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Jackson County to host Cascade-Siskiyou Monument meeting

MEDFORD — The Jackson County Board of Commissioners will host a public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, on the proposed expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, according to a news release. The meeting is open to everyone and will be at the North Medford High School Commons, 1900 Keene Way Drive, Medford.

“We look forward to hearing from the citizens of southern Oregon regarding this expansion,” said Commissioner Colleen Roberts. “The outcome of this decision will have dramatic long-term effects on our communities.”

The purpose of the hearing is to capture a comprehensive discussion concerning the expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The board hopes for testimony from all points of view to create a balanced report. From the public hearing, the commissioners will forward the testimony to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who they hope will then share with President Barack Obama before he concludes on this decision.

According to a report from the Medford Mail Tribune, Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have proposed expanding the 16-year-old monument by more than 66,500 acres inside a new, more than 100,000-acre footprint that stretches northwest past Dead Indian Memorial Road, west to Emigrant Lake, east into Klamath County and south into California near Iron Gate Reservoir.

The 90,328 acres proposed for expansion within Oregon includes 56,245 acres of Bureau of Land Management land, including Hyatt Lake and land surrounding Howard Prairie Lake, as well as chunks of the upper watersheds of Jenny Creek tributaries whose lower reaches are now part of the monument.

The current monument covers about 66,000 acres within an 85,000-acre boundary inside Jackson County east of Ashland.

“We need to make sure we send input back to Washington, D.C. that reflects the true opinions of all those who live here,” said board chair Rick Dyer. “We want to hear from ranchers, recreational groups, hunters, environmental groups, hikers, the tourism and timber industries and everyone else that this decision affects.”

For more information, contact Joel Benton, Jackson County counsel, at 541-774-6160, or BentonJC@jacksoncounty.org.




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