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February 17, 2005

Dear CalUWild friends-

With the 109th Congress having started there’s a LOT to report on this month in many states around the West, so we won’t spend time on lengthy introduction and get right to it. A few of this month’s UPDATE items concern legislation that has been re-introduced in Congress and other topics in the news. But agency planning as important impacts on the ground, and the public has the opportunity to participate in the process. So please take the time to comment on at least one or two of the following items.

Thanks,
Mike

IN UTAH
1. 10th Circuit Court Dismisses Wilderness Appeal
2. R.S. 2477 Appeal Heard in 10th Circuit

IN CALIFORNIA
3. North Coast Wilderness Bill Reintroduced
Passes First Senate Test Governor Supports It
(ACTION ITEM)
4. John Muir – Ansel Adams Wilderness Planning
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: February 23
(ACTION ITEM)
5. Anza Borrego State Park Wilderness Protected
(ACTION ITEM)

IN ARIZONA
6. Grand Canyon National Park Cut Off Comments Prematurely
(ACTION ITEM)

IN COLORADO
7. Roan Plateau Draft Plan
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: March 4
(ACTION ITEM)

IN NEW MEXICO
8. Ojito Wilderness Bill Reintroduced

IN WASHINGTON (STATE)
9. Wild Sky Wilderness Bill Reintroduced

IN WYOMING
10. Great Divide Resource Management Plan
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: March 17
(ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL
11. Wilderness Job Opportunities
A. California Wild Heritage Campaign (3 positions)
B. The Wilderness Society/Nevada
C. Idaho Conservation League

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

IN UTAH
1. 10th Circuit Court Dismisses
Wilderness Appeal

Two years ago Utah’s then-governor Mike Leavitt (also former head of the U.S. EPA and now Secretary of Health & Human Services) and the Department of the Interior attempted to reach a settlement of the state’s lawsuit against the BLM regarding creation of new wilderness study areas. They agreed that many WSAs that BLM had created were illegal and that BLM did not have the authority to do any more wilderness inventories on lands under its jurisdiction. Conservation o organizations filed to intervene and appealed the settlement to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

On February 8, the court dismissed the appeal on the technical ground that the appeal was premature since the trial court had not issued a final order. So for the time being, the case is back in the lower court.

The 10th Circuit had previously overruled the trial judge on seven out of eight of the original claims. Because the eighth claim was still alive when the Bush administration came in, it gave the BLM (under new management) the opportunity to settle and basically validate all of the state’s claims.

The BLM has been issuing oil and gas leases in areas previously inventoried and found to possess wilderness character. This leasing will now be free to continue.

2. R.S. 2477 Appeal Heard in 10th Circuit

San Juan, Kane and Garfield counties in Southern Utah have claimed for years that many routes in their counties are “highways,” objecting to the BLM’s attempts to control development and use of those routes. These claims have been made under Revised Statute 2477, an 1866 law which states in full: “The right of way for the construction of highways over public lands, not reserved for public uses, is hereby granted.” This law was repealed in 1976 with the passage of the Federal Land Policy Management Act, but rights of way established before that date are still valid.

So, in order to assert local control over federal lands, jurisdictions all over the West have been claiming rights of way on all sorts of routes: mining roads, game paths, wash bottoms, etc. Many times this has been done to defeat potential wilderness claims.

In Utah, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the Sierra Club went to court in effort to stop the BLM from acknowledging these claims. The trial court judge ruled clearly and forcefully in favor of the conservation groups.

The counties appealed, and arguments were heard last week in the appeal. We’ll let you know the appellate court’s decision when it comes out.

The State of Utah recently filed applications with the BLM for disclaimers of interest for 6 alleged R.S. 2477 rights-of-way. If granted, the federal
government would be stating that it has no interest in the route any more and that the state and county could use the route as a highway. You can view the applications on-line at BLM’s Utah web page:

http://www.ut.blm.gov/rs2477/claims.htm

IN CALIFORNIA
3. North Coast Wilderness Bill
Reintroduced, Passes First Senate Test,
Governor Supports It
(ACTION ITEM)

The Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Act was re-introduced by its principal sponsor Mike Thompson (D-1) in the House and by Sen. Barbara Boxer in the Senate last month. The bills would designate over 300,000 acres of land as wilderness and some 21 miles of rivers as “wild and scenic” in the counties in Rep. Thompson’s district (Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, and Napa). The bill was passed by the U.S. Senate in the closing days of the 108th Congress, but the House of Representatives never took it up.

On Tuesday of this week, the Senate Energy and Resources Committee held a hearing on the bill, numbered S. 128, and passed it on to the full Senate for consideration. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is an influential member of the Committee and her support was vital to the bill’s passage at the hearing.

House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-11) has again promised to hold a hearing on the bill. It is not clear whether that hearing will be in Washington, DC or in Northern California. If it is held in Rep. Thompson’s district, we will notify you and hope you can attend. The Wild Heritage Campaign is planning to arrange for several vans to transport interested people from the Bay Area to the hearing.

In another development, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced his support for the bill. California Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman sent a letter to House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, expressing the administration’s support for Rep. Thompson’s bill. If you sent the governor a letter, e-mail, or fax or made a phone call to him last year asking for his support, your efforts are showing results. Thank you!

It’s always good to have an opportunity to thank our officials for their efforts, so now is the time to thank the governor.

Send a letter to:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Fax:

916-445-4633

The Governor’s website:

http://www.govmail.ca.gov/

(Be sure to choose Federal Wilderness for the subject line.)

Or phone:

916-445-2841

The California Wild Heritage Campaign mentions the following points to include in your comments:

* Thank you for formally supporting the Northern California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act (HR 233/S 128)!
* Your support, as our state’s highest elected official, demonstrates to Members of Congress that protecting California’s wild legacy is a top
priority for all Californians.
* Although I live in [add your county], I/my family greatly enjoy
traveling throughout California and visiting its many areas of natural
beauty, such as California’s magnificent Lost Coast.
* By supporting Congressman Thompson’s wilderness bill, you have helpedto ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy our state’s wild
places, just as I do now.

4. John Muir – Ansel Adams Wilderness Planning
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: February 23
(ACTION ITEM)

The following alert comes from the High Sierra Hikers Association.

Background: The Inyo and Sierra national forests are developing a plan that will guide the management of nearly one million acres of High Sierra wilderness for the next 2-3 decades. The Forest Service was ordered to prepare the plan by a federal court, in response to a lawsuit filed by three conservation groups (High Sierra Hikers Association, Wilderness Watch, Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics). While the court order specified some key issues that must be addressed (see High Sierra Hikers v. Powell), the Forest Service is now asking for comments on any additional issues that should be included.

It is important for concerned citizens to weigh in at this time, because the district court only required the Forest Service to “consider” several issues. However, a federal appeals court recently ordered the Forest Service to follow the mandates of the Wilderness Act in its final decision (see High Sierra Hikers v. Blackwell). So we need the agency to hear, in a loud and clear voice, what actions it must take to comply with the Wilderness Act. For more background information, you can view the court decisions at these links:

HSHA v. Powell: http://www.highsierrahikers.org/MuirAdamsDecision.pdf

HSHA v. Blackwell: http://www.highsierrahikers.org/MuirAdams9th.pdf

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Begin by saying that you are commenting on the plan titled “Trail and Commercial Pack Stock Management in the Ansel Adams and John Muir Wildernesses.” (If you have visited these areas, say so, and describe (briefly) why these areas are important to you.) Then, list the following issues:

* The Forest Service has illegally allowed commercial outfits to expand their activities in the John Muir and Ansel Adams. The time has come to reduce the activities of commercial packstock outfits to protect wilderness resources for future generations.
* The proposed comment period (45 days) is too short. Because the Forest Service has had more than three years to develop this plan, it should allow 150 days, or longer, for public review and comment.
* The Forest Service’s 2001 Needs Assessment for commercial enterprises needs to be re-written to acknowledge the reduced need for packstock enterprises given all of the modern advances in lightweight gear and equipment. The Needs Assessment also needs to acknowledge the many significant impacts of packstock use, limit commercial uses accordingly.
* The proposal to eliminate trailhead quotas and “service day” limits for commercial pack outfits would be a radical give-away to commercial enterprises. It would be unfair to everyone else that is subject to daily quotas in these popular areas, and it would result in overcrowding and harmful spikes in use.
* “Day rides” by commercial stock is NOT a wilderness-dependent activity. The Forest Service should decrease the amount of “day rides” by commercial stock in these wildernesses, not increase them (as proposed). The agency should find areas OUTSIDE of these wildernesses where folks who so desire can take a horseback ride.
* Commercial stock animals should be required to remain on designated, maintained trails, with NO exceptions. Commercial stock should not be allowed to travel “off-trail” or “cross-country.”
* The plan must not lump “suitable” and “non-suitable” grazing areas together as open to grazing. If stock would be likely to drift from a non-suitable area into a suitable area, then both areas should remain closed. Areas should ONLY be open to grazing if there is no likelihood that stock will drift into non-suitable, closed, or sensitive areas.
* The current range readiness “grazing start dates” are inadequate to protect sensitive mountain meadows. The Forest Service needs to adopt site-specific start dates that are fully protective of each meadow, or else change the current elevational start dates to prohibit grazing until much later in the season (when meadows have sufficiently dried to withstand grazing impacts).
* The proposal to allow commercial packstock outfits to haul firewood into areas closed to campfires is ridiculous. Commercial packers cannot be trusted to follow the rules, they will burn local wood after their packed-in supply is exhausted, they will leave fire scars and create smoke that will encourage other wilderness visitors to have campfires, and the increased stock use to haul firewood will cause more damage to trails, camps, and meadows. This crazy proposal must be dropped.
* The court-ordered (temporary) group size limits of 12 persons and 20 stock animals are too large. The Forest Service needs to fully analyze and consider in its EIS alternatives for lower group size limits.

Send an email message by Wednesday February 23 to:

comments-pacificsouthwest-inyo@fs.fed.us

Also, send a cc: of your message to

mhennessy@fs.fed.us

Comments may also be sent to:

John Muir/Ansel Adams Wildernesses
Commercial Pack Stock CEA EIS
Inyo National Forest
351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200
Bishop, CA 93514

For more information, call the Forest Service at:

760-873-2400

5. Anza Borrego State Park Wilderness Protected

The following came from the California Wilderness Coalition:

Last Friday, the State Parks and Recreation Commission received a huge round of applause when they unanimously approved the Anza Borrego Desert State Park General Plan. In doing so, they designated nearly 56,000 acres in the Park as wilderness and 440 acres as a cultural preserve, which will go far in protecting the sensitive natural and cultural resources of this international jewel. State parks are receiving increasing pressure from off-road vehicle groups and anti-conservation forces to open lands up to destructive activities. By approving the plan, the Commissioners sent a clear message that State Parks are places that deserve strong measures of protection and set a good precedent for plans not yet approved, like Red Rock Canyon State Park.

The General Plan is visionary in many ways. It appropriately focuses on management of Park resources within natural boundaries, such as watersheds and air basins, rather than solely within property lines. The plan encourages Park staff to be a voice in planning processes outside the boundaries of the Park when a proposal may impact resources within the boundaries. It also encourages the acquisition of lands outside the Park from willing sellers to foster habitat connectivity and landscape linkages and minimize negative effects and conflicts from adjacent land uses.

State Park and Recreation Commissioners should be thanked for approving a solid general plan that will provide long-awaited guidance to Anza Borrego
Desert State Park management in balancing the needs of people and protection of desert resources. State Park staff should also be commended for the years of study and public input that was put into creating this plan.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Please send a letter to the members of the State Parks and Recreation Commission thanking them for their good decision. You can send it to:

Louis Nastro
State Park and Recreation Commission
Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

E-mail: LNastro@parks.ca.gov
FAX: 916-653-4458

Please also send copies to:

Ruth Coleman
Director of California State Parks
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento CA 94296-0001

Fax: 916-654-6374

and

Mark Jorgensen
Superintendent
Anza Borrego Desert State Park
200 Palm Canyon Drive
Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Fax: 760-767-3427.

For more information, please contact:

Bryn Jones
Desert Program Director
California Wilderness Coalition
951-781-1336

E-mail: bjones@calwild.org

IN ARIZONA
6. Grand Canyon National Park
Cut Off Comments Prematurely
(ACTION ITEM)

The deadline for comments on the Draft Colorado River Management Plan in Grand Canyon National Park was February 1, 2005. Normally, this means that
comments should have been postmarked by that date. Faxes, e-mails, or submissions to the Park’s comment web site should have been accepted until midnight on Feb. 1.

However, the Grand Canyon Wilderness Alliance, of which CalUWild is a member, has received reports that some people who tried to submit comments via the web site the evening of Feb. 1 received a message on their screens saying that the deadline had passed and the Park Service was no longer accepting comments.

I haven’t heard from any CalUWild members who were affected, but if you were, please e-mail your comments to and state that you
were denied access to the web site on February 1, even though it was before the deadline.

The law requires agencies to base decisions on all information available to them pretty much up to the time a decision is made, regardless of any deadline. Therefore, you should always submit comments on an issue, even if the deadline is past. For the Park to close down its web site, especially on the day of the deadline, gives the public the distinct impression that it doesn’t really care what the public has to say about the issue. And that is too bad, because as we state over and over, the public is the owner of these lands and the agencies who manage them are our employees, not the bosses.

IN COLORADO
7. Roan Plateau Draft Plan
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: March 4
(ACTION ITEM)

The following information comes from the Colorado Environmental Coalition and is slightly edited.

The BLM has released a draft management plan for Western Colorado’s Roan Plateau, which lies about 30 miles west of the City of Glenwood Springs. The plan has long been controversial because of the important natural resources in the area at stake from the Bush Administration’s push to open the area to massive energy development.

Roan Plateau is one of Colorado’s most biologically rich places with pure strains of native trout and sensitive plants that occur nowhere else on earth. In the region around Roan Plateau and even at its base, inside the Planning Area, natural gas drilling is proceeding at record rates. But the undeveloped lands on top and the scenic cliffs that frame Roan Plateau remain as some of the last undeveloped public land in the area, creating an important natural island in a rapidly growing sea of industrial development.

Locals love the area for its unique recreational offerings and undeveloped backcountry, and nearby communities depend upon the Plateau and the business it attracts from hunting, recreation and an open, Western landscape. That is why citizens and local governments have called for a compromise plan that would allow oil and gas development in about 2/3 of the Planning Area and protect about 1/3 for other public uses.

But although energy development is happening all around, and will continue on most of the lands inside the Planning Area under this compromise plan, the oil and gas industry and its friends in the Bush Administration have their eyes set on all of the Plateau.

And, unless citizens rally to protect this public land treasure, the BLM is moving to turn the area into a giant natural gas industrial zone, jeopardizing or eliminating its wilderness-quality areas, sensitive habitats, and best recreational lands.

In spite of the BLM’s apparent reluctance to consider a real community-supported plan, a diverse alliance of citizens, local communities, and conservation groups is working hard to win just such a solution: the Community Alternative for Roan Plateau. And against long odds, these citizens’ efforts are making a difference! Please help in this effort by submitting comments today.

Talking points for comments (please use your own words):

* The Roan Plateau is very important to me and I am writing to urge that the BLM select a final plan that keeps drilling off the top of the Plateau.
* BLM should adopt the elements of the Community Alternative, fulfilling the pledge it made at the onset of the planning process to adopt a community-supported plan. Unlike any of the alternatives presented in the draft, this plan would honor public input, protect natural resources, promote responsible recreation, and respect local communities.
* The Roan Plateau is a unique national landscape and a treasure of ecological and biological importance. The BLM should make the protection and safeguarding of the Roan Plateau’s undeveloped, roadless and natural landscapes, and its sensitive species, wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities its top management priority.
* BLM should select a final plan that either defers all leasing on top during the life of the management plan or defers all leasing on top unless and until gas resources can be extracted from under the Plateau without disturbing the surface. The public land on top of the Plateau be free from the industrial development that is rapidly spreading for miles all around the Plateau’s base. According to analysis of the BLM’s draft plan, the majority (between 85% and 99%) of the natural gas likely to be developed under this plan would come from drilling at the base. The BLM has failed to document a need to drill the public lands on top of Roan Plateau, particularly given the strong sentiment against this drilling.
* If the top were leased under any of the alternatives and drilling begun, many resources would likely be irreparably harmed. This is particularly the case under the three total lease alternatives (III, IV and V), which emphasize energy development over all other public uses and most other resource including wildlife, sensitive species, native trout, recreation, quality-of-life, and scenic landscapes. Management under any of the three total-lease alternatives, for example, is likely to reduce the deer herd by between a third and a half.
* Instead of opening the entire area to oil and gas leasing, as contemplated in three of the alternatives, the BLM should concentrate oil and gas development in the existing production area at the base, taking advantage of existing roads and infrastructure and of the better access to the gas fields for continued large-volume gas production.
* BLM should strengthen stipulations to safeguard Roan Plateau’s ecological values, and to protect the area’s impressive and popular backcountry and primitive recreation opportunities. The final plan should expand the permanent protective stipulations contemplated in the draft management plan (in Alternative II) — including the provision that no ground disturbing activities be allowed on certain lands such as sensitive and critical wildlife habitats, roadless and proposed wilderness areas, and quality backcountry lands in the Planning Area. The final plan should include Watershed Management Areas (from Alternative III) for many purposes, including protection against damage from oil and gas and other development.
* The final plan should promote recreational opportunities and designate two Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMA), one above and one below the rim, offering both backcountry and developed recreation opportunities.
* The BLM should protect the Hubbard Mesa SRMA with No Surface-Occupancy stipulations for any oil and gas development that may occur there, and should immediately develop a community supported stewardship group to develop an implementation plan and to prioritize funding for appropriate signage and facilities.
* The BLM should add back into the plan, a 32,639 acre Special Recreation Management Area atop the Plateau to protect the Plateau’s backcountry opportunities, including hunting, outfitting, backpacking, hiking and horseback riding. This SRMA was presented in a popularly supported preliminary alternative, supported by local governments and over 11,000 citizens, but it is not included in any of the BLM’s current draft alternatives. This change seems to contradict the agency’s oft-stated promise that it would include all the elements of this popularly supported preliminary alternative within its draft document.
* Travel management prescriptions (from Alternative II) that limit motorized and mechanized travel to designated routes should be included in the final plan.
* The BLM should require that industry always use Best Management Practices and technologies in future development on any of the area’s public lands.

Comments may be submitted in several ways:

Through the BLM’s web site at:

http://www.roanplateau.ene.com/comments_add.asp?varaction=1

Through the Roan Plateau Coalition’s web site at:

http://www.saveroanplateau.org/commentform.htm

In writing, to:

ROAN PLATEAU DRAFT COMMENTS
Attn: Greg Goodenow
BLM Glenwood Springs Field Office
P.O. Box 1009
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602

By fax, to the BLM at:

Fax 970-947-2829

For more information contact:

Pete Kolbenschlag, Colorado Environmental Coalition, 970-527-7502
Steve Smith, The Wilderness Society, 303-650-5818 x 106
http://www.saveroanplateau.org
BLM: 970-947-2800

IN NEW MEXICO
8. Ojito Wilderness Bill Reintroduced

Our 2004 March UPDATE and October Interim UPDATE briefly discussed the Ojito Wilderness Bill for New Mexico. The bill passed both the House and Senate, although in slightly different versions. There was not time to reconcile the two bills before adjournment, and so the bills died.

Now the bill has been reintroduced with bipartisan support as the Ojito Wilderness Act of 2005, In the House it is numbered H.R. 362, and in the Senate, S. 156

The bill, which would designate over 11,000 acres of wilderness, has broad support in New Mexico from the Zia Pueblo, citizens, Governor Bill Richardson, county commissioners, and business leaders. For more information on the Ojito area please visit:

http://www.ojito.org

IN WASHINGTON (STATE)
9. Wild Sky Wilderness Bill Reintroduced

Washington’s Sen. Patty Murray has introduced the Wild Sky Wilderness Act, S. 152, for the third time. It has passed the Senate in each of the two previous Congresses, but never the House.

The bill would protect 106,000 acres in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, an area rich in forests, river valleys, lakes, and mountains. The area is close to Seattle and very popular with recreationists from the area.

The bill was passed out of the Senate Environment and Resources Committee this week along with the California North Coast bill.

IN WYOMING
10. Great Divide Resource Management Plan
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: March 17
(ACTION ITEM)

Wyoming is one state that CalUWild has covered infrequently, mostly in regard to the snowmobile controversy in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. But there are large desert areas of the state under the jurisdiction of the BLM. As you know, the Bush administration continues its efforts to open many of our last remaining wild places to energy exploration, and Wyoming is no exception. BLM is preparing a new Resource Management Plan for the Rawlins area, and it proposes to open upwards of 90% of the land to leasing. We need to help protect these areas, by letting the BLM know that citizens outside of Wyoming are watching what is going on. If you’ve been to the Red Desert, plan to go, or have any special interest in the area, please mention that in your comments.

To help you write your comments, we include the following from the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance and Friends of the Red Desert, a coalition to which CalUWild belongs.

Help Protect Wyoming’s Great Divide from Excessive Drilling!

Desert wildlands with sculpted badlands, island mountain ranges, and important habitats for wild horses, ferruginous hawks, mountain plovers, elk, and black-footed ferrets can all be found in the Great Divide region of south-central Wyoming. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) currently manages 4.7 million acres of public lands and minerals in this area under the Great Divide Plan. It includes spectacular wilderness like the pillars and battlements of Adobe Town and the uplands and canyons of Wild Cow Creek. Over the past decade, the BLM has managed these lands almost exclusively for oil, gas, and coal extraction, and has done little
to protect its natural wonders.

But the Rawlins office of the BLM is now revising its Resource Management Plan for the area, which includes the eastern half of the fabled Red Desert. This long-term zoning plan will designate lands to be protected for recreation and wildlife, and will also determine where oil and gas development is allowed to continue to dominate land use in the area. Furthermore, the revised Plan will determine what kinds of protective measures the BLM will require of the oil and gas industry in the future to protect wildlife and wild places, as well as air and water quality.

In its preferred alternative, the BLM proposes to open over 90% of these public lands to industrial-scale oil and gas drilling, and drill over six times as many wells under the new plan as are allowed under the existing one, when drilling is already proceeding at a record pace. Sensitive big game winter ranges and migration corridors, as well as important habitats for rare wildlife would continue to get only the token protection of seasonal restrictions, which allow industrialization of the most fragile areas as long as construction occurs during less sensitive times of year.

And under the agency’s preferred alternative, important parts of Adobe Town would be opened to drilling, while potential wilderness in the Pedro Mountains and Wild Cow Creek would not even be considered for protection. The plan also fails to protect almost 3,000 identified respected places that are important to Native Americans, archeologists, and trails enthusiasts, hundreds of which are eligible for designation on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, air pollution in the Great Divide area would double, threatening air quality in protected areas and increasing levels of acid rain. Water quality would be degraded in many areas due to surface discharge of toxic coalbed methane wastewater, and many of the wide open spaces that characterize this heart of the Wild West would be industrialized. In essence, the agency proposes to endorse the same heavy-handed drilling methods as always, with six times as much drilling.

The plan revision offers the public a great opportunity. It provides you (as American citizens and owners of these wildlands) the chance to demand sensitive lands and wildlife receive the protection they deserve while permitting oil and gas development to proceed in a balanced and responsible way.

Write a letter, and ask the BLM to adopt the Western Heritage Alternative, which protects sensitive landscapes in the Great Divide and ensures that development is managed in an environmentally responsible manner. Comment letters must be postmarked by March 17th.

Talking Points

* Adopt the Western Heritage Alternative for a revised Great Divide Plan that will balance industrial uses of my public lands with the needs of public recreation, clean air and water, and desert wildlife.
* Protect the Pedro Mountains, Wild Cow Creek, and all of the Citizens’ Proposed Adobe Town Wilderness from future drilling. The Pedro Mountains are a craggy and completely trackless range with wilderness qualities that have never been adequately protected. The Wild Cow Creek roadless area is a rare desert wildland along the Atlantic Rim and is one of the last remnants of open country in a landscape that is rapidly being overrun by the oil and gas industry. The adobe Town Citizens’ Proposed Wilderness covers thousands of unprotected acres, landscapes of such spectacular scenic value that they are worthy of National Park status. The Ferris Mountains Addition covers rugged hogbacks in the foothills of the range. Please give strong protection to these beautiful and ecologically sensitive lands, as well as other citizens’ proposed wilderness, withdrawing them from future oil and gas leasing.
* Move drilling away from sensitive wildlife habitats. Require “No Surface Occupancy” for oil and gas drilling on crucial big game winter ranges, prairie dog colonies, mountain plover habitat, floodplains, and within three miles of sage grouse leks or one mile of raptor nests. This will allow the mineral resources to be produced with directional drilling while protecting the sensitive lands on the surface.
* Mandate lower-impact types of drilling. President Bush and the Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton have long promised us new drilling technologies and environmentally sensitive methods of oil and gas exploration. The time has come to translate these promises into action. Require directional drilling to cluster wells and facilities in a few spots instead of sprawling them across the landscape.
* Manage livestock grazing at ecologically sustainable levels. Some parts of the Great Divide area have suffered from overgrazing, particularly the sensitive streamside habitats in the valleys that descend from the slopes of the Sierra Madres. Please reduce stocking levels for lands showing “fair” or “poor” range quality.
* Give extra protection to important wildlife habitats, like the Powder Rim, the entire Ferris Dunes, the Chain Lakes, and mountain plover nesting areas deserve extra protection as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. These lands should enjoy “No Surface Occupancy” protection from industrial developments, as should Native American sacred sites and historic sites like the Overland and Cherokee Trails.
* Protect air quality by regulating development that contributes to acid rain and smog in nearby mountains and wilderness areas.
* Ensure clean water by prohibiting surface discharge of wastewater produced from coalbed methane drilling in the North Platte River drainage and the Red Desert (instead, require underground injection of wastewater), carefully regulating coalbed methane development, and ensuring that “Best Management Practices” for the control of water pollution are mandatory.

Please send comments by March 17th to:

Rawlins Bureau of Land Management
Attn: John Spehar
P.O. Box 2407
Rawlins, WY 82301

By e-mail to:

comments@rawlinsrmp.com

For more information, visit:

http://www.voiceforthewild.org/greatdivide

http://www.reddesert.org/

http://www.wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org/news/newsletter/docs/2004e/index.php

IN GENERAL
11. Wilderness Job Opportunities (3 positions)
A. California Wild Heritage Campaign
B. The Wilderness Society/Nevada
C. Idaho Conservation League

A. California Wild Heritage Campaign (3 positions)

Job Titles: Executive Assistant, CWHC
Southern California Regional Outreach Organizer, CWHC
Communications Director, CWHC

Organizational Background: Friends of the River (FOR) is California’s statewide river conservation organization, with more than 5,000 members dedicated to the preservation and restoration of free flowing rivers, streams, and watersheds. Friends of the River is an active member of the California Wild Heritage Campaign (see below).

Campaign Background: The California Wild Heritage Campaign (CWHC) seeks to permanently protect California’s remaining public wild lands and rivers through an outreach, education, and community activism campaign designed to raise awareness and build public support of Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers in California. The Campaign is a coalition of more than 400 local, regional, state, and national conservation organizations, businesses, faith groups, and civic leaders committed to this goal. A 7-member Governing Board and Campaign Director guide the work of the Campaign.

Job Positions:
Communications Director
The California Wild Heritage Campaign seeks an experienced Communications and Media Director to lead and guide the work of our Campaign. The Director will develop and execute and effective communications and media plan to raise public awareness about the Campaign’s mission and objectives. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of four years of experience in a public relations capacity and experience in communications and media work for fast-moving campaigns. A working knowledge of conservation issues in California is desired. Position location could include Sacramento, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. Open until filled.

Southern California Regional Outreach Organizer
Under the direction of FOR Conservation Director, the Campaign Director and Statewide Outreach Director, the Southern California Regional Outreach Organizer will help build public understanding and support for wilderness and wild river protection in Los Angeles County, including Santa Clarita Canyons, Condor Peak and Pleasant View Potential Wilderness Areas in the Angeles National Forest, as well as Piru Creek. Candidate should have 1-3 years of campaign organizing experience including grassroots education, coalition building, and media outreach. Position based in Santa Clarita, CA or vicinity. Application deadline 2/28/05.

Executive Assistant
The Executive Assistant provides administrative support to the Campaign Director and senior staff of the campaign. The position responsibilities include data base management, event coordination, and development of proposals. Candidate should have 1-3 years of experience in supporting and Executive or as an Administrative Director; be highly proficient with Word, Excel, and integrated databases; and have the ability to take initiative and deal with short timelines and changing priorities. Position located in Sacramento, CA. Application deadline 2/28/05.

(Detailed position descriptions are available at www.californiawild.org)

Application: Send cover letter and resume to:

CWHC Positions Search
915 – 20th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

E-mail: tsheehan@californiawild.org

Fax: 916-442-3396

No phone inquiries please.

B. The Wilderness Society

Position Title: Nevada Wilderness Campaign Director
Location: Reno, Nevada
Application Deadline: March 4, 2005
Start Date: Immediately

General Description
The purpose of the Nevada Wilderness Campaign Director position is to play a leadership role in developing and advancing federal legislation that designates new wilderness areas in Nevada.

The Wilderness Society (TWS), a national non-profit membership organization devoted to the conservation of wilderness and public lands, is seeking a highly creative and skilled campaign director to lead our wilderness campaign efforts in Nevada. This person will serve as a key member of a dynamic, creative, and skilled team of TWS staff, as well as coalition partners, working to designate wilderness in Nevada.

The ideal candidate has significant experience in environmental advocacy, grassroots campaigns, and legislative work, outstanding communication skills and the ability to work well with diverse interests, a proven track record of leadership, and a love of the land. Knowledge of legislative process/public affairs is essential; experience with conservation, public lands and/or wilderness issues is desirable. The ability to lead initiatives, juggle competing priorities and work effectively within teams and coalitions is important.

Submit résumé, cover letter, writing samples and references to:

The Wilderness Society
Attn: Nevada Wilderness Position
Presidio Building #1016
P.O. Box 29241
San Francisco, CA 94129

Fax: 415-561-6640

E-mail: sara_barth@tws.org

No phone calls please.

C. Idaho Conservation League

Conservation Assistant – Sun Valley, Idaho office.

Idaho’s oldest and largest statewide conservation organization is seeking a Conservation Assistant to coordinate public outreach for active wilderness campaign, hiking program, and events. Monitor public land projects. Various administrative duties. 2 years conservation or non-profit experience helpful.

Please send resume and cover letter by March 4 to:

E-mail: lkincannon@wildidaho.org

Fax: 208-726-1821