Subcommittee to Hold Western Colorado Field Hearing

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May 10, 2012 10:57 AM

Subcommittee to Hold Western Colorado Field Hearing on Restoring Access to Our Public Lands, Water Rights and Federal Mis-management of Forest Lands. The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power and the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands are holding a Joint Oversight Field Hearing on "Logs in the Road: Eliminating Federal Red Tape and Excessive Litigation to Create Healthy Forests, Jobs and Abundant Water and Power Supplies" this coming Monday, May 14, 2012, at 9:00 am at the Montrose Elks Civil Building in Montrose, Colorado. As you know, BRC, COHVCO (Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition) and TPA

Subcommittee to Hold Western Colorado Field Hearing on Restoring Access to Our Public Lands, Water Rights and Federal Mis-management of Forest Lands

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power and the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands are holding a Joint Oversight Field Hearing on "Logs in the Road: Eliminating Federal Red Tape and Excessive Litigation to Create Healthy Forests, Jobs and Abundant Water and Power Supplies" this coming Monday, May 14, 2012, at 9:00 am at the Montrose Elks Civil Building in Montrose, Colorado.

As you know, BRC, COHVCO (Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition) and TPA (Trail Preservation Alliance) are just a few of the OHV and snowmobile groups that have been actively defending responsible recreation across the Centennial State. Active OHV and snowmobile advocacy groups welcome Congressional oversight because it places individual recreationists on an even playing field with the foundation funded Wilderness lobbyist groups in Washington, DC.

One never knows what specific issues these field hearings will cover. Although recent U.S. Forest Service (USFS) policy attacking water rights is likely to be a key topic, the lack of effective management of our forest lands will also be discussed. More importantly to you, the hearing will also focus on the loss of recreational access to vast areas of Colorado's National Forests and Bureau of Land Management lands.

Colorado Congressmen Scott Tipton (CO-03) and Mike Coffman (CO-06) requested the hearing to focus on how overregulation and litigation are inhibiting active forest management. Indeed, the area around Montrose, Colorado, has been significantly impacted by pine beetle infestation. Even agenda-driven employees of the USFS can't deny that the agency has let the pine beetle epidemic continue to worsen. As a result, the risk of catastrophic wildfire, and the resulting devastation of water quality and wildlife habitat, is now a very real threat.

Overregulation and litigation is also affecting recreational access. New Forest Plans, that will now be completed under the USFS new Forest Planning Rule, threaten to further limit OHV, snowmobile and mountain bike access. Radical Wilderness activist groups posing as "hunting and angling" groups have joined with Colorado's increasingly litigious anti-recreation crowd and are trying to stop active recreation management (Update here). This field hearing could not have come at a better time.

For more information, visit BRC's Legal Program webpage and the Rico-West Dolores Area, San Juan NF, Colorado legal page.

BRC will have updated info and a report in the coming days and weeks. There will also be opportunity to submit official testimony to both subcommittees. If you live in or near Montrose, please try to make time to attend the hearing. See below for time and location.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact us.

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

SUBCOMMITTEE ON WATER AND POWER
AND
SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS AND PUBLIC LANDS

Joint Oversight Field Hearing on "Logs in the Road: Eliminating Federal Red Tape and Excessive Litigation to Create Healthy Forests, Jobs and Abundant Water and Power Supplies"

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

Witnesses are by invitation only. A witness list will be made available once it is confirmed.

BACKGROUND:

Requested by Colorado Congressmen Scott Tipton (CO-03) and Mike Coffman (CO-06), the hearing will focus on how overregulation and litigation are inhibiting active forest management. Healthy forests, mainly achieved through the ability to access and manage timber resources, are a major source of economic and recreational activity, support thousands of jobs, and are directly related to water quality and power supplies to the surrounding areas.  The area around Montrose, Colorado, has been significantly impacted by pine beetle infestation.  Without proper forest management, the pine beetle epidemic in the area and throughout the West will continue to worsen, jobs will be lost, the risk of catastrophic wildfire will increase, and water and power supplies could be compromised.  Witnesses at the hearing will identify current roadblocks to effective forest management and ways to reverse the damage that has been done to restore forest health and protect water and power supplies.

WHO:
National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman
Rob Bishop (UT-01),
Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04),
and other possible Members.

WHAT:
Subcommittee on Water and Power, and Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands is holding a Joint Oversight Field Hearing on:
"Logs in the Road: Eliminating Federal Red Tape and Excessive Litigation to Create Healthy Forests, Jobs and Abundant Water and Power Supplies"

WHEN:
Monday, May 14, 2012
9:00 a.m. Mountain Time

WHERE:
Montrose Elks Civil Building
107 S. Cascade Avenue
Montrose, Colorado

 


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 - www.sharetrails.org
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As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

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