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OBAMA NATIONAL MONUMENT UPDATE REQUEST FOR RECORDS VOTED DOWN TRANSPARENCY IN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IN QUESTION Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber, On Wednesday, May 5, 2010, the House Natural Resources Committee voted down (by a margin of 20-22) a motion offered by Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA) to favorably report H. Res. 1245 out of Committee. The Resolution is an attempt by Congress to require the Secretary of the Interior to turn over specific information related to potential National Monument designations. Interestingly, the Department of the Interior (DOI) delivered nearly 400 pages of emails to the Committee less than 24 hours before*it was scheduled to vote on the Resolution. However, the agency withheld some 2,016 pages of additional documents directly related to potential Monument designations. The controversy began with the discovery of an internal DOI document labeled "NOT FOR RELEASE" which details plans for 14 new or expanded national monument designations, totaling some 13 million acres of public and private land. Rep. Hastings, who has led a bi-partisan effort to require the DOI to disclose information said: “When the federal government is discussing the lockup of 13 million acres of public lands with the stroke of the President’s pen, the American people have a right to know what their government is doing. I encourage my Democrat colleagues to help the Obama Administration adhere to their claims of openness and transparency by bringing this resolution to a vote on the floor of the full House,” said Hastings. “If this Resolution is not brought to the House floor in a timely manner, I promise this Committee will see plenty of similar Resolutions until the Department of Interior reveals what they are hiding.” House rules provide that the Democrat Majority on the Committee had 14 legislative days to report the Resolution of Inquiry or it would have been eligible to be brought to the Floor of the House of Representatives for a vote as a Privileged Resolution. A future Floor vote on the Resolution is now entirely subject to the will of the Majority. Meanwhile, legislation that would remove a President's unilateral authority to designate National Monuments is moving slowly. The bill is titled the Preserve Land Freedom For Americans Act of 2010 (HR 4996) is sponsored by North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx. HR 4996 was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources on April 13, 2010. BRC is encouraging our members to contact their Representatives and encourage them to co-sponsor HR 4996 and work for its passage into law. We will continue to keep you updated on this and other important issues. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC. Brian Hawthorne****************************** Ric Foster Public Lands Policy Director ********* Public Lands Department Manager 208-237-1008 ext 102 ******************** 208-237-1008 ext 107 The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national (non-profit) trail-saving group that represents over 600,000 recreationists nationwide The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is beginning. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-258-3742 BlueRibbon Coalition: Protecting your recreational access to public lands. _______________________________________________________ As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit Make a Difference Now - BlueRibbon Coalition to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!*
BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT! Obama Monument Update - ACTION ITEM INCLUDED Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber, Most of you have been following the saga that began with the disclosure of a secret memo outlining plans for 13 million acres of new National Monuments in 11 western states. BRC, as well as lawmakers, has been attempting to find out exactly what the Department of the Interior is up to, and BRC even appealed the denial of a Freedom of Information Act request. Doc Hastings (WA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources and Rob Bishop, (UT) Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, as well as other lawmakers, have also formally requested that information pertaining to the leaked memo. This information was requested over six weeks ago. As of this writing, the Obama Administration has not provided one single page to the House Committees. In response to Department of Interior is stonewalling, Rep. Hastings and Rep. Bishop have introduced a Resolution of Inquiry (H. Res. 1254) in an attempt to require the Department of Interior to turn over the information. A resolution of inquiry is a method used by the House to obtain information from an executive branch official What you need to do: The Natural Resources committee is set to vote on H. Res. 1254 this Wednesday, April 28, 2010. We need you to contact Committee Members and ask them to co-sponsor and/or support H. Res 1254. Our partners at the Americans for Responsible Recreation Access (ARRA) have a letter generator up and running. Please take a minute to send a letter to your congressional representative. CLICK HERE Thanks for taking action on this important issue. Brian Hawthorne Public Lands Policy Director BlueRibbon Coalition 208-237-1008 ext 102