The Christmas Valley Back-scatter site consists of 2,622 acres of BLM land withdrawn for use by the U.S. Air Force to provide national security information during the cold war. The site was made obsolete by satellite technology, and was scheduled to return to BLM management in September 2009. It is surrounded by thousands of additional acres of federal BLM land. In the absence of a subsequent user, the property needed to be restored to its original state, at a significant cost, so that BLM was not responsible for the maintenance or liability connected to constructed facilities. The Oregon Military expressed significant interest in the site and the infrastructure to support existing and new training missions. Proposals were developed and shared for consideration within the Air Force. In addition, the Christmas Valley Back-scatter site had several potential advantages for development of alternative energy: two 115 KV lines leading to the site, potential to use existing road systems and other infrastructure, and a sparse but supportive local population. Additionally, the site had solar and geothermal potential.
- To preserve the value of the infrastructure of the Christmas Valley site for military training purposes in a way that benefits public welfare and safety, enhancing energy security, and ensuring community benefit.