National Monument Expansions a Homerun for Wildlife

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Obama designated three new cultural heritage sites as national monuments and expanded both the California Coastal National Monument and the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Southwest Oregon. These monument expansions will preserve some of America’s most important civil rights sites in Alabama and South Carolina, while also conserving important habitat for wildlife along our western coast.

Cascade-Siskiyou will be expanded by more than 50,000 acres in response to calls from Oregon’s Senators, citizens, and communities to better manage this important landscape. The Cascade-Siskiyou region contains ecosystems that are rich with wildlife, biodiversity, and beauty due to its location at the juncture of three mountain ranges — the Klamath, the Siskiyou, and the Cascades. Originally established in 2000, Cascade-Siskiyou was created to protect the unmatched wildlife and biodiversity of southern Oregon, making it the only national monument designated specifically to protect biodiversity.

“Cascade-Siskiyou is among the most important areas for wildlife in our entire nation and we are grateful for the tireless work of folks in Talent and Ashland, and conservation organizations — like the Association of Northwest Steelheaders and Trout Unlimited — to protect this world-class area for fishing, hunting, birding, hiking and camping,” said Collin O’Mara, CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This monument is a great example of what an important tool the Antiquities Act is for responding to the needs of local economies and communities and improving management of our nation’s public lands. Thanks to this thoughtful expansion by President Obama, Oregonians will be able to continue hunting and fishing within the monument boundaries while also enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities through better management.”

“Expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou monument is a welcome addition to an incredibly rich bio-region of our great state,” notes Bob Rees, Executive Director for the Association of Northwest Steelheaders. “Increasing opportunities for hunters and anglers to access and enjoy Oregon’s public lands is more critical now than ever before.”

The California Coastal National Monument was also expanded by nearly 6,000 acres of coastline and islands. Originally designated in 2000, the monument was initially expanded in 2014 to include ecologically critical onshore areas. These expansions will ensure that the region’s history and unique marine habitat will remain protected for future generations.

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