Newsletter Archive

December 1, 2004

Dear Friends of CalUWild:

Two VERY URGENT items have arisen since the last UPDATE two weeks ago. Both require immediate attention if we are to have a positive impact on the officials involved. Please see items 1 and 2.

A reminder if you live in the Bay Area: As we announced in our last 2 UPDATES, Grand Canyon National Park will be holding an Open House Thursday, December 2, 2004 in San Francisco, at The Presidio Officers’ Club 50 Moraga Avenue. CalUWild will be setting up an information table there, and we encourage all to attend!

The holidays are upon us, it’s not clear whether we’ll be sending out another UPDATE later in December, so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy holiday season! A big thank you for all the letters and faxes you’ve written, the phone calls you’ve made, and the meetings you’ve attended. Thank you also to everyone who has given us financial support this year; it’s been very gratifying and helpful. (If you would like to make an end-of-the-year contribution, please print out the coupon at the end of this UPDATE and enclose it with your check.)

We look forward to the new year working with you to protect our wild places.


IN California
1. Gov. Schwarzenegger Endorses the Bush Roadless Rule
Calls Needed —

IN California
2. Anti-Wilderness / Fee Demonstration Riders In the Omnibus Budget Bill
Calls Needed —
VERY URGENT DEADLINE: December 6, 2004


IN California
1. Gov. Schwarzenegger Endorses the Bush Roadless Rule
Calls Needed — URGENT

Last month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote a letter to the Bush Administration supporting its proposed changes to the roadless rule. An instant outcry ensued, and many people have called his office objecting to his stand. You can add your voice by calling or faxing his office, telling him that you support the original rule, as do the millions of Americans who submitted comments 4 years ago when it was first proposed. The Bush Administration’s attempts to leave up to the states how to manage our national forests is bad policy — for our forests and for our citizens.

For more details about the proposal, see CalUWild’s August UPDATE on-line at:

There are reports the governor may be re-considering his position, and you can encourage him in that process. Contact him at:

Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633

IN General
2. Anti-Wilderness / Fee Demonstration Riders In the Omnibus Budget Bill
Calls Needed — VERY URGENT
DEADLINE: December 6, 2004

Much of the information in this item comes from our friends at Wilderness Watch and Keep Sespe Wild.

The House of Representatives will be considering a mammoth Omnibus Appropriations Bill early next week. As is often the case when “must-pass” legislation is considered, numerous “riders” get attached. These are bills that often would have no chance of passing as stand-alone legislation, have never had hearings, and often are tucked into obscure places in the bill so as to escape detection.

This year is no exception. Below is a list of some of the more egregious riders, including one making the Fee Demonstration Program permanent. (Fee Demo is one issue that we have urged our members to oppose for a long time.) When you read these, you will see why the situation is very serious and requires quick and strong action on our part.

Normally, we wouldn’t have an opportunity to do much about this situation, but we have a chance to fight these riders. You may have heard in the news that a clause allowing certain members of Congress and their staffs to view previously off-limits IRS tax returns was discovered in the spending bill. The bill, with the offending clause, had already received House approval. The Senate deleted the IRS clause before they voted. The House and Senate versions are therefore different, and so final approval has not yet been achieved and the bill has not yet been sent to the President for signature.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also objected to the fact that House members were not given time to read the bill in its entirety before being asked to vote on it, so she forced a delay in the vote. Thus, the Congress has been called back for a second lame duck session beginning December 6 to settle the issue, giving the House leadership an opportunity to make changes in the bill.

CalUWild and other wilderness organizations around the country are working together to organize a flood of phone calls to Capitol Hill in the next few days, objecting both to the content of the various riders and asking that they be removed, and also objecting to the stealthy way in which this legislation has been crafted.

Because there are several actions needed on this issue, we’re going to try something new and split some of them up among our members, by last name. PLEASE do make a couple of phone calls — it won’t take more than a few minutes !!


1. Call or fax your representative telling them that you object to this type of lawmaking and that you want the anti-wilderness and Fee Demo riders removed before the House votes on the spending bill.
Your Representative’s contact information may be found on CalUWild’s web site at:
2. Please call or fax the House Leadership with the same message. Here is whom to contact:

Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House
Phone: 202-225-2976
Fax: 202-225-0697
Tom DeLay, House Majority Leader
Phone: 202-225-5951
Fax: 202-225-5241
Rep. Ralph Regula
Phone: 202-225-3876
Fax: 202-225-3059
Bill Young, Chair, House Appropriation Committee
Phone: 202-225-5961
Fax: 202-225-9764

3. If your last name begins with T through Z:
Call or fax Rep. Nancy Pelosi thanking her for taking a strong stand against stealth legislation and forcing a delay in the vote.
Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader
Phone: 202-225-4965
Fax: 202-225-8259

More detailed information on various anti-environmental riders in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill:

* Strips wilderness protection from much of the Cumberland Island Wilderness in Georgia by de-designating the existing wilderness, then re-designating certain disconnected parcels as wilderness, carved up by roads. Will remove wilderness protections from the wildest part of the island, the north end, which NPS has long coveted for development of a dock and visitor’s center. Will nullify an 11th circuit ruling finding that NPS must manage the wilderness as wilderness, and cease driving tourists through the wilderness. The only proponents for this rider are the NPS and the Greyfield Inn, which wants to run commercial jeep tours to the north end of the island.
* Authorizes three illegal outfitter lodges to remain on public lands within the designated Wild Salmon River corridor within the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, our largest contiguous wilderness in the lower 48. Four other outfitters complied and removed their developed camps when the USFS found them to be illegal, now this rider will reward the 3 lawbreakers who refused to comply — one has a seller waiting to pay $ 1 million for his lodge as soon as the rider passes. This rider will nullify a district court ruling that the lodges must be removed because permanent structures are prohibited by the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.
* Places a 30-day limitation on bringing legal challenges for timber sales on the Tongass National Forest, pressuring judges to rule on any timber lawsuits within 180 days.
* End environmental review of grazing permit renewals on national forest lands — no NEPA analysis or public input would be needed to renew a permit.
* Expedite a land exchange of 100,000 acres of the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge to the Doyon Corporation, so that the Native corporation can drill for oil on the land that currently is protected as critical wildlife habitat.
* Shield new regulations allowing snowmobiles in Yellowstone from legal challenges.
* Permanent authorization for the fee-demo program, which currently is only a demonstration program in certain select locations. This rider would make fee-demo applicable to all national forest lands and establish criminal penalties for those who don’t pay the public lands access fees (6 months in prison and/or $5,000 fine). This bill has never been passed by the full House and has never been introduced, had hearings, or been voted on by the Senate. Instead, this rider establishes broad public lands policy by rider.
* MAY still be in the bill: rider that would nullify recent 9th circuit unanimous en banc ruling that found that commercial fish stocking is a prohibited commercial enterprise within wilderness in Alaska. This rider would make commercial hatchery activities and developments allowable on all national wildlife refuges in Alaska, including within wilderness.


We share as much information as possible with our members via e-mail, but it may sometimes be necessary to contact you by mail or phone. This information will NOT be given out to ANYone for ANY reason.

Congressional Representative:

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Tax-deductible contributions should be made payable to “Resource Renewal Institute.”
Checks should be mailed with membership information to:

P.O. Box 210474
San Francisco, CA 94121-0474

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God bless America. Let’s save some of it.
–Edward Abbey