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Supervisors oppose Siskiyou Crest monument

By Dale Andreasen, Siskiyou Daily News Aug 10, 2009 Yreka, Calif
The board of supervisors passed a resolution by a vote of 4-1 at its Aug. 4 meeting to establish a policy “that any proposal for a National Monument or portion of a National Monument in Siskiyou County must actively coordinate and seek approval of the Board of Supervisors on behalf of the citizens of Siskiyou County prior to any formal consideration for National Monument status…
“Now therefore, be it further resolved that the proposal for a National Monument north of the Klamath River in Siskiyou County, known as the Siskiyou Crest National Monument, is opposed by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors,” the resolution continues.
Natural resource policy specialist Ric Costales explained that several proposals to create national monuments in the county have been made over the years usually without consulting or even notifying the local county government.
“Currently, there is a proposal being advanced to create a 600,000-acre national monument along the crest of the Siskiyou Mountains, with the southern border extending to the Klamath River,” said Costales.
“As a result of the serious negative impact this latest national monument proposal will have on land management of the affected lands and adjoining private property, Supervisor [Marcia] Armstrong has requested a formal resolution to establish county policy with regard to national monuments,” he added.
The lone dissenting vote was by Supervisor Ed Valenzuela of district 2.   
The concept of the Siskiyou Crest National Monument is being promoted by the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, of Ashland, Ore. The national monument would straddle the California-Oregon border with about 300,000 acres in each state.
The Wildlands Center refers to the area as “An Ark for Biodiversity.”
According to a Web site for the Siskiyou Crest National Monument proposal, “This key area for biodiversity and regional connectivity contains ancient forests, high elevation meadows, spectacular peaks, and outstanding botanical and butterfly diversity. It provides drinking water for many downstream communities, including the city of Ashland.”
“Public lands timber sales threaten the biological integrity of the area. These sales and projects like the proposed Ski Ashland expansion would create wildlife migration barriers, simplify forest structure and exacerbate severe fire risk,” according to the Wildlands Center.
The group also lists other dangers to the area, such as road building, cattle grazing and off-road vehicle use.
The supervisors’ resolution made the following points before arriving at its conclusions:
• Sixty-two percent of the county’s 2.5 million acres is federal land.
• Substantial portions of these federal lands are already set aside as wilderness, roadless areas, late successional reserves and other special designations for exceptional protection of the environment.
• Historic communities and private property are intertwined and checker-boarded throughout the county, including along the Klamath River corridor.
• Wildfires have been increasing in severity over the past several decades; in 2008 wildfires raged across 200,000 acres of federal land in the county.
• All the communities in the county have been identified as “Urban Wildland Interface Communities” that are at high risk from wildfire.
• Siskiyou County and the communities of the Klamath River corridor in particular have been severely impacted by a declining availability of timber resources for harvest and use.
• Areas such as the Klamath River corridor are rich in natural resources, which have been used historically for grazing, timber harvest, mining, recreation and a host of other uses.
• The vitality of local communities, the economic health of the county and the public safety of local residents depend upon continued access, active resource management, aggressive fuels reduction, continued historic private use and economic development of these natural resources.
• The county has a responsibility to its citizens to ensure that federal land management acknowledges and respects the private rights and interests affected by federal decisions.
• Numerous federal statutes require coordination between federal agencies and local governments.
• Siskiyou County has adopted sections of its county code mandating coordination between agencies and the county.
• The county board of supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution formally asserting legal standing for purposes of coordinating with federal and state agencies.
• National monuments give short shrift to this important relationship.
• National monuments do not promote the interests of local economies, public safety, private property ownership and the protection of local custom and culture.
• National monuments do not readily allow active adaptive management in response to arising environmental issues affecting wildlife, landscapes or human communities.
“The role that Siskiyou County needs to play in developing national monument proposals is at the beginning,” Costales said, “not half-way down the road or at the end. The supervisors made it clear with this vote.”
Comments (9)
2 days ago
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A national monument is a shortcut to allow Ashland anti-hunters to ban deer hunting on the crest.

Ever try to camp in a national park and have noxious Smokies breathing down your neck?

Now compare that with the freedom that the National Forest Service gives you for dispersed camping.

It's no comparison.

Keep the land with the USFS. They have done a good job. A national monument is just another useless layer of bureaucracy.
2 days ago
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Supes- Keep up the good work.
2 days ago
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It's so great that such a designation doesn't have to even consider the local hick governmental nobodies and their wingnut, self-serving ideals.

The times of resource extraction (a.k.a. 'land rape') are over.
Give me liberty
2 days ago
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National monuments is another communist way to take away the freedom of the people to use the public land in the best interest of multiple use. The county supervisors are exactly right to defend the national land from those who would destroy the freedom of the people. Things will change in a year and half in November to through them out of office. We must wait 3 and a half years for the eviction of the president.
2 days ago
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the best politicians money can buy...........
2 days ago
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Amazed!!! The Stupivisors are crying again...these folks are real pieces of work.
Amazed!!! The commentors sound like a bunch of undereducated rednecks...
What do we have to lose? Our county stooges don't relize the benefit we all get from recreational visitors.
And there's still a couple hundred square miles of land for hunting.
Times are changing, keep up. Or you'll end up looking like our stupes- crying in the corner with no one listening...Besides, who would want to work with a bunch of whiny,redneck hicks cum politicians anyway.
1 day ago
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As usual the Ashland crowd wants to force their views on everyone else. A couple of hundred square miles for hunting--about 10 x 20 miles. While the bunny huggers lock up the whole mountain range.

Warning--you won't be able to mountain bike there either!

Why doesn't the Orygun crowd stay on their own side of the border? You can turn the Ashland water shed into a wilderness area for bums to camp in, but stay the heck out of California!
1 day ago
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PS--you can recreate all you want in the National Forest.

It's the National Park / National Monument Smokybears who step on you having fun.
1 day ago
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Give me liberty you have a good point, theCOUNTY supervisors should have no say on the freedom of the people to use NFS and BLM lands in whatever way they see fit. We would certainly hate to see the effects of a socialist administration on FEDERAL lands.
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