Additional land becomes part of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

The Cascade-Siskyou National Monument has expanded by more than 900 acres, following the transfer of property from The Conservation Fund to the Bureau of Land Management

The transferred land, which includes a stretch of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, was formerly owned by Hancock Timber Resource Group.

The national monument, located at the intersection of the Cascade Range, Siskiyou Mountains and Klamath Mountains, was created in 2000 to preserve the area's biodiversity. The monument now includes about 61,700 acres in southern Oregon.

Conservationists have called the monument area the "Galapagos of North America" because of its wide range of plant and wildlife species, many of which are unique to that area. The monument also offers recreation opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, hunting and winter sports.

Congress provided funding for the purchase through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The transfer or the lands, along with parcels the BLM purchased in 2012, completes over half of an effort by the BLM and The Conservation Fund to protect land that is one of the largest remaining private landholdings within the monument boundary — approximately 6,570 acres — owned by Hancock Timber Resource Group.

About 2,900 acres of Hancock Timber lands remain available for sale, and supporters of the monument say they hope future funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund could help the BLM acquire the remaining property for conservation.

The federally managed land protection program is funded from the development of federally owned offshore oil and gas resources and has been used to protect forests, natural resources, state and local parks and recreation areas since 1965.

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