Thursday, August 18, 2016

Group bolsters campaign to stop Canyonlands monument

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association has given $5,000 to a campaign opposing a national monument designation in Malheur County. The association’s Public Lands Council gave the Owyhee Basin Stewardship Coalition $5,000 during the Malheur County Fair Aug. 3, according to a news release. The money will be used in the coalition’s fight against a campaign to create a 2.5 million acre Owyhee Canyonlands national monument in Malheur County. A coalition of environmental groups, led by Keen Footwear, are asking President Barack Obama to create a monument in the county before he leaves office. The groups say existing protections in the canyonlands are temporary, and that permanent protections are needed to ensure the area remains accessible to future generations. Ranchers locally and across the state fear such a designation — and subsequent potential lawsuits from environmental groups — would remove grazing lands from use by cattle ranchers. Ranching is the No. 1 industry in Malheur County, and area ranchers rely heavily on public lands for grazing. “History has proven that soon after such designation, grazing on public lands are diminished or eliminated in its entirety,” Matt McElligott, president of the Oregon Public Lands Council, said in the news release...more

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