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View Full Version : WILDERNESS BILL: LEGISLATIVE ALERT April 22, 2007



Kelly
04-24-2007, 07:32 AM
IT'S HAPPENED!

UNPRECEDENTED LAND GRAB



The dreaded bill designating 23 million acres of new wilderness in five western states was introduced Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives. HR 1975, having been introduced multiple times before under the title of Rocky Mountain Ecosystem Protection Act, has now evolved into what supporters claim will be an economic development boon for the northern Rockies and alleged to be a "Rockies Prosperity Act." Don't be misled! Prosperity it is not!



When apprehensive citizens drafted Montana's HJR 31, a resolution opposing this new wilderness proposal it was with full knowledge of the fiscal and social impact such an action would have on western communities. Their heritage, customs, and very culture is at stake. This title may, to some, sound innocuous enough, even perhaps an opportunity for economic benefit. But reality strikes when one looks at the potential fiscal impact of the Rocky Mountain Front's 250,000 acre set-aside, and can visualize the significant economic damage should the approximate 8 million additional state acres be treated as wilderness. (see the Tribune's April 21st guest opinion). Millions upon millions of dollars.



MOSTLY ABOUT ROADLESS & ACCESS



Not just millions of acres of new wilderness, but the bill also calls for a 285,078 acre Flathead National Preserve Study Area which would also be treated as wilderness, connecting corridors between wildernesses, and restoration of 6300 miles of unused, poorly maintained roads in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington. Knowledge that approximately 50 per cent of existing roads on our national forests have already been closed, and millions already spent in "decommissioning" them is really frightening. At stake here is the ability of our forest stewards to fight fires and maintain healthy forests. A recent study indicated that Flathead County is one of ten counties which have already been economically damaged due to catastrophic wildfires. Several years of drought and no end in sight exacerbates the potential for even more devastating fires. Millions of acres of insect infested dead and dying trees set the stage for a smoke-filled future. Cost to the state of Montana, alone, last year was in the neighborhood of thirty million dollars.



At stake here, also is access for thousands of forest users. Legislation introduced in the 2005 Session set up a process whereby the Governor, in cooperation with County officials could respond to the Bush Administration's invitation to comment on the roadless issue. He chose to ignore those efforts, and the majority party killed the legislation. He later issued an invitation of his own, soliciting from counties their needs for additional roads. About 12 counties responded, but only a couple properly addressed the roadless issue. Flathead County conducted a ballot issue. A previous vote in Lincoln County indicated that over 80 % supported access as opposed to road closures. Last summer citizens rallied and brought petitions with thousands of signatures to the capitol to present to the Governor. That, effort, too, was largely ignored. This Governor is still uncommitted on an issue we cannot allow to be decided on the national level. It is too important to too many Montanans who treasure our uses.



The National Forests have been conducting endless meetings to gather public input on legally mandated up dates of their forest plans. Should this monstrous bill be successful-a possibility with the new Democratic majority in Congress-- these efforts and the hours of public involvement will be over ruled by Congressional fiat. This is our Montana! If your livelihood depends upon resource utilization, if you are a camper, a fisherman, a berry picker, an outdoor enthusiast and can no longer hike miles to access the things you love to do, view the scenery so dear to you, or even drive for pleasure, it is time to make your opinion heard. Call upon your elected officials. Most importantly, insist that Governor Schweitzer take a stand for wise, responsible multiple use management of our forests.



Montana acres proposed for wilderness and connecting corridors were compiled from best information available:



Beaverhead National Forest 1,446,912



Bitterroot National Forest 435,841



Custer National Forest 223,916



Deerlodge National Forest 718,660



Flathead National Forest 296,219



Kootenai National Forest 963,109



Helena National Forest 621,424



Lewis & Clark National Forest 1,118,454



Lolo National Forest 1,118,328

LauraA
04-24-2007, 09:37 AM
Holy smoke Kelly, That's a mind-boggling amount of land they're designating as wilderness. If things continue at the present rate, we'll all need permits to have access our own backyards ... IF the government allows it at all.
One thing is for sure, our kids and their kids will never have the access to OUR land that we've all been fortunate enough to enjoy, (while it lasted).
'Tis a sad, sad thing to be losing our rights and/or privileges. :mad: :(

speedy
04-25-2007, 06:48 AM
This is really sad. I mean VERY sad. Our government doing what it does best. **** sad.......Speedy

Rattler
04-27-2007, 03:49 AM
Sounds like this is part of the Roadless Initiave Al Gore got Slick Willy to push through just before he left office. GW cancelled at right away. It had covered pretty much all of the US though.

Get to writing your reps. After all, they are YOUR reps.

LauraA
04-27-2007, 07:37 AM
The management plan in process right now is being done under the present Administration. President Bush more or less canceled Clinton's basic plan and then came up with his own ideas with major input from Interior Secretary Kempthorne.
Congress then added the mandate to the various governing agencies to involve the public in the decision making process. (for all the good it'll do us) Taking land access away from us is STILL WRONG no matter which party claims the dubious honor of putting the screws to its constituents.:mad:
If you want to read some B.S... ummm...rhetoric :rolleyes: check this out;



Protecting Our Nation's Environment (http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/environment/)



Then, if you're mad enough after reading all of it, here's the
addresses again to write to. :D


Complete E-Mail Addresses for Congress, Senate, Governors & State Legislators (http://www.conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm)

danbo
04-29-2007, 06:09 PM
Here's an update; I talked to congressman Sali this morning about this issue. He's all over it, because the largest share of land being grabbed, is comming out of his district. The rest of our delegation here in Idaho is taking a hands off attitude about this. It's looking like Mr. Sali will be leading the charge on the floor against the land grabbers. Many "bazillion-airs" buy up land in Idaho and the surrounding states. They decide they don't want to be annoyed by the "little people", so they support these issues to keep the "unwashed masses" far from thier private utopias. The problem we have is that our leaders are "beholding" to many captains of industry and government elites who own private estates in the general areas we love to visit. Unfortunately, it is in thier personal interest to pander to the eco crowd.

Here's what to do. As always, drop a personal E-mail to your local reps. They don't usually read it, but thier people do. They keep the rep posted on what's comming in the "in box".

Next E-Mail Mr. Sali stating your desire to maintain your access to public land. The land grabbers are going to argue that it's the "will of the people" to pass the bill. Mr. Sali is going to say I have the names of X amount of "the people" who disagree. If we do not make a stand concerning these issues, we have no right to compain when we are locked out.

Here' the link
http://sali.house.gov/

Rattler
04-29-2007, 06:19 PM
I figured it must be because of the Democratic control of the House and Senate now is why this resurfaced.

Plan on writing a few emails this week even though I am not in the affected areas. I used to be a land rights rep for my old 4x4 club. I plan on making it a known issue on the 4x4 boards I frequent now too.

Unfortunately one of my reps is Carl Levin. He has the tendencies not to care too much about these issues.

Johnnie
10-13-2007, 07:20 AM
IT'S HAPPENED!

UNPRECEDENTED LAND GRAB



The dreaded bill designating 23 million acres of new wilderness in five western states was introduced Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives. HR 1975, having been introduced multiple times before under the title of Rocky Mountain Ecosystem Protection Act, has now evolved into what supporters claim will be an economic development boon for the northern Rockies and alleged to be a "Rockies Prosperity Act." Don't be misled! Prosperity it is not!



When apprehensive citizens drafted Montana's HJR 31, a resolution opposing this new wilderness proposal it was with full knowledge of the fiscal and social impact such an action would have on western communities. Their heritage, customs, and very culture is at stake. This title may, to some, sound innocuous enough, even perhaps an opportunity for economic benefit. But reality strikes when one looks at the potential fiscal impact of the Rocky Mountain Front's 250,000 acre set-aside, and can visualize the significant economic damage should the approximate 8 million additional state acres be treated as wilderness. (see the Tribune's April 21st guest opinion). Millions upon millions of dollars.



MOSTLY ABOUT ROADLESS & ACCESS



Not just millions of acres of new wilderness, but the bill also calls for a 285,078 acre Flathead National Preserve Study Area which would also be treated as wilderness, connecting corridors between wildernesses, and restoration of 6300 miles of unused, poorly maintained roads in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington. Knowledge that approximately 50 per cent of existing roads on our national forests have already been closed, and millions already spent in "decommissioning" them is really frightening. At stake here is the ability of our forest stewards to fight fires and maintain healthy forests. A recent study indicated that Flathead County is one of ten counties which have already been economically damaged due to catastrophic wildfires. Several years of drought and no end in sight exacerbates the potential for even more devastating fires. Millions of acres of insect infested dead and dying trees set the stage for a smoke-filled future. Cost to the state of Montana, alone, last year was in the neighborhood of thirty million dollars.



At stake here, also is access for thousands of forest users. Legislation introduced in the 2005 Session set up a process whereby the Governor, in cooperation with County officials could respond to the Bush Administration's invitation to comment on the roadless issue. He chose to ignore those efforts, and the majority party killed the legislation. He later issued an invitation of his own, soliciting from counties their needs for additional roads. About 12 counties responded, but only a couple properly addressed the roadless issue. Flathead County conducted a ballot issue. A previous vote in Lincoln County indicated that over 80 % supported access as opposed to road closures. Last summer citizens rallied and brought petitions with thousands of signatures to the capitol to present to the Governor. That, effort, too, was largely ignored. This Governor is still uncommitted on an issue we cannot allow to be decided on the national level. It is too important to too many Montanans who treasure our uses.



The National Forests have been conducting endless meetings to gather public input on legally mandated up dates of their forest plans. Should this monstrous bill be successful-a possibility with the new Democratic majority in Congress-- these efforts and the hours of public involvement will be over ruled by Congressional fiat. This is our Montana! If your livelihood depends upon resource utilization, if you are a camper, a fisherman, a berry picker, an outdoor enthusiast and can no longer hike miles to access the things you love to do, view the scenery so dear to you, or even drive for pleasure, it is time to make your opinion heard. Call upon your elected officials. Most importantly, insist that Governor Schweitzer take a stand for wise, responsible multiple use management of our forests.



Montana acres proposed for wilderness and connecting corridors were compiled from best information available:



Beaverhead National Forest 1,446,912



Bitterroot National Forest 435,841



Custer National Forest 223,916



Deerlodge National Forest 718,660



Flathead National Forest 296,219



Kootenai National Forest 963,109



Helena National Forest 621,424



Lewis & Clark National Forest 1,118,454



Lolo National Forest 1,118,328

Great Stuff Kelly
J & S

Gravelrash
10-13-2007, 05:27 PM
The management plan in process right now is being done under the present Administration. President Bush more or less canceled Clinton's basic plan and then came up with his own ideas with major input from Interior Secretary Kempthorne.
Congress then added the mandate to the various governing agencies to involve the public in the decision making process. (for all the good it'll do us) Taking land access away from us is STILL WRONG no matter which party claims the dubious honor of putting the screws to its constituents.:mad:
If you want to read some B.S... ummm...rhetoric :rolleyes: check this out;


Protecting Our Nation's Environment (http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/environment/)



Laura - I just waded through that document and I notice President Bush has been coralled into making an "Earth Day" homage to the deity.
This is an interesting link, also focused on "Earth Day".
http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8403&printer_friendly=1

In my past I've come to know some of Australia's more rabid "environmentalists", who are highly placed in many International organisations, and what most people fail to realise is that their agenda includes such niceties as a reduction of the earths population by 80%.
Some of these people advocate withholding of medical services from various nations; others even advocate genocide. All for "mother", so who would dare resist?
"Lately it occurs to me,
what a long strange trip it's been" Jerry Garcia

Rattler
10-13-2007, 06:32 PM
See my above post in regards to the politics behind the recent wave of "Evironmentally concerned" bills.

LauraA
10-14-2007, 06:17 AM
....and if you think we've got problems now, there's always the outside chance Al Gore gets the nod. We'll probably have to get permits to flush our toilets and only be able to turn on incandescent lights during designated hours.
You know, this stuff is getting really serious folks, I'm sure if you do a search for Nat'l Forests in your area, you'll see what I'm talking about. I'm not up on other places, but I know what's taking place here where I live and from what I'm seeing, it ain't pretty.
We were out Jeeping yesterday and spoke to some cattlemen who were moving cattle to the mountains (Forest Service Land) they were telling us of instances where the Forest Service came along and closed forest roads with no warning, placed boulders blocking access to the trails that these guys needed to move their cattle. Cattlemen in these parts are already very limited on the size of the herds they can graze (in the name of protecting the Yellow-Bellied-Yoo-Hoo Bird):rolleyes: This is just another government ploy to eliminate cattle grazing on Forest Service land. They seem to forget who it was that settled the Wild West. It sure as H E L L wasn't some guy in a neatly pressed green uniform, it was a guy wearing chaps, a grubby miner and a lot of people expending their blood, sweat and tears to make it happen.
I'm frustrated and tired and ready to roll over and let the next generation fight the fight...if they don't, they can forget ever being able to see the great places first hand that this forum is all about.

Rattler
10-14-2007, 03:23 PM
One thing that gets me is the DNR will ticket you for spinning your tires in the dirt. I would love to get a ticket for that (I don't do it intentionally for the most part) right in a clear-cut area where you can see the paths of the skidders tearing out the trees. They would really here it from me then.

Gravelrash
10-15-2007, 02:05 PM
....and if you think we've got problems now, there's always the outside chance Al Gore gets the nod. We'll probably have to get permits to flush our toilets and only be able to turn on incandescent lights during designated hours.
You know, this stuff is getting really serious folks,

Laura - I hear the disturbing push for Gore to nominate is gaining momentum, riding in on his Nobel prize?? Or is that the No-Balls prize?
I sense you feel very tired and frustrated with all the effort of trying to stop this madness and I sure can relate but what fires me up is the knowledge that I actually love the wilderness/outdoors far more than these dip-sticks ever will.

5 years ago I watched the suburbs of Canberra (Canberra = think wacko California) burn, while the greenies who control the SES/CFA refused the offer of 168 tankers from NSW. 5 people died, more than 50 homes lost.
Nearby, in the NSW area of Batemans Bay (same fires) there was a violent confrontation between "fireys" and "greenies" who barricaded a forest road and refused entry to the fire trucks. 20,000 acres burned.

I am really pleased to say that the anger of "locals" and reality based people did not abate, despite the obfuscation of all the "suits", and criminal charges were laid. The court case is ongoing but the "locals" are like bulldogs on this - won't let go. We've already seen the sacking of the former CFA chief, so there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Pressure works.

Rattler
10-15-2007, 03:18 PM
Laura - I hear the disturbing push for Gore to nominate is gaining momentum, riding in on his Nobel prize?? Or is that the No-Balls prize?

I can't believe how many people are willing to believe his propaganda. I certainly don't scientific information coming from a politician. Its like when I hear an actor or musician talking about politics. I don't call my Senator to sing me a song.

Then again, Al did invent the internet.:rolleyes:

GaryB
10-15-2007, 03:55 PM
If the greenies ever try to stop firemen from putting out a fire endangering housing over a greenie issue in the US, you're going to see lots of dead greenies I think. Last time I checked, hemp wasn't bullet proof.

LauraA
10-15-2007, 04:45 PM
Back in the mid 1960s, I worked on Blackwatch Angus Farms in upstate New York. It was an exclusive tax shelter for wealthy Washington types. The rich folks invested various sums of money in the farm. As part owners, they would then claim every blade of grass, every tractor, absolutely everything on their taxes as depreciation, most of them never stepped foot on the farm, or if they did, it was just to show it off to their buddies. Al Gore Senior was a huge investor. I remember seeing Junior walking around with his nose in the air, his Dad was a bit more friendly. I wasn't impressed with Junior then and I'm even less impressed now, Nobel Prize or not. In later years the farm investing was ruled as an unqualified deduction by the IRS, a few heads rolled but most got off Scott-free with not even a slap on the wrist. After that I heard that Al Gore Senior invested a chunk of his money from in Occidental Petroleum, then in later years, sold his interest to Al Junior. As far as I know, Gore Jr. still owns the interest...how does he balance out oil holdings with his far out greenie ideas? CorpWatch : Al Gore: The Other Oil Candidate (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=468)

You're right Gravelrash, pressure works, but most of the time money speaks even louder. The bigger the lobby, the more politicians bow to their wants and right now, the greenies have the biggest piggy bank.

Gravelrash
10-15-2007, 09:19 PM
CorpWatch : Al Gore: The Other Oil Candidate (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=468)

You're right Gravelrash, pressure works, but most of the time money speaks even louder. The bigger the lobby, the more politicians bow to their wants and right now, the greenies have the biggest piggy bank.


Great link, Laura. I've forwarded it on to some of my anti-green friends.

You are right about the piggy banks! I don't envy wealth but I'm awful suspiscious about most of the people I've met who have it!
(You've had an interesting life, by the sounds of it?)