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Pols eye president’s intentions

By Pat Caldwell
Malheur Enterprise

For opponents of a plan to preserve more than 2 million acres of land in Malheur County, a conversation last autumn between two lawmakers may meaning everything.

Then it again, it may not.

The discussion occurred between state Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, who represents Malheur County in the Oregon House of Representatives, and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, in early November. The substance of the conversation, Bentz said, was fairly clear: President Barack Obama will probably designate the Owyhee Canyonlands as a federal monument by . . .