Monday, July 17, 2017

Zinke tours Cascade-Siskiyou monument, hears from both sides - Interior secty: 'Nobody knows' how boundaries made

Interior secty: 'Nobody knows' how boundaries made
Over the weekend, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon, one of about two dozen national monuments whose status and borders his agency are reviewing at the direction of President Donald Trump. Zinke met with stakeholders in the region, including state Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland. Marsh told Eric Tegethoff of Oregon News Service she wants Zinke to keep three things in mind when considering the monument's status. First, it's the only national monument designated to protect an area's rich biological diversity. Second, she said, it has a lot of local support. And last is the economic piece. "We really see this as being a part of our economic future here in southern Oregon," Marsh explained. "We are a region that's been dependent on resource extraction in the past. For many reasons, timber's gone away, and we're building a new, strong economy that's based in large part on tourism." The Capital Press reported that since undertaking the Cascade-Siskiyou monument review, Zinke said he hasn’t gotten a satisfactory answer to a key question. “How were the boundaries made? Nobody knows how the boundaries were made,” Zinke said Saturday. While he’s prepared to accept the premise that the area’s flora and fauna justify a monument designation, Zinke said the Cascade-Siskiyou’s boundaries seem arbitrary in some areas. So far, he said, nobody at the Interior Department has taken responsibility for drawing the boundaries or explaining their placement. Zinke said he’s also examining how the boundaries affect traditional economic uses, such as grazing and timber, as well as recreational uses, including hiking, snowmobiling and horseback riding...more

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