Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Group pushes to expand Southern Oregon monument lands

A group of scientists, local leaders and Oregon's two U.S. senators are calling for an expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, saying the borders drawn during its creation 16 years ago fail to protect its unique biological diversity — particularly in the face of climate change. The current borders around the monument don't take into account full watersheds, fail to protect the headwaters of Jenny Creek and other streams and don't include high-elevation public lands needed for the monument's unique flora and fauna as they react to climate change, the group says. Supporters claim that not doing so threatens the so-called "spectacular biological diversity" and the rare plants, animals and other "objects of interest" cited in the presidential proclamation that created the now-66,000-acre monument in 2000. "The borders now don't do the job that the proclamation intends," says Dave Willis, chairman of the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council and one of the original leaders of the effort to establish the monument. "It's to protect the biological diversity and connectivity and make it more resilient to climate change," Willis says...more

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