Thursday, March 03, 2016

Interior Department Not Working On Owyhee Wilderness Designation

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said Tuesday that she is not aware of any coordination between her office and the White House about a conservation proposal for the Owyhee. Last year, Portland-based Keen Footwear launched a campaign to convince President Obama to designate 2.5 million acres in southeast Oregon as an Owyhee Canyonlands national monument. The Oregon Natural Desert Association has been talking about a wilderness designation for years, but that can only happen through Congress. Obama has already created or expanded 19 national monuments. The prospect of a Democratic president designating a monument in the Owyhee has galvanized some local residents in opposition, and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, opposes the idea. Walden asked Jewell directly if the Interior Department is involved in such an effort. Jewell said, at the moment, she’s not coordinating with the White House for an Owyhee monument...more

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