Mallams calls for hearing on monument expansion
Herald and News by Stephen Floyd
Commissioner Tom Mallams has called for a public hearing in
Klamath Falls to let local residents weigh in on a potential
expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.
commissioners' regular meeting Tuesday, Mallams said a
hearing on the topic held in Ashland on Friday was organized
in such a way to keep dissenting voices out of the loop, and
Mallams wants an opportunity for the other side to be heard.
“This was very
well orchestrated to exclude the opposition as much as
possible,” he said of the hearing.
proposed by Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, would double
the size of the monument — which includes land in Klamath
and Jackson counties in Oregon and Siskiyou County in
California — to more than 100,000 acres and would
incorporate 56,245 acres of forestland administered by the
Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
these lands are currently available for timber harvesting
through the Oregon and California Lands Act, which provides
revenue for local counties including Klamath. Mallams said
the loss of these lands to the monument would lead to a
reduction in available timber revenue, as well as the
potential closure of the local BLM office.
“There's a very
strong speculation our (BLM) office here will be closed if
this expansion goes forward,” said Mallams, who estimated 60
jobs would be lost in the closure.
Mallams said he
has called on Merkley to hold a hearing in Klamath County so
those who were not aware of or unable to attend the hearing
in Ashland will be able to weigh in.
In a statement
Tuesday afternoon, Merkley's office said they want to ensure
all of Southern Oregon can offer feedback in the matter, but
said a local hearing may not be available.
whether it will be possible to schedule another meeting with
the Interior Department before the end of this
administration, but we encourage all Oregonians and Klamath
County constituents to submit their feedback,” said Merkley
spokesperson Martina McLennan.
were encouraged to provide input online at http://merkley.senate.gov/contact
by post to Senator Jeff Merkley, 10 S. Bartlett St., Suite
201, Medford, OR 97501.
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