Letter to the Editor: Whaaat? A National Monument in Plumas County?

Dear Editor and Community,

I just had a learning experience I am excited to share. On November 16, an expert on National Monuments and Indian Law, Charles Wilkinson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the University of Colorado, gave a talk at the West End Theatre. Sponsored by Friends of Plumas Wilderness, Prof. Wilkinson made a compelling case for the establishment of a National Monument in the Middle Fork and North Fork of the Feather River.

Unlike a National Park, where  hunting and fishing may be restricted or prohibited, or a Wilderness Area where road access may be non-existent, a National Monument can be created with community input and need as a centerpiece element.

A major benefit of a National Monument in Plumas County is the opportunity for a modern plan that we locals create, as well as access to funding to allow greater fire resiliency. With the recent loss to fire of 65% of the Upper Feather River Watershed I think it is essential that we protect what we have remaining. The current U.S. Forest Service management plan is over 3 decades old and clearly not representing current conditions.

A National Monument would be an opportunity to have Tribal input along with the rest of us locals, both in the initial phases, as well as in ongoing management. Existing mining claims would be grandfathered in, and logging would be for forest health  purposes. This current and thoughtful approach, as well as hunting, fishing and other recreational uses, makes sense to me.

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I encourage all of us to consider this opportunity.

Thank you,

Chris Murray

Quincy