Below is a media release from BRC. It makes one important point that needs
to be heeded by us all - that these omnibus bills threaten our sport.
Period. All merits of individual lands bills have been removed from debate
and with passage are now literally being shoved down our throats.
Not that I am telling anyone here anything that they don't already know.
SAWS is will come up with something they can do to help the BRC get the word
out, and offer tips in what to do, whom the contact, etc., for our
Please keep your eyes and ears open in the near future.
Scott Chapman - Idaho Representative
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States (SAWS)
BLUERIBBON COALITION, INC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
208-237-1008 ext 102
DATE: February 4, 2009
BLUERIBBON COALITION EXPRESSES CONCERNS ABOUT HOUSE VOTE ON OMNIBUS LAND
POCATELLO, ID (February 4) - The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national
trail-based recreation group, today voiced concern that the U.S. House of
Representatives will "grease through" over 160 public lands bills, thereby
avoiding the public review these bills deserve. In addition, BRC cautioned
that recreational access tenets in some of the bills may have been
intentionally removed in closed-door proceedings.
The Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 was fast-tracked through
the U.S. Senate and could see a vote in the House as early as next week.
The bill (S 22) is over 1,200 pages long with over 160 different bills,
designates 2.2 million acres of Wilderness, identifies three new national
parks, 10 national heritage areas, and designates over 1,000 miles of wild
and scenic rivers.
BRC expressed concern that access protection provisions were apparently
stripped from several of the bills involved. For example, new sections were
added in the Washington County (Utah) Growth and Conservation Act regarding
closure of roads and trails and limiting how Bureau of Land Management
funds generated by the Act can be used.
"It is important that local collaborative efforts be sustained as
legislation moves in Congress. Pushing these bills into law via the omnibus
package allows powerful special interest groups in Washington D.C. to
eliminate hard-won local consensus and ram through provisions that are
contrary to the desires of those, on all sides of the issues, who actually
visit these remarkable lands." said Brian Hawthorne, BRC's Public Lands
"This bill collectively reduces recreational opportunity, feeds millions of
earmarked dollars into pet projects, will cost billions to implement, and
provides very little of the protection it is touted to deliver," added Greg
Mumm, the Coalition's Executive Director. "If this behemoth bill is any
indication of the aggressive agenda in store for this congress, the
American recreating public faces difficult challenges ahead," Mumm
Mumm said BRC will be encouraging its 600,000 members and supporters to
contact their political representatives and encourage them to work to
restore the locally-generated compromise provisions in these bills and
oppose changes demanded by the large preservationist lobby in Washington
# # #
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. www.sharetrails.org