SALEM, Ore. (AP) – A judge has defended former President Barack Obama’s expansion of a national monument in Oregon, ruling against a logging company’s lawsuit that said the expansion deprived it of timber.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke referred his recommendation Tuesday to a U.S. district judge.
Murphy Co. and Murphy Timber Investments LLC brought one of three lawsuits against Obama’s expansion of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, arguing that part of the expanded area was reserved for timber production.
Clarke ruled that Obama did not exceed his authority in nearly doubling the monument’s size to more than 150 square miles (390 square kilometers).
Kristen Boyles, an attorney for Earthjustice which was one of the defendant-intervenors in the case, said she was grateful.
The Murphy companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.