Latest Articles & News

National Monuments under Review as a Result of Executive Order 13792

Background: The Antiquities Act has been used by presidents to turn public land into national monuments to protect them forever from commercial development or future mineral extraction. The president can make monuments only from land already controlled by the federal government, and the act generally does not change how the land is used. If leases for mining, ranching, drilling or logging already exist, they can continue, but new leases probably won’t be allowed. A president can change the boundaries of a national monument, but the act does not give the president the authority to revoke previous monument designations. No prior president has ever reduced the size of a national monument.

Trump ordered the Interior Department to review the size and scope of national monuments larger than 100,000 acres created since 1996. He wants recommendations on whether any should be scaled back. Reducing the size of national monuments would benefit oil, gas, mining, logging and ranching because the federal government could grant more leases.

Cascade Siskiyou National Monument: Within Oregon the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument is under review. Last fall Obama expanded the monument to 113,013 acres within a footprint that covers about 137,500 acres and expands beyond southeastern Jackson County into Klamath County and northern California. Eighty-five scientists signed a letter supporting a study that showed monument expansion was necessary to protect its biological uniqueness against climate change and for continuity because monument boundaries did not take into account full drainages. Private lands inside that footprint remain private and are not subject to monument rules, which ban commercial timber harvest but allow well vetted noncommercial cutting.

Opponents, however, said the Bureau of Land Management, which manages the monument, did not have direct input in the expansion, and they have a stable of landowners, groups and politicians in their camp. Two federal lawsuits are challenging whether the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was improperly expanded into O&C Act lands, based on a 1940 internal DOI review that concluded O&C Act lands cannot be rolled into monument status.

Assistance in Letter Writing: For additional help in letter writing regarding the monument, review the information on this site: http://www.cascadesiskiyou.org/take-action/

Here is the list of all monuments under review:

  1. Basin and Range, Nevada
  2. Bears Ears, Utah
  3. Berryessa Snow Mountain, California
  4. Canyons of the Ancients, Colorado
  5. Carrizo Plain, California
  6. Cascade Siskiyou, Oregon
  7. Craters of the Moon, Idaho
  8. Giant Sequoia, California
  9. Gold Butte, Nevada
  10. Grand Canyon-Parashant, Arizona
  11. Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah
  12. Hanford Reach, Washington
  13. Ironwood Forest, Arizona
  14. Mojave Trails, California
  15. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, New Mexico
  16. Rio Grande del Norte, New Mexico
  17. Sand to Snow, California
  18. San Gabriel Mountains, California
  19. Sonoran Desert, Arizona
  20. Upper Missouri River Breaks, Montana
  21. Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona
  22. Katahadin Woods and Waters, Maine
  23. Marianas Trench, CNMI/Pacific Ocean
  24. Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, Atlantic Ocean
  25. Pacific Remote Islands, Pacific Ocean
  26. Papahanaumokuakea, Hawaii/Pacific Ocean
  27. Rose Atoll, American Samoa/Pacific Ocean

Details on How to Comment: The Department of the Interior is allowing a public comment period beginning May 13, 2017 via online or email. Comments may be submitted online after May 12 at http://www.regulations.gov by entering “DOI-2017-0002” in the Search bar and clicking “Search,” or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

Press Release from DOI regarding review: https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/interior-department-releases-list-monuments-under-review-announces-first-ever-formal

Dates: Public comment period will open May 13, 2017. Written comments relating to the Bears Ears National Monument must be submitted within 15 days of publication of that notice. Written comments relating to all other monument designations must be submitted within 60 days of that date.

Public Comment Period for EPA Regulations

What: Your comments needed

When: Submit by May 15, 2017 11:59 PM ET

Action: Click here to Comment (look for “Comment Now” on right side of page)

Note: I submitted a comment; they do not collect any personal information. You can opt to receive receipt by entering your email address; not required.

Your comment will be displayed as Anonymous public comment. All submitted comments can be viewed HERE

Details: A number of agencies within the EPA will be holding public comment period.

The EPA is seeking input on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification per Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”.

Use the following as a reference for possible topics; feel free to cut and paste, or customize your comment:

  1. The review period (1 month) and notification regarding the review is woefully inadequate.
  2. The Administration is concerned about the cost to business, but does not seem to be concerned about the impact on the public. The focus on “overly burdensome” regulations failed to consider the burden that pollution places on the American people. EPA’s work has significantly and steadily reduced pollution in air, water, and soil, with dramatic benefits to human health and the environment.
  3. While EPA’s protections have helped all Americans, anyone living close to a freeway, oil refinery or production well, hazardous waste facility, or  coal-fired power plant still suffers much larger risks than the population in general. These communities aren’t as resilient to health risks because they typically have less access to health care.
  4. The EPA has always followed by the law and good science.
  5. When the administration claims that EPA’s efforts to protect human health and the environment constitute “overreach” and fail to provide “balance” between health and environmental protection and the profitability of corporations, it ignores that EPA’s basic mission is to protect human health and the environment.
  6. The most significant harm will fall disproportionately on the politically disempowered and economically disadvantaged communities. Communities of color, and also many mostly-white communities in rural areas with severe public health impacts, are at special risk.
  7. Pruitt’s idea that EPA efforts to protect health and the environment have been at odds with economic development is false. As emissions have decreased steadily since 1970, and even as the rate of increase in CO2 (greenhouse pollution) emissions has begun to decrease in the past decade, GDP has grown. We’ve managed to keep energy consumption flat even as our driving has increased dramatically, as a result of improvements in fuel economy that have resulted from federal regulation as well as California’s regulatory efforts. Claims of “job-killing regulations” are bogus. 
  8. California can set its own standards limiting air pollution from motor vehicles, and other states can opt in to California’s stricter standards – but only if the federal government issues a waiver to California. Almost every waiver request has been granted, based on a legal standard that requires EPA to approve these waivers where there are “compelling” and “extraordinary” conditions justifying them. Despite the Republican rhetoric of “states’ rights” and “federalism,” apparently, the administration is poised to start denying, or even revoking, these waivers.
  9. EPA has long supported efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through voluntary efforts. Recently the EPA has begun to require reduction in the greenhouse pollution that causes climate change.  EPA has to do this, since the Supreme Court has ruled that greenhouse gases are “pollutants” and EPA has found, based on overwhelming scientific evidence, that emissions of those pollutants from various sources cause or contribute to endangerment of human health and the environment.
  10. We will fight any regulatory rollbacks that negatively impact the environment and public health.

Why would the Keystone XL be such a disaster, for people and the planet?

It’s an oil spill catastrophe: The pipeline would send hundreds of thousands of barrels of sludgy and toxic tar sands oil a day from Canada’s endangered boreal forest through the American heartland, endangering countless communities and lakes, rivers and streams with the risk of horrendous, difficult to clean up oil spills.
It’s a climate disaster: The tar sands oil that the Keystone XL pipeline would carry is one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet — from the tar sands mine to the gas tank, it generates 81% more carbon pollution than conventional crude. With our climate crisis worsening, the Keystone XL is a ticking climate time bomb we can’t afford to let explode.
It’s an economic pipedream: Despite false claims from President Trump of energy security and an economic bonanza, the pipeline is only projected to create 35 permanent jobs after it’s built, and almost certainly will not be built with American steel, as the President likes to boast.
Here’s a link to an overview on the pipeline from NRDC.

Resources & Links

Click on picture for more information!

Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council

Bee Girl

Cascadia Wildlands 

EarthShare Oregon

Friends of the Earth

KS Wild

Natural Resources Defense Council

Oregon Conservation Network

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Oregon League of Conservation Voters

Pacific Rivers

Rogue River Watershed Council

Rogue Riverkeeper

Sierra Club – Rogue Group

Siskiyou Field Institute

Southern Oregon Beekeepers

Southern Oregon Climate Action Network

Wildlife Images

Williams Creek Watershed Council

1000 Friends of Oregon