By Mike Totey, Conservation Director
Oregon Senators Merkley and Wyden
introduced legislation in early November
to create a new national monument in the
Painted Hills area of Wheeler County that
would be known as the Sutton Mountain
The legislation would create a national monument in an area that is currently a wilderness study area.
The proposed legislation does not
eliminate hunting, fishing, grazing or any
existing improved access.
The legislation protects the area from
new energy site development (wind farms
or solar farms that the Biden administration is promoting on public lands) or mining.
It would also support active management to improve the area for wildlife and fire resiliency.
Concerns remain that the legislation could be altered before its final approval (if passed), or that it could attract an
influx of visitors to the area, which the bill is promoting along with some of the community members in Wheeler County.
OHA will track the legislation and
advocate for wildlife, habitat and hunting
For more information about the
proposal, visit https://www.merkley.