Leaked: Interior Secretary Zinke’s Secret Monument Report

We have reviewed the recommendations for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and they are as bad as we feared. If acted on, thousands of acres of public lands protected as the only U.S National Monument to biological diversity will be sold out.

The recommendations are riddled with errors and falsehoods. According to the secret report, cars aren’t allowed in the Monument. That’s odd. We, and many of you, have been driving on those roads all summer. It is just one example of how confused they are about the Monument in Washington D.C.

While he didn’t get the facts straight, Zinke is clear that he wants to remove the Monument’s protections and hand over the forests to timber companies. In the short term, that means aggressive logging on 16,591 acres of land currently protected for the Monument’s unique wildlife (the monument already allows science based forest management to move forward). In the long term, there is a suggestion that more than half of the Monument could be axed.

This fight is far from over! You’ve showed up at meetings, written comments, added your voice at rallies, and demonstrated your love for this amazing landscape. We stand ready to defend the monument with our partners at the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council if needed. In total, ten monuments across the U.S. are targeted for stripped protections.

There is one thing the report gets right. Secretary Zinke admitted that designating National Monuments has been “an overwhelming American success story and today includes almost 200 of America’s greatest treasures.” That’s right, Mr. Secretary. The Cascade-Siskiyou is one of those treasures and we intend to keep it that way!