Salem, Ore. (January 12, 2017) – It is with sad acknowledgment that the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association reports to you that an expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon was designated by President Barack Obama; a decision that will have a rippling effect on ranchers, farmers, outdoor enthusiasts and beyond.
The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association has worked diligently in opposition to the idea of the 42,000 additional acres of natural habitat and privately owned property being designated into the already existing Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Our trepidation with this monument designation is an opinion also shared by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. The local Commissioners sent a letter to President Obama requesting that the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Expansion be left on the cutting room floor.
Common Misconception: When a monument designation occurs, the government tells us that current grazing practices will continue to be allowed.
The Reality: What happens is that when there is a transfer in ownership or management, those agreements don’t have to be honored. Eventually, these grazing permits will be ended.
If the roads are not immediately cut off, they eventually become unusable due to limited infrastructure improvements and loss of basic maintenance. These roads are not cut off just for ranchers or loggers, it becomes cut off for birdwatchers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts as well; an area that is promised to them to be a natural conservatory for them to enjoy nature.
Almost a third of the land within the designated monument area is privately owned and these landowners are assured that this will not change. The government will eventually gain these lands, however, as owners become “willing sellers” due to an inability to access and profit off their own land.
“Land that has been in their family for generations will inevitably be sold for pennies on the dollar,” said Jerome Rosa, the Executive Director of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. “Our western heritage and love for the land is something we greatly value within our association. This is a huge hit for our members, our communities, and our state.”
The bottom line is that the Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431) needs to be changed.
Its purpose was to protect important historical sites and objects, which has been greatly overshadowed with the misuse of our current and recent past presidents to leave their own selfish environmental legacy.
The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association is disappointed to share this news with you as it means a loss of grazing lands, timber production, jobs and an injured economy as the bleak future of Jackson County.
The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association was founded in 1913 and works to promote environmentally and socially sound industry practices, improve and strengthen the economics of the industry, and protect its industry communities and private property rights.