Monday, April 04, 2016

Eastern Oregon residents oppose national monument

A proposal to designate a huge portion of land in Malheur County, Oregon, as a national monument, is causing a lot of concern. The proposal is backed by environmental groups wanting to preserve the 2.5 million acres of land, but in a recent vote in Malheur County 90 percent of residents said they didn't want the land designated a national monument. Sunday afternoon in Jordan Valley hundreds of people gathered for a town hall meeting to discuss what they call a devastating plan for not only ranchers, but anyone who enjoys the land. They say a national monument designation means more regulations. "We see this as an issue affecting everyone, not just the people that live here," said Elias Eiguren, who is a fifth generation cattle rancher in Malheur County. He is passionately against a national monument designation. "Mainly from the standpoint of access which is going to affect everyone who wants to visit this monument and recreate in it," said Eiguren He brought his son to the town hall meeting where around 300 others also came to voice their concerns. Congressman Greg Walden, of Hood River, answered questions and promised to fight against he proposal. "Where we have good partnerships already, plenty of management already, plenty of regulation already, we don't need another layer," said Walden. "This monument would be size of Rhode Island and Maryland combined," said Walden. "It would be twice the size of Grand Canyon National Park. Walden says if a national monument is declared boundaries will eventually be impacted with the possibility of road closures and reduced grazing rights. He says there would be a lack of land management as well...more

This has to make you wonder. During the refuge occupation these are the same folks who were portrayed by the media as working so well with the USFWS and the BLM, who satisfactorily had participated in their planning process. If that were truly the case, why are they so opposed to a monument designation?

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