Walden: U.S. House votes to stop Owyhee national monument

Posted at 1:41 PM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-14 15:41:30-04

The U.S. House has passed Oregon Representative Greg Walden’s (R-Hood River) proposal to prohibit the declaration of an Owyhee national monument, according to a news release from Walden’s office.

Walden is set to meet with southeast Oregon residents and members of the agriculture community Saturday at a town hall meeting in Malheur County.

“The people of Malheur County have already spoken on this issue, and they’ve come out adamantly opposed to a proposed unilateral national monument declaration on the Owyhee River canyon,” said Walden. “Now the U.S. House has also voted on my proposal to block a monument in Malheur County. These votes send a strong message to the President that the overwhelming majority of local residents and the People’s House oppose a monument. Eastern Oregon doesn’t need another top-down ‘solution’ to over-regulate another part of our economy and our way of life.” 

The vote came as part of a larger bill that provides annual funding for the Department of the Interior and other agencies, the release said. Walden’s provision says that no funds may be used to make a Presidential declaration of a national monument in Malheur County. An effort by House Democrats to remove this provision was rejected by a vote of 202-225.

The legislation is the latest in Walden’s efforts to urge the President and top members of the Administration to back off the proposal -- which would lock up 2.5 million acres in Malheur County -– and ease tensions in the rural West.

The bill passed the U.S. House Thursday by a vote of 231-196.

It now heads to the Senate for consideration.