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Yreka, Calif. — The possible addition of national monument lands in Siskiyou County continued to be a topic for the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors Tuesday as members of the public spoke again in opposition to the proposed expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument into California and the creation of a Siskiyou Crest National Monument.
The two proposals were brought to light at the board’s April 6 meeting as the supervisors discussed an internal document leaked from the Department of the Interior (DOI) in February discussing the expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou and possibly connecting it to the Siskiyou Crest National Monument, the creation of which has been proposed by the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center (KS Wild). A number of other possible sites were also identified in the memo, including areas in Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico and Nevada, among others.
At its April 6 meeting, the board voiced concern over the possible use of the American Antiquities Act of 1906, which allows the president of the United States “to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United Staets to be national monuments.”
The process has been used in recent years by President George W. Bush in the creation of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Tulelake and the Marianas Marine, Pacific Remote Islands and the Rose Atoll national monuments in the Pacific Ocean, and President Bill Clinton declared a number of national monuments under the act as well.
The internal draft referenced at the meeting states that the areas listed within “may be good candidates for National Monument designation under the Antiquities Act; however, further evaluations should be completed prior to any final decision, including an assessment of public and Congressional support.”
At the board’s meeting Tuesday, speakers showed opposition to both proposals, voicing a number of the concerns detailed at the previous meeting.
Klamath River-area resident Steve Fisher read a resolution in opposition to the proposal, explaining that a number of his fellow residents had held a meeting to discuss the issue recently and were requesting an audience with the board to make their concerns known.
Board Chair Marcia Armstrong added that she would like representatives from the DOI and Bureau of Land Mangement (BLM) to be present, with supervisors Michael Kobseff and Jim Cook adding the boards of supervisors of Modoc, Del Norte and other counties to the list. The paperwork to add the forum to the agenda and discussion as to where the meeting might take place to accomodate a large crowd have yet to be completed.
Comments at the meeting focused on concerns over the possibility of regulations in the proposed monument area restricting or prohibiting hunting, mining, road travel and grazing activities, among other concerns.
No details have been made available as to whether or not the expansion and creation proposals will be part of a presidential proclamation and consequently no details are available pertaining to possible restrictions that might accompany the monuments, although KS Wild’s Web site details the reasons the organization has proposed the creation of the Siskiyou Crest monument.
According to the site, KS Wild proposed the monument to protect the biologically diverse area and create a federally-protected connective area for migratory wildlife. The organization states on the site that it believes that public lands timber sales, road building, private land logging activities, cattle grazing, off-road vehicle use and Applegate Dam present threats to the area’s wildlife and flora, although how those potential threats might be mitigated would not be determined until a proclamation was made.
Also to be determined would be which activities would be allowed, although the KS Wild site states, “Hunting, fishing, backpacking, mountain biking, horseback riding, downhill and cross country skiing and paragliding are all popular activities that would be further promoted by the establishment of a national monument.”
The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, created in 2000 under President Bill Clinton, has a resource management plan available at the BLM Web site http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/csnm/csnm-management.php.
Soon after the internal document was leaked, a number of representatives, including congressmen Don Young, Greg Walden, Wally Herger and Doc Hastings, wrote a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar requesting information regarding the document and how it was drafted.
The letter, dated Feb. 26, requests by March 26 all pages of the internal draft and documents, records and communications with outside persons or entities regarding any sessions leading to the crafting of the draft.
The Siskiyou Daily News will cover this issue as it unfolds.
Page Updated: Friday April 23, 2010 02:19 AM Pacific
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