Friday, October 14, 2016

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument may expand

Oregon’s Democratic U.S. senators have proposed a near-doubling of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument as a way to better protect the biodiversity and habitats in the face of climate change. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have proposed expanding the 16-year-old monument by more than 66,500 acres inside a new, more than 100,000-acre footprint that stretches northwest past Dead Indian Memorial Road, west to Emigrant Lake, east into Klamath County and south into California near Iron Gate Reservoir. The 90,328 acres proposed for expansion within Oregon includes 56,245 acres of Bureau of Land Management land, including Hyatt Lake and land surrounding Howard Prairie Lake, as well as chunks of the upper watersheds of Jenny Creek tributaries whose lower reaches are now part of the monument. The current monument covers about 66,000 acres within an 85,000-acre boundary inside Jackson County east of Ashland. Like the roughly 19,000 acres of private land already inside the monument, the 34,095 acres of private land inside the proposed new boundary would remain private and not part of the monument. Merkley will be in Ashland today with Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor for a public meeting to gather comment on the proposal. The meeting will start at 2 p.m. at Southern Oregon University’s Stevenson Union. Supporters hope the input will lead Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to urge President Obama to use the same powers under the Antiquities Act to expand the monument that President Bill Clinton used to create it in 2000...more

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