Siskiyou Crest National Monument- Viewpoint from Laurel

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,


Siskiyou Crest National Monument–Let’s look honestly at the plan.

This is the reply to the position of Laurel of Klamath Siskiyou Wildland Center from Tom Waddell. Tom Waddell is well known and respected member of the Happy Camp/Klamath River Valley community for his community involvement and wisdom. He is well qualified to speak to this matter, as you will see in his introductory remarks.

I am a Karuk Tribal Member and on the non-native side of my family I am a fifth generation Happy Camper. I would like to respond to the email you sent to Rita at the Happy Camp Chamber.

Over the past twenty years I have been directly affected by those who wish to force their views on others. Those who keep saying that there will be little to no impact and there is potential for a positive economic effect. In fact we have been told that story on every new proposed change in public land management policy. Ask Rita if recreation is supporting a strong econony in Happy Camp. Study after study told us how recreation was going to replace the jobs lost under Clintons Forest Plan. How did the small amount of grant funds made available create long term economic development? LETS TALK HONESTLY.

I would be happy to meet with you and any economist that you choose, to debate the effects that have been forced on the Klamath River Communities over the last 20 years. Lets have an honest conversation where truths are the basis for discussion and the effects are not hidden behind closed doors. Lets talk about the “trickle down” effects that Dr. Robert Lee from the University of Washington researched and reported on the adverse effects on small rural communities when their economies collapse like they have along the Klamath. Lets talk about the social challenges that the Happy Camp Family Resource Center deals with every day. Lets talk about the sharp escalation of crime rates, drug and alcohol use, suicides (and attempts), and other social ills.

After we have completed some honest conversation about historical facts on the effects on local economies over the last twenty years then I will patiently listen to what you and your economist has to say about our communities. I will listen to the “projected” effects if the project that you are promoting is implemented.

I am a business counselor and I work with clients who are researching the feasibility of businesses everyday. When we work with a business the first thing we request is historical data, because it gives us an insight into the future. Try getting a loan from a bank for a startup business with no previous business experience. It simply won’t happen.  They want to be able to reasonably predict what the business will accomplish. Historical information is the  best way to predict what will happen.

So lets talk about the effect restricting access and land management has had  on the residents of the Klamath River Corridor over the last twenty years.  Then lets use that information to extrapolate what might happen in the next twenty years if further restrictions are implemented. If we continue down the same path of restrictions we may even reach the point where the economy is sooooo bad that we might see a positive effect from one of those land management decisions, but there will probably be so few actual productive residents in the area that no one will be here to notice or to celebrate (PROTEST). Which is the “Hidden Agenda” of most Special Interest Groups such as yours.

My family homestead has been left to slowly reach a state of disrepair. Three of us brothers have relocated their families out of the area, the same as most of my first cousins and their families. Since my mother had thirteen brothers and sisters that is quite a crowd that has had to leave the “River” (our home for thousands of years).

I work in Redding, CA and commute home every weekend to try and maintain my families homestead. I also split my time to visit my son and granddaughter who had to move out of the area. Tell me again that it will not have an effect!
Let us talk honestly!