Saturday, February 13, 2016

Owyhee Canyonlands is going to happen because it's about legacy

This is one of the three proposed monuments I put on our watchlist in the previous post. Highlights:

1. It does seem to be about legacy. Basically, it's very much about psychology. In fact, too much here on both sides is about psychology. This is why this time the dooming feels so freaky.

2. The alleged tactics of environmental groups. I don't get the part about huge settlements and the rancher is likely biased against the groups. But the groups targeting the BLM for restricting associated activities and not going after the ranchers and their use of land directly sounds rather smart and true.

3. I don't know what are his sources, but he seems to be sure that the monument is going to happen.

Larry Meyer (The Argus Observer) {

Date = Jan 17, 2016

Source = Rancher braces for impacts of designation

The Owyhee Canyonlands monument, as proposed, would take in about 2.5 million acres. That would make it bigger than any other existing monument, Skinner said, and would include about 300,000 more acres than Yellowstone Park.

“It’s going to [have] a big economic impact,” he said.

While it’s going to have a direct impact on the cattle industry, a national monument designation is going to trickle down to everyone, Skinner said.

Malheur County Commissioner Larry Wilson, noting that cattle is now largest agricultural commodity in Oregon in sales and generating more sales than other crops combined, said decline or loss in the cattle industry would impact producers of crops used in cattle feed and suppliers to agriculture producers and other businesses.


While wilderness and monument laws say such activities as grazing can continue, once a special land-use designation is applied, environmentalists begin filing lawsuits, Skinner said.

They don’t sue the ranchers, he said. Instead, they go after the Bureau of Land Management to request such things as restricting uses or activities that support those uses such as cattle grazing. Those restrictions can include using vehicles to check on the cattle or take out supplies, Skinner said.

Environmental groups use the Equal Access to Just Law to pay for their legal actions, Skinner said.

“They receive huge settlements,” he said.


Designation as a national monument can come through declaration or order by the president under the Antiquities Act, Skinner said, but he said the act was never intended to take in larger areas.

As originally written, the purpose of the Antiquities Act was to grab smaller areas for protection, and a monument was to be confined to the smallest area, Skinner said.

In the case of the Owyhee Canyonlands, “it’s gone way past that,” Skinner said.

“All of our sources say it is going to happen,” Skinner said.

When a member of the audience asked if presidential orders or declaration can be overturned, Skinner said they can be but never have been by the next president.

He said he doesn’t believe the issue is about the environment.

“It’s about legacy,” he said. “The president wants a legacy.” }