Blue Ribbon Action Alert: limit 'Wilderness' designation, it preserves nothing
Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,
I just got off the phone with one of our representatives in Washington D.C. and I wanted to blast out a quick update on the situation concerning three bad Wilderness bills currently pending in Congress.
First of all, I must express sincere gratitude to all BRC members and supporters who took the time to take action on our last alert. We also want to shout out a big thanks to the Americans for Responsible Recreation Access ( http://www.arra-access.com/arra/home.html ). ARRA sent an alert to their members on the same three pieces of legislation. According to Larry Smith, ARRA's main guy in Washington D.C, their alert has been widely forwarded by OHV groups all over the country!
The Good News:
We are making an impact!The emails, calls and letters are coming in sufficient numbers so that key members of the House Resource Committee are taking a closer look at the legislation.
In fact, our D.C. representatives were visiting Resource Committee staff as they were compiling some of the emails. Our email alert allowed folks to add their own personal comments to our "canned" text and Committee staff shared some of the comments with our representatives. Here are just a few:
"Our family are avid recreationalists, and this includes motorized OHVs like 4-wheelers and snowmobiles. I am dismayed of the plans being proposed that will restrict motorized access. For starters, there is no eminent threat to these lands. Why lock them up?
Preservation YES, but lets preserve these lands FOR the public instead of FROM the public."
"I've ridden my horse and hiked through some of the Wild Sky proposed wilderness. I don't think it is wilderness material....that area where there are roads and bridges. The present management seems to be working well, and it keeps more area open for more recreationists. No more wilderness please!"
"As a handicapped man I will never see the "Beautiful Places" if I have to walk to them. My ATV is my only mode of transportation off hi-ways. Passing laws and closing land by the will the few is definitely wrong."
I am a mountain biker, a trail runner, and off-highway motorcycle enthusiast and the bottom line is that I don't want to see and more areas closed without a compelling reason. The Wilderness designation will not "save" anything.
Because of advancing age and medical problems of my own, I can no longer hike the great distances that would be required to see and enjoy areas within these proposed Wilderness areas.
"I have hiked and backpacked overnight in many wilderness areas. Just last weekend I spent two nights in one here in Colorado. While I value our current wilderness areas, we should NOT add any new ones. We have enough! Creating more only "locks" up land from the public. Keep our land Multi-Use!"
"My family also backpacks. I feel there is plenty of designated wilderness already and taking away land that doesn't strictly meet the wilderness criteria only crowds the vehicle recreationists onto smaller areas."
"Dear Chairman Pombo, I really like what you have been saying about the need to consider "Back Country" designation for some of these lands threatened with Wilderness designation. I hope you will stand your ground on that issue. We really need a more recreation "user friendly" type of designation that protects the back country character of these areas while allowing a broad range of recreational activities.
And my personal favorite:
"Sorry for the robotic "canned" message but it says it as well as I could."
According to our folks in D.C., the anti-access crowd is paying attention. Their foundation funded lobbyists are in full force! (Frankly, I think they may be a bit worried.) This crowd will not let up, so please continue to forward our alert to your friends!
I'm also very grateful to those of you who took the time and effort to call your Congressman. (Step 2 on our 3 Step Action Plan). Indeed, I received a call from a staffer in a congressional office that was in support of the Northern California Wilderness bill. He was NOT happy! He wanted to know why his phone was ringing off the hook with people calling his boss in opposition to this legislation!!
Proponents of the Boulder White Clouds Wilderness Bill (Idaho) have been making small changes to the bill in hopes of securing passage. The official name of this legislation is the "Central Idaho Economic and Recreation Act." It's so named because it includes economic incentives such as land trades, economic development funding and very dangerous federal buyout of grazing permits! All this to convince local communities to support massive Wilderness acreage they normally would oppose. (As a result of the changes, the bill has a new number: H.R. 3603)
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
If you didn't take action last time, please do so now. If you only took one or two of the three step action plan, please take the second and third step. We've updated our letter to reflect the changes to the legislation.
WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?
Each of these bills is likely to see action in Congress in the coming months. Resource Committee staff and Chairman Richard Pombo visited areas some of the areas proposed for Wilderness in these bills. The issues remain fresh in their minds. The time is ripe for action!
Many Committee members already know each of these bills has significant problems. And, they know there is a strong undercurrent of opposition to additional restrictions on recreational access to public lands. But the professional "environmental lobby" is powerful. The only way to beat them is with the grassroots power of the united recreational community.
Please take action today!
BRC's 3-STEP ACTION PLAN.
Step 1: Email the House Resources Committee
No excuses here! We've made it super simple with our Rapid Response Center. Simply click the link below and follow the directions. Be sure to email this to your friends and family so they can help!
Click here, and follow the directions.
Step 2: Call your Congressman!
No excuses here either! Using BRC's Rapid Response Center, calling your Congressional Representative is INSANELY EASY!
Simply click here: http://capwiz.com/share/home/ and enter your Zip Code and dial the numbers!
Step 3: Forward this alert to your friends and family!
Be sure to mention that BRC doesn't issue these kinds of alerts in the "willy nilly" fashion, and if they take a few short minutes it really could make a difference.
Don't miss the importance of a quick phone call to your local political representative. It only takes a few minutes but it has MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS!
Thanks to all our members and supporters. We'll keep you updated.
Public Lands Director
Heb Dduw, heb ddim; Duw a digon
I'm that gun-totin', farm-raised, evangelical, pro-environment, OHV ridin'/drivin', Southern civil rights pro-labor Liberal yo' momma told you couldn't possibly exist.
Last edited by Red_Chili; 09-13-2005 at 08:29 AM.