- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - A timber industry group has joined a growing list of entities challenging the legality of former President Barack Obama’s expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

The Mail Tribune reports (https://is.gd/aIyj5I) the American Forest Resource Council filed a lawsuit Friday asking a federal court to invalidate the expansion. It’s the third federal lawsuit filed in the case since February.

Before leaving office, Obama added 48,000 acres to the monument in southwestern Oregon to protect its biodiversity.

The council says the land is dedicated to timber production under the O&C; Lands Act. The group claims Obama went against a 1940 Department of the Interior legal opinion stating O&C; lands can’t be pulled from production.

The Oregon Association of O&C; Counties and the lumber group Murphy Co. have also challenged the monument expansion.

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Information from: Mail Tribune, https://www.mailtribune.com/

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