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Wyden introduces new legislation to safeguard scenic area

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) talks during a town hall meeting in Ontario in April. Wyden today introduced new legislation to protect the Owyhee Canyonlands and safeguard the ranching industry. (The Enterprise/File).

VALE – Oregon’s U.S. senators on Thursday introduced legislation to protect the Owyhee Canyonlands and safeguard and improve federally-managed rangeland in Malheur County.

The legislation by Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley is called the Malheur Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act and is the result of months of private negotiations between local ranchers, conservation groups, state universities and federal agencies.

“Whether you are a rancher carrying on your family business in eastern Oregon, an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hikes in the Canyonlands or an environmentalist seeking to protect wildlife habitat, you have a stake in the future of this unique and important landscape . . .