WASHINGTON - Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., issued the following statement Friday on the successful effort to block a national monument designation in the Owyhee Canyonlands:
The conclusion of the Obama Administration, without a national monument designation in the Owyhee Canyonlands, marks a long-awaited victory for the people of Eastern Oregon.
“The vast majority of ranchers, farmers, and local residents in the area made their voices heard in opposition to this proposal pushed by big-city corporate and special interests.
“Without their consistent pushback, it is quite likely that the outgoing administration would have -- yet again -- locked up more of our lands without meaningful public input.
"Their hard work allowed me to make the case to the president that a monument would bring yet another layer of federal regulation to the Eastern Oregon landscape and the people who live there.
“I look forward to working with President Trump and his administration to rebuild public trust in the management of our federal lands. That work begins today”
The Bend-based Oregon Natural Desert Association said supporters of the proposed monument have made it "a state and national priority." In a Facebook posting Friday, they urged supporters to thank Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley for their efforts "and urge them to champion strong protections for this threatened landscape."