BRC's Recreation News 11.08.11: News of Wilderness and Roadless along with NV, CO, AZ, MI, MN and SD

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I was discussing the issue of merging the USFS and the BLM with a riding buddy of mine last week and, we were talking about how a combined agency could save money in the federal budget.

With my tongue only half way in my cheek, I proffered the possibility that, given the world-class bureaucratic inefficiency that exists in federal land management agencies in the U.S., it is highly likely that a new combined agency would require double the budget!

Do we need the US Forest Service?
by Jonathan DuHamel on Nov. 07, 2011, under Politics

It's baaaaack!
In our last
national legislative update we noted legislators will be re-introducing a conga line of Wilderness bills that, at least for now, have little chance of passage. Then they line up at the doors of the League of Conservation Voters for their check! 

The perennial list of favorites include the now infamous Utah's America's Red Rock Wilderness Act, Diana DeGette's massive Colorado Wilderness Act of 2011, and the unfathomably massive Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA).

Speaking of NREPA...
Bill to convert roadless public lands to wilderness reintroduced

HELENA - A sweeping bill that would designate 23 million acres of roadless public lands in five Northern Rockies states as wilderness was reintroduced in Congress this week.

Idaho Senator Jim Risch and Chris Wood from Trout Unlimited wrote an op-ed on the recent roadless decision from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Coming together to protect the backcountry
By Jim Risch and Chris Wood

The Wilderness juggernaut keeps rolling in Nevada. BRC's Rec News readers will remember that Senator Harry Reid's county-by-county Wilderness bill is ongoing. This time in Humboldt County with a proposal to designate another 26,000 acres of Wilderness.

The question people are asking... how much is enough?

Wilderness bill for scenic Nevada range introduced

BLM plan could affect river access in Summit County

approved in 2002. Semmer said it's currently not undergoing any revisions.

We'll have more to say about this plan in coming weeks. I should give the agency credit for admitting their plan is woefully inadequate insofar as motorized trails. But frankly, its getting increasingly difficult to trust them.

Forest roads face closure

Motorcycle riders are disappointed, said Brian Hawthorne, public lands policy director for a group that advocates for motorized vehicle use on public lands, the BlueRibbon Coalition.

"We understood that we were going to see a huge reduction in roads, and frankly a lot of that is appropriate. But where they failed, absolutely failed, is in failing to plan for motorized trails," he said.

If there's only 20 miles of trail, it's hardly worth bringing a motorcycle to the forest, and riding on roads is a much different experience than trails, Hawthorne said.

Coconino Trail Riders had identified more than 125 miles of trails used by motorcycles in the area.  Hawthorne feels the group's thoughts were ignored, and he says an appeal is likely.

"We have been pounding on the desk. We have been meeting. We have had field trips trying to get them to understand the need for motorized trails," he said.

On the other hand, the Center for Biological Diversity says the plans don't go far enough in restricting where cars, trucks and ATVs can travel.

Havasu trail plan meeting set for Wednesday

Rocky road: Mounds ORV Park draws off-roaders from across Great Lakes region

State, feds near deal for Minnesota land trapped in Boundary Waters

South Dakota
This is in the "somewhat recreation related" department. I say somewhat because most recreationists prefer green forests as opposed to brown, diseased and burnt forests. Decades of logging and fire suppression has created a highly unnatural and unhealthy forest. These timber projects are designed to bring the landscape back to a the natural ecosystem. But these so-called "environmentalists" are still opposing them. Unbelievable.

Conservationists challenge 'excessive logging' in Black Hills

December 8, 2011 2:36 PM

Greetings Rec News Subscribers!
This land is my land  - Current wilderness legislation is underlining an ideological conflict over public land use

December 6, 2011 4:35 PM

Greetings Rec News Subscribers!
Off-road haven coming to Talladega County?
Alabama’s Cheaha Trail Riders win award

County to feds: Let us know before land-use decisions
Before Uncle Sam makes a land-use decision in Washington, D.C., affecting Jackson Count

December 1, 2011 3:29 PM

Greetings Rec News Subscribers!
Over the years, most longtime BRC members develop a well-honed BS-O-Meter. Well, you're meter needs no adjustment if the needle pegged in the red zone when you saw any of the headlines on this next story. The Montana based Headwaters Economics, a well known preservation activist think tank, has released a new study.
To free up more jobs in the West, government should “lock away” more — not fewer — public lands in parks, monuments and wilderness.
That th