Letter to the editor
Lawmakers must protect
our national monuments
I am one of many Oregonians watching the Trump administration's review of our treasured national monuments with an uneasy eye, and not simply because I treasure my recreational time on public lands and wish to see them preserved for future generations.
This attempt at defying the will of the American people is also representative of the measures industry-friendly politicians will take to appease special interests and preserve the flow of funding to their own campaigns.
Legal precedent is clear that the president himself does not have the authority to shrink or eliminate a monument, yet that is not where our fight for the Cascade-Siskiyou and other monuments must stop. Perhaps more threatening is the so-called "Resilient Federal Forests Act" (HR 2936), which passed in the House of Representatives last year and is now being considered in the Senate. This bill will remove protections for many of our protected places, including the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, effectively opening these public lands to clearcutting, mining and drilling.
Oregon's own Congressman Greg Walden is a co-sponsor of this bill and it's no coincidence that he has accepted more campaign contributions from timber interests than any other member of the House of Representatives. As this bill goes through the process in the Senate, we must rely on Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to remain vigilant and attentive to the subversive ways in which concessions could be offered in tertiary bills that accomplish the same goal of HR 2936: eroding the public ownership of our shared public lands. Our precious remaining forests, waterways and wildlife depend on us!