BRC National Land Use Update - Action Items Included - Please Respond Today!

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May 16, 2013 7:13 PM

Below is a very important Action Alert on two important issues. If you want to take action now, click here. The action items concern two alerts we sent last week. We have details and links below. In the meantime, I want to leave you with a statement from Representative Rob Bishop, Chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation: Although our [recreation] opportunities are unsurpassed, they are not being realized as fully as they shou

BRC NATIONAL LAND USE UPDATE - Action Items Included - PLEASE RESPOND TODAY!

Dear BRC member and supporters,

Below is a very important Action Alert on two important issues.

If you want to take action now, click here.

The action items concern two alerts we sent last week. We have details and links below. In the meantime, I want to leave you with a statement from Representative Rob Bishop, Chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation:

Although our [recreation] opportunities are unsurpassed, they are not being realized as fully as they should because federal land management has become bureaucratic, autocratic and dysfunctional.

Just now bureaucratic, autocratic and dysfunctional? Read on...

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102


BRC NATIONAL LAND USE UPDATE
Action Items Included - PLEASE RESPOND TODAY!
Click here to take action now!

Although our [[recreation]recreation] opportunities are unsurpassed, they are not being realized as fully as they should because federal land management has become bureaucratic, autocratic and dysfunctional. -Rep. Rob Bishop

America had a chance to witness just how dysfunctional its system of public lands management is last week with two different events.

The first event was the announcement from the U.S. Forest Service extending public comment period on its Planning Handbook. (The handbook is detailed instructions the agency uses to develop management and recreation plans.)

The agency did not give a reason for this rather unusual action. Indeed, the USFS strongly rebuffed a concerted effort to extend the comments on the regulations the Handbook is based on. We can only speculate why the agency re-opened the public comment period.

And speculate we will. Our strong suspicion is that someone within the agency looked out the window and saw the train wreck coming.

For a variety of reasons, and for many years now, the USFS has not been able to develop management plans very efficiently.  Sadly, this latest attempt to fix the problems just makes them worse. Insofar as recreation is concerned, this Handbook is perhaps the most anti-recreation management guidance we have ever reviewed. It is that bad. Check our detailed analysis and action item

The second event was a U.S. House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation hearing on "Impediments to Public Recreation on Public Lands"

I know what you're thinking.... did they schedule a month-long hearing?

This hearing was pretty laser focused on commercial recreation permits, and mostly focused on Department of Interior lands (BLM, National Parks and National Monuments) (so it only lasted a few hours).

The recreation permit process as currently implemented on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (FS) managed lands is overly bureaucratic, expensive for both agencies and the public, and often applied in an unfair and arbitrary manner. The problems commercial outfitters are having navigating the recreation permit process will sound all too familiar. BRC has been pushing Congress to take action on Special Recreation Permits for a while now. 

What's the connection?

Even though you didn't ask us how we think these two events are connected, we want you to know the thing we find interesting is that both of these are object lessons that demonstrate how an agency of the US federal government can take Congressional mandates 180 degrees in the other direction.

When the USFS develops its management plans, Congress gave them specific direction to consider a balanced approach of multiple use, sustained yield and conservation (not preservation), and mandated five key management objectives: outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish purposes. The USFS did a U-Turn elevating species viability, ecological sustainability, ecosystem services and "ecological integrity" (no joke) as mandatory national forest management objectives. The Department of the Interior has similar direction for recreation, and it also did the same U-Turn with its overly bureaucratic, expensive and arbitrary recreation permit process.

Our federal land managers have put planning regulations in place that, by design, don't produce plans, and they put recreation permit rules in place that, by design, don't produce recreation permits.

BRC is here to represent your interests in all this. We've been working a long time on these issues and now our efforts are paying off. 

These two events represent one of the best opportunities we've had in years to make some real progress. And insofar as encouraging our political representatives to take action, our best asset is you.

If you haven't already, please click HERE.

Please consider renewing your membership or making a contribution to our efforts. CLICK HERE
From a statement by Congressman Rob Bishop from Utah:

Almost a thousand years ago, following the Norman Conquest, the lands and wildlife of England were seized by the conquerors to become the King's Forest, and could no longer be used by the people for wood or game. Some see a remarkable similarity to our federal government's behavior today.

 

Oversight Hearing on "Impediments to Public Recreation on Public Lands"
http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=332125

 


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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