Durango, Colo. (Nov. 8, 2019)—Conservation Lands Foundation’s Executive Director, Brian Sybert, issued the following statement in response to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden’s introduction of the Malheur County Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act—a historic move to protect over 1.13 million acres of wild public lands and rivers in southeast Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands.
“Senator Wyden’s success in bringing people together to better understand each other’s interests and find common ground on how to manage Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands is a much-needed shot of hope that it’s still possible to protect public lands in America.
“First and foremost, these are ancestral lands important to many Tribes and to all Americans. This bill will bring a high degree of stability and certainty for how the land will be managed and for the livelihoods tied to it. It ensures the area’s vast, intact fish and wildlife habitat, wild waters, cultural sites, dark night skies and exceptional opportunities for recreation and solitude will be safeguarded forever.
“We stand with Sen. Wyden and co-sponsor Sen. Merkley and will work with local Tribes and our local partners on the ground—including the Friends of the Owyhee—to secure the bill's passage.”