Newsletter Archive

July 14, 2004

Dear members and friends of CalUWild —

In the 2 weeks since the last UPDATE, a couple of items of interest have come in requiring action. See Items 1 and 2, below.

In the June UPDATE we mentioned that the Forest Service was preparing to eliminate the Roadless Rule that was developed under the Clinton administration, with widespread public support. The announcement has yet to appear in the Federal Register, but it should show up this week. We’ll send out suggestions on how to respond as information becomes available.

In the meantime, if you live in the Bay Area (or can listen to KQED FM radio over the Internet — ) The Wilderness Society’s Jay Watson, Undersecretary of Agriculture (and former timber industry lobbyist) Mark D. Rey, and Dave Bischel, California Forestry Association President will be debating the Roadless Rule tomorrow morning (Thursday, 7/15).

9-10 a.m., PDT
KQED, 88.5 FM

They will be taking questions and comments. The call-in number is: 415-863-2476.

This Summer, the August Congressional recess begins July 26, running until September 5, 2004. Recesses are not vacation time. Members and senators will be back in their districts and states working. This is the perfect time to meet with them and let them know about your concerns. One good way is to get several people who share your concerns and make an appointment to meet with the representative at his or her local office.

During recesses, representatives also hold “town hall” meetings and other events. This is also a perfect opportunity to voice your views publicly.

CalUWild administrative stuff: As you know, running CalUWild takes money in addition to our members’ letters. We will soon be sending out our general Annual Appeal to many of you. You can save us postage by sending in your contribution before the letters go out. Dues to CalUWild are not tax-deductible. (However, you may make a tax-deductible contribution to Resource Renewal Institute.) Either way, send your check to:

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

Also: If you change your e-mail address or move, please let us know. We don’t want to lose any of our members, so we’ll send you a postcard asking for your new address. But that in turn costs us time and money that could be used for other things. So please — send an e-mail to with any database changes. Thanks!

Best wishes,



1. Ask Gov. Schwarzenegger To Support the North Coast Wild Heritage Act


2. Forest Service Is Revising Off-Road Vehicle Regulations
DEADLINE: September 13



1. Ask Gov. Schwarzenegger To Support the North Coast Wild Heritage Act

Take Action to Protect Northern California’s Coast!

From magnificent coasts and cathedral forests to beautiful rivers and stunning deserts, California’s wild places provide clean drinking water, homes for plants and animals and tourism dollars for our economy. But today, many of these same places we depend on and treasure are threatened. In the last 20 years, nearly 700,000 acres of National Forest lands in California – the size of Yosemite National Park – have been lost to logging, road building, and other destructive activities. Less than one percent of California’s rivers are protected in their free flowing state. Now is the time to protect what is left!

To preserve the remaining wild lands and rivers in Northwest California Senators Boxer & Feinstein (D), along with Representative Mike Thompson (D-01) are working to pass the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act in Congress (S. 738/H.R. 1501). The bill would designate nearly 300,000 acres of federal land as wilderness and 21 miles of river as wild and scenic along the North Coast of California.

The protection of these lands and rivers will safeguard the homes of salmon, bald eagles, black bears, and other imperiled species, and protect a significant source of clean drinking water. Further, these areas will continue to be available for hiking, fishing, camping, birding, horseback riding and many other activities for future generations to enjoy. The Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act will preserve an important part of our American Heritage for future generations.

We hope you will join the broad base of support, from local elected officials and businesses to hunters and take action to protect and important part of our heritage.

Take Action! Please make a quick phone call to Governor Schwarzenegger and let him know how important it is to YOU that we protect the remaining wild lands and rivers in Northern California.

It is critical that we secure the support of Governor Schwarzenegger today. As the state’s highest elected official, his backing would help ensure the protection of the North Coast’s wild lands and rivers by showing leaders in congress how important this bill is to all Californians. Become a part of California’s public land legacy today! Please take time right now to make a phone call to Governor Schwarzenegger urging him to support S. 738. You can call the Governor’s office at:


It’s easy to do.

Press 7 to speak to a constituent services representative. After identifying yourself, explain that you are calling to urge the Governor to support the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act, S. 738.


* Give your name and address to the person registering your comments
* Let them know that you are calling to ask for the Governor’s support of Congressman Mike Thompson’s Wilderness Bill, the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act (H.R. 1501/S. 738).
* Be sure to mention why his support is so important: As Governor of California, HIS backing for this legislation will show the broad support throughout the state for protecting these great areas.


* This bill will protect some of California’s most spectacular areas such as the King Range, the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the lower 48.
* It would also protect critical areas for California’s threatened Steelhead trout and salmon populations.
* It would also protect Cache Creek, home to California’s second largest wintering bald eagle population.
* Throughout California there is broad support for the bill.
* Tell about your personal experience, such as: I have been hiking, fishing, camping on the Lost Coast and want this area protected for future generations.
* You hope the Governor will consider formally supporting H.R. 1501.

After you have called, please email so that we know how many calls have been placed.

Thank you for taking a step to protect Northwest California’s wild lands and rivers for future generations!!


2. Forest Service Is Revising Off-Road Vehicle Regulations
DEADLINE: September 13

The National Forest Service has issued a draft rule to deal with the thorny issue of off-road vehicles. There will be a 60-day comment period for the proposed rule, beginning the day it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected this week. Therefore, the September 13 deadline is only approximate at this point.

The following is a slightly edited version of an alert put out by the Sierra Club.

On July 7th the U.S. Forest Service announced plans to specify which roads and trails are open to off-highway vehicles. Last year, U.S. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth identified unmanaged recreation, particularly off-road vehicle use, as one of the greatest threats to America’s National Forests. He described a litany of adverse impacts to the land, wildlife and other visitors and highlighted the proliferation of unplanned – or renegade – dirt bike and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) routes that criss-cross many National Forests.

Conservationists welcomed the agency’s efforts to strengthen and standardize off-road vehicle management, but expressed disappointment at the lack of vigorous protections with strict timelines in the draft document. “The Forest Service has taken a small step by acknowledging the serious threat that unmanaged off-road vehicle use poses to America’s National Forests, wildlife habitat and the millions of people who recreate in these special places,” said Karl Forsgaard, Chair of the Sierra Club’s national Recreation Issues Committee. “However, the proposed rule falls short and must be strengthened if it is to truly succeed.”

Background and Talking Points:

The new policy, now open to public comment, requires all national forests to identify specific roads, trails and areas where off-road driving will be allowed considering environmental sensitivity, potential conflicts with hikers and other factors. Areas not specifically opened to such traffic would be considered closed. That would reverse the current situation where many forest lands are assumed to be open, allowing drivers to roam at will. Nationwide, the number of off-highway vehicle users increased sevenfold from 5 million in 1972 to 36 million in 2000.

* The Forest Service left the process open-ended, so it could be years before individual forest units actually designate motorized routes. The proposal should be strengthened by including a two-year timetable for implementation and by limiting off-road use to the extent that it can be fully monitored and enforced.
* The Forest Service doesn’t have adequate funds to maintain the more than 380,000 miles of official existing roads in National Forests. Funds need to be created to properly implement and enforce the new policy.

The proposed rule is available on the Forest Service’s website at:


Please write the Forest Service to improve its proposed off-road vehicle rule, to better protect public land and wildlife. Publication of the proposal in the Federal Register, expected by mid-July, will begin a 60-day public comment period.

Message to include:

As a citizen who cares about our public lands, I strongly urge the Forest Service to include additional measures in the final rule to ensure basic protections for public land, wildlife and other types of recreation. These include:

* Create and enforce a timetable for the designation of roads and routes appropriate for off-road vehicle use;
* Designate roads and routes based on a full and public analysis of the site-specific environmental impacts and user-conflicts;
* Bar immediately the use of all unauthorized, renegade routes
* Authorize off-road vehicle use only to the extent that effective monitoring and enforcement are annually funded and implemented.

Submit your comments to the Forest Service by U.S. mail, e-mail, or fax.

Proposed Rule for Designated Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use
c/o Content Analysis Team
P.O. Box 221150
Salt Lake City, Utah 84122-1150


Fax: 801-517-1014


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