Some Eastern Oregon ranchers believe Donald Trump’s victory makes it less likely that President Barack Obama will declare a national monument in Malheur County during his last months in office.
Ranchers in Malheur County formed the Owyhee Basin Stewardship Coalition earlier this year to fight a proposed 2.5-million-acre national monument, which would represent 40 percent of the county’s land base.

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JORDAN VALLEY, Ore. — Some Eastern Oregon ranchers believe Donald Trump’s victory makes it less likely that President Barack Obama will declare a national monument in Malheur County during his last months in office.

Ranchers in Malheur County formed the Owyhee Basin Stewardship Coalition earlier this year to fight a proposed 2.5-million-acre national monument, which would represent 40 percent of the county’s land base.

The Owyhee Canyonlands monument is being pushed by the Oregon Natural Desert Association, an environmental group in Bend, and Portland’s Keen Footwear.

Opponents believe supporters will ask Obama to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to create the monument.

Malheur County rancher and OBSC board member Elias Eiguren said the fact that many polls were so wrong about the presidential election gives him hope that there are a lot more people out there than anyone previously realized that support stances such as the one his group has taken.

“I’m honestly more encouraged,” he said about Trump’s victory. “I think … we have a lot more support than we even know. It’s just a matter of getting the word out there about what’s happening.”

He said the thought has entered his mind that a nearing Trump presidency could cause monument supporters to increase the pressure because they see their window closing.

“That thought certainly crossed my mind but the manner in which the (victory) happened gives me a lot of hope,” Eiguren said. “I don’t think the president is going to see this as a good thing to do. I think it would be distasteful for him to do it because of what the voters said.”

Jordan Valley rancher Mark Mackenzie said he’s not 100 percent convinced that Obama won’t designate the national monument in his waning days in office but he also believes the American people sent a strong message that they are not happy with the way the federal government and bureaucrats are acting.

He’s also encouraged by Trump’s promise to roll back some of Obama’s executive orders, rules and regulations.

“Trump made it very clear he is going to roll back those presidential orders and proclamations,” he said. “That should be enough to deter (Obama).”AM

Last changed on November 9, 2016 4:02PM

Sean Ellis

Capital Press

Free Range Report

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