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2009 June

June 30th, 2009

July 1, 2009

Dear CalUWild friends –

The Update often takes longer to get together than planned, so it’s a day late this time. But the information is current, nevertheless!

Summer is underway, but for various reasons, Americans take less vacation than their counterparts in other industrialized nations. Thus, many do not or cannot take the time to get away with their families, friends, or by themselves to enjoy the birthright of every American — the wonderful public lands of the West. And while we don’t want to love our wild places to death, people do need the time to be able to get away to visit them. Very often the motivation to protect those special places comes from having gotten to know them intimately.

At CalUWild we always look for ways to link wilderness protection with other grassroots citizen initiatives. Over the last couple of years, a movement has grown up in support of minimum vacation requirements, sick and maternity/paternity leave, and other areas where Americans lag behind. One of the organizations leading the campaign is Take Back Your Time. More detailed information about the issues, including an August 2009 conference in Seattle, can be found on their website. These are issues worthy of investigation, if not our support.

In breaking news, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled yesterday that the Bush Administration illegally changed the rules for National Forest planning when it dropped requirements designed to restrict logging, protect streams, and ensure “species viability.” This is the latest court decision overturning attempts by the previous administration to weaken or even gut public protections. Congratulations to Pete Frost at the Western Environmental Law Center, who represented the organizations involved in the suit.

One policy we are still waiting to see reversed is the “No More Wild” policy. This resulted from an agreement between Utah’s then-governor, Mike Leavitt and Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, in which the BLM abdicated its legal responsibility to undertake continued inventories of land that might qualify for wilderness designation. One way of letting Secretary Ken Salazar know this is an important issue is by letting our Congressional friends know as well. So the next time you contact your representative or senator, please also put in a quick mention that you’d like Interior to use all the tools at its disposal to protect wildlands and give them the importance within BLM that they deserve and that the law requires. Thanks

In other news, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the Department of the Interior is putting solar development on public lands on the fast track. The Department will begin a two-year study of some 1,000 square miles of lands for potential commercial development. This may present problems for conservationists, who support alternative energy but do not want to see public lands, which are often sensitive landscapes or home to threatened species, turned into industrial zones. So we’ll have to pay attention as this unfolds.

Click here for maps of the areas identified.

Thanks, as always, for your interest and support!

Best wishes,
Mike

IN UTAH
1. Red Rock Wilderness Cosponsorship Update
Schedule an August Recess Meeting with Your Rep!
(ACTION ITEM)

2. In the Press

IN CALIFORNIA
3. State Parks Still under Threat of Closure
(ACTION ITEM)
4. Sen. Dianne Feinstein Introduces a Rider in Congress
To Extend Pt. Reyes Oyster Farm’s Lease for 10 Years
(ACTION ITEM)

IN NEVADA
5. Wilderness Service Trips

IN GENERAL
6. No Fee Bill Introduced in the U.S. Senate
7. Documentary on Pete McCloskey
On KQED
Sunday, July 5, 6:00 p.m.

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

IN UTAH
1. Red Rock Wilderness Cosponsorship Update
Schedule an August Recess Meeting with Your Rep!

(ACTION ITEM)

America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act continues to draw support in Congress. In the Senate, there are 19 cosponsors of S.799, plus Sen. Durbin. This ties the previous record! Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) is a cosponsor, while Dianne Feinstein (D) is not.

In the House, H.R.1925 is up to 124 cosponsors, and there is still a ways to go there. We are hoping that the Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing after the August recess.

Here’s a list of current California cosponsors:

Mike Thompson (D-1)
Lynn C. Woolsey (D-6)
George Miller (D-7)
Barbara Lee (D-9)
Ellen O. Tauscher (D-10)
Jerry McNerney (D-11)
Jackie Speier (D-12)
Fortney Pete Stark (D-13)
Anna G. Eshoo (D-14)
Michael M. Honda (D-15)
Zoe Lofgren (D-16)
Sam Farr (D-17)
Lois Capps (D-23)
Brad Sherman (D-27)
Howard L. Berman (D-28)
Adam B. Schiff (D-29)
Henry A. Waxman (D-30)
Jane Harman (D-36)
Grace F. Napolitano (D-38)
Loretta Sanchez (D-47)
Bob Filner (D-51)
Susan A. Davis (D-53)

It’s important to let your representative know when they’ve done something you approve of, so if you haven’t thanked them yet, please do so. Special thanks go to Rep. Jackie Speier (D-12); this is the first time she is cosponsoring after replacing long-time cosponsor Tom Lantos.

Missing from the list of returning cosponsors:

Doris Matsui (D-5)

Xavier Beccera (D-31)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-34)
Maxine Waters (D-35)
Jane Harman (D-36)
Linda Sanchez (D-39)
Diane Watson (D-33)

Rep. Hilda Solis (D-32) is now Secretary of Labor, and Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-10) is now Undersecretary of State for Arms Control. Their seats are currently vacant.

Others who are potential cosponsors:

Dennis Cardoza (D-18)
Laura Richardson (D-37) replaced Juanita Millender-McDonald, a long-time cosponsor
Joe Baca (D-43) replaced George Brown, a long-time cosponsor
Mary Bono Mack (R-45)

If you live in any of these districts where the rep has not cosponsored or renewed their cosponsorship, the August Congressional Recess (it’s not a vacation time for them) provides a perfect opportunity to schedule a meeting with your representative or their staff. Citizens from around the country will be doing just that in support of Wild Utah.

If you’d be interested in being a part of this campaign in your district, send me an email, and I’ll help you get organized.

2. In the Press
Two ongoing issues in Utah have been the December Energy Lease Sale and even longer-term, the looting and destruction of archaeological sites. Rather than write an item about each, I’ll provide links to 2 New York Times articles that report on recent interesting and disturbing developments.

Registration is required for the Times website, but it’s free and won’t subject you to any SPAM. If you have trouble accessing the articles, let me know.

Interior Report Shows Flawed Utah Lease Sale

23 People Are Arrested or Sought in the Looting of Indian Artifacts

IN CALIFORNIA
3. State Parks Still under Threat of Closure
(ACTION ITEM)

It’s July 1, and the state budget crisis is still not resolved, so the fate of California’s State Parks remains undecided.

Negotiations continue among the officials in Sacramento. Please call the following with the message that our parks belong to the citizens of the state and must stay open. You might also point out that they bring in more money to the state than is spent in their budget.

Darrell Steinberg, Senate President Pro Tem: 916-651-4006
Dennis Hollingsworth, Senate Minority Leader: 916-651-4036
Karen Bass, Assembly Speaker: 916-319-2047
Sam Blakeslee, Assembly Republican Leader: 916-319-2033
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: 415-703-2218

In an interesting development, the San Jose Mercury News reported yesterday that the National Park Service has threatened to step in and take control of those parks that have received funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. These include: Henry Coe, Fremont Peak, Big Basin Redwoods, Castle Rock, Año Nuevo, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake, Andrew Molera, Humboldt Redwoods, Point Lobos, Hearst San Simeon State Park, Anza-Borrego Desert, Sutter’s Fort and Mount Tamalpais.

4. Sen. Dianne Feinstein Introduces a Rider in Congress
To Extend Pt. Reyes Oyster Farm’s Lease for 10 Years
(ACTION ITEM)

The saga of the oyster farm continues. As we reported in our December Update, the owner of the Johnson Oyster Company, operating in Drake’s Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore, wants his lease from the National Park Service extended when it expires in 2012. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has attached a rider to the Park Service’s budget included in the Interior Appropriations bill that would extend it for another 10 years.

The present owner knew when he bought the property several years ago that it was unlikely the Park Service would give him an extension, but he said at the time he’d be able to recoup his expenses and make a profit.

The issue is now complicated now by the fact that the Park Service has been accused of releasing inaccurate scientific assessments of the environmental effects of the operation on the Estero. In our opinion, that only distracts from the main issue, which is land use, not ecology.

The owner points to the sustainable and local nature of the operation, the fact that much of Pt. Reyes National Seashore is covered with historic dairies, many of which continue to operate, and finally that there are some 30 jobs involved and Johnson’s is the last oyster cannery on the West Coast.

These are all valid and true. However, Congress designated the Estero and the land on which the oyster farm as potential wilderness in 1976, with the expectation that it would become part of the Phillip Burton Wilderness when the lease expired. This law was subject to full and open debate at that time. If Congress wants to change the policy it enacted, then the same type of full and open debate needs to be held again.

Appearing on KQED Radio’s Forum yesterday, Sen. Feinstein said that the issue had been discussed with plenty of input, editorials, discussion, and reports. That, however, is not how legislation is crafted. And it leaves out the fact that (as we repeatedly point out to Utahns who want local control of federal lands) this land belongs to all Americans, so their representatives should be in on the discussion, as well.

We object to riders because they bypass the normal legislative process of committee hearings and public input. (And riders generally involve issues that wouldn’t be able to pass on their own merits. In other words, they’re sneaky.) We complain mightily when legislators opposed to conservation use them. So we’re doubly disappointed when our friends use them, too.

Regardless of where one stands on the issue of whether the oyster farm should remain, it’s a matter of supporting democratic principles.

Please contact Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s (D-6) office, in whose district Pt. Reyes National Seashore lies, and let her know that any decision to change the status of the oyster operation at Drake’s Estero should be open and public, not via a rider.

DC: 202-225-5161
Marin: 415-507-9554
Sonoma: 707-542-7182

Sen. Feinstein may be reached at:

DC: 202-224-3841
SF: 415-393-0707
LA: 310-914-7300
San Diego: 619-231-9712
Fresno: 559-485-7430

IN NEVADA
5. Wilderness Service Trips

Friends of Nevada Wilderness has a lineup of summer wilderness trip to various wild areas in Nevada. They’re a great way to help restore areas and to get to know and explore them as well. For a full listing, click here.

IN GENERAL
6. No Fee Bill Introduced in the U.S. Senate

In April Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) re-introduced legislation to repeal much of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which had passed a few years ago, charging citizens for using public lands. Sen. Baucus is the chairman of the Finance Committee. The bill number is S. 868 and currently has 2 cosponsors, Sens. John Tester (D-MT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID). Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was a cosponsor in the last Congress, so the bill may have support within the Obama Administration.

No companion legislation has been introduced in the House so far.

As written, the legislation applies only to lands managed by the Department of the Interior (not National Forests) and would leave in place the long-standing entrance fees to National Parks and fees for facilities in parks, including developed campgrounds and boat launches, developed swimming sites, and other amenities. The bill specifically prohibits charging fees for anyone under 16 years of age or for an outing conducted for a noncommercial educational purpose by a school or other academic institution.

In addition the Department of Interior may not charge a fee for Federal recreational land or water managed by the Bureau of Land Management or the Bureau of Reclamation.

We’ll keep you posted as the bill progresses.

7. Documentary on Pete McCloskey
On KQED
Sunday, July 5, 6:00 p.m.

Bay Area CalUWild members will have the chance to see the premiere of Pete McCloskey: Leading from the Front. Many may remember Mr. McCloskey as a candidate in the 2006 Republican primary election to unseat Rep. Richard Pombo (R-11), then-chairman of the House Resources Committee. (Although he lost, his challenge contributed to Mr. Pombo’s later defeat by Jerry McNerney (D) in the general election, who continues to hold the seat.) But Mr. McCloskey has a long history of achievement behind him as a Korean War hero, lawyer, Congressman, and farmer.

The documentary was produced and directed by Rob Caughlan, a longtime member of CalUWild’s Advisory Board and founder of the Surfrider Foundation. Paul Newman is the narrator.

Click here for more information on the film.

The film airs on KQED Sunday, July 5, at 6:00 p.m.

If you don’t live in KQED’s viewing area, please ask your local PBS station to air it when it becomes available.

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Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 2009 June

2008 June

June 26th, 2008

June 26, 2008

Dear CalUWild Friends & Supporters —

Summer has arrived here in California, and with it hundreds of wildfires. So the air is thick with smoke over much of the state. It’s not so good for getting out to enjoy and explore wilderness or other public lands. So please take some time for one or more of the indoor Action Items below. You’ll be glad you did! (Sorry for the short deadlines on Items 6 & 8.)

As always, thanks for your interest.

Best wishes,
Mike

IN UTAH
1. In-District Meetings on Washington County Bill
(ACTION ITEM)
2. Court Tells Kane County to Remove Signs
(ACTION ITEM)
3. Rep. Chris Cannon Loses Republican Primary

IN CALIFORNIA
4. Rep. Bono-Mack’s Southern California Wilderness Bill Passes House< Thank Yous Needed (ACTION ITEM) 5. Eastern Sierra Wilderness Bill Introduced (ACTION ITEM) IN NEVADA 6. Wilderness in Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge COMMENTS NEEDED (ACTION ITEM) DEADLINE: JUNE 30 IN WASHINGTON STATE 7. President Signs Wild Sky Wilderness IN GENERAL 8. Recreational Fee Hearings in House Parks, Forests & Public Lands Subcommittee Comments Needed (ACTION ITEM) DEADLINE: JULY 2 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= IN UTAH 1. In-District Meetings on Washington County Bill (ACTION ITEM) Groups concerned with Utah's wilderness and public lands continue to have serious concerns over Sen. Bob Bennett's Washington County bill. See CalUWild's May Update for more details. In order to let California's senators know our views on the bill, CalUWild is helping the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance arrange a couple of in-state meetings with Senators Boxer and Feinstein's local offices during the upcoming August congressional recess. The recess runs August 11 - September 5, but meetings could be set up before that, since it's unlikely that anyone would be meeting with the senators themselves, and their staff is around all the time. So in order to get the ball rolling, here are a couple of things it would be helpful to know: -- Is there any time before Labor Day when you would NOT be available to attend a meeting? -- Is there a time of day that does NOT work for you? -- Are there other people whom you would bring to the meeting? The more the better (up to a point). So far we have at least 2 people who have expressed interest in each San Diego and San Francisco, and 8 in LA/Riverside. The earlier you ask for a meeting, the more likely it is to be scheduled, so the sooner we can get organized, the better. Please let me know whether you're interested and available -- send an email to mike@caluwild.org. Thanks! 2. Court Tells Kane County to Remove Signs from Monument (ACTION ITEM) On May 16, Federal District Judge Teena Campbell ruled in the long-running dispute between Kane County and the federal Bureau of Land Management. She wrote that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution controls the dispute, meaning that the County must prove in court its claims to rights-of-way on roads in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. In 2005, the County, which has long opposed the creation and management of the Monument, had begun erecting signs saying that roads closed by the Monument were open for vehicle travel. Although the BLM, which manages the Monument, asked the county to remove the signs, BLM never took any action to compel their removal. So The Wilderness Society and SUWA filed a complaint in federal court. Kane County responded that under R.S. 2477, it had jurisdiction over the roads in question and was free to keep them open. However, Judge Campbell said that until the County proves those claims in a "quiet title" action, the Monument's actions to close the roads were allowable. We hope the Monument moves ahead quickly to restore its control over the roads in question. Please write a letter requesting that the Monument enforce the Court's ruling as soon as possible. Mr. Rene Berkhoudt Monument Manager GSEN Headquarters 190 East Center Kanab, UT 84741 email: Rene_Berkhoudt@blm.gov 3. Rep. Chris Cannon Looses Republican Primary The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Utah's Rep. Chris Cannon lost his bid for a seventh term in the state's Republican primary this Tuesday. Cannon is a long-time opponent of wilderness in the state and a supporter of local control over federal public lands. As such, he has fought against the existence of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, and supported counties' designation of controversial routes by claiming R.S. 2477 rights of way. He once tried to prove his point by driving a vehicle into a wilderness study area where vehicles had been banned. The agency folks stood by and let him pass. Rep. Cannon has also been relentless in trying to open up lands in the West to oil shale development. The Third district is solidly Republican, and there's no guarantee his successor will be any more supportive of wilderness. IN CALIFORNIA 4. Rep. Bono-Mack's Southern California Wilderness Bill Passes House Thank Yous Needed (ACTION ITEM) On June 9, the California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act passed the House of Representatives. We last wrote about the bill in the October 2007 Update. The bill designates wilderness in Joshua Tree National Park and other areas in the desert, as well as the San Jacinto River. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate, where it will be heard in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. It's important that Rep. Mary Bono-Mack (R-45) hear from appreciative citizens. Phone calls are fine. Letters should be sent to Rep. Bono-Mack's California offices rather than to Washington. DC phone: 202-225-5330. Email through Rep. Bono-Mack's website: http://bono.house.gov Please also contact Sen. Barbara Boxer, asking her to push for the bill's passage in the Senate. DC phone: 202-224-3553 Email through Sen. Boxer's website: http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/ Other contact information for both may be found on CalUWild's website. 5. Eastern Sierra Wilderness Bill Introduced (ACTION ITEM) Rep. Buck McKeon (R-25) has introduced legislation, the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) introduced companion legislation in the Senate. The bill would add some 476,000 acres of wilderness in the Sierra, the White Mountains, and the San Gabriel Mountains, in addition to designating portions of the Amargosa River, Piru Creek, and the Owen River Headwaters as wild & scenic. Friends of the River, one of the organizations in the California Wild Heritage Campaign has a page on its website with details. Again encouragement and thanks may be sent to Both Rep. McKeon and Sen. Boxer. Rep. Buck McKeon: 
202-225-1956 Email: http://mckeon.house.gov Sen. Boxer: See Item 4. IN NEVADA 6. Wilderness in Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge COMMENTS NEEDED (ACTION ITEM) DEADLINE: JUNE 30 The following alert comes from our friends at Friends of Nevada Wilderness. (Again, apologies for the short time frame.) Dear Friends, We have an exciting opportunity to help guide protection of at least 341,500 acres of spectacular wilderness in northwestern in the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1931, the refuge's purpose is to protect habitat for the pronghorn antelope as well as many other wildlife and plant species, migratory birds and threatened and endangered species. In the 1970's, the Secretary of Interior recommended that 341,500 acres in 8 units be designated as the Sheldon Wilderness. There are over 650 species of plants and over 200 bird species found on the refuge as well as extensive archaeological values. The refuge is now beginning their Comprehensive Conservation Planning (CCP) process over the next two years and wilderness will be re-evaluated. It is important that we show strong support for wilderness now and throughout the planning process. Please take a minute now to email in your comments by June 30th. We have included some talking points below for you to cut and paste or use to create your own comments. Your comments need to be emailed by June 30, 2008. Comments should be emailed to: SheldonCCP@fws.gov Talking Points: Wilderness is an important part of the refuge and wilderness designation will ensure long-term protection of this incredible area. It is important to have a final travel management plan that clearly indicates what roads are open to the public as well as good maps so visitors can know which roads to use. Travel management decisions should be based on the needs of wildlife, not human recreation. While wild horses are an important part of our western heritage, in the refuge the high numbers of horses are now competing with native wildlife and damaging habitat for many species. Horses should be humanely removed from the refuge and adopted or moved to other locations. We encourage the acquisition of private inholdings within the refuge from willing sellers. Areas needing restoration should be identified as part of the planning process (i.e. fence or development removal, weed removal, restoring damage from off road vehicles, etc) Natural processes should be allowed to occur on the refuge with as little interference from humans as possible. To visit the main Sheldon Refuge Website: http://www.fws.gov/sheldonhartmtn/sheldon/index.html To visit the Sheldon Planning Website: http://www.fws.gov/pacific/planning/main/docs/NV/docssheldon.htm Thank you for helping protect the wild places of the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge, Friends of Nevada Wilderness IN WASHINGTON STATE 7. President Signs Wild Sky Wilderness Last month, Pres. Bush signed the Wild Sky Wilderness into law. The culmination of many years of legislative wrangling and near-misses, the bill protects 106,000 acres in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, about 90 minutes from Seattle. The area is somewhat unique in that much of it is lowland forest under 3,000 feet in elevation rather than alpine. The bill is the first wilderness designation in Washington State in over 20 years. There is already talk of introducing legislation to expand other wilderness areas in the state, piggybacking on the success of this bill. IN GENERAL 8. Recreational Fee Hearings in House Parks, Forests & Public Lands Subcommittee Comments Needed (ACTION ITEM) DEADLINE: JULY 2 Last week the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing looking at the Recreational Fee Program (Pay to Play) instituted in the last couple of years. The committee is accepting written testimony for inclusion in the official record until July 2. Again: Short Deadline The process isn't complicated, but there some details that you need to pay attention to. All the necessary details are in the following alert, slightly edited, from our friends at the Western Slope No Fee Coalition. A congressional hearing was scheduled in Washington DC for Wednesday June 18th at 10am EDT, on public lands access fees. Your comments are needed and may be emailed directly to the House's National Parks, Forests and Public Lands subcommittee for inclusion as testimony in the official record of the hearing. Below you will find background information, some points to include in your comments, the format required, and the email address to send them to. BACKGROUND The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) was enacted as a rider to the 2005 omnibus appropriations bill. It replaced the Recreation Fee Demo Program that had been in place since 1996. It was never voted on in the House and was never introduced in the Senate. The oversight hearing on Wed June 18th, before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands is titled "Paying to Play: Implementation of Fee Authority on Federal Lands." The subcommittee will be examining all aspects of implementation of the FLREA and all comments will be useful. In the US Senate, S. 2438, introduced in December 2007, would repeal most provisions of the FLREA and revert fees to the statutes in place prior to Fee Demo's enactment in 1996. S. 2438 has not yet been scheduled for a legislative public hearing in the Senate. Neither has it yet been introduced in the House of Representatives. It is the hope of fee opponents that the upcoming outcry from the American public to the House public hearing on June 18th will lead to a number of Representatives coming together to introduce a House version of S. 2438. As usual, this action alert is truly a grassroots effort, passed from organization to organization and from family to family around the nation. There is no wealthy big-name nationwide group leading this push for comments. The input to the House Subcommittee at the June 18th public hearing is very much up to you, and to thousands of others like you, who believe in the long-standing principle of fee-free access to undeveloped federal public lands. Please participate! WHAT TO WRITE Please send testimony that is as specific as possible. Do not copy the phrases below verbatim. Change them around and make them personal. Add additional concerns that you have about access fees. Some points to include in your comments: -- The FLREA specifies that access fees are prohibited simply for hiking, biking or horseback riding on public lands. Yet thousands of trailheads are still subject to access fees on Forest Service and BLM lands (name some such trailheads which you use). -- Protest the Forest Service's creation of HIRAs (High Impact Recreation Areas), where fees are levied for access to thousands of acres of undeveloped land. The FLREA restricts access fees to developed sites that have six amenities present (permanent toilets and trash cans, picnic tables, interpretive signs, designated parking and security services). -- Mention that National Park visitation has fallen 5% since 2000, and that Forest Service visitation declined 25.7% on forests surveyed in 2000 and again in 2005. -- State your concern about the Forest Service's Recreation Facility Analysis, a nationwide program that proposes to permanently close thousands of recreation sites which the agency considers unable to pay their way with fees. This is going on with little or no public notice. -- Recreation Resource Advisory Committees, set up by the Forest Service to give the green light to new and/or increased access fees (as required by the FLREA), are conducting their business without meaningful public input. Moreover, the costs of these committee meetings are not being counted as an administrative fee program expense by the agency. -- Many National Parks charge additional fees (on top of entrance fees) for access to backcountry areas, for interpretive programs, and for mandatory transportation systems set up to protect some Parks from excessive traffic. -- Include examples of places where fees are being charged by the Forest Service and BLM for: parking, scenic overlooks, hiking/riding trails, general access, use of undeveloped backcountry, and camping in undeveloped areas, even though all of those are prohibited from fees by the FLREA. -- Relate any experiences you may have had with enforcement authorities. -- Say that you support a return to the fee policy that existed from 1965 to 1996 under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, when the Forest Service and BLM charged fees only at developed camping, boating, and swimming sites, and the entrance fees at National Parks covered access to interpretive programs, backcountry activities, and mandatory transportation systems. Fee revenue was subject to oversight by Congress, not levied as a double tax by local managers who get to keep the money and make the spending decisions. Written email testimony is being accepted from now through 5 PM EDT on July 2. Your testimony will become part of the official record of the hearing. Here's how to submit testimony. Please follow these instructions carefully to be sure your testimony is not rejected. 1. Testimony must be submitted as a WORD or WORD PERFECT email attachment, single-spaced and formatted for 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Note: NOT pdf format! 2. Make sure to include your full name and address. The greeting on your testimony should read: "Dear Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Subcommittee." 3. The SUBJECT line of the email should read: Testimony for June 18 Oversight Hearing. 4. Your testimony must be no more than 12 pages, preferably no more than two pages. 5. The BODY of the email should say: Please include the attached testimony in the official record of the oversight hearing on "Paying to Play: Implementation of Fee Authority on Federal Lands." 6. Sign the body of your email with your full name and address. 7. SEND your email to: Domenick.Carroll@mail.house.gov with a cc to Laurel.Angell@mail.house.gov. Please spend some time asking friends and family to submit comments as well! The more comments that are received, the stronger will be the case for repealing the FLREA. Thank you all for your help.

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Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 2008 June

2007 June

June 21st, 2007

June 21, 2007

Dear friends of CalUWild —

There are a few urgent Action Items this month, especially Items 4 and 1. Please take a few minutes to contact the appropriate officials. All the information you need is here. If you feel you need more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email or phone: 415-752-3911

Without further ado, we’ll get right to things.

Thanks for your efforts and support!

Mike

IN UTAH
1. Town of Escalante Seeks Off Highway Vehicle Grant
Letters Needed
DEADLINE: June 29
(ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
2. Utah Wilderness Slide Show in Stockton
Monday, June 25
3. Sequoia National Forest
a. No Appeal On Monument Plan Ruling
b. Vehicle Travel Plan Preparation
Comments Needed
Meetings Scheduled
DEADLINE: July 14
(ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL
4. Amendment on R.S. 2477 Rights-of-Way
Letters, Calls & Emails Needed
EXTRA URGENT
(ACTION ITEM)

IN NEVADA
5. Wilderness Volunteer Trips with
Friends of Nevada Wilderness

IN WASHINGTON, DC
6. Convicted Ex-Deputy Interior Secretary
Seeks Sentencing Leniency from Judge

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT
7. California Wild Heritage Campaign Coordinator

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

IN UTAH
1. Town of Escalante Seeks Off Highway Vehicle Grant
Letters Needed
DEADLINE: June 29
(ACTION ITEM)

Steve Allen, long-time friend of Utah’s wilderness, canyoneering guidebook author, historian, and member of CalUWild’s Advisory Board, sent out the following letter. If you’ve spent time in the Escalante region, you know what a special place it is. It’s the last place where off-road vehicle use should be encouraged. Please write as suggested. Thanks!

Dear fellow canyoneers,

One of our worst nightmares may come to pass, unless we get your help! We have all hiked in and around the Escalante area of Utah for many years. It has been a quiet oasis in the midst of an onslaught by Off-road vehicles (ORVs) in other favorite areas. Unfortunately, while the town has been making money off us backpackers, canyoneers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, fishermen, river runners, rock art hunters, and horsepackers for years, they now want to change course and make the town of Escalante into the ORV capital of Utah.

Their immediate goal is to get a $50,000+ grant from the State of Utah to turn the downtown park into a formalized ORV staging area. This will then become the focal point for ORV rallies much like we now see with the Jeep Jamboree in Moab, with thousands of participants tearing up the terrain.

What would it mean to us, the quiet recreationists? We’ve lost the San Rafael Swell, Tenmile Country, much of Lake Country, the Upper Paria and many other areas to the ORV crowd. The Escalante has truly been the last bastion of quiet Wilderness in the State. If Escalante does become an ORV oasis, the peaceful ambience of the area will be gone; ORVs will dominate the landscape, with their noise, pollution, and of course, their endless trails and tracks that go absolutely everywhere.

What can you do?

Right now sit down and write a short letter to the contact person below. In one or two paragraphs tell about your experiences in the Escalante as a backpacker or canyoneer. Tell Mary Tullius that you do NOT want the Escalante area to become just another area trashed and ruined by the ORV crowd. Tell Mary Tullius that you spend a lot of money while in the area and that the quiet recreationists will not come back to the area if it is over-run by ORVs. Tell Mary Tullius that you object to the state granting the $50,000 to the town of Escalante for the ORV staging area.

The letter should be short and concise and to the point. The letters need to be to Mary Tullius by June 29, so write now. This is very important and time is of the essence.

Please write:

Ms. Mary Tullius – Director
Utah State Parks and Recreation
1594 W. North Temple, Suite 116
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6001

Phone: 801-538-7362
Fax: 801-538-7378

Email: marytullius@utah.gov

IN CALIFORNIA
2. Utah Wilderness Slide Show in Stockton
Monday, June 25
7 P.M.

Bob Brister, the Interregional Outreach Coordinator for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance will be presenting the recently revised “Wild Utah: America’s Redrock Wilderness slide show at a meeting of the Sierra Club Delta-Sierra Group. CalUWild Coordinator Mike Painter will be joining him to speak briefly about CalUWild and the role Californians play in protecting wildlands in Utah and across the West.

Please join us if you can.

Monday, June 25, 2007, 7 pm.
Central United Methodist Church
3700 Pacific Ave., Stockton
The Fireside Room

3. Sequoia National Forest
a. No Appeal On Monument Plan Ruling

Last week the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Unites States Forest Service had changed its mind and had decided not to appeal a federal court ruling ordering it to prepare a new plan.

District Court Judge Charles Breyer had ruled last year (see CalUWild’s Sept. 06 Update) that the management plan did comply with the Monument Proclamation, but he found it contradictory in places and incomprehensible and ordered the Monument to prepare a new one. A Monument spokesman said it has “decided to take a more constructive and positive approach.

b. Vehicle Travel Plan Preparation
Comments Needed
Meetings Scheduled
DEADLINE: July 14
(ACTION ITEM)

On June 15, Sequoia National Forest published a notice in the Federal Register, stating its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on 10 actions affecting motorized vehicle use in the Monument.

Among the proposed actions are:

1. The addition of approximately 71 miles of existing unauthorized routes to the National Forest System (NFS) of motorized trails, open to wheeled motorized vehicle use by the public.

2. Opening approximately 21.8 miles of existing NFS roads, currently closed to public wheeled motorized vehicle use, to wheeled motorized vehicle use by the public, making them primarily OHV trails.

3. Opening another approximately 23.2 miles of existing NFS roads, currently closed to public wheeled motorized vehicle use, to all wheeled motorized vehicle use by the public, street legal vehicles as well as OHVs.

4. Changing approximately 5,500 acres of semi-primitive non-motorized (SPNM) to semi-primitive motorized (SPM), to conform to a proposal to allow motorized vehicle use of the NFS trail north of Dry Meadow.

5. Closing approximately 19.5 miles of existing NFS roads, currently open to wheeled motorized vehicle use by the public.

6. The prohibition of wheeled motorized vehicle travel off of designated NFS roads, NFS trails, and areas by the public, except as allowed by permit or other authorization.

We have seen no details on these proposed changes, and there is nothing listed on the Forest Service’s website. But in general, our national forests are already crisscrossed with roads. It’s good when the Forest Service closes existing roads or routes. We do not generally support the opening of new routes, and we emphatically do not support the legitimizing of unauthorized routes. All that does is reward previous illegal vehicle use by now making it legal.

The Forest Service will be holding five public meetings regarding the Public Wheeled Motorized Travel Management Environmental Impact Statement. These meetings are to provide additional information related to the proposed action and the project area. This information may be helpful to you in identifying issues (a point of disagreement, debate, or dispute), regarding the proposed action, which you may submit for consideration to the Forest Service. Issues that are determined to be significant will be used to formulate alternatives to the proposed action.

WHEN AND WHERE

• Monday, June 25, 6 PM to 8 PM, Veteran’s Hall, 6405 Lake Isabella Blvd., Lake Isabella, CA

• Thursday, June 28, 6 PM to 8 PM, Council Chambers, 100 W. California Avenue, Ridgecrest, CA

• Saturday, June 30, 10 AM to 12 PM, Doubletree Inn, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court, Bakersfield, CA

• Monday, July 9, 6 PM to 8 PM, Tulare County Office of Education, 2637 West Burrel Avenue, Visalia, CA (west of County Courthouse)

• Tuesday, July 10, 6 PM to 8 PM, Supervisor’s Office, 1839 South Newcomb Street, Porterville, CA

Completion of the draft EIS is expected in September 2007, and the final EIS is expected in September 2008.

Send written comments to:

Chris Sanders
Travel Management
Sequoia National Forest
1839 South Newcomb Street
Porterville, CA 93257

For further information contact: Chris Sanders at 559-784-1500 or at the address listed above.

IN GENERAL
4. Amendment on R.S. 2477 Rights-of-Way
Letters, Calls & Emails Needed
EXTRA URGENT
(ACTION ITEM)

R.S. 2477, the Civil War-Era statue granting rights of way over public lands continues to be an issue around the West. The administration has tried its hardest to make it easier for road claims to be validated in many areas that people thought were protected, even private property.

It’s appropriations season in Congress right now, and Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) has stated that he will introduce an amendment on the floor of the House banning the use of any funds to implement the administration’s rules on rights-of-way. A vote could be held as soon as early next week.

The following alert just came from the California Wilderness Coalition. Please make a phone call to your House representative right away. Contact information for most California House offices may be found on the CalUWild website or you may use the email link below. (Email is not always as effective as phone calls or faxes.)

Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-11), who replaced Rep. Richard Pombo, may be reached at:

In DC: 202-225-1947; 202-225-4060 (f)
In Pleasanton: 925-737-0727; 925-737-0734 (f)
In Stockton: 209-476-8552; 209-476-8587 (f)

Please personalize the message and use your own words.

Act Now: Stop the Public Lands Give-Away!

Ask your representative today to protect America’s national parks, wilderness and other special places by voting in favor of the Udall R.S. 2477 amendment.

A little known 19th century statute is threatening to crisscross your public lands with a spider web of roads and development. Right now, some western states, counties, and off-road vehicle groups are trying to crisscross our public lands with a spider web of roads and development across our national parks, monuments, wilderness, and refuges.

Congress may vote by next week to stop this public lands give-away, when Congressman Mark Udall (D-CO) offers a proposal that would close this dangerous and antiquated loophole.

These states, counties, and off-road vehicle groups have alleged that hiking trails, wash bottoms, streambeds, dog sled trails, and little-used two-tracks are actually constructed highways under a loophole in an 1866 law known as R.S. 2477 and have tried to get the federal government to accept these claims and surrender management, and some are trying to develop these trails and routes into paved highways and/or allow off-road vehicle use. Some hope these new (so called) highways will promote mining, timber, and oil and gas development.

These claims cut through protected areas including some of California’s most iconic landscapes, such as Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve.

The Udall amendment will use Congress’s power of the purse to bar the administration from using tax dollars to approve questionable highway claims. This is a last-minute opportunity to protect vast areas of open space millions of Americans enjoy, but we need your help to make sure it passes!

Please ask your representative to support the Udall amendment today. Please mail or fax the sample letter below to your representative:

Find and write your representative: http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Sample Letter:

Dear [Representative]:

Please support Rep. Mark Udall’s amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that will stop a massive public lands give-away.

Our national parks, monuments, and wildlife refuges protect abundant wildlife, pure water, archeological treasures, and open space that millions of Americans enjoy.

But some western states, counties, and off-road vehicle groups are trying to seize control of tens of thousands of miles of hiking trails, cow paths, streambeds, and little-used two-tracks across these lands and turn them into constructed highways where no roads belong. In California, Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve are at risk.

They rely on a Civil War-era loophole known as R.S. 2477 that Congress repealed more than 40 years ago.

What’s worse, the administration has adopted several policies that could give away these little-used routes to states and counties who could then pave and bulldoze roads through sensitive areas with little or no public review.

The Udall amendment would prevent the administration from implementing these policies, and protect America’s special places from such harmful development.

America’s public lands should stay in public hands.

Please support the Udall amendment to end the public lands give-away.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Full Address]

IN NEVADA
5. Wilderness Volunteer Trips with
Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Friends of Nevada Wilderness organizes volunteer restoration trips to help wild landscapes recover from noxious weeds, illegal vehicle use and other impacts. You can explore scenic Nevada and help keep it wild at the same time! Our trips are free, and the beautiful wild areas you get to enjoy are priceless!

NOTE: Lots of other trips are scheduled throughout the season. Please check the Friends website at http://www.nevadawilderness.org or their blogspot at http://nevadawild.blogspot.com for the entire schedule.

To sign up for a trip, contact Friends of Nevada Wilderness at 775-324-7667 or info@nevadawilderness.org

IN WASHINGTON, DC
6. Convicted Ex-Deputy Interior Secretary
Seeks Sentencing Leniency from Judge

In the introduction to the March 07 Update, we mentioned the conviction in Federal Court of J. Steven Griles, former Deputy Secretary of the Interior, for making false statements to a Senate committee in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. The time for sentencing is drawing near, and an organized campaign has sprung up among Mr. Griles’s friends and supporters, both in government and out, to seek a lenient sentence for him. 91 letters have been submitted to the judge in the case from people such as former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, under whom he served, and Wyoming Rep. Barbara Cubin (R).

Reportedly, Griles could receive a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine. The Justice Department prosecutor recommended 10 months’ imprisonment. Griles himself has asked to receive a $15,000 fine, three months of house arrest, and 500 hours of community service. Half of the community service hours would be with an organization devoted to injured veterans of the Iraq War.

It’s the other half of his proposed hours that raises eyebrows, however. Griles has requested that he be allowed to work with “WOW – Wonderful Outdoor World.” WOW is the result of a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of the Interior, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Walt Disney Corporation, the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), and others. The parties work “on issues of common interest and to jointly plan and implement mutually beneficial programs and activities,” to quote from the MOU. Griles was Deputy Interior Secretary at the time the MOU was signed.

ARC promotes “increased access to public lands and is a strong supporter of snowmobile use in the national parks. Much of its agenda would result in increased commercialization and privatization of public resources, so if Mr. Griles were to work with WOW, he would be simply returning to the policies he espoused while at the Interior Department. That’s hardly a punishment.

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT
7. California Wild Heritage Campaign Coordinator

THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY, CALIFORNIA/NEVADA OFFICE
Position: California Wild Heritage Campaign Coordinator
Location: Los Angeles, California
Classification: Exempt/Grade
Reports To: Dan Smuts, Deputy Regional Director, California/Nevada Office

Application Deadline: Open until filled, Posted May 2007
Start Date: Immediately

General Description:
The Wilderness Society (TWS), a national non-profit membership organization devoted to the conservation of wilderness and public lands, seeks an experienced Campaign Coordinator to help organize the California Wild Heritage Campaign – a legislative campaign to designate new wilderness areas and wild and scenic rivers throughout California.

The Campaign Coordinator will serve as a central point person for the Wild Heritage Campaign helping to coordinate multiple legislative campaigns and maintain communication among the Campaign’s many partner organizations and activists. This position will function as a communications and organizing linchpin for this complex and fast-paced campaign. The Coordinator will be responsible for preparing and distributing materials and information regarding ongoing campaigns; keeping grassroots activists and partner organizations around the state engaged; maintaining a grassroots database and website; assisting field organizers as needed; and ensuring timely and appropriate responses to inquiries from the media and others. In addition, this position will be responsible for cultivating new legislative opportunities for wilderness and wild & scenic river protection.

The ideal candidate has significant experience in environmental advocacy, grassroots campaigns and legislative work. In addition, the Coordinator must have outstanding communication skills, the ability to work well with diverse interests in a coalition setting, a proven track record of leadership, and a love of wild landscapes. Experience working specifically on public land conservation and/or wilderness issues is highly desirable, as is fluency in Spanish. A substantial amount of travel, primarily within California, is required.

Responsibilities:
– Help develop outreach and educational materials for the press, general public, community leaders and decision makers.
– Ensure effective communication among campaign partners to maximize the effectiveness of a very large and diverse coalition.
– Help coordinate outreach activities of Campaign field organizers, contractors, and partner organizations.
– Develop and implement outreach strategies to cultivate wilderness proposals in new parts of the state.
– Build and maintain partnerships with select statewide constituency groups, including: conservation groups; unions; businesses; and scientists.
– Organize advocacy trips to Washington D.C. and Sacramento, as well as annual strategy meetings for partners.
– Communicate with local decision makers, federal agencies, and members of Congress.
– Serve as a point person for inquiries from the media and others and ensure timely responses are provided.

Qualifications:
– 3-5 years experience working in a senior role in a grassroots advocacy campaign.
– Experience working with grassroots volunteers in the environmental movement, political campaigns, or similar efforts.
– Excellent communication skills, including writing and editing as well as oral communications.
– Strong knowledge of the federal legislative process.
– Familiarity with public lands conservation issues and federal land management agencies.
– Leadership and diplomacy skills to work effectively in a coalition setting with many different interests and personalities.
– A strong sense of initiative and the ability to work creatively and independently with limited supervision.
– Experience working successfully with the media to place stories, op-eds, Letters to the Editor, and editorials.
– Dedication to the preservation of California’s public lands.
– Ability and willingness to travel.

We offer a very competitive salary and benefits package, including health and dental insurance and a pension plan. The Wilderness Society is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees and constituents regardless of differences based on culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, or sexual orientation.

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

The Wilderness Society
Attn: California Wild Heritage Campaign Coordinator
Presidio Building #1016
P.O. Box 29241
San Francisco, CA 94129

Fax: 415-561-6640
Email to WildernessCoordinator@tws.org

No phone calls please.

Tags: ,
Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 2007 June

2006 June

June 30th, 2006

June 30, 2006

Dear CalUWild friends –

Summer has arrived here in the West, making it the perfect time to get out and enjoy the lands we own in the national forests, parks, and managed by the BLM. The thing to remember is that those lands will remain for our enjoyment only if people take the time to act on their behalf. That’s what CalUWild is all about: encouraging and facilitating citizens’ involvement in the management of our public lands.

Thanks for your interest and support!

There was some good news earlier this month when Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne reversed the administration’s proposals for revamping the management policies for the national parks. See CalUWild’s Updates from September 2005, October 2005, and February 2006 for the details. The secretary was quoted as saying: “Where there is a conflict between conserving resources unimpaired for future generations and the use of those resources, conservation will be predominant.” This announcement reflects the nationwide outcry after the administration made its proposals last year. The Park Service received over 50,000 comments from concerned citizens around the country.

It seems like this Spring there have been fewer opportunities than usual for writing comments and letters. However, a few things have come cross my desk and are discussed below. Please take the time to write about one or more of them.

Finally, an administrative note: CalUWild dues notices have been slow going out this Spring, but will mailed in the next few weeks. You can save us some postage by sending in a contribution now if you haven’t contributed in a while. Click here for a printable form. Or when you do receive a letter from us, please consider renewing your support or contributing for the first time. We can’t keep up our work without your help. Our thanks to all who have so generously supported CalUWild over the years.

Best wishes,

Mike

IN UTAH
1. Washington County Bill to be Introduced Soon

(ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
2. Yosemite National Park:
Tuolumne Meadows Area Planning
(ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL
3. User Fees on Public Lands
(ACTION ITEM)
4. Predator Management in Wilderness Areas
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: August 7, 2006
(ACTION ITEM)

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

IN UTAH
1. Washington County Bill to be Introduced Soon
(ACTION ITEM)

CalUWild’s April Update had an item regarding a proposal by Utah’s Sen. Bob Bennett (R) and Rep. Jim Matheson (D) for a public lands bill for the southwest corner of Utah, Washington County, where St. George is located. Legislation has not been introduced yet, but the proposal is the object of increasing concern from the citizens and various groups in and outside of the state of Utah. Sen. Bennett and Rep. Matheson held a single Open House in St. George a while ago, but people from around the state were left out, unless they wanted to travel.

A recent poll by the Utah Wilderness Coalition showed that 89% of respondents thought it was important that there be more public input into the process before the legislation is introduced. But the senator and congressman refused to schedule any. To fill the void, the Utah Wilderness Coalition hosted a public meeting yesterday in Salt Lake City. Articles on the meeting ran in both today’s Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News.

Sen. Bennett and Rep. Matheson claim that they still want public input before the bill is introduced, possibly in July, so there is still time to let them know what you think. CalUWild’s major concerns are with the proposed sale of 25,000 acres of BLM land for private development, the designation of an inadequate amount of wilderness, and the proposed water pipeline to Lake Powell.

Because mail to Congress is still being irradiated, I’m only including telephone and fax information for the two. Both have e-mail forms on their websites, but it looks like you need to be a resident of Utah to use those.

Contact Sen. Bennett:

202-224-5444 (phone)
202-228-1168 (fax)

Contact Rep. Matheson:

202-225-3011 (phone)
202-225-5638 (fax)

IN CALIFORNIA
2. Yosemite National Park:
Tuolumne Meadows Area Planning
(ACTION ITEM)

This week, Yosemite National Park announced it would begin preparing a Wild & Scenic Tuolumne River Plan as well as a management plan for Tuolumne Meadows. The Tuolumne River for the most part flows through designated wilderness in the Park, and the Tuolumne Meadows area is a highly loved and used area. Therefore, we think it’s important for our members to be informed of this planning effort.

Comments from people who are familiar with Tuolumne Meadows/River are particularly useful, as they can provide factual information and analysis that the Park Service may not be considering or even aware of.

To begin with, the Park is undertaking “scoping,” a process to identify the issues it should address in its plan and to take suggestions on what it should include in its “preferred alternative.” CalUWild will submit its own comments as more information become available, but the most important overall issue is minimizing the impacts to the landscape caused by overuse: trail maintenance and meadow restoration and water quality in the Tuolumne River being at the top of the list.

The announcement has not appeared in the Federal Register yet, and we will get more information to you as the process continues.

Here is the Park Service’s announcement:

Yosemite National Park Announces Opening of Public Scoping for Tuolumne Planning Effort

Yosemite National Park is announcing public scoping in preparation of the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan/Tuolumne Meadows Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.

The National Park Service will prepare two plans for the Tuolumne area in a consolidated document: a Comprehensive Management Plan for the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River (“Tuolumne River Plan”), and an implementation plan for Tuolumne Meadows (“Tuolumne Meadows Plan”). These will be accompanied by an environmental impact statement (EIS) that analyzes the environmental effects of a range of management approaches.

Two factors contribute to the timing of this planning effort. First, the National Park Service is mandated by Congress to prepare a management plan for the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River corridor. Second, there are facilities issues that need immediate attention in the Tuolumne Meadows area. Before moving forward to repair, upgrade, or remove infrastructure, the National Park Service is looking to the public for input as it works to clearly define the management goals for both the Tuolumne River and Tuolumne Meadows areas.

The Tuolumne River Plan will provide broad management guidance and establish the overall goals and vision for the river corridor. Its policy directives will guide future management and amend the Yosemite National Park General Management Plan for the Tuolumne River area. The 54 miles of the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park was federally designated as a Wild and Scenic River in 1984.

The Tuolumne Meadows Plan is an implementation-level plan. It will focus on the types and levels of visitor services and activities offered in the vicinity of Tuolumne Meadows. It will also delineate which areas may be targeted for restoration.

Public ideas and concerns are sought to help identify the range of issues that should be addressed in this planning effort. Involvement of the public is needed to insure that future actions are consistent with the National Park Service mission, enabling legislation, and other relevant laws and policies.

The public scoping process for this project will be open until 60 days from the publication of a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS, as listed in the Federal Register. The NOI is expected to be published soon, and a link will be posted on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose/planning. Scoping is an opportunity early in a planning process for the public, gateway communities, partner organizations, culturally-associated American Indian tribes, and other local, state and federal agencies to suggest issues to be considered in the proposed draft EIS.

Written scoping comments should be postmarked no later than 60 days after publication of the NOI in the Federal Register. Comments can be submitted at public meetings, by mail, fax, and email. A draft document should be available for public review in summer 2007. To request a hard copy or CD ROM version of the Draft EIS and to submit written comments:

U.S. Mail:

Superintendent, Yosemite National Park
Attn: Tuolumne Planning
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389

Fax: 209/379-1294

Email: YOSE_planning@nps.gov

For information on this and other planning efforts in Yosemite National Park, go to www.nps.gov/yose/planning.

Talk With Us at Upcoming Open Houses and Public Meetings

These events will take place from 4:00 to 8:00 pm (unless otherwise noted) at the following locations:

July 12: Modesto Junior College

July 13: San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center

July 18: Tuolumne Meadows at Parsons Lodge

July 19: Lee Vining Community Center

July 26: Yosemite Valley (1-5 pm)

August 7: Mariposa Government Center

August 14: Oakhurst Community Center

August 15: Sonora at Columbia College

August 17: Groveland Public Library

For information on this and other planning efforts in Yosemite National Park, go to www.nps.gov/yose/planning.

IN GENERAL
3. User Fees on Public Lands
(ACTION ITEM)

The battle against user fees on our public lands continues. There is a nationwide effort to let Congress know about the impact these fees are having and how the Forest Service and BLM are implementing last year’s legislation authorizing some fees. Please send a quick fax or make a phone call as outlined in the alert below, which comes from our friends at Keep Sespe Wild. It is slightly edited for our membership.

Dear Public Lands Supporter,

It is extremely important that your legislators in Washington DC hear from you NOW about the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, the FLREA. They need to hear that the Forest Service and BLM continue to charge citizens for simple access and use of our public lands in blatant violation of the provisions of the law. They need to take action to see that that this law is repealed.

Fee opponents are continuing to work with members of Congress to roll back the FLREA. This summer, as Americans head outdoors to enjoy their priceless public lands, is a key time. Please act now to protect this irreplaceable heritage, not only for yourself but also for your children and grandchildren!

This election year is also a vital time to remind key Committee chairmen in DC—as well as those legislators representing you there—why we still strongly oppose the FLREA and want it scrapped. Please contact all those running for office to make repeal of the FLREA a campaign issue.

The FLREA imposes multiple layers of fees on visitors to America’s public lands. Congress attached it as an earmark on a spending bill in December 2004, replacing the previous Fee Demo program. The U.S. Senate’s Public Lands & Forests Subcommittee held a public hearing in October 2005 to review Forest Service and BLM implementation of the FLREA. Numerous agency abuses were identified, but no action has yet been forthcoming to amend or overturn the FLREA.

Scroll down to find contact info for calling and faxing key legislators in DC, the main points to include in your messages, and a sample letter. Please contact the committee chairs as well as your own senators and representative.

Please keep calling and faxing through June and July!

Contact all those running for office to get their stand on public land access fees. Get them to make opposition to fees a part of their platform!!

Who else can you forward this action alert to, who will respond? This is a genuine grassroots campaign, depending on a diverse and expanding network of public lands users across the nation.

Please mention these points (in your own words):

• Ask first that the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act be repealed.

• Say you want the Forest Service and BLM to scrap the High Impact Recreation Areas (HIRAs) and Special Recreation Permits that are being used to charge fees for access to hundreds of thousands of acres of undeveloped backcountry.

• Let them know the Forest Service and BLM are implementing many new fee sites without the public participation process clearly spelled out in the FLREA.

• Protest the FLREA’s authorization of fines of tens of thousands of dollars and/or jail time for visiting your public lands without paying the fee.

• Tell them that candidate positions on fees will effect how you vote.

Whom To Contact (Faxes are still much quicker than letters to DC and much more effective than phone calls or emails):

Everybody should contact the following:

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID)
Chair, Senate Public Lands & Forests Subcommittee
Phone: 202-224-2752
Fax: 202-228-1067

Rep Richard Pombo (R-CA)
Chair, House Resources Committee
Phone: 202-225-1947
Fax: 202-226-0861

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV)
Ranking Member, House Resources Committee
Phone: 202-225-3452
Fax: 202-225-9061

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Phone: 202-224-3841
Fax: 202-228-3954

————

Thank you all for participating in the summer of 2006’s Big Push to communicate opposition to the FLREA to key legislators in DC. Together we can make a difference, as we have before.

Yours,
Alasdair Coyne,
Keep Sespe Wild

4. Predator Management in Wilderness Areas
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: August 7, 2006
(ACTION ITEM)

On occasion we alert our members to important wildlife issues, especially when they conflict with the purposes for which wilderness is designated. Such is the case with the following, where the Forest Service is proposing to make changes in regulations regarding the control of predator species in wilderness areas.

There are two main points involved in this issue that specifically impact wilderness: Wilderness is supposed to be “untrammeled,” meaning unmanaged, allowed to function on its own. Therefore, wildlife in wilderness areas should be left alone, except where human health and safety are concerned—and then it should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Secondly, the new regulations “provide authority for the Regional Forester to permit the use of aircraft, motorized equipment and mechanical transport, and pesticides in wilderness areas under certain conditions.” None of these uses ought to be allowed in wilderness.

You can read the entire Federal Register Notice here.

The following information is excerpted from an alert on the website of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Predator Poisoning and Killing Planned In Wilderness Areas

The U.S. Forest Service just announced plans to relax rules that govern “predator control” in federal Wilderness areas and Research Natural Areas of our National Forests. The move would greatly expand the ways that wolves, coyotes, cougars, bears, foxes and other predators can be killed in these areas, and it signals a very disturbing shift in the way our public land is managed.

The proposed rule would permit aerial gunning and motorized vehicles in Wilderness areas to trap and kill predators and meet nebulous “wildlife management” objectives, which would be created by industry-driven “collaborative groups.” The rule would also allow notoriously dangerous “M-44” cyanide guns to be used in Wilderness areas, even though these devises have accidentally killed thousands of family pets and non-targeted wildlife. Please take a minute to write the Forest Service and demand that it reverse this disastrous plan—and instead put its energy and resources towards ensuring these animals continue to grace the wild.

Wilderness areas are intended to be places where humans are visitors who do not remain, where nature and natural systems are permitted to run their course. Similarly, Research Natural Areas are places of particular biological interest where “unmodified conditions” are to be maintained.

But the Forest Service has proposed to stray from these fundamental principles and dramatically increase the ways that wolves, coyotes, cougars, bears, foxes and other predators can be trapped, shot and poisoned in Wilderness areas and Research Natural Areas. Current rules require that wilderness values not be impaired by such activities, and expressly prohibit poisons like M-44s. The current rules also allow predator killing in Wilderness areas only in very limited circumstances, such as to protect human safety.

In stark contrast, the new rules would require predator control to meet undefined “wildlife management” objectives, and they would also permit local working groups to formulate those objectives—even in Wilderness areas! This would put groups that are dominated by the livestock industry—and hostile to both Wilderness and predators—squarely in the driver’s seat when it comes to predator control. Wilderness areas would be opened to expensive and ecologically devastating aerial gunning and poisoning of predators who belong in Wilderness areas and are a big part of what makes them so special.

Talking points:

• The Forest Service has proposed dramatic changes to Forest Service Manual Sections 2320 and 2650. These changes would reverse protections that are currently in place for Wilderness areas and Research Natural Areas by relaxing the restrictions on motorized use, aerial gunning and placement of motion-triggered cyanide guns to trap and kill predators. I strongly oppose these changes, and urge the Forest Service to uphold the Wilderness Act and its mandate to protect wildlife on all Forest Service lands.

• Predators are a key component of intact ecosystems, an important presence in the wilderness, and an emblem of the wild. They should be protected wherever they are, but in Wilderness and Research Natural Areas most of all. The proposed changes to the rules amount to a devastating attack on both predators and wilderness values.

• Predators like wolves, coyotes, bears, cougars and foxes belong in our forests and deserts, as the current rule recognizes when it states, “predacious mammals and birds play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of natural ecosystems.” Unfortunately, the proposed new rule discards such language in favor of permitting ill-defined “collaborative groups” to decide when and how predators will be trapped and killed. The new rule also permits cyanide guns to be used—even in Wilderness areas—contrary to the language and spirit of the Wilderness Act.

• The new rules regarding predator control in Wilderness and Research Natural Areas should be discarded; if anything, predators deserve more, not less, protection on our public lands.

Comments must be received in writing by August 7, 2006.

Send written comments to:

Forest Service, USDA
Attn: Director, Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Resources
201 – 14th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20250

By email: PDM@fs.fed.us

By fax: 202-205-1145

Tags: ,
Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 2006 June

2005 June

June 30th, 2005

June 30, 2005

Dear friends —

The last two months have not had many important alerts come across my computer screen, so I decided not to write an UPDATE in May and to concentrate on other projects here at CalUWild. Since a member wrote recently to ask what other items we work on, this provides a great opportunity to review our activities.

Much time is spent reviewing the press and newsletters from other organizations (national, regional, and local) and reading through management plans from government agencies. The relevant information then has to be edited or summarized for the UPDATE and sent out. A print edition is prepared for those folks without e-mail. Finally a web edition is posted on the caluwild.org web site by our stalwart webmaster, Phillip Loughlin.

We also write letters on many of the items in the UPDATE on CalUWild letterhead on behalf of our nearly 700 members. We write letters to the editor (LTEs) of various newspapers as well.

CalUWild is an active member of a number of coalitions, including the Utah Wilderness Coalition, California Wild Heritage Campaign, Coalition to Save Los Padres National Forest, Grand Canyon Wilderness Alliance, R.S. 2477 and “No Wild” Coalition (opposing the administration’s attempts to open roads and roll back protection for BLM wilderness study areas), Oil & Gas/Energy, and Fee Demonstration Program. Most of these involve conference calls and occasional planning meetings, where we discuss and plan strategies and activities. In addition, we work with individual organizations, such as the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the Nevada Wilderness Coalition, and others, helping extend their reach, since they have no real presence in California. This work often involves responding to Environmental Impact Statements, writing letters or signing on to others’ letters, and providing a California perspective on the issue at hand.

Occasionally we engage in direct lobbying, communicating with legislative offices on proposals affecting wilderness and public lands. Support for these activities comes from members’ dues, which is why they are not tax-deductible.

A CalUWild goal is to rovide at least one slide show or other presentation per month. We do seek help in both organizing and/or hosting these, so if you are able to help with this let us know. Examples of appropriate venues would include travel or other recreation clubs, campus groups, environment groups as a guest speaker (Sierra Club, Audubon, etc.), and so forth. Be creative! If you are aware of or affiliated with a group of people who would be interested in learning more about our efforts, we welcome your suggestions and ideas. Occasionally we set up an information table at a conference or event. Again, if you know of events where this might be possible, let me know. A volunteer has stepped forward to help coordinate scheduling, so let’s give her something to do!

Because CalUWild has the dual purpose of protecting wilderness while encouraging citizen advocacy, we’ve published a Guide to Effective Advocacy. This needs to be kept up-to-date, and this year we’d like to include a section on writing effective comments on agency proposals. Again, a volunteer has helped with that, for which we are grateful.

Finally there are all the administrative tasks that go into running an organization, among other things: finances, buying office supplies and making copies, updating and improving the web site, and writing an Action Plan for 2005-6 and the 2004 Annual Report. One important focus the past few months has been fundraising. CalUWild has always been run on a shoestring budget, but as the number of activities has grown, so have the costs. A volunteer has been researching foundations and other sources of support. And that has been successful. We recently received a grant to help purchase a new laptop computer, software, digital projector, and slide scanner. However, member support is still needed.

CalUWild can also use contributions of software (not necessarily the latest version, but not obsolete, either). In particular, we need Adobe PageMaker and Photoshop for Mac SystemX. If you have a copy that you’re not using, please let us know. Thanks!

I hope that gives you a little more of a feeling for the work we’re doing. We want to meet the needs of our members, so if you ever have questions or comments, please send them to mike@caluwild.org and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Hope you can get away and have a great 4th of July weekend! Mike

IN UTAH
1. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Oil & Gas Drilling Proposal
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: July 31
(ACTION ITEM)
2. Lake Powell Filling Up
Letters Needed
(ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
3. Cache Creek Wild & Scenic River
Bill Passes State Assembly and Senate Committee
Letters to the Governor Needed
(ACTION ITEM)

IN ARIZONA
4. Mexican Wolf Restoration
Letters Needed
DEADLINE: July 31
(ACTION ITEM)

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

IN UTAH
1. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Oil & Gas Drilling Proposal
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: July 31
(ACTION ITEM)

With crude oil prices at high levels it becomes more economical to explore in places where only marginal success might be expected. A big surprise, though, is the following proposal, in an area managed by the National Park Service.

The following information is adapted from an alert sent out by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

WILDCAT OIL WELL PLANNED IN GLEN CANYON NATIONAL RECREATION AREA–COMMENTS NEEDED!

DEADLINE IS JULY 31ST.

Please take a few minutes today to write a comment letter to the National Park Service on this proposed oil well project that would damage fragile redrock lands in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument(GSENM). You may submit your comments online using the National Park Service’s website. See below for suggested guidelines.

The Park Service is asking for scoping comments on the proposed well- though it is not giving out much detail about the project or what resources it is most concerned about. The Park Service and BLM need to hear from you that they must: (1) prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze this destructive project and (2) hold public meetings in major metropolitan areas such as Salt Lake City.

BACKGROUND:

The National Park Service has begun consideration of a proposed, controversial wildcat oil well in a remote corner of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This area, known as Middle Moody Canyon, can only be accessed along a rough dirt road that first goes through one of the Bureau of Land Management’s crown jewels, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The proposed well pad and access roads would be located in classic redrock country and along a unique geologic formation known as the Waterpocket Fold. In short, the proposed well would be located in one of the most scenic locations in the Glen Canyon NRA/Capitol Reef National Park/Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area. The proposal would involve blading a drill pad (also putting in a sludge pit and holding tanks), as well as upgrading (reconstructing) and creating several miles of dirt road. The scars from this project would — as other failed attempts in the region attest to — last for many years.

Amazingly enough, this lease was issued in 1969 and thus predates Glen Canyon NRA and the GSENM. After a successful legal fight by the Sierra Club in the early 1970’s to block a similar oil well, the lease was “suspended” by the BLM and sat idle for over 15 years. In 1990, the lessee submitted an application for a permit to drill (APD) with the Park Service who understandably was not in any hurry to consider approving development in such a sensitive location. After a few years of back and forth, the lessee went away — but now they’re back. To make matters worse, the Park Service (meaning with our tax dollars) is footing the bill — $50,000 worth — for the environmental analysis.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

The Park Service is asking for scoping comments on the proposed well — though it is not giving out much detail about the project or what resources it is most concerned about. The Park Service and BLM need to hear from you that they must: (1) prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze this destructive project and (2) hold public meetings in major metropolitan areas such as Salt Lake City.

Use the following as talking points in your comments. Please use your own words, though. Simply cutting and pasting these into your letter severely reduces the impact, because it becomes clear that you are part of an orchestrated campaign. Individuals letters are always more effective.

1) The National Park Service (NPS) is wasting its precious resources
(both money and staff) to analyze this proposed wildcat well; the development of which would produce — by the Park Service’s own estimates
— an insignificant amount of oil.

2) The well and access roads would be located in a unique, fragile and
stunning natural environment that has largely healed from the scars of previous unsuccessful wildcat oil wells.

3) The proposed access roads would either require new construction or
substantial reworking and improvement. The environmental analysis should be clear about the direct and indirect impacts from improving these roads, as well as any proposed airstrip improvement.

4) Full consideration of a no-action alternative is consistent with lease
rights–this simply means that the proposed well would not be drilled and the lessee would be free to submit another application for an APD.

5) Full consideration of an alternative in which the NPS would acquire
lease rights (either outright purchase or exchange), keeping in mind the highly speculative nature of the lease and the lessee’s decision not to actively pursue drilling for several decades.

6) The impacts that this well and access roads would have to the area’s stunning visual qualities- as well as its important flora and fauna- would be significant.

7) Encourage NPS and BLM to hold several public meetings at both the
scoping and environmental analysis stages, including one in Salt Lake City, to fully explain to the American people the risks that the proposed project poses to the Glen Canyon NRA, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante NM. The NPS and BLM should have decided to hold such hearings at the outset of this highly controversial project and from now on they should actively solicit and encourage public participation.

Fill in, take the time to review and send your comment letter via the Park Service’s website by following this link:

http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?projectID=12592&documentId=11645

(If this link does not immediately work, simply cut and paste the link, http://tinyurl.com/aw2fp into your browser’s navigation window and it should get you there).

THE COMMENT DEADLINE IS JULY 31ST. BUT WHY WAIT, PLEASE WRITE AND SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS TODAY.

You may also send written comments to:

Ms. Kitty Roberts-Superintendent
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
P.O. Box 1507
691 Scenic View Drive
Page, AZ 86040-1507

2. Lake Powell Filling Up
Letters Needed
(ACTION ITEM)

The last eight years have seen drought on the Colorado Plateau. There has been little rain or runoff into the Colorado River Basin, causing a precipitous drop in the water level at Lake Powell, the reservoir behind Glen Canyon Dam. As the water drops, the marvelous side canyons along the Colorado River are increasingly re-emerging, along with rock art panels and other archaeological sites. This spring, there has been quite a bit of runoff, and the reservoir’s level is rising, covering some areas. However, as the summer moves along, the water levels will recede again. The fluctuating water level damages the archaeological sites more than either complete submersion or exposure to air.

With Lake Mead downstream also very low because of the drought, the Bureau of Reclamation could store much of this year’s runoff in that reservoir rather than in Glen Canyon. This would avoid further damage to some of the sites and allow the side canyons to continue along in the process of restoration.

The following Action Alert comes from the Glen Canyon Institute, a Utah group seeking to restore a free-flowing Colorado River through Glen Canyon.

Dear Lover of Glen Canyon,

Sunday, June 19, on the front page of the opinion section, the Los Angeles Times ran an opinion piece which argued that Glen Canyon should be allowed to restore itself by storing water in Lake Mead before attempting to refill Lake Powell. This was a major statement for any newspaper to publish.

It recognized that there is not enough water now, and that there will be even less water available in the future, to try to refill Lake Powell. It pointed out that it is the overuse of the river, not the drought, that has lowered the level of Lake Powell. It also editorialized in favor of the re-designation of the National Recreation Area as Glen Canyon National Park. It is the most widely read statement of Glen Canyon Institute’s new position thus far.

To read the full story, click or copy and paste the URL into your browser:

http://www.glencanyon.org/press/PDF/6-19-05LATimes.pdf

The Bureau of Reclamation is now soliciting public comments as they develop strategies for how water is stored and managed in the Colorado River and Powell and Mead reservoirs. This is the perfect opportunity for you to tell key decision makers that you want to see Glen Canyon restored and ensure a sustainable water supply for the west. Use the talking points below (in your own words) to write or email your own letters to Gale Norton, Robert Johnson, and Rick Gold urging them to Fill Lake Mead First and protect Glen Canyon’s priceless cultural, biological, and scenic resources from being flooded again.

Thank you for your tireless support!

1) The steadily dropping water levels at Lake Powell reservoir on the
Colorado River revealed spectacular features not seen in decades. These cultural, biological, and scenic resources found only in Glen Canyon are now threatened by fluctuating reservoir levels.

2) Restored precious features such as Cathedral in the Desert, Register
Rock, petroglyphs, and Fort Moqui are going right back under water, only to be uncovered once again later this year. This fluctuation of water levels is unnecessary and destructive to these priceless emerging cultural, historic, and scenic sites in Glen Canyon.

3) All “surplus” water of the Colorado River can easily be stored at Lake
Mead instead of in Glen Canyon. We urge the Bureau of Reclamation to protect these priceless treasures by storing “surplus” water in Lake Mead instead. Please uphold the established legal protections for priceless sacred and historical sites and emerging endangered species habitats. Please protect Glen Canyon for future generations.

Comments can be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to:

Gale Norton
Secretary
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240
gale_norton@ios.doi.gov

Robert Johnson
Regional Director
Bureau of Reclamation
Lower Colorado Region
Attention: BCOO-1000
P.O. Box 61470
Boulder City, Nevada 89006-1470
FAX: 702-293-8156
strategies@lc.usbr.gov

Rick Gold
Regional Director
Bureau of Reclamation
Upper Colorado Region
Attention: UC-402
125 South State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84318-1147
FAX: 801-524-3858
strategies@uc.usbr.gov

If you have any questions, please contact info@glencanyon.org or call Glen Canyon Institute at 801-363-4450.

IN CALIFORNIA
3. Cache Creek Wild & Scenic River
Bill Passes State Assembly and Senate Committee
Letters to the Governor Needed
(ACTION ITEM)

Earlier this month, the California Assembly passed AB 1328, introduced by Assemblymember Lois Wolk. The bill adds 31 miles of upper Cache Creek flowing out of Clear Lake toward the Central Valley 100 miles north of San Francisco, to the state’s Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The vote was 43 – 22. The bill then passed through the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, and now awaits a vote by the Appropriations Committee and the full Senate before going to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his signature.

Letters to the governor in support of the bill are needed. Use some or all of the following talking points (from Cache Creek Wild) and add anything personal, to make a stronger letter.

1) Cache Creek provides lush vegetation, pristine waters and fresh air
for diverse species of wildlife. Bald eagles, ospreys, tule elk, black bears, mountain lions, and river otter flourish in this amazing habitat.

2) Cache Creek offers outdoor enthusiasts an amazing number of activities
including hiking, horseback riding, birding, hunting, fishing, river rafting, and camping.

3) Protecting Cache Creek can give an economic boost to local business
because a Wild and Scenic designation will bring visitors from all over eager to see our wild river. This bill has received bipartisan support in the legislature.

4) This designation will prevent the state from participating in the planning or development of any new dams or diversions in these reaches of the river, and it protects farmer’s water now and in the future.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633
http://www.govmail.ca.gov

IN ARIZONA
4. Mexican Wolf Restoration
Letters Needed
DEADLINE: July 31
(ACTION ITEM)

We don’t often cover wildlife issues in the UPDATE, but the following program directly impacts wilderness areas and the spirit behind the concept of wilderness. The restoration of wolf and other top predator populations is critical to the functioning of an intact, complete ecosystem. So across the globe, efforts are underway to restore these populations.

It has successfully happened in Yellowstone National Park, and the effects on the ecosystem can already be seen. Deer and elk are reportedly not browsing as heavily along creeks, because the vegetation cover makes them more vulnerable to predation. This is allowing the riparian areas to grow more lush, covering the creeks and thus cooling the water. This in turn provides better habitat for fish increasing their populations, which in turn helps other predators. And so the cycle goes.

In Arizona and New Mexico, the government has been restoring Mexican gray wolves, but now a one-year moratorium has been proposed. Details and suggestions for letters are included in the alert below, which comes from the Arizona Wilderness Coalition. For more information, contact them at azwild@azwild.org.

Please write!

Dear Friends of Wilderness and Wildlife:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a one-year moratorium on new releases of Mexican gray wolves, as well as restrictions on the use of relocation as a method to control wolves that have attacked livestock. These proposals will undercut the Mexican wolf recovery program. Please email the Arizona Game and Fish Department (mexwolf@azgfd.gov) by July 31 and ask them to put science and the welfare of the Mexican gray wolves above politics and the anti-wolf sentiment of the minority.

Wolves are an integral part of healthy, wild ecosystems. With science to support their important place in the natural world, it’s time to stop the unfounded hatred toward this magnificent keystone species. Please see the announcement and talking points below for more information on the issue. More information on the proposed moratorium and the revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), including #13 on lethal management is at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf. Press releases from the Fish & Wildlife Service, including the lethal take order on the Francisco pack, and the field updates are at http://ifw2es.fws.gov/mexicanwolf/ or at http://mexicanwolf.fws.gov.

Thanks,
The Arizona Wilderness Coalition

More Wolves! Less Politics!
Please help the Mexican gray wolf recover in Arizona and New Mexico

In response to a private meeting with the livestock industry and other opponents of wolf recovery, called by Representative Stevan Pearce (R-NM), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a one-year moratorium on new releases of Mexican gray wolves. This will risk the genetic diversity of the wild population and will also virtually ensure that no wolves are released in New Mexico. In addition to that, there is a proposal on the table to make it easier to kill wolves that have had interactions with livestock.

Please ask them to put science and the welfare of the wolves above the politics and the anti-wolf sentiment of a few disgruntled ranchers.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now proposing the following:

I. A one year moratorium on releases of Mexican gray wolves to the wild from the captive breeding population, from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006 . This will prevent infusion of new genetic material even though the lead Mexican wolf genetic researcher, Dr. Philip Hedrick of Arizona State University, has written that only one of the three lineages comprising the limited Mexican wolf gene pool is well represented in the wild population, and it is imperative to introduce new animals from the other two lineages. Dr. Hedrick added that it is important to introduce these new animals as soon as possible while the population is small so that their relative contribution to the genetic mix will be greater.

II. A one year ban on translocations (re-releases) of wolves that have killed livestock within one year, into any jurisdiction (i.e., state or
tribal) excepting that from which they were captured. This will exacerbate the detrimental effects of the present policy that prevents any releases from the captive breeding population into New Mexico. Should the proposal go into effect, no wolves captured in Arizona could be released in New Mexico. The translocation of wolves from Arizona to New Mexico has been a standard practice until now and is the primary tool available for establishing the wolf population in New Mexico. Direct releases from captive stock are currently precluded by regulation.

III. A permanent new policy requiring killing of wolves responsible for attacking three head of livestock if trapping does not succeed within ten days, and immediate killing of wolves if four domestic animals have been attacked. This will ramp up the lethality of the present control program which has already resulted in a twenty percent drop in the known Mexican wolf population between the end of 2003 and end of 2004 (from 55 to 44 animals). Had this policy been in effect from the outset of the program, several packs in existence now would have been destroyed. For example, the Bluestem Pack, which committed a brief spate of livestock killings in 2002 and have since then relied entirely on natural prey, would have been captured or killed.

1. Comments may be submitted via email to the Mexican wolf reintroduction
project:

mexwolf@azgfd.gov

or via postal mail to:

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project
c/o Arizona Game and Fish Department
Attention: Terry B. Johnson
2221 West Greenway Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85023

2. Comments must be received by July 31 to be considered.

3. Please copy Governor Janet Napolitano on your comments. Her address is:

1700 West Washington, 9th Fl.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Fax: 602-542-1381

E-mail: Either click on the following link or cut and paste it into your
server:

http://www.governor.state.az.us/post/feedback.htm

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

Tags: ,
Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 2005 June

2005 June

June 30th, 2005

June 30, 2005

Dear friends —

The last two months have not had many important alerts come across my computer screen, so I decided not to write an UPDATE in May and to concentrate on other projects here at CalUWild. Since a member wrote recently to ask what other items we work on, this provides a great opportunity to review our activities.

Much time is spent reviewing the press and newsletters from other organizations (national, regional, and local) and reading through management plans from government agencies. The relevant information then has to be edited or summarized for the UPDATE and sent out. A print edition is prepared for those folks without e-mail. Finally a web edition is posted on the caluwild.org web site by our stalwart webmaster, Phillip Loughlin.

We also write letters on many of the items in the UPDATE on CalUWild letterhead on behalf of our nearly 700 members. We write letters to the editor (LTEs) of various newspapers as well.

CalUWild is an active member of a number of coalitions, including the Utah Wilderness Coalition, California Wild Heritage Campaign, Coalition to Save Los Padres National Forest, Grand Canyon Wilderness Alliance, R.S. 2477 and “No Wild” Coalition (opposing the administration’s attempts to open roads and roll back protection for BLM wilderness study areas), Oil & Gas/Energy, and Fee Demonstration Program. Most of these involve conference calls and occasional planning meetings, where we discuss and plan strategies and activities. In addition, we work with individual organizations, such as the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the Nevada Wilderness Coalition, and others, helping extend their reach, since they have no real presence in California. This work often involves responding to Environmental Impact Statements, writing letters or signing on to others’ letters, and providing a California perspective on the issue at hand.

Occasionally we engage in direct lobbying, communicating with legislative offices on proposals affecting wilderness and public lands. Support for these activities comes from members’ dues, which is why they are not tax-deductible.

A CalUWild goal is to rovide at least one slide show or other presentation per month. We do seek help in both organizing and/or hosting these, so if you are able to help with this let us know. Examples of appropriate venues would include travel or other recreation clubs, campus groups, environment groups as a guest speaker (Sierra Club, Audubon, etc.), and so forth. Be creative! If you are aware of or affiliated with a group of people who would be interested in learning more about our efforts, we welcome your suggestions and ideas. Occasionally we set up an information table at a conference or event. Again, if you know of events where this might be possible, let me know. A volunteer has stepped forward to help coordinate scheduling, so let’s give her something to do!

Because CalUWild has the dual purpose of protecting wilderness while encouraging citizen advocacy, we’ve published a Guide to Effective Advocacy. This needs to be kept up-to-date, and this year we’d like to include a section on writing effective comments on agency proposals. Again, a volunteer has helped with that, for which we are grateful.

Finally there are all the administrative tasks that go into running an organization, among other things: finances, buying office supplies and making copies, updating and improving the web site, and writing an Action Plan for 2005-6 and the 2004 Annual Report. One important focus the past few months has been fundraising. CalUWild has always been run on a shoestring budget, but as the number of activities has grown, so have the costs. A volunteer has been researching foundations and other sources of support. And that has been successful. We recently received a grant to help purchase a new laptop computer, software, digital projector, and slide scanner. However, member support is still needed.

CalUWild can also use contributions of software (not necessarily the latest version, but not obsolete, either). In particular, we need Adobe PageMaker and Photoshop for Mac SystemX. If you have a copy that you’re not using, please let us know. Thanks!

I hope that gives you a little more of a feeling for the work we’re doing. We want to meet the needs of our members, so if you ever have questions or comments, please send them to mike@caluwild.org and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Hope you can get away and have a great 4th of July weekend! Mike

IN UTAH
1. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Oil & Gas Drilling Proposal
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: July 31
(ACTION ITEM)
2. Lake Powell Filling Up
Letters Needed
(ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
3. Cache Creek Wild & Scenic River
Bill Passes State Assembly and Senate Committee
Letters to the Governor Needed
(ACTION ITEM)

IN ARIZONA
4. Mexican Wolf Restoration
Letters Needed
DEADLINE: July 31
(ACTION ITEM)

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

IN UTAH
1. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Oil & Gas Drilling Proposal
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: July 31
(ACTION ITEM)

With crude oil prices at high levels it becomes more economical to explore in places where only marginal success might be expected. A big surprise, though, is the following proposal, in an area managed by the National Park Service.

The following information is adapted from an alert sent out by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

WILDCAT OIL WELL PLANNED IN GLEN CANYON NATIONAL RECREATION AREA–COMMENTS NEEDED!

DEADLINE IS JULY 31ST.

Please take a few minutes today to write a comment letter to the National Park Service on this proposed oil well project that would damage fragile redrock lands in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument(GSENM). You may submit your comments online using the National Park Service’s website. See below for suggested guidelines.

The Park Service is asking for scoping comments on the proposed well- though it is not giving out much detail about the project or what resources it is most concerned about. The Park Service and BLM need to hear from you that they must: (1) prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze this destructive project and (2) hold public meetings in major metropolitan areas such as Salt Lake City.

BACKGROUND:

The National Park Service has begun consideration of a proposed, controversial wildcat oil well in a remote corner of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This area, known as Middle Moody Canyon, can only be accessed along a rough dirt road that first goes through one of the Bureau of Land Management’s crown jewels, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The proposed well pad and access roads would be located in classic redrock country and along a unique geologic formation known as the Waterpocket Fold. In short, the proposed well would be located in one of the most scenic locations in the Glen Canyon NRA/Capitol Reef National Park/Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area. The proposal would involve blading a drill pad (also putting in a sludge pit and holding tanks), as well as upgrading (reconstructing) and creating several miles of dirt road. The scars from this project would — as other failed attempts in the region attest to — last for many years.

Amazingly enough, this lease was issued in 1969 and thus predates Glen Canyon NRA and the GSENM. After a successful legal fight by the Sierra Club in the early 1970’s to block a similar oil well, the lease was “suspended” by the BLM and sat idle for over 15 years. In 1990, the lessee submitted an application for a permit to drill (APD) with the Park Service who understandably was not in any hurry to consider approving development in such a sensitive location. After a few years of back and forth, the lessee went away — but now they’re back. To make matters worse, the Park Service (meaning with our tax dollars) is footing the bill — $50,000 worth — for the environmental analysis.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

The Park Service is asking for scoping comments on the proposed well — though it is not giving out much detail about the project or what resources it is most concerned about. The Park Service and BLM need to hear from you that they must: (1) prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze this destructive project and (2) hold public meetings in major metropolitan areas such as Salt Lake City.

Use the following as talking points in your comments. Please use your own words, though. Simply cutting and pasting these into your letter severely reduces the impact, because it becomes clear that you are part of an orchestrated campaign. Individuals letters are always more effective.

1) The National Park Service (NPS) is wasting its precious resources
(both money and staff) to analyze this proposed wildcat well; the development of which would produce — by the Park Service’s own estimates
— an insignificant amount of oil.

2) The well and access roads would be located in a unique, fragile and
stunning natural environment that has largely healed from the scars of previous unsuccessful wildcat oil wells.

3) The proposed access roads would either require new construction or
substantial reworking and improvement. The environmental analysis should be clear about the direct and indirect impacts from improving these roads, as well as any proposed airstrip improvement.

4) Full consideration of a no-action alternative is consistent with lease
rights–this simply means that the proposed well would not be drilled and the lessee would be free to submit another application for an APD.

5) Full consideration of an alternative in which the NPS would acquire
lease rights (either outright purchase or exchange), keeping in mind the highly speculative nature of the lease and the lessee’s decision not to actively pursue drilling for several decades.

6) The impacts that this well and access roads would have to the area’s stunning visual qualities- as well as its important flora and fauna- would be significant.

7) Encourage NPS and BLM to hold several public meetings at both the
scoping and environmental analysis stages, including one in Salt Lake City, to fully explain to the American people the risks that the proposed project poses to the Glen Canyon NRA, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante NM. The NPS and BLM should have decided to hold such hearings at the outset of this highly controversial project and from now on they should actively solicit and encourage public participation.

Fill in, take the time to review and send your comment letter via the Park Service’s website by following this link:

http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?projectID=12592&documentId=11645

(If this link does not immediately work, simply cut and paste the link, http://tinyurl.com/aw2fp into your browser’s navigation window and it should get you there).

THE COMMENT DEADLINE IS JULY 31ST. BUT WHY WAIT, PLEASE WRITE AND SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS TODAY.

You may also send written comments to:

Ms. Kitty Roberts-Superintendent
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
P.O. Box 1507
691 Scenic View Drive
Page, AZ 86040-1507

2. Lake Powell Filling Up
Letters Needed
(ACTION ITEM)

The last eight years have seen drought on the Colorado Plateau. There has been little rain or runoff into the Colorado River Basin, causing a precipitous drop in the water level at Lake Powell, the reservoir behind Glen Canyon Dam. As the water drops, the marvelous side canyons along the Colorado River are increasingly re-emerging, along with rock art panels and other archaeological sites. This spring, there has been quite a bit of runoff, and the reservoir’s level is rising, covering some areas. However, as the summer moves along, the water levels will recede again. The fluctuating water level damages the archaeological sites more than either complete submersion or exposure to air.

With Lake Mead downstream also very low because of the drought, the Bureau of Reclamation could store much of this year’s runoff in that reservoir rather than in Glen Canyon. This would avoid further damage to some of the sites and allow the side canyons to continue along in the process of restoration.

The following Action Alert comes from the Glen Canyon Institute, a Utah group seeking to restore a free-flowing Colorado River through Glen Canyon.

Dear Lover of Glen Canyon,

Sunday, June 19, on the front page of the opinion section, the Los Angeles Times ran an opinion piece which argued that Glen Canyon should be allowed to restore itself by storing water in Lake Mead before attempting to refill Lake Powell. This was a major statement for any newspaper to publish.

It recognized that there is not enough water now, and that there will be even less water available in the future, to try to refill Lake Powell. It pointed out that it is the overuse of the river, not the drought, that has lowered the level of Lake Powell. It also editorialized in favor of the re-designation of the National Recreation Area as Glen Canyon National Park. It is the most widely read statement of Glen Canyon Institute’s new position thus far.

To read the full story, click or copy and paste the URL into your browser:

http://www.glencanyon.org/press/PDF/6-19-05LATimes.pdf

The Bureau of Reclamation is now soliciting public comments as they develop strategies for how water is stored and managed in the Colorado River and Powell and Mead reservoirs. This is the perfect opportunity for you to tell key decision makers that you want to see Glen Canyon restored and ensure a sustainable water supply for the west. Use the talking points below (in your own words) to write or email your own letters to Gale Norton, Robert Johnson, and Rick Gold urging them to Fill Lake Mead First and protect Glen Canyon’s priceless cultural, biological, and scenic resources from being flooded again.

Thank you for your tireless support!

1) The steadily dropping water levels at Lake Powell reservoir on the
Colorado River revealed spectacular features not seen in decades. These cultural, biological, and scenic resources found only in Glen Canyon are now threatened by fluctuating reservoir levels.

2) Restored precious features such as Cathedral in the Desert, Register
Rock, petroglyphs, and Fort Moqui are going right back under water, only to be uncovered once again later this year. This fluctuation of water levels is unnecessary and destructive to these priceless emerging cultural, historic, and scenic sites in Glen Canyon.

3) All “surplus” water of the Colorado River can easily be stored at Lake
Mead instead of in Glen Canyon. We urge the Bureau of Reclamation to protect these priceless treasures by storing “surplus” water in Lake Mead instead. Please uphold the established legal protections for priceless sacred and historical sites and emerging endangered species habitats. Please protect Glen Canyon for future generations.

Comments can be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to:

Gale Norton
Secretary
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240
gale_norton@ios.doi.gov

Robert Johnson
Regional Director
Bureau of Reclamation
Lower Colorado Region
Attention: BCOO-1000
P.O. Box 61470
Boulder City, Nevada 89006-1470
FAX: 702-293-8156
strategies@lc.usbr.gov

Rick Gold
Regional Director
Bureau of Reclamation
Upper Colorado Region
Attention: UC-402
125 South State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84318-1147
FAX: 801-524-3858
strategies@uc.usbr.gov

If you have any questions, please contact info@glencanyon.org or call Glen Canyon Institute at 801-363-4450.

IN CALIFORNIA
3. Cache Creek Wild & Scenic River
Bill Passes State Assembly and Senate Committee
Letters to the Governor Needed
(ACTION ITEM)

Earlier this month, the California Assembly passed AB 1328, introduced by Assemblymember Lois Wolk. The bill adds 31 miles of upper Cache Creek flowing out of Clear Lake toward the Central Valley 100 miles north of San Francisco, to the state’s Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The vote was 43 – 22. The bill then passed through the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, and now awaits a vote by the Appropriations Committee and the full Senate before going to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his signature.

Letters to the governor in support of the bill are needed. Use some or all of the following talking points (from Cache Creek Wild) and add anything personal, to make a stronger letter.

1) Cache Creek provides lush vegetation, pristine waters and fresh air
for diverse species of wildlife. Bald eagles, ospreys, tule elk, black bears, mountain lions, and river otter flourish in this amazing habitat.

2) Cache Creek offers outdoor enthusiasts an amazing number of activities
including hiking, horseback riding, birding, hunting, fishing, river rafting, and camping.

3) Protecting Cache Creek can give an economic boost to local business
because a Wild and Scenic designation will bring visitors from all over eager to see our wild river. This bill has received bipartisan support in the legislature.

4) This designation will prevent the state from participating in the planning or development of any new dams or diversions in these reaches of the river, and it protects farmer’s water now and in the future.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633
http://www.govmail.ca.gov

IN ARIZONA
4. Mexican Wolf Restoration
Letters Needed
DEADLINE: July 31
(ACTION ITEM)

We don’t often cover wildlife issues in the UPDATE, but the following program directly impacts wilderness areas and the spirit behind the concept of wilderness. The restoration of wolf and other top predator populations is critical to the functioning of an intact, complete ecosystem. So across the globe, efforts are underway to restore these populations.

It has successfully happened in Yellowstone National Park, and the effects on the ecosystem can already be seen. Deer and elk are reportedly not browsing as heavily along creeks, because the vegetation cover makes them more vulnerable to predation. This is allowing the riparian areas to grow more lush, covering the creeks and thus cooling the water. This in turn provides better habitat for fish increasing their populations, which in turn helps other predators. And so the cycle goes.

In Arizona and New Mexico, the government has been restoring Mexican gray wolves, but now a one-year moratorium has been proposed. Details and suggestions for letters are included in the alert below, which comes from the Arizona Wilderness Coalition. For more information, contact them at azwild@azwild.org.

Please write!

Dear Friends of Wilderness and Wildlife:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a one-year moratorium on new releases of Mexican gray wolves, as well as restrictions on the use of relocation as a method to control wolves that have attacked livestock. These proposals will undercut the Mexican wolf recovery program. Please email the Arizona Game and Fish Department (mexwolf@azgfd.gov) by July 31 and ask them to put science and the welfare of the Mexican gray wolves above politics and the anti-wolf sentiment of the minority.

Wolves are an integral part of healthy, wild ecosystems. With science to support their important place in the natural world, it’s time to stop the unfounded hatred toward this magnificent keystone species. Please see the announcement and talking points below for more information on the issue. More information on the proposed moratorium and the revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), including #13 on lethal management is at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf. Press releases from the Fish & Wildlife Service, including the lethal take order on the Francisco pack, and the field updates are at http://ifw2es.fws.gov/mexicanwolf/ or at http://mexicanwolf.fws.gov.

Thanks,
The Arizona Wilderness Coalition

More Wolves! Less Politics!
Please help the Mexican gray wolf recover in Arizona and New Mexico

In response to a private meeting with the livestock industry and other opponents of wolf recovery, called by Representative Stevan Pearce (R-NM), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a one-year moratorium on new releases of Mexican gray wolves. This will risk the genetic diversity of the wild population and will also virtually ensure that no wolves are released in New Mexico. In addition to that, there is a proposal on the table to make it easier to kill wolves that have had interactions with livestock.

Please ask them to put science and the welfare of the wolves above the politics and the anti-wolf sentiment of a few disgruntled ranchers.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now proposing the following:

I. A one year moratorium on releases of Mexican gray wolves to the wild from the captive breeding population, from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006 . This will prevent infusion of new genetic material even though the lead Mexican wolf genetic researcher, Dr. Philip Hedrick of Arizona State University, has written that only one of the three lineages comprising the limited Mexican wolf gene pool is well represented in the wild population, and it is imperative to introduce new animals from the other two lineages. Dr. Hedrick added that it is important to introduce these new animals as soon as possible while the population is small so that their relative contribution to the genetic mix will be greater.

II. A one year ban on translocations (re-releases) of wolves that have killed livestock within one year, into any jurisdiction (i.e., state or
tribal) excepting that from which they were captured. This will exacerbate the detrimental effects of the present policy that prevents any releases from the captive breeding population into New Mexico. Should the proposal go into effect, no wolves captured in Arizona could be released in New Mexico. The translocation of wolves from Arizona to New Mexico has been a standard practice until now and is the primary tool available for establishing the wolf population in New Mexico. Direct releases from captive stock are currently precluded by regulation.

III. A permanent new policy requiring killing of wolves responsible for attacking three head of livestock if trapping does not succeed within ten days, and immediate killing of wolves if four domestic animals have been attacked. This will ramp up the lethality of the present control program which has already resulted in a twenty percent drop in the known Mexican wolf population between the end of 2003 and end of 2004 (from 55 to 44 animals). Had this policy been in effect from the outset of the program, several packs in existence now would have been destroyed. For example, the Bluestem Pack, which committed a brief spate of livestock killings in 2002 and have since then relied entirely on natural prey, would have been captured or killed.

1. Comments may be submitted via email to the Mexican wolf reintroduction
project:

mexwolf@azgfd.gov

or via postal mail to:

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project
c/o Arizona Game and Fish Department
Attention: Terry B. Johnson
2221 West Greenway Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85023

2. Comments must be received by July 31 to be considered.

3. Please copy Governor Janet Napolitano on your comments. Her address is:

1700 West Washington, 9th Fl.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Fax: 602-542-1381

E-mail: Either click on the following link or cut and paste it into your
server:

http://www.governor.state.az.us/post/feedback.htm

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

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Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 2005 June

2004 June

June 30th, 2004

June 30, 2004

Dear CalUWild friends —

There’s a well-known quote attributed to the writer Edward Abbey:

“Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast … a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for awhile and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards.”

With summer upon us, it’s time to get out and enjoy our wild places, by ourselves or with our families and friends. Activities include dayhiking, camping, backpacking, fishing, rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. If you’d like to learn about and visit areas in California that are proposed for wilderness designation, check out the California Wild Heritage Campaign’s calendar page for a full listing of hikes and events, informing citizens about and celebrating our wild places. You can find it on the web at:

http://www.californiawild.org/Calendar.html

But Abbey also said: “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” So please pick one or more of the items below and write a letter. Furthermore, pass this UPDATE along to a couple of family members, friends, or neighbors. Ask them to write as well. Let them know the full details of what the current administration is doing to our public lands. Suggest that they join CalUWild. Being informed and being effective advocates are the only ways we’ll be able to save our wild places from the threats that face them.

Thanks for all your hard work.

Best wishes,
Mike

======================================

IN UTAH

1. SUWA Loses Supreme Court Case

IN WYOMING

2. Yellowstone Snowmobile Rules — Again
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: July 13
(ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL

3. Fee Demonstration
(ACTION ITEM)

4. Forest Service Roadless Rule

5. BLM “Customer” Feedback
(ACTION ITEM)

6. Volunteer Opportunities in California & Nevada

======================================

IN UTAH

1.SUWA Loses Supreme Court Case

This month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that citizens did NOT have the right to sue federal agencies for taking inadequate actions to fulfill obligations mandated by law. The case, filed by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, among others, involved off-road vehicle damage in BLM Wilderness Study Areas. The BLM has a statutory duty to manage WSAs so that their suitability for future designation as wilderness is not impaired. If ORV use existed in the WSA before it was created, BLM allows that use to continue. However, it still must adhere to the non-impairment standard.

The plaintiffs sued, alleging that BLM was not doing enough to keep certain WSAs non-impaired.

The Supreme Court ruled that as long as the BLM was doing SOMETHING to manage the areas, courts should not get involved in the on-the-ground management decisions. The Court did acknowledge, though, that ORVs caused significant damage to resources and that BLM has the duty to manage them properly.

This means that wilderness advocates will need to step up the pressure on agencies to manage the lands under their jurisdiction properly.

IN WYOMING

2. Yellowstone Snowmobile Rules — Again
Comments Needed
DEADLINE: July 13
(ACTION ITEM)

The Administration has consistently tried to force Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks to accept snowmobile use, despite the fact that the Park Service has proposed eliminating their use. The issue has gone back and forth.

The latest installment is discussed in the following alert from the Snowlands Network:

NPS Starts Another Plan for Yellowstone Winter Use Please send comments by July 13, 2004 by letter or email

First there was the multi-year planning process that resulted in the phase-out of snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park. Then the Bush administration failed to support the Park Service; the result is a new plan that allows more snowmobiles in the Park than before.

More recently one judge told the NPS that they must implement the phase-out (Clinton plan) in part because the Bush plan was politically motivated with no basis in science. But another judge said that the Bush plan is valid. As you can imagine this issue is proceeding its way through the judicial system.

In the meantime, the NPS has begun what will be a Temporary Winter Use Plan that will eventually lead to a third final plan. Their immediate desire is to create a level of certainty for this winter’s use of the park. To that end they are accepting scoping comments.

Please go to http://www.nps.gov/yell/winteruse_ea.htm to read more and submit your comments. You can submit your comments directly from there or by postal mail. The deadline is July 13, 2004.

Consider including (in your own words) some or all of the following ideas:

* Why you oppose the use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park.
* The Clinton Plan for the phase-out of snowmobile use in Yellowstone was based on good science and should be implemented.
* Snowcoaches provide quality, equal access to all visitors, including disabled individuals, without the negative impacts of snowmobiles. Snowcoaches can go to all places that snowmobiles have been allowed to go in the past.
* Although against the use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone, any public use of them should be restricted entirely to 4-stroke machines, and all individuals should be accompanied by a commercial guide.

IN GENERAL

3. Fee Demonstration Program
(Action Item)

As we mentioned in the May UPDATE, while the Senate passed a bill restricting the Fee Demonstration Program to the National Park system, there was still the threat of conflicting legislation in the House of Representatives. Well, a bill has been introduced that would make Fee Demo permanent, and we need to act against it.

Details are in the following alert (slightly edited), which comes from our friends at Keep Sespe Wild.

HOUSE RESOURCES COMMITTEE PREPARING PERMANENT FEE BILL FOR COMMITTEE VOTE! YOUR INPUT NEEDED NOW!

PLEASE PHONE AND FAX THE COMMITTEE TODAY!

The House Resources Committee staff is right now preparing permanent fee legislation to be pushed through on a fast track for a Committee vote soon. It is imperative that Committee members hear loud and clear that the taxpaying public will not stand for a permanent fee system like Fee Demo for the BLM, Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Indications are that this legislation will be closely modeled on H.R. 3283, introduced last October by Fee Demo’s original architect Rep. Ralph Regula, (R-OH). That bill would require Americans to pay a fee, before they set foot or tire on any of 640 million acres of public lands.

H.R. 3283 will create a new annual nationwide “America the Beautiful” pass, costing $85 or more, as well as multiple layers of fees. Basic fees will be levied for access to all — Forest Service, BLM, US Fish & Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation lands and lakes, not just for the Park Service lands. On top of these basic fees, expanded fees will be required for campgrounds and boat launches and special recreation permit fees will be needed for motorized recreation and for group activities.

H.R. 3283 would eliminate the Golden Age Pass, currently available to senior citizens, that allows them a lifetime of entry into the National Parks and a 50% discount at campgrounds for a one-time charge of $10. Penalties for recreating without a pass will increase to a class B misdemeanor punishable by 6 months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

HOW IN THE WORLD COULD SUCH AN EXTREME PROPOSAL EVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY?
Ralph Regula, a Republican from central Ohio who has NO public lands in his district, is actually proud to claim authorship of this shameful legislation, and he has strong Administration support in pushing it forward. Regula created the infamous Recreational Fee Demonstration Program (Fee Demo) in 1996, as a pilot program for the measures he has now written into H.R. 3283.

BACKGROUND
The Senate recently passed S. 1107, which calls for permanent recreation fees for only the National Parks and allows the program to expire for the BLM, Forest Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service. While the Senate action is a major victory for Fee Demo opponents, we are only halfway to our goal. We must now persuade the House Resources Committee to also pass legislation very similar to S. 1107!

THE PUSH FOR H.R. 3283 H.R.
3283’s author, Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH), is in line to be chair of the House Appropriations Committee next year – a powerful position controlling all the money that Congress distributes. It is risky for Congressmen to oppose him on legislation he’s introduced – such as H.R. 3283 – as Rep. Regula is in a position to retaliate later by restricting funds for programs supported by his opponents. Rep. Regula is actively twisting arms on the House Resources Committee to try and get H.R. 3283 passed, and he may succeed.

Our challenge is to show the House Resources Committee that the American people want an end to Fee Demo, regardless of Rep. Ralph Regula’s wishes. It’s a delicate situation for Committee members, and only strong pressure from across the nation will succeed.

**WHOM TO CONTACT –
**PLEASE BOTH CALL AND FAX, IF POSSIBLE
We’re starting by asking you to contact key Republican majority members of the House Resources Committee. The majority Committee members are the ones currently involved in preparing the permanent fee legislation. Later on, after the legislation is made public, we’ll contact Democratic minority Committee members too.

Please contact Committee chair Richard Pombo and Congressman Regula – and as many of the others as you have time for. Please try and contact all listed below. (Try faxes in the evening if fax lines are busy during office hours in D.C.)

**PLEASE MAKE CALLS AND FAXES THROUGH MID JULY!
Who else can you get to call? Family & friends?

* Richard Pombo, CA, Ph: (202) 225-2761, F: (202) 225-5929
alternate Ph: (202) 225-1947; F: (202) 226-0861
* Ralph Regula, OH, Ph: (202) 225-3876, F: (202) 225-3059
* Elton Gallegly, CA, Ph: (202) 225-5811, F: (202) 225-1100
* Ken Calvert, CA, Ph: (202) 225-1986, F: (202) 225-2004
* Devin Nunes, CA, Ph: (202) 225-2523, F: (202) 225-3404

**WHAT TO SAY ON THE PHONE
Please ask that permanent recreation fees be limited to National Parks, as in Senate bill S. 1107.

State your opposition to recreation fees for Forest Service, BLM and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites.

Please support adoption of S.1107, which would allow the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program (Fee Demo) to expire for the US Forest Service, BLM, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Please also oppose H.R. 3283, which would require all Americans to buy a pass before they set foot on any public lands. It would abolish the Golden Age Pass and make anyone caught on public land without a pass subject to criminal penalties. Access fees to use public lands are a double tax.

Americans know the difference between the National Parks and the vast tracts of undeveloped land managed by the US Forest Service, BLM, and US Fish and Wildlife Service. I do not want to see these lands developed with the same level of service and infrastructure found in National Parks.

Please end Fee Demo for the Forest Service, BLM, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.

4. Forest Service Roadless Rule

In its latest public lands rollback, the Bush Administration this week announced plans to basically eliminate the Roadless Rule permanently. In its place would be a process whereby state governors could individually petition the federal government to adjust the management of National Forest roadless areas in their states.

This would allow anti-conservation-minded governors to significantly weaken or even eliminate the protections afforded by the original rule. This approach defeats the purpose of the rule, which was to bring uniform standards of management to inventoried roadless areas.

In the same announcement, the Administration stated that it intends to propose permanently exempting Alaska’s national forests — the Tongass and Chugach — from the Roadless Rule come November 2004.

The proposal should be appearing in the Federal Register sometime in July, and when it becomes clearer what exactly the administration proposes, we will let you know how to respond.

5. BLM “Customer” Feedback
(ACTION ITEM)

The BLM is trying to be responsive to the public that uses its land. It is now taking comments on its web site at http://www.blmfeedback.com/select.php.

While feedback is important to all government agencies, the problem in this case is that the BLM is labeling its form “Customer Feedback.”

As citizens of the United States, we are the OWNERS of our public lands. The various agencies (Park Service, Forest Service, BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Reclamation) are merely the managers. (That’s what the “M” in “BLM” stands for in the first place.) The citizens of the U.S. are the bosses; we tell the managers what to do.

This attitude has infected many areas of our government. The corporate model is held up as the one to emulate, where satisfying the customer is what it’s all about. But it’s not an appropriate model for managing public assets — the “commons.”

So please, tell the BLM what you think about being considered a customer.

You can go to the web site itself and submit a comment to them. You’ll be asked to pick a State first, so pick your home state (not all CalUWild members live in California), then for “Field Office” choose “Other/Don’t Know” and for “Activity” choose “Recreational and Educational Users.”

The check boxes will be irrelevant, but there is a space for your comments.

You might also send a letter directly to:

Department of Interior
Office of Planning and Performance Management
1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop 5252
Washington, DC 20240

6. Volunteer Opportunities in California & Nevada

>From Sequoia ForestKeeper:

Hello Friends of the Forest,
Sequoia ForestKeeper is currently seeking volunteers who are willing to spend a day or more in the forest photographing and measuring trees in the Sherman Pass Restoration Project area. This project is in the heart of the burned area of the 2002 McNally fire, and is a very large section of the forest to cover, so the more the merrier! We are especially interested in volunteers who own digital cameras, but it is not necessary to participate. If you are interested in taking part in this monitoring project, please contact me at (760) 376-4434, or reply to valerie@sequoiaforestkeeper.org.

I hope to hear from you soon!
Valerie Cassity
Programs Director
Sequoia Forestkeeper

From Friends of Nevada Wilderness:

Give back to your public lands and enjoy them at the same time.

Throughout the summer and fall, the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service need volunteers for various restoration and monitoring projects – everything from rehabilitating vehicle impacts to cleaning up trash, removing old fences and invasive plants, installing signs, conducting on-foot maintenance of wildlife water developments (guzzlers) in wilderness and WSAs and monitoring Wilderness and WSA boundaries.

Not only do these trips involve rewarding work, they also are an opportunity to explore Nevada’s wonderful wild lands.

If you’re interested in joining us, or would like more information, please contact the person(s) listed after each trip. Please RSVP for the trips, so we can plan to have enough tools and get a big enough campsite, etc.

Aug 28 — Mt. Rose Wilderness

Friends of Nevada Wilderness & REI will be sponsoring a Restoration Day in the Mt. Rose Wilderness. There will be three or four projects going, with Gallina Creek being the “headquarters.”

For more information, contact Brian Beffort (info below).

Sept 18 — National Public Lands Day — Black Rock Desert

The focus is on habitat restoration in Soldier Meadows, home to endangered fish and plants. There are a few roads that go to wrong places, and the BLM is building a campground 1/4 mile away. So there is a little bit of everything to do. Additionally, there are six wilderness areas within a mile or two.

Contact Brian Beffort (below)

Mount Charleston Wilderness and Spring Mountains National Recreation Area

The US Forest Service is looking for volunteers to help monitor the Mt. Charleston wilderness boundary.

For details, contact Amy Meketi at 702-515-5428; ameketi@fs.fed.us.

If you have general questions about volunteer work trips, please contact:

Brian Beffort
Conservation Director
Friends of Nevada Wilderness
Phone: 775-324-7667 Fax: 775-324-2677
Brian@nevadawilderness.org

===========================================

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

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2002 June

June 3rd, 2002

June 3, 2002

Dear CalUWild friends —

Summer is just around the corner the most popular time to get out and enjoy our wild areas. But it doesn’t mean that we can neglect our efforts at protecting those areas from overuse and abuse, energy development, and other threats. There are a few items of interest this month.

Just last week alone, CalUWild submitted comments on our members on three issues: snowmobiles in Yellowstone and the Tetons; a proposal to release non-native turkeys for hunting in the Sierra and coast Range of California; and a proposal for more seismic thumping, this time in the newly-designated Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southwest Colorado.

Unfortunately, these last two issues came up before we were able to send out an UPDATE. The comment period on the seismic testing, for example, was a measly 30 days nowhere near enough time to get the information out to you after we received it, and have you write comments as well. CalUWild requested a 60-day extension, and if it is granted, we will ask you to submit comments as well.

But it’s not all bleak news. Jane Harman (D-36) is the latest California representative to cosponsor of America’s Redrock Wilderness Act, the Utah bill. That bring the total in the Golden State to 27, a record, and the national total to 162 in the House and 16 in the Senate. We’re on track to setting a new record for cosponsorships in this Congress.

Secondly, a state court in Salt Lake City this morning ruled that the State of Utah must release information on its secret R.S. 2477 (rights-of-way for roads) negotiations with the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is concerned that the secret talks are an attempt to undermine last year’s federal court decision setting out the requirements for legitimate routes. Additionally, the Interior Department’s refusal to grant an extension to the recent comment period on R.S. 2477 rules (see April UPDATE) may be an attempt to help push through an agreement between Utah and the Department.

A third piece of good news: Sen. Barbara Boxer has introduced a bill designating more wilderness in California. Details can be found in Item 1.

CalUWild’s membership continues to grow; the UPDATE currently goes out to more than 450 people. Writing letters and making phone calls are the most important things you can do to help protect our public lands. But CalUWild also have financial needs. In the beginning of July we’ll be sending out a dues reminder to the folks we haven’t heard from in a year or more. If you’re a member of that crowd and would like to avoid receiving such a notice (and save CalUWild some printing and postage costs at the same time), please print out and return the form at the end of this UPDATE before June 30.

Dues are voluntary but appreciated. They are NOT, however, tax deductible. Tax deductible contributions may be made payable to Resource Renewal Institute, marked For CalUWild. Thank you in advance for your support.

Finally, one of the next big wilderness issues in our national parks will be the Grand Canyon. Particularly controversial will be whether to include the Colorado River itself in the wilderness designation, since motorized craft would be banned from the river. I will be spending 18 days in June exploring Grand Canyon’s potential wilderness areas from a (non-motorized) raft. Co-coordinator Vicky Hoover will also be traveling, so barring unforeseen circumstances, the next you’ll hear from CalUWild will be in July.

Thanks,

Mike

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

IN CALIFORNIA

1. Sen. Barbara Boxer Introduces CA Wilderness Bill

2. California Wild Heritage Campaign Job Announcement

IN GENERAL

3. Wilderness Study Area Termination Act

4. Fee Demo Day of Action

(ACTION ITEM)

IN MEMORIAM

5. Sharon Stafford

IN CALIFORNIA

1. SEN. BARBARA BOXER INTRODUCES CA WILDERNESS BILL

On May 21, Senator Barbara Boxer introduced The California Wild Heritage Act of 2002 “[t]o designate certain public lands as wilderness and certain rivers as wild and scenic rivers in the State of California, to designate Salmon Restoration Areas, to establish the Sacramento River National Conservation Area and Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, and for other purposes.”

The bill number is S. 2535 and is the culmination of several years of inventories, which identified areas qualifying for designation under the 1964 Wilderness Act. Sen. Boxer’s bill covers the entire state, but not all the areas that were identified were included in this bill. Those will be the subject of legislative proposals in the future.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is not a cosponsor of the bill at this time, and the Wild Heritage Campaign would like rural citizens and businesses to express their support to Sen. Feinstein.

A companion bill covering Southern California will be introduced in the very near future in the House by Rep. Hilda Solis (D-31). Rep. Solis is in her first term, but she has already established herself as a great friend of wilderness and the environment. She is a cosponsor of America’s Redrock Wilderness Act in Utah. Rep. Mike Thompson, also a Utah cosponsor, will be introducing the parallel bill for Northern California. Rep. Sam Farr has already introduced a bill, H.R. 4750, covering the Big Sur area in his district.

We’ll keep you posted as these pieces of legislation progress.

2. CALIFORNIA WILD HERITAGE CAMPAIGN JOB ANNOUNCEMENT

If you or anyone you know is interested in working for the next few months on the Wild Heritage Campaign, there is an opening for an organizer in the Bay Area. Here’s the announcement from the Sierra Club, one of the organizations coordinating the campaign:

FULL-TIME, GRANT-DEPENDENT, LIMITED DURATION (ENDS 6 MONTHS FROM DATE OF HIRE)

SALARY: $2750+/MONTH, COMMENSURATE WITH SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE PLUS BENEFITS

THIS POSITION IS REPRESENTED BY A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING UNIT.

***Sierra Club Job Description***

Job Title: Regional Conservation Organizer (California Wild Heritage Campaign)

Department: Conservation/Oakland, CA

Reports To: Senior Regional Representative

Context: The Regional Conservation Organizer works with regional field staff, chapter/group volunteers, and coalition partners to organize support for grassroots wilderness/wild and scenic rivers campaign; organizes events and skills training; and works to generate turnout for campaign visibility events. Works with appropriate staff to integrate the regional field programs with the goals and objectives of the Sierra Club. Creates demand for action on conservation issues.

Scope: The Regional Conservation Organizer plans, organizes and implements the education and mobilization efforts of the Sierra Club on its wilderness and wild river protection efforts in various locations in the greater SF Bay area. Regularly works outside of the office and without direct supervision to communicate with officials, the media and the public. Works with professional staff in editing, writing, researching, and coordinating

functions.

Job Activities:

1. Works with others to devise and recommend a regional plan and strategy coordinated with the statewide wilderness/wild rivers campaign.

2. Organizes and coordinates grassroots involvement in Wilderness/Wild Rivers visibility/organizing activities.

3. Travels to targeted media markets to educate and raise awareness of Wilderness/Wild Rivers issues. Coordinates public education field organizing in assigned media market.

4. Works with appropriate regional staff and volunteer entities to plan and implement visibility events, community outreach events and to generate telephone calls and letters to the editor in target media market.

5. Travels to organize and coordinate training events, field meetings, visibility events, or other large events and conferences.

6. Works independently or with staff to carry out Sierra Club campaign priorities. Provides information, research, and other assistance to Sierra Club leaders, coalition partners, the public and others about the campaigns and priority issues.

7. Works with staff to identify, recruit and organize volunteers both in Sierra Club and other groups for the Wild Heritage Campaign.

8. Performs administrative and clerical duties as assigned by supervisor.

9. Performs miscellaneous duties as directed.

Standard Overtime:

This position requires periodic overtime to meet project deadlines and/or special events. Overtime related to known deadlines or events can be planned in advance. Overtime will usually not exceed 10 hours a week.

Knowledge & Skills:

— 1-2 years experience working with volunteers in the environmental movement, political campaigns, or other, similar organizations to plan and implement grassroots campaigns.

— Current basic knowledge of environmental issues affecting the assigned region.

— Current contacts with environmental coalition partners in same key media market, or comparable background.

— Excellent writing and editing skills. Demonstrated skills in writing and production of newsletters. Good verbal communication skills.

— Strong organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to work effectively in action-oriented office.

— Ability to work independently, cooperatively and effectively with public, staff and volunteers.

— Able to travel as needed.

— Proficient computer skills; knowledge and experience with word processing (WordPerfect or MS Word), database and communications software.

If interested, please email/fax/mail a cover letter and resume to:

Barbara Boyle

Sierra Club

barbara.boyle@sierraclub.org

916-557-9669 – FAX

1414 K Street, #500

Sacramento, CA 95814

Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse workforce.

IN GENERAL

3. WILDERNESS STUDY AREA TERMINATION ACT

Wilderness opponents in the House of Representatives have introduced a bill limiting the time an area could be a Wilderness Study Area (WSA), i.e., an area not designated as wilderness but managed as if it were.

The bill H.R. 4620, has the extremely misleading title of “America’s Wilderness Protection Act.” It was introduced by Rep. C. L “Butch” Otter (R-ID) and wilderness opponents Rep. Jim Hansen (R-UT), Richard Pombo (R-CA11), George Radanovich (R-CA19), and Joel Hefley (R-CO) are cosponsors.

The bill would limit to 10 years the time that an area could be a WSA, and it states further that such an area “shall not be studied again regarding wilderness designation.” This, of course, plays right into the hands of ardent wilderness opponents, because by delaying any legislation introduced in Congress, they can effectively kill any wilderness proposal.

The Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation & Public Lands of the House Resources Committee is holding a hearing on the bill on Thursday. The California members of the subcommittee are:

George Radanovich (R-19)

Elton Gallegly (R-23)

Hilda L. Solis (D-31)

Rep. Radanovich is a cosponsor and will vote in favor of it. Rep. Solis will in all likelihood vote against it. Rep. Gallegly’s vote is anyone’s guess.

We’ll keep you posted as the bill progresses.

4. FEE DEMO DAY OF ACTION

On June 15th there is a day of national protest against the fee demonstration program. Fee demo forces the public to pay for activities, such as hiking, on public lands that have traditionally been free. The program was created after severe budget cuts for the land management agencies, as am outgrowth of the “government must pay for itself” attitude of the 1980s.

Many people fear that the fee demonstration program is a first step in the commercialization of our public lands, both directly and by focusing planning efforts on activities most able to generate profits. Pure wilderness of course, does not create a lot of profit for agencies, since “improvements” are minimal, if they exist at all.

This June 15 will be the 4th annual Day of Action against the fee demo program. The purpose of the event is to raise public awareness about the issue; much of the general public has little if any knowledge of the issue. But past protests and your letters have been effective in diminishing support in Congress.

There will be protests around California in:

San Francisco: Union Square

Los Angeles: Clear Creek Information Station

San Diego: Cleveland National Forest

Santa Barbara: Oso Recreation Area

Ojai: Libbey Park

San Juan Capistrano: Ortega Hwy

Yosemite Valley

Big Bear: Holcomb Valley Freedom Ride

You can find the details for all of the above online at:

http://www.wildwilderness.org/docs/2002doa.htm

To organize or take part in an action in your area, contact Michael Zierhut for more information.

zierhutm@ojai.net or 805-640-1864

One reminder: It is not enough to protest fee demo, but rather every letter on the subject should include support for full funding of the land management agencies to do the job they are set up by law to do.

IN MEMORIAM

5. SHARON STAFFORD

CalUWild’s webmaster Sharon Stafford passed away in May, much to the sorrow of her family, friends, and colleagues. Sharon was an enthusiastic friend of wilderness and had backpacked for more than 30 years. As webmaster she jumped right in last year, volunteering her server to host the site, and her time to develop and keep it updated. Sharon was also a member of the Sierra Club Bay Chapter Wilderness Subcommittee.

I will miss working with her very much, but look forward to continuing the work that she so ably began for us. Our condolences to her husband Graham and her family.

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