Defending the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

 A view of spectacular Hobart Bluff in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

A view of spectacular Hobart Bluff in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is one of 27 monuments across the U.S. under "review" by the Trump Administration. They hope to shrink the Monument and eliminating protections. The review is being led by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Secretary Zinke came to Southern Oregon to see the Cascade-Siskiyou first hand in mid-July and was met by hundreds of Monument supporters with a simple but resounding message. Leave our Monument alone!

A Biological Wonderland

At the spectacular collision of the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains lies a region of transition, contrast and renowned biodiversity. The region provides vital connectivity between the Cascade Mountains, the Siskiyou Mountains, the Coast Ranges of Oregon and California, the high deserts of eastern Oregon, and the interior valleys of southern Oregon and northern California. In essence, the Cascade-Siskiyou region ties together the major plant communities and ecoregions of the west. The mountains are an intriguing mosaic of grasslands, oak woodlands, juniper scrub, chaparral, dry pine forests, moist fir forests, meadows, glades, wetlands, springs and volcanic rock outcrops. 

Sixteen years ago, President Clinton used his authority under the Antiquities Act to establish the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument – the first and only monument designated for the primary purpose of protecting biodiversity. In January 2016, President Obama expanded the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument to its present 113,000 acres. The expansion is comprised entirely of existing federal lands and allows for public access, including hunting and fishing.

113,000 Acres of Unparalleled Biodiversity

The most iconic landmark in the monument is Pilot Rock, but the expansion adds areas to the south, including Scotch Creek in California. To the west are the Rogue Valley foothills. In the north are impressive stands of old growth forest at Moon Prairie and Hoxie Creek along with upper Jenny Creek and the highly visited Grizzly Peak area visible just north of Ashland. To the east is Surveyor Mountain and the beautiful Tunnel Creek wetlands. Together, the expansion represents 48,000 acres of public lands.

Recognized as one of the most significant biological crossroads in western North American, protection of the Cascade-Siskiyou helps ensure a future for plants and wildlife far beyond the monument boundaries. Pygmy Nuthatches and kangaroo rats, typically found east of the Cascades, share habitat with western species such as rough-skinned newts and Northern Spotted Owls. Bigleaf Maple and Eastern Juniper grow on the same bluff, as do Manzanita and White Fir. All of these species coexist in the Cascade-Siskiyou, along with one of the highest diversities of butterflies in North America.

KS Wild continues to work with allies like the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council, local businesses and community members throughout the region to defend the Cascade-Siskiyou against efforts to roll back any protections.