WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today released the following statement on U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's final report outlining recommendations to the President on the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument:
“I appreciate Secretary Zinke's willingness to come to southern Oregon this summer to meet with passionate people on all sides of the issue before making his decision," said Walden. "This recommendation responds to the concerns I heard raised by foresters, private land owners, county commissioners, ranchers, and others.
“Past presidents have ignored federal law that governs much of this forest land and have exceeded the intent of the Antiquities Act by roping in enormous swaths of private land into the monument. The result was a loss of private property rights and reduced revenues for our schools and roads. Meanwhile, the forests become more overstocked, increasing the risk of catastrophic fire. After the devastating fires this summer, it’s time to get back to responsible management of our public lands.
“Any monument designation must adhere to the law, reflect the clear mandates of the O&C Act, and stay within the bounds of the Antiquities Act. Secretary Zinke's recommendation follows these principles by advocating a return to sustainable timber harvests -- as required by the O&C Act -- on the O&C lands, and removing private lands from within the monument boundary."
In July, Walden welcomed Secretary Zinke to southern Oregon to tour the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument as part of his review of national monument designations made under the Antiquities Act.
"I appreciate all the time Rep. Walden and local stakeholders spent with me in Oregon as part of the monument review for Cascade-Siskyou," said Secretary Zinke. "I heard from locals that we need to conserve the land, care for the forest, respect private property rights, and allow for sustainable timber harvests in O&C lands. I'm confident that the modifications recommended today will help achieve that balance and restore the local voice to the land management process."
For a full copy of Secretary Zinke's final report and recommendations, please click HERE.