Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Merkley says Obama won’t make Owyhee Canyonlands a national monument

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley says he does not believe President Obama will designate the Owyhee Canyonlands as a national monument before leaving office on Friday. Merkley said Interior Secretary Sally Jewel told him a monument designation for the eastern Oregon lands has been shelved. Obama has taken a series of monument actions in recent months, including expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon. The fate of the 2.5 million-acre region along the Idaho border has been the subject of heated controversy for more than a year. Several environmental groups and the Keen footwear company have campaigned for the monument designation, saying it’s needed to protect the rugged landscape. That’s generated strong opposition from local ranchers and by Malheur County residents — where the canyonlands are located — in an advisory vote...more

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