OREGON & CALIFORNIA - Radical Environmentalists Put New Spin on Plan to Lock Up Millions of Acres in the Siskiyou Crest

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July 31, 2013 4:38 PM

Radical Environmentalists Put New Spin on Plan to Lock Up Millions of Acres in the Siskiyou Crest -- Massive new National Park (3.8 Million Acres!) proposed in N. California and S. Oregon

Dear BRC Members and Supporters in Oregon and Northern California,

BRC just received news from Eric Dubin, Executive Director for the Stop Land Grab. Dubin was updating us on the latest attack on private property rights via a clever maneuver to lock up millions of acres of public lands!

We have a update on the latest below, but we want to make sure our members and supporters know that Stop Land Grab is hosting a fun and informative event this Friday, August 2nd, designed to educate the public on this latest land grab scheme. We've pasted the announcement here.

It looks like a hoot! The first half of the day is free and open to the public and will include a panel discussion on public lands policy, covering the latest developments including the "Ancient Forest National Park."

Later in the afternoon Platinum album selling Linda McRae from Spirit of the West will be helping via a benefit concert, and she'll be joined by members of a fantastic local band, Circle of Stone.  It's all taking place at the beautiful Cantrall Buckley Park, right next to the Applegate River.

Please check out the info here and try to attend.

In the meantime, check the article below on the latest attempt to lock up millions of acres of Northern California and Southern Oregon below.

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

Radical Environmentalists Put New Spin on Plan to Lock Up Millions of Acres in the Siskiyou Crest -- Massive new National Park (3.8 Million Acres!) proposed in N. California and S. Oregon
by BRC Public Lands Staff 

When the radical environmentalists didn't score an immediate victory in their bid to establish the Siskiyou Crest National Monument, Eric Dubin knew they wouldn't give up.

Dubin is the main brain behind a group called "Stop Land Grab" and was instrumental in focusing public opposition to the new National Monument. So he wasn't surprised at the news that the proposal now has a new twist. 

"They call it the  "Ancient Forest National Park" proposal," Eric said, and it spans an amazing 3.8 million acres across Northern California and Southern Oregon. Many are speculating that this latest scheme was hatched as a partial attempt to side-step resistance to the Siskiyou Crest National Monument proposal. Some say it is designed to make a National Monument more palatable. Others speculate it is nothing more than a clever fundraising effort.

Whatever the strategy, the proposal is massive in scope and would result in colossal loss of recreational access, private property rights and local input into federal lands decisions.

The advocates of the Ancient Forest National Park spin this scheme as simply piecing together existing "protected areas"  into one big, 3.8 million acre "refuge against climate change."  Dubin tells us, "It looks like they're trying to avoid populated areas like the Applegate Valley and instead are trying to grab public and sparsely populated private lands located between existing Wilderness Roadless areas. It would lock up a lot of "multiple use" land and, perhaps more importantly, it would set in stone extensive regulations, additional road closures and replace the typical management plan associated with smaller, existing wilderness designations with a new management architecture spanning the entire package." 

County-level officials, nearby residents and groups like Dubin's are starting to be more effective in leveraging influence over federal land management plans. Dubin speculates this worries the radical environmental groups enough to construct this new National Park proposal. "Anytime power is concentrated, the ability for local people and county governments to have an impact is reduced.  That's why the environmental activists aren't giving up on their plans for some kind of massive "protective designation" for this region." 

For now, this proposal is at the trial balloon stage. But Dubin and others say there is every reason to take the threat very seriously. It seems that a well-funded alliance of Oregon-based environmental organizations are working behind the scenes to advance the proposal. Indeed, favorable press for the idea has come from the popular National Parks Traveler blog. It was even  was listed as one of the "Top 5 Picks for New National Parks": They have even managed to produce a  documentary narrated by well-known actress, Susan Sarandon. The documentary first aired on PBS Television over a year ago.  There's even a website that appears to have been set-up by an individual not formally employed by any of these Oregon-based environmental organizations:   http://www.ancientforestnationalpark.org/

Local governments and groups like Stop Land Grab are watching this new proposal like a hawk. Dubin noted "complacency is our worst enemy, and we won't be caught with our pants down." Dubin's group is holding a event that includes a informative Panel Discussion on this and other key issues, including Senate Bill 401, a bill pending in the Oregon Legislation that would lock-up 4.5 million acres via 30 rivers under "wild & scenic" designation. "

In the meantime, Dubin underscores that the Siskiyou Crest National Monument proposal is not dead.  "Stop Land Grab" played a major role in helping to push the Siskiyou Crest National Monument proposal to the backburner of Washington's green policy agenda," Dubin said,.  "But we remain vigilant and continue to educate the public about the risk that President Obama might declare the area a national monument during the last days of his second term."

For more information on Stop Land Grab and the event planned August 2, 2013, check stoplandgrab.org.


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