27 May 2010, 12:04pm
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by admin

Monument concerns prompt meeting

Illinois Valley News, May 26, 2023 [here]

Tuesday afternoon, May 18, Josephine County Commissioner Sandi Cassanelli traveled to Yreka, Calif. to attend a five-hour meeting regarding a proposal to create the Siskiyou Crest National Monument.

The monument, being promoted by the Ashland-based Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center environmental group, would encompass more than 600,000 acres in Josephine and Jackson counties in Oregon, and Del Norte and Siskiyou counties in California.

Cassanelli said that other attendees at the meeting, held at the Yreka Community Theater, included Tom Kitchar, of the Waldo Mining District; Jackson County Commissioner C.W. Smith, and representatives from U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management Medford office.

Another attendee was Rob Patridge from the office of 2nd District Congressman Greg Walden (R-Oregon).

Siskiyou County officials are concerned that designation of a monument would limit various activities on public land in the area, Cassanelli said. They could include grazing, logging, mining and riding all-terrain vehicles. Fire suppression issues also are important to county officials, she added.

Another fear, Cassanelli said, is that President Obama possibly could use the American Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish the monument without an open public process.

“It’s out of BLM’s control if the president declares a monument,” Cassanelli said.

The five-hour meeting was attended by more than 400 people, Cassanelli said. A hand count was taken to determine how many people were in support of the monument proposal, she said, and only one person expressed that sentiment.

Officials from the counties that would be affected by the monument designation are planning to submit documentation of their opposition to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Cassanelli said.

“Now is the time for us to band together,” she said. “If we do it together, there’s some hope.”

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