Timber Group Says Oregon Monument Expansion Is Illegal

Jan 13, 2017

The timber industry may go to court to try to reverse President Obama’s expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon.

The president’s decision to nearly double the size of the national monument was praised by environmentalists and Oregon’s two senators.

But a timber industry trade group argues that Obama misused his power under the Antiquities Act. Travis Joseph of the American Forest Resource Council says the expansion improperly included several thousand acres of federal land that Congress has designated for logging.

“Can an administration come in and change the meaning of a statute through the antiquities act," Joseph said. "That’s the legal question, and our view is no.”

In addition, Republican Congressman Greg Walden says he will talk with the incoming administration about reversing Obama’s action.

But there’s slim precedent for that. And Dave Willis of the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council says there’s strong public support for protecting an area of key biodiversity.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting