This viewpoint on the Siskiyou Crest National Monument was written in response to a letter from Rita of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce and since the issue directly affects the lives of all of us living along the Klamath River Valley, her views, and other views expressed by Tom Waddell below are published for your information.–editor
Thank you for contacting us about this proposal. There is much misunderstanding about the likely impacts of a monument designation, though there is a long history to refer to see what has occurred in other places in similar situations.
The view of the Siskiyou Crest National Monument from the viewpoint of Laural of Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center
First, it is important to understand that 100% of the proposed monument is already federally managed land, and no limits to access or property use would occur on private land. Residential land values would be likely to increase due to their proximity to a protected area, as would larger tracks of privately held land.
I just yesterday visited with an economics professor at Southern Oregon University to initiate an economic analysis of the likely impacts to local counties, and we will post the results on our website and to the press. There is a large body of economic research that shows that counties and communities adjacent to protected areas have more robust and diversified economies than those based solely on resource extraction, agriculture and the like.
I have attached our just completed campaign profile document for you to review. There is a small section on ‘gateway communities’ you may find of interest. We also are proposing an active management of this area that would create jobs doing thinning of plantation forests, fire hazard reduction and other restoration based activities.
Another major concern people seem to express is a lack of access to the landscape. The vision we are proposing would likely involve the decommissioning of a small amount of remote forest service roads that were built for timber extraction and now have no budget for maintenance while they erode into the salmon bearing streams below, but all major and even most minor routes would remain open and accessible throughout the area. Hunting, fishing, and other outdoors activities would all continue to be allowed.
I hope this helps clarify things a bit, and I would be happy to answer further questions or hear your concerns if you have them.
Thanks and take care,