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Oregon Counties Sue Federal Government Over Cascade-Siskiyou Expansion

In his last days in office, President Obama expanded the Cascade-Siskiyou National monument on the Oregon-California border.

Now, a group of counties that gets revenue from logging lands within the monument boundaries is suing the federal government.

Tim Freeman is the president of the Association of O&C Counties.

He said the lost revenue will lead to fewer county services "like public health and mental health and libraries and museums and law enforcement and really creating important livability for communities around the state.”

Freeman said it’s unclear if the Trump Administration could eliminate the monument entirely, but he hopes the administration could shrink it.

Dave Willis is the chair of the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council. He helped push for the original monument, and the expansion.

He said the lawsuit is a waste of taxpayer money and calls the monument a "gift."

“So we’re going to try to protect that gift for future generations as well as for all the diversity of species — incredible, remarkable diversity of species — that depend on this area,” Willis said.

Michael Campbell is a public affairs officer for the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon and Washington. The BLM doesn’t comment on litigation, but he said the agency hopes to honor timber sales that are already underway. Then they will examine how to handle logging going forward.

<p>View from the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon</p>

View from the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon

<p>The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon</p>

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon

<p>The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon</p>

Bureau of Land Management / Flickr

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The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon

<p>The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon</p>

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon

<p>The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon</p>

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon

<p>The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon</p>

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon

<p>The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon</p>

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Dave Blanchard