Trump administration backing Obama proclamation in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Trump administration is defending former President Barack Obama’s expansion of a national monument in Oregon.

That puts the administration in direct opposition with timber interests that President Donald Trump has vowed to defend.

Observers say the administration is doing so not to protect the environment but to assert presidential authority in the ongoing legal battle.

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is home to more than 200 bird species. During his last week in office, Obama almost doubled its size to more than 150 square miles (390 square kilometers).