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Advocates in D.C.: Hands Off Ore.'s Cascade-Siskiyou Monument

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was designated in 2000 and expanded in 2017. (BLM/Flickr)
Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was designated in 2000 and expanded in 2017. (BLM/Flickr)
June 8, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. — Public lands advocates from Oregon and around the country are in Washington, D.C. today to tell policymakers not to make changes to the country's national monuments, including Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou.

The Interior Department is reviewing 27 monuments that have been designated or expanded since 1996. President Clinton designated Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in 2000, and the monument was expanded by President Obama in 2017.

Stuart Warren, a fly fishing guide in southern Oregon who is among those advocating in D.C. today, said the monument is a critical part of the region.

"The monument serves a purpose for the people that live in southern Oregon,” Warren said. "Jackson County, in particular, has really started to become a tourist destination for a lot of folks. And having a place for them to go recreate while they're there is really an important part of that attraction to southern Oregon."

The research group Headwaters Economics found that jobs have grown by 14 percent and personal income by 30 percent in Jackson County since the monument was designated.

Thursday is the anniversary of the Antiquities Act of 1906, which gave presidents the power to designate national monuments in order to protect significant natural, cultural or scientific features. Cascade-Siskiyou originally was designated for the remarkable amount of plant and animal species there.

Warren said the area is unique.

"It's really that variety of species that live there that makes it such a special place,” he said. "On top of all that, it's the crest of the Cascade-Siskiyou mountain ranges, and to the south you have these incredible views of Mount Shasta. To the north you could just see the Rogue Valley, and then to the east you have these incredible, vast old-growth forests."

The public can comment on the review process at regulations.gov through July 10.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR