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Expand Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Obama's Lame Duck

CSNM. Photo courtesy of Friends of Cascade Siskiyou National Monument

Photo courtesy of Friends of Cascade Siskiyou National Monument

For the special places across the country under national monument consideration, time is running out with Obama’s “lame duck” session now underway. In California, there are still two places awaiting President Obama’s pen: a further expansion of the California Coastal National Monument and an expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (CSNM) on the California-Oregon border.

In California, regions where different mountain ranges come together tend to have a great diversity of plant and wildlife species. These places can also serve as critical wildlife migration paths. One such ecological hot spot is just east of Interstate 5 in extreme northern California and southern Oregon where the Siskiyou Mountains, Cascade Range, and Modoc Plateau come together. In 2000, President Bill Clinton established the CSNM to protect some of the public lands in this unique region. As a result, CSNM became the first monument set aside in the U.S. solely for the preservation of biological diversity.

However, sixteen years later, with greater awareness of climate change’s looming and already evident effects, and as private lands in the Cascade-Siskiyou region are developed, conservationists are pushing to expand the Monument so that it can continue meeting the needs of the diverse plants and wildlife found there. This would involve replacing the existing artificial boundaries (case in point: the CSNM currently stops at the California border) with boundaries that include lower-elevation lands that were left out in the original 2000 designation.

Please send an email to President Obama TODAY to expand Cascade-Siskiyou:

Keep the San Gabriels Vital

East Fork San Gabriel River. Photo by Steve Evans.

East Fork San Gabriel River. Photo by Steve Evans.

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comments on the draft management plan for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Established by President Obama in 2014, the 346,000- acre Monument is an astonishing landscape of high peaks, rugged canyons, forests and chaparral, and free flowing rivers and streams that provides outdoor recreation opportunities for more than 3.5 million visitors every year.

The Monument Plan is intended to ensure protection of the outstanding scientific and historic features of the San Gabriel Mountains while improving recreational opportunities for the 17 million people who live nearby in the greater Los Angeles urban area. But unfortunately, the draft plan falls short of providing decisive management direct that will improve the visitor experience while protecting the mountain range’s outstanding natural and cultural resources.

The draft Monument Plan fails to specifically identify the scientific and historical features for which the Monument was established to protect. The draft plan also lacks real on-the-ground actions needed to improve recreational opportunities, while protecting fish, wildlife, habitat, water quality, and historical/cultural resources. To truly protect and conserve this magnificent landscape, the Forest Service needs to articulate a clear strategy and action plan that protects natural and cultural resources, while providing high quality and sustainable recreational opportunities.

Public comments are due November 1st, 2016.

Learn more here.

Tell the Forest Service: More Wild Lands and Rivers in the Sierra National Forest!

Kings River 2 - Monarch Add S Evans

Kings River in the proposed Monarch Additions. Photo by Steve Evans.

The Sierra National Forest encompasses the central and southern Sierra Nevada south of Yosemite National Park. This highly scenic and mostly wild region attracts visitors from all over world. The draft plan addresses many different land and resource management issues, including the identification of and potential agency recommendations to protect additional Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers. Protection of these wild places not only ensures that present and future generations may enjoy them, but they also provide refuge for fish, wildlife, and plants; preserve important sources of clean water and air; and help boost the local tourism-based economy.

Unfortunately, the Forest Service’s “preferred” Alternative B for the Sierra Forest recommends no new wilderness for protection. Even worse, the preferred alternative proposes to double the amount of logging. But the more conservation-oriented Alternative C recommends more than 220,641 acres of wilderness, while proposing a more modest level of logging.

The Forest Service is soliciting public comments on the Sierra draft Forest Plan through August 25, 2016. Please send an email TODAY to the Forest Service urging the agency to adopt an improved Alternative C for the Sierra Forest that protects significant amounts of Wilderness and all streams identified as eligible for Wild & Scenic River protection. Feel free to use the sample email below and include any personal experience.

Learn more here.

Your Comments Will Help Shape Sequoia National Forest!

Trout Creek photo by Steve Evans

Trout Creek is located in both the proposed Domeland addition and should be eligible for Wild & Scenic protection.

The Sequoia National Forest encompasses the iconic landscape of the southern Sierra Nevada. The draft plan addresses many different land and resource management issues, including the identification of and potential agency recommendations to protect additional wilderness and wild & scenic rivers. Protection of these wild places not only ensures that present and future generations may enjoy them, but they also provide refuge for fish, wildlife, and plants; preserve important sources of clean water and air; and help boost the local tourism-based economy.

Unfortunately, the Forest Service’s “preferred” Alternative Plan B for the Sequoia Forest recommends NO new wilderness protection. Even worse, the preferred alternative proposes to double the amount of logging on the Sequoia Forest. But the more conservation-oriented Alternative C recommends more than 206,904 acres of wilderness and 77.6 miles of wild and scenic river segments, while also proposing a more modest level of logging. 

Please send an email to the Forest Service TODAY urging the agency to adopt an improved Alternative Plan C for the Sequoia National Forest that protects more wilderness and streams identified as eligible for wild & scenic river protection. Learn more here.

A Rare Chance to Create Wilderness in Inyo National Forest

Glass Mountains photo by Steve Evans

The Glass Mountains are a small volcanic mountain range that was a prehistoric source of obsidian used for tool-making by Native Americans over much of the West and offers views of the eastern Sierra escarpment. Photo by Steve Evans.

The Inyo National Forest encompasses the iconic landscape of the eastern Sierra Nevada. The draft plan addresses many different land and resource management issues, including the identification of and potential agency recommendations to protect additional wilderness and wild & scenic rivers. Protection of these wild places not only ensures that present and future generations may enjoy them, but they also provide refuge for fish, wildlife, and plants; preserve important sources of clean water and air; and help boost the local tourism-based economy.

Unfortunately, the Forest Service’s “preferred” Alternative Plan B for the Inyo Forest recommends a paltry 37,000 acres of new wilderness protection. But the more conservation-oriented Alternative Plan C recommends more than 315,500 acres of wilderness.

Please send an email to the Forest Service TODAY urging the agency to adopt an improved Alternative Plan C for the Inyo Forest that protects significant amounts of wilderness and all streams identified as eligible for wild & scenic river protection. Learn more here.

Support Wilderness in Northwest California!

For years conservation campaigns in northwest California have bitterly divided communities. Regardless of what side you were on for these fights, they weren’t good for building strong communities. CalWild works locally to build diverse coalitions and re-build partnerships for specific environmental initiatives, and our Mountains and Rivers campaign is no different.

After years of environmental controversy in this remote region, our coalition is helping bring together historically opposed groups, such as timber companies and conservationists. These groups are finding common ground and identifying ways to protect the best of our remaining pristine landscapes, while also restoring areas historically impacted by unregulated industry to put our fisheries back together and manage for fire.

If you favor this approach, please sign the petition thanking Congressman Jared Huffman for his work for bringing these diverse constituencies together in favor of protecting public lands, support for our local recreation economy, protecting our water resources and fisheries, and restoring damaged wild areas and encourage him to introduce legislation. 

Save Rivers And Public Lands – Stop Deadbeat Dams!

McCloud RiverThe U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is finalizing its proposals for two dam projects that threaten to harm rare, free-flowing segments of the McCloud, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Rivers. In the process, thousands of acres of public lands providing outdoor recreation and important wildlife habitat would be flooded.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell oversees the Bureau, so she has the ultimate authority to reject these ineffective, costly, and destructive projects. So-called “drought relief” legislation currently pending in Congress also grants Secretary Jewell the clear authority to reject these dams.

Please send an email TODAY urging Secretary Jewell to reject these unneeded dam projects and do everything in her power to protect these magnificent rivers.