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In Oregon, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, a stunning monument located at the intersection of three mountain ranges, is under attack from the Trump administration. The monument, which was first designated in 2000 and later expanded in 2017, is renowned for its biological diversity and recreational opportunities.

Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have led the fight to protect this majestic landscape. Just after Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the “review” of national monuments, these senators sent him a letter urging him to protect Cascade-Siskiyou. In a recent video, Senator Merkley spoke about why we can’t stay silent.

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument also has strong support from local governments and community leaders. In the time leading up to the expansion of the monument, residents attended public meetings and submitted thousands of comments in support of Cascade-Siskiyou. During Secretary Zinke’s visit to the monument, grassroots groups like the Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou rallied outside of BLM Medford office to oppose its possible revocation while Secretary Zinke held meetings inside.

The editorial board of the Oregonian also came out in opposition of Zinke’s review, saying that, “…going back on the Cascade-Siskiyou’s designation would be a slap in the face for the hundreds of Oregonians who had faith in the process and attended one of the four public meetings held last year.”

Secretary Zinke should not be allowed to undo extensive local input in just a few short months. We must do everything we can to protect this vast and wild landscape.

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