BRC Legislative Update for 05.26.2011

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May 26, 2011 12:00 AM

Dear BRC Members,

There has been some significant movement on several key public lands and recreation bills in Washington DC and we wanted to send you a quick update.

As you will read, the news is generally good. BRC will have more info on each of these bills soon. So, as we so often say, stay tuned!

And, as always, call or email if you have comments or concerns.

Brian Hawthorne                                      Ric Foster
Public Lands Policy                                 Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition                              BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102                             208-237-1008 ext 107

WSA Release Act to be introduced in US Senate?
BRC has received the good news that preparations are underway for Senator Barrasso's office to introduce the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011 in the U.S. Senate.

The bill was originally introduced in the U.S. House on April 15, 20011, by Representatives Kevin McCarthy (CA), Rob Bishop (UT), Steve Pearce (R-NM) and 19 other U.S. Representatives.

Among other things, the bill releases Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that were determined as not-suitable for wilderness designation and directs BLM to manage released lands in accordance with multiple-use and sustained-yield provisions.

The bill also terminates Secretarial Order 3310 with regard to the released WSAs and prohibits the Interior Secretary from issuing a national regulation that directs how released lands will be managed.

See BRC's previous release for more info:
BRC Encourages Members to Support WSA Release Legislation

Epic Mount Jefferson snowmobile area removed from Montana Wilderness Bill
When Montana Senator Jon Tester first released his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act it was touted as completely consistent with the recently finalized Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Plan. That was only partially true. The bill had one significant deviation from the Forest Plan - it closed the popular Mount Jefferson to snowmobile use!

Mount Jefferson is one of the last high alpine snowmobile areas left open in the rocky mountain west. It is often described as the Crown Jewel of snowmobiling and attracts visitors from across the Midwest. After almost two decades of wrangling, the U.S. Forest Service removed a Wilderness recommendation, finding that snowmobile use is a socially valuable and economically important activity.

On May 25, 2011, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resource Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests heard testimony on the bill and it appears the bill now actually does mirror the new Forest Plan. And according to E&E News, recreationists can thank Idaho's Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch for this positive development.

PUBLIC LANDS: Tester's wilderness, logging bill draws administration praise

Government Litigation Savings Act introduced
Wyoming Senator Barrasso and Wyoming Representative Lummis have introduced the Government Litigation and Savings Act.

This bill will put a halt to the abuses of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), legislation originally designed to help individuals, small businesses and no-profit organizations recover attorney's fees and costs associated with suing the federal government.

Sadly, environmental groups used the EAJA to create a gravy train of taxpayer funded litigation that advances their own radical environmental agenda. Indeed, court documents reveal that these environmental groups repeatedly sue the federal government not on substantive grounds, but on canned procedural motions. A small sample of environmental groups have sued the government over 1200 times and received upwards of $35 million dollars of taxpayer money.

Government Litigation Savings Act
GLSA Section by Section
GLSA Endorsements



The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib -

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

November 20, 2015 11:31 AM
CALIFORNIA - San Bernardino NF Seeks Public Comments on Rattlesnake Mountain OHV
The San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF) is pleased to announce the availability of the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Rattlesnake Mountain OHV Trails project. The Forest Service is seeking public comments on this proposal for 30 calendar days; comments must be received by December 16, 2015. The Rattlesnake Mountain OHV Trails EA evaluates the environmental consequences of the proposal to designate off highway vehicle (OHV) routes and to close/restore unauthorized routes in the Rattle
November 19, 2015 3:33 PM
OREGON - FS Schedules Additional Public Meetings on the Blue Mountains Forest Pl
The Forest Service has scheduled new public meetings to discuss the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision. The current schedule is below: A facilitator will ensure that everyone in attendance has time to speak, listen to others and propose solutions. The Forest Service is working with partners to schedule additional meetings, which will be announced in the near future via email and news updates. In 2014, the Forest Service released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
November 19, 2015 2:58 PM
CALIFORNIA - Plumas NF Extends Comment Period for Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designat
The scoping period for the Forest Service Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be extended for a second time on a proposal to designate over-snow vehicle (OSV) use on roads, trails and areas on lands within the Plumas National Forest. Scoping comments will now be due on November 30, 2015. "While comments are welcome throughout the environmental process, for this phase of planning they are most helpful if submitted by November 30," said Daniel Lovato, Acting Forest Supervisor.
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