Soldiers’ efforts to support United States NATO Allies, while building readiness and enhancing bonds with partner nations as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve in Poland.
The Soldiers first mobilized for this nearly yearlong deployment in early January 2022, and supported efforts to deter Russian aggression after the initial invasion into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. This deployment was one of the largest mobilizations of Oregon National Guard Citizen-Soldiers since Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006. The event was live-streamed and may be viewed at this link.
For more information on Atlantic Resolve, click here.
Image 7616862: Soldiers in Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment, Oregon Army National Guard, shake hands with distinguished guests and elected officials during a demobilization ceremony at the 41st Infantry Division, Armed Forces Readiness Center, Camp Withycombe, Clackamas, Ore., Feb. 4. Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon, and Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon, served as official hosts for the event. The event was held to acknowledge the Soldiers’ efforts to support United States NATO Allies, while building readiness and enhancing bonds with partner nations as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve in Poland. The Soldiers first mobilized for this nearly yearlong deployment in early January 2022, and supported efforts to deter Russian aggression after the initial invasion into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. This deployment was one of the largest mobilizations of Oregon National Guard Citizen-Soldiers since Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Hunter Bomar)
Image 7616863: Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek poses with Soldiers in Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment, Oregon Army National Guard, after their demobilization ceremony at the 41st Infantry Division Armed Forces Readiness Center, Camp Withycombe, Clackamas, Ore., Feb. 4. Kotek, along with U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon, and Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon, served as official hosts for the event. The event was held to acknowledge the Soldiers’ efforts to support United States NATO Allies, while building readiness and enhancing bonds with partner nations as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve in Poland. The Soldiers first mobilized for this nearly yearlong deployment in early January 2022, and supported efforts to deter Russian aggression after the initial invasion into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. This deployment was one of the largest mobilizations of Oregon National Guard Citizen-Soldiers since Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Hunter Bomar)
Image 7616866: Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek addresses more than 120 Soldiers in Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment, Oregon Army National Guard, during a demobilization ceremony at the 41st Infantry Division, Armed Forces Readiness Center, Camp Withycombe, Clackamas, Ore., Feb. 4. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon, and Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon, also served as official hosts for the event. The event was held to acknowledge the Soldiers’ efforts to support United States NATO Allies, while building readiness and enhancing bonds with partner nations as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve in Poland. The Soldiers first mobilized for this nearly yearlong deployment in early January 2022, and supported efforts to deter Russian aggression after the initial invasion into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. This deployment was one of the largest mobilizations of Oregon National Guard Citizen-Soldiers since Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Hunter Bomar)
Governor Kotek Proposes $13.5 Billion For Education
Governor Kotek wants to invest more money in education for the state’s youngest learners, ensure ninth graders are on-track to graduate, and address racial inequities for students and educators over the next two years. She also wants to improve literacy rates and lower childcare costs.
She’s proposing a budget that represents a historic high in school funding during a time of historic need. But some K-12 and higher education experts argue it isn’t enough.
“Every child deserves a safe place to learn. And every family needs access to affordable child care,” Kotek said in a press conference after releasing her 2023-25 budget. “After years of pandemic disruptions, we have a lot of work to do to build toward that vision.”
Education accounts for $13.5 billion, more than 40% of her proposed $32.1 billion in spending of the state’s general and lottery funds.
Highlights include $100 million for preschools, elementary schools, community-based organizations and tribes to teach children to read and $20 million for summer school programs focused on literacy. Her budget also calls for more than $200 million for early childhood education and care.
But most of the money – an historic $9.9 billion – is devoted to the State School Fund, which pays for educating Oregon’s 550,000 K-12 students and for district operating expenses, transportation costs and other needs.
Every child deserves a safe place to learn. And every family needs access to affordable child care.
The $9.9 billion marks an overall $600 million increase in K-12 spending for the biennium and would average out to about $9,682 per student in 2023-24 and roughly $10,000 per student in 2024-25, according to preliminary estimates from the Oregon Department of Education.
The state is paying $9,468 per student in the current 2022-23 school year.
“Today, our state invests more to provide for the needs of children than at any other time in our state’s history,” the budget reads. “The value we place on early childhood services and K-12 education continues to be a marker of who we are as Oregonians.”
Kotek said last week that her budget is “realistic” and focuses on core services that Republican and Democratic leaders agree should be prioritized. She also said her proposal for the State School Fund is a starting point.
Kotek expects to reach a higher number in working with legislators, who are responsible for approving state spending. Lawmakers have to agree on a budget over the next five months.
Leaders with the Oregon Education Association, Oregon School Boards Association and other groups say the budget marks a move “in the right direction” but is still not enough to correct a history of underfunding.
Oregon’s public university presidents said last week that the proposed public university funding and financial aid levels in Kotek’s budget would result in lost opportunities for Oregon’s students and workforce.
Oregon ranks 45th in the nation in per-student state funding of public universities, spending $5,580 per student in 2021 compared to the U.S. average of $8,859. Oregon also invests $475 per student per year in financial aid – less than half the national average of $1,138, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.
University leaders say more money needs to be invested by the state for financial aid, academic support and career development. Underfunding, and relying on rising tuition costs, especially hurts historically underserved students, they said.
Kotek’s budget would allocate $933.2 million to the Public University Support Fund. This money goes to seven state universities – including Eastern Oregon, Portland State, Oregon State, University of Oregon and Western Oregon – for instruction, research, public services and operations. Altogether, these schools serve about 96,590 graduate and undergraduate students.
That allocation represents a 1.4% increase from about $920.2 million in 2021-2023, but university leaders with the Oregon Council of Presidents are pushing for $1.05 billion, a 14% increase.
Dana Richardson, executive director of the council, said that with rising costs and inflation, the universities will need $972 million just to retain the status quo – nearly $40 million more than Kotek’s proposal.
“We are asking that the state stop forcing students and their families to pay more tuition to make up for the shortfall in state funding,” Richardson said.
According to the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission, full-time, undergraduate students at Oregon colleges and universities currently spend between $6,169 and $32,095 every year on tuition and fees. The amount depends on whether they are paying in- or out-of-state tuition at a community college or university, with nonresident students at universities spending the most.
That’s nearly doubled in the last decade, with the range between $3,720 and $19,194 in 2010-11.
What’s more, the percentage that students cover has increased dramatically. In 1990, the state paid for more than 61% of public universities’ educational and general operations; students paid for 28.7%. By 2021, the roles were reversed, with students paying 65.3% and the state covering 26.1%.
Under Kotek’s proposed budget, students’ portion would climb to 68.5%, and the state’s would decrease to 23.4%.
Oregon education leaders also want more funding for the state’s 17 community colleges, major renovation projects and the Oregon Opportunity Grant.
The opportunity grant , established in 1971, is the largest and oldest state-funded, need-based grant program. According to budget documents, the program each year helps about 40,000 Oregon students pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board and other school needs. The money is meant for undergraduate students from low-income households who attend an Oregon community college or university.
Kotek’s budget proposes a $100 million investment in the grant and would ensure the Oregon Tribal Student Grant program continues with a $40.2 million investment, funding the cost of attendance for all eligible members of Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes. Leaders like Richardson want to see at least this amount allocated.
Nagi Naganathan, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology and chairman of the Oregon Council of Presidents, said institutions require more support today as they serve an increasingly diverse student body.
“It is important that our legislative leaders deliver investments that will make higher education attainable for every aspiring student,” he said.
Victim Information and Notification Everyday App (VINE) is Available in Oregon Now
VINE – Victim Information and Notification Everyday is the nation’s leading automated victim notification solution and is available in Oregon.
VINE allows crime victims across the country to obtain timely, reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders.
Victims often wish to know the status of an offender that is in the system. Until VINE, it was difficult for officers to provide accurate information to victims.
VINE makes information about the booking and release of inmates housed in county jails and state prisons available to victims at no cost either by telephone or the web. Offender information is collected automatically in near real-time from jail and prison booking systems.
Crime victims can access offender information, any time of the day or night simply by making a telephone call at 1-877-OR-4-VINE (1-877-674-8463) or by accessing the web at http://www.vinelink.com . Victims can call to inquire whether an offender is held in jail as well as the facility’s location.
Users also can register to be notified immediately of a change in the inmate’s status, such as a release or escape. When a notification is triggered, VINE automatically calls the number or numbers the victim has provided. Calls continue until the victim acknowledges the call by entering a PIN.
VINE supports multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, and others, so victims from many ethnicities have access to the system.
A free smartphone app is available to iPhone and Droid users called MobilePatrol. One of the features of this app is access to the VINE service so you can be notified on your smart device (tablet or phone). The app is available from the Droid Play Store and Apple App Store. http://www.vinelink.com
Naked Man Arrested After Attempting to Gain Control of Deputy’s Firearm Near Sutherlin
SUTHERLIN, OR– A Salem man was arrested and charged with attempted assault on a public safety officer Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday, February 4, 2023, shortly before 5:00 p.m., dispatchers received multiple calls of a male who had stripped his clothing and was wondering around nude on the side of the road in the 4000-block of Nonpareil Road. Deputies, along with officers from the Sutherlin Police Department, responded to the area and located the man.
The male was identified as 36-year-old Keith Daniel Donald of Salem, Oregon. Deputies attempted to communicate with Donald without success. While the deputy was attempting to assist by determining if there was someone they could call for Donald, he lunged at the deputy and attempted to gain control of the firearm on their duty belt. Donald then turned his attention to another officer on scene and attempted to gain control of that officer’s firearm. Donald was subdued by law enforcement officers and taken into custody after a brief struggle.
Donald was lodged at the Douglas County Jail and lodged on the following charges:
- Attempted Assault on Public Safety Officer x2
- Disorderly Conduct II
Man Suspected Of Stealing Watercraft Is Rescued By Coast Guard
Mobile Aviation Training Center Coast Guardsmen participated in an unusual rescue in Oregon. A guy who was pulled from the sinking vessel is now under suspicion of theft. On Friday morning, officials believe the guy stole the boat off the Oregon coast and sent a mayday signal, leading to his recovery.
The Sandpiper, a damaged watercraft of 35 feet, was then capsized by a breaking wave, and the crew was rescued by a combined effort of many units.
To save him, the Coast Guard dispatched ATC air personnel. Because he was standing on the edge of the boat, it tipped over. His alleged theft of the boat wasn’t discovered until after he was released from the hospital where he was detained. Shortly thereafter, he was taken into custody.
Launched from Station Cape Disappointment were a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from the Advanced Rescue Helicopter School. Several training crews from the National Motor Lifeboat School were also diverted to assist. At approximately 10:40 in the morning, Coast Guard teams arrived.
Rescuers on the site were able to establish radio contact with the stranded sailor and learn that his ship was taking on water. There were 20-foot waves and hurricane-force gusts, according to reports from the area.
A student from the Advanced Helicopter Rescue School was winched into the ocean and then swam toward the ship. A wave washed over the boat just as the swimmer was about to board. The mariner was thrown from the ship and bruised and scratched himself in the process.
The swimmer then went ahead and retrieved the mariner from the sea, and the two were winched up to the chopper. The survivor was moved from Coast Guard care to the steady hands of emergency medical professionals at Air Station Astoria.
The suspect is also said to have posted a video showing himself putting a dead fish on the front porch of a house from the 1985 film “The Goonies.” Officials in the area have reported the mariner’s possible theft of the vessel to the Coast Guard after he was discharged to the hands of emergency medical services .In his capacity as a rescue swimmer, John “Branch” Walton rescued his first human life. A few hours later, he and his classmates all received their diplomas from the Advanced Rescue Helicopter School.
BLM waives day use fees in observance of Washington’s Birthday
— In honor of George Washington’s birthday and to increase recreational access to public land, the Bureau of Land Management is waiving recreation standard amenity and day-use fees for visitors on Feb. 20, 2023. The BLM invites the public to visit the unique and diverse natural landscapes and visitor facilities on BLM-managed lands to celebrate the life of the first U.S. President George Washington.
This marks the second of the BLM’s fee-free days of 2023. Fee-free days refer to the waiver of standard amenity fees and day-use fees, such as visitor centers, picnic/day use areas, and National Conservation Lands units where fees are charged. Expanded amenity fees and other fees, like group day use, overnight camping, cabin rentals, and individual special recreation permits, will remain in effect unless the authorized officer determines it is appropriate to waive them.
BLM’s public lands offer spectacular beauty in the colder months. Find a map of BLM’s top recreation locations in the snow, rain, or ice here:
Winter recreation on public lands
- Know before you go. Check with local offices for current conditions, including closures and travel restrictions.
- Make sure tires have adequate traction for road conditions.
- Ensure that a friend or family member is aware of your adventure plans.
- Ensure you have the 10 essentials before venturing out: navigation tools (map, GPS, personal locator beacon), headlamp, sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen, especially against snow glare!), first aid kit, knife/gear repair kit, fire essentials (fire starter, matches, lighter, etc.), shelter (i.e., an emergency blanket that folds up extremely small), extra food, extra water (beyond the minimum expectation), and extra clothes (layer up!).
Recommendations on where to go with snow (NOTE: these locations may or may not have fees):
- Burns: Steens Mountain offers an array of winter recreation opportunities, including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and skiing. Individual permits must be obtained through the Burns District Office.
- Lakeview: Gerber Recreation Site is popular for ice fishing and open year-round for camping. The paved roads are not plowed but remain clear of snow most winters. Wood River Wetland offers hiking, dog walking, bird watching, hunting, and (when there’s enough snow) snowshoeing. Be aware that the parking area is not plowed in the winter, so parking is not always available.
- Medford: Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are available at the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument and Table Mountain Winter Play Area.
- Washington State: Split Rock Recreation Site at Palmer Lake offers ice fishing (or regular fishing if there is no ice). Visitors can also hike on the Similkameen Rail Trail from Oroville to the Enloe Dam or on the Cowiche Canyon Trail (where there is usually little to no snow). The Yakima River Canyon Recreation Site is a great location for winter camping. If winter is mild, the Juniper Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Area is a good option for recreation, and if the winter is cold, the Fishtrap Recreation Area offers ice fishing and cross-country skiing.
Recommendations on where to go with little to no snow (NOTE: these locations may or may not have fees):
- Northwest Oregon: The West Eugene Wetlands offer disc golf, the Sandy Ridge Trail System offers mountain biking, Shotgun Creek Recreation Site is open to off-highway vehicles, and the Wildwood Recreation Site has an underwater salmon viewing chamber.
- Medford: Sites such as the Upper and Lower Table Rocks, Cathedral Hills, and Mountain of the Rogue offer winter hiking and tend to be free of snow.
In 2023, BLM will waive recreation standard amenity and day use fees for visitors on:
- January 16 (Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.)
- February 20 (Washington’s Birthday)
- June 19 (Juneteenth National Independence Day)
- August 4 (Great American Outdoors Day)
- September 23 (National Public Lands Day)
- November 11 (Veterans Day)
For more information about the BLM’s recreation fee program, please visit https: //www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/permits-and-fees.
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.