Saturday, July 15, 2017

Zinke to visit Cascade-Siskiyou monument in Oregon

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon comes under federal scrutiny this weekend as U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke visits it as part of his study on whether 27 national monuments should be abolished or resized. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will be meeting with Zinke, trying to persuade him to leave it alone, and will also tour the monument, which former President Barack Obama expanded in the final days in office by 48,000 acres. Since June 12, Zinke has recommended that the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah be downsized, and that no changes be made to Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho and the Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington. President Donald Trump, when he ordered the review in April, called the designation of the 27 monuments by three former presidents “a massive federal land grab.” Brown and Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have urged the Trump administration to protect the full Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which covers mountains and forests in Southern Oregon and a sliver of Northern California, for future generations. Brown’s press secretary, Bryan Hockaday, said Brown will meet privately with Zinke. She will also tour part of the monument on horseback with aides, Hockaday said. “The future of Oregon’s federal public lands and the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument gives me great concern, as I know it does for many Oregonians,” Brown said in a statement to The Associated Press Friday. “Oregonians have a long tradition of environmental stewardship and deep appreciation for our public lands, and I will make sure the voices of Oregonians are heard by Secretary Zinke and the federal administration.”...more

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