Harmony in the Canyonlands?

Plans call for a mix of uses to continue in the rugged Canyonlands. (The Enterprise/File)

VALE – Legislation sponsored by two Oregon senators will unite a group of unlikely partners to safeguard the Owyhee Canyonlands and help restore damaged federal 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. 

The legislation, announced last week, breaks a years-long impasse between a union of environmental and conservation groups and local ranchers. 

Wyden stepped into the conflict in April when he announced at an Ontario town hall meeting that he would lead an effort to find a compromise between special interest . . .