Friday, March 11, 2016

Malheur County voters voice resounding ‘no’ to Owyhee monument

An overwhelming majority of voters in Malheur County rejected the idea Tuesday of a national monument in a corner of southeast Oregon known as the Owyhee Canyonlands. The vast and rugged area is known for its stunning red rock geology and canyons, extreme remoteness and wildlife habitat. It’s also an important area for cattle grazing and hunting. The idea of an Owyhee National Monument is championed by Keen Footwear. The Portland-based company led a petition campaign to convince President Obama to designate the monument, using his executive authority through the Antiquities Act. Malheur County leaders decided to put the idea to citizens with an advisory vote, and County Clerk Deborah DeLong says voter turnout was high for a special election — higher even than some primary elections. Ninety percent of voters rejected the monument proposal. In some rural precincts, 100 percent of voters voted no. “It’s amazing to me that the difference in the vote was 90 percent no and 10 percent yes,” said DeLong. “That’s a huge statement.”...more

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