Lawsuit against Cascade-Siskiyou monument expansion delayed
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has given the Trump administration more time to review federal monument designations made by previous presidents before it responds to a lawsuit brought by two timber companies against the expansion of a monument in southern Oregon, according to court documents viewed Monday.
Judge Mark D. Clarke ruled that all pending deadlines are stayed while Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke "conducts his review of the designation for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument," according to the court records.
President Donald Trump in April called for the review of 27 national monuments established by three former presidents. Zinke is to issue a final report in late August for all the monuments.
Clarke said in his ruling on June 13 that all parties in the Oregon lawsuit should submit a joint status report on Sept. 23. His ruling was reported earlier Monday by Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Murphy Co. and Murphy Timber Investments LLC challenged the legality of President Barack Obama's adding of about 48,000 acres to the monument in southwestern Oregon to protect its biodiversity. The companies say the move reduces the supply of timber sold and jeopardizes their log supply.
In directing Zinke to review the designation of dozens of national monuments on federal lands, including Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Trump it "a massive federal land grab" by previous administrations.
Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky