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BLUERIBBON COALITION, INC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brian Hawthorne, Public Lands Policy Director
Phone: 208-237-1008 ext 102
Date: May 4, 2009
Massive Wilderness Sounds Alarm in Land Use Debate
POCATELLO, ID (May 4) - The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national trail-based recreation group, states potential passage of a massive Wilderness Bill is sounding an alarm in the access community. BRC credits a House Subcommittee hearing on H.R. 980, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA), for resurgence in grassroots opposition to legislation limiting recreational access to public lands.
"Our phone has been ringing off the hook and our email in-boxes are flooded," said Greg Mumm, BRC's Executive Director. "The recent flurry of Wilderness bills being proposed and/or signed into law has raised a red flag in the access community. Widespread opposition to the massive Wilderness bill is rising among individuals, groups and local governments across the West."
H.R. 980 was first introduced in 1993 by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and proposes to designate 24 million acres of Wilderness across five Western states, (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming). The bill has also been described as the modern incarnation of the Wildlands Project, an ambitious proposal first conceived by Dave Foreman, the co-founder of Earth First!. The Wildlands Project would "re-wild" approximately half of North America by outlawing most human use and occupancy.
NREPA was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and is scheduled for a hearing on May 5, by the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. Committee on Natural Resources
Brian Hawthorne, BRC's Public Lands Policy Director, speculated that NREPA was moving up as a priority for recreation advocacy groups, including mountain bike and sporting conservation groups, perhaps because the growing influence of the green lobby on decision-makers in Washington DC. "We don't know if the Wilderness lobby really thinks Congress will let eastern politicians draw lines on maps around lands they've never seen, or if this is a strategic ploy to make smaller scale proposals seem reasonable by comparison. Either way, the recreating public should be on high alert," observed Hawthorne.
BRC is urging its members to contact their legislators and express opposition to the passage of NREPA and has provided a portal on their website to easily contact legislators. Rapid Response Center - BlueRibbon Coalition
BRC is also cautioning its members not to let the hearing on NREPA distract their attention from equally serious threats to access to other public lands. In an email to members today the Coalition stated, "NREPA is perhaps the largest threat to public access to public lands pending in Congress today. However, our members must remember that large, multi-state Wilderness bills are very difficult to pass and there are many smaller bills, each equally unfair in denying public access that need immediate attention by our members and supporters."
A few of the smaller initiatives mentioned by the Coalition were:
H.R.1769 & S. 721 -Alpine Lakes Wilderness expansion in the State of Washington
Mojave Desert Wilderness bill - Senator Feinstein's effort to designate more Wilderness in San Bernardino, Imperial, and Riverside counties
H.R.192 Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA), will designate an additional half million acres of Wilderness in Idaho
Montana's Beaverhead-Deerlodge Conservation, Restoration and Stewardship Act
Legislation to designate Johnson Valley a National Recreation Area (BRC is supporting this one!)
SUWA'S massive Utah Wilderness bill (H.R.1925 and S.799)
The ongoing county-by-county Wilderness approach currently underway in Nevada, Colorado and Utah
For further updates on these and other issues, visit BRC's webpage at BlueRibbon Coalition: Preserving your recreational access to public lands..
# # #
The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. BlueRibbon Coalition: Preserving your recreational access to public lands.
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My buddy and I took a week to go ATVing on some new trails in central Utah. The Arapeen Trail system in Utah is huge, and is broken down into the North End and the South End. I did the Southern End last fall. So my Buddy and I did the North End last week. :drivingc:
The weather was interesting … when I got up the first morning & checked out the temp, I found it was colder in my trailer than in the fridge of the trailer !! I used the furnace from then on out … :smilielol5c:
We did approx 236 miles of riding during the week. However, most of that was road riding …. But we still managed to have a great time. There were more people in the area than we liked & it was real dry & dusty with a lot of the dust being like talcum powder. AND, with little to no wind, the dust would just hang in the trees or small valleys …. So I got my fill of dirt that week !! :coolgleamAc:
We saw lots of game. Mostly deer, but we did see a few Elk and we saw a Red Tailed Hawk get his Rodent Lunch on the fly … it was pretty cool. I watched two crows give a Golden Eagle a tough time over a dead pot gut squirrel until the Eagle left … with empty talons. :shock2:
I really goofed up with the vids & pics however. I went to transfer the vids & pics from my cameras to an external hard drive I had taken (my laptop won’t handle HD videos) … but I forgot my transfer cables. And it seems my laptop didn’t like the SD cards. So I borrowed my buddies laptop, did the SD card transfer to the external hard drive thing. But when I got home & tried to transfer those files from the external hard drive to my PC, I get the message there are some bad sectors … and I’ve spent the last three days with several software programs trying to recover those files, but it appears it’s a “No-Go at this Station” !! And wouldn’t you know it, some of the vids I can’t recover are the best ones !!
Anyway, I put together a 10 minute vid & some photos of the trip with what I had that was good. And even then, 10 minutes does not do a weeklong trip justice !! :nopityc:
Here it is & I hope everyone enjoys the show ….... Oh yeah, make sure you change the video setting to 1080p & use the mid-sized screen. It looks pretty cool that way ... :cheers2c:
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrQ3u93lrr4&feature=player_embedded]North Arapeen ATV Trip Ver2 - 10 thru15 Jun 012 - YouTube[/ame]
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My youngest brother, his wife & I where the only ones on this trip. My wife wasn't ready to give her new hip the abuse of rid'in all day long for six days ... my other brother & his wife backed out at the last minute ... damn their mangy hides !!!
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[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORCHO4GcVbI]Arapeen ATV Trip-09-011 - YouTube[/ame]
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