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Siskiyou monument proposed; Conservationist group asks for 600,000 acres in S. Oregon

7/4/09 Herald and News
     M E D F O R D ( A P ) — Conservationists are proposing a third national monument in southwestern Oregon to protect rare native plants and wildlife corridors.

   The proposed Siskiyou Crest National Monument would be made up of 600,000 acres of federal land straddling the Oregon-California border.

   It would also serve as a habitat link between t h e O r e g o n C a v e s and Cascade-Siskiyou national monuments.  

   “With climate change, places like this that act as unbroken corridors will become hugely valuable for survival of species as they move around the landscape,” sa id Laurel Sutherlin, a naturalist with the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center in Ashland.

   Creating jobs

   Center director Joseph Vaile said hundreds of jobs could be created to restore forests, streams and roads after decades of logging in the area filled with rare plants and important wildlife corridors.

   “We’re still in a real preliminary stage,” Vaile said. “We’ve been talking to scientists and other folks who have been   working on this area for a long time to figure out the boundaries.”


   The monument would span about 80 miles and include the Red Buttes and Siskiyou wilderness areas on the Rogue River - Siskiyou and Klamath national forests.

   The area would be roughly bounded by Ashland, Ruch and Takilma in Oregon and Klamath River and Happy Camp in California.

   Timber concerns

   Dave Schott of the Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association argued that shutting out logging in the area would make it harder to thin crowded forests to   reduce fuel buildups that contribute to wildfires.

   “ We have not h i ng against saving goods i z e d t i m b e r,” s a id Schott.

   “That’s commendable. But if you are doing that to the inclusion of all timber harvests, you are creating a timber hazard.”

   The U.S. Forest Service and timber industry have cited a build-up of fuels in forests from a century of putting out fires as a prime reason for the growing number and intensity of wildfires.

   Scientific research is increasingly pointing to changes in climate, such as drought and longer hotter summers











































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