News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Commissioners oppose national monument

Linn County Communications Officer

Linn County Communications Officer

Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker unanimously agreed Sept. 26 to send a letter to the mid-valley’s Congressional delegation opposing the proposed Douglas fir National Monument.

The proposed monument could be created by President Joe Biden through the 1906 Antiquities Act and would include more than 530,000 acres of both public and private forest lands in Linn and Marion counties.

The Douglas fir National Monument would add another layer of management regulation on U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Linn County Parks, established roads and highways and to a degree, privately owned forest lands in the geographic mix.

It would run from Opal Creek in Marion County south to Tidbits Mountain in southern Linn County. It would extend from the Quartzville Creek area east of Sweet Home to the eastern border of the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area.

The commissioners said they believe adding the monument status would further reduce timber harvests, lead to the abandonment of roads and increase the possibility of greater wildfire danger, ultimately leading to heightened public safety issues.

Chairman Nyquist said he opposes the possible designation because it would restrict any future firefighting efforts.

Nyquist and Sprenger asked Tucker to include in the letter information about the Santiam Canyon fires of Labor Day 2020 that caused billions of dollars damage and loss of life. 

“This is another unneeded layer of protection in an area that is already protected in many ways,” Tucker said.

In other business, the commissioners:

Had a second reading of a proposed ordinance that will provide Linn County residents with the option to vote on whether they believe psilocybin mushrooms should legally be grown and distributed in the county. The issue will appear on Nov. 8 ballots.

Approved an 8 percent inflation adjustment for three solid waste management companies that the rural parts of Linn County – Republic Services, Pacific Sanitation and Sweet Home Sanitation. The county’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee had suggested a 10 percent increase.

Discussed the status of developing a wetlands mitigation inventory with Jenny Glass of the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments. 

Approved paying annual dues of $7,500 for inclusion in the Oregon Timber Counties Coalition.

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