Should his recommendation to President Trump be to decrease the over 100,000 acres of the Cascade-Siskiyou Monument, he will keep biodiversity at the forefront of his decision and future plans for the monument.
"Too often under previous administrations, decisions were made in the Washington D.C. bubble, far removed from the local residents who actually work the land and have to live with the consequences of D.C.'s actions".
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wrapped up his weekend tour of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern OR on Sunday. "This monument review is the exact opposite", he said. In April, President Donald Trump ordered a review of national monuments designated or expanded since 1996, to end what he called, "a massive federal land grab". I'm confident that comments on the Berryessa Snow Mountain Monument in particular will underscore the broad public support for the Monument's designation, ensuring its protection for generations to come.
While Secretary Zinke faced those who were both for and against the monument on Saturday he says that political opinions aside, he saw one thing reign true with all Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. "I am strictly opposed to the sale or transfer of our public lands, and nothing in this review changes that policy".
Zinke will tour the monument and meet with stakeholders, including OR governor Kate Brown.
"I think the major drawback is that the secretary spent most of his time this weekend with monument opponents", Willis said."We held field hearings, conducted tours, and even brought the Department of the Interior to the land to see firsthand its value and importance to our region". That everyone loves the land and wants to protect it.
The official review by Secretary Zinke will be complete on August 24th.