Supreme Court declines to hear Cascade-Siskiyou Monument case

The U.S. Supreme Court has made a monumental decision on sustainable timber harvesting locally by deciding not to review the conservation expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Recently, groups advocating for timber companies tried to sue the federal government over the expansion. During the Obama administration, an over 40,000-acre expansion was approved for the National Monument. The expansion would incorporate sustainably harvested timber lands into the monument area, placing them under conservation laws.

Dave Willis, the chair of the organization defending the expansion, says this decision is an important step toward preserving the area’s natural biodiversity.

All of these judges have made it abundantly clear that the timber industry is very narrow and selective, self-serving, and frankly environmentally damaging reading of the O&C Act is wrong. And it’s always been wrong.

The American Forest Resource Council says, however, that its lawsuit represented more than just the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument expansion.

Nick Smith, the Public Affairs Director for AFRC says the lawsuit is not only aimed at protecting the jobs and funding that come from this timberland but at managing the lands in order to mitigate climate change and wildfire risk.

You know, in this age of severe wildfire and climate change it’s about whether it’s wise to draw arbitrary lines on a map and just walk away thinking that that parcel of land is protected.

The National Monument site including the 48,000-acre expansion area is currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

Both Willis and Smith raised concerns over the future of conservation and habitat preservation under BLM management. The Bureau of Land Management declined to comment on this case.

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