Greetings Rec News Subscribers!
Today, BRC's Executive Director, Greg Mumm, testified at a Congressional oversight hearing titled "Forest Service Regulatory Roadblocks to Productive Land Use and Recreation; Proposed Planning Rule, Special-use Permits and Travel Management.”
Part of the focus on the hearing is the USFS's revised planning regulations and their importance. The other day, a Wall Street Journal article on the EPA provided an excellent object lesson on why these regulations are so important.
Now, before you start sending me “stick to recreation” emails, I'll note that the EPA has been increasingly inserting itself in land use and recreation planning on public lands. I'll submit for an example, EPA's involvement in Colorado's Roadless Rule.
Flies, and Their Lawyers, Keep Rare Trout From Going Home
This is a big issue for revising Forest Plans. Under the Clinton administration, the USFS required impacts to invertebrates be analyzed before a Forest Plan could be finalized. This level of analysis, or over analysis, as some are arguing, is one of the reasons the agency itself has determined its planning rules are "costly, complex, and procedurally burdensome."
As you might expect, invertebrate analysis in the Forest Planning process is being pushed by the radical greenies. Lets hope this oversight hearing can push the USFS into a more realistic planning framework. If not, it might take them 15 years to revise a Forest Plan that's supposed to be in effect for 10 years!
Anyway... our news-feed sent us a commentary from Hot Air, a well known conservative political blog site that I wanted to pass along. The commentary is by J.E. Dyer and is very worthwhile reading. Dyer, commenting partly on the WSJ article, asks a few pertinent questions:
More on the oversight hearing
Don Amador's excellent blog (bookmark this site now!)
FOREST SERVICE: House Resources panel to plumb agency's planning rules, permitting
Just a bit more EPA bashing...
Rubbing salt in the wound, I'll submit this not-recreation-related gem, again from the Wall Street Journal.
Update on The Wilderness Society's new lobbying efforts...
Secretary Salazar’s cover letter for the recommendations:
Secretary Salazar’s backcountry recommendations:
Wyoming absent from Salazar's list of landscapes worthy of protection
Battle brewing over expanding wilderness protections in the West
Wilderness: 18 BLM parcels ripe for bipartisan support
Polis, DeGette pleased to see Interior include Colorado areas in new wilderness report
WILDERNESS: Obama proposes protection for desert, mountains
And in Utah...
Desolation Canyon could be considered wilderness
Even Utah Representative Matheson is asking questions about Secretary Salazar's Wilderness Lobbying efforts...
Salazar's wilderness proposal met with criticism
Here's a bit of good news...
North of the Border
Survey shows support for ban of use of off-road vehicles inside Winnipeg city limits
Forest Service seeks public comment on Fallen Leaf Lake plan
Shasta County moves to open roads; Forest Service to study plan
Shasta-Trinity moves slowly — for good reason
It's true, and BRC has been involved in several successful collaborative efforts that, among other things, have managed to get greenie buy-off on motorized trail maintenance, mountain bike trails and even commercial timber projects.
There is a big however, however...
Those of us who participated in Idaho Senator Mike Crapo's Owyhee Initiative are waiting to see what Idaho BLM's Jarbidge Field Office is going to do with WSAs released by the Owyhee compromise.
In a hard fought local compromise, the Owhyee legislation released several Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) in exchange for about 1 million acres of Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness.
But the BLM is updating its Resource Management Plan for the Jarbidge Field Office, and in what can only be called a slap in the face to local compromise, the BLM has proposed making these former WSAs into Wildlands, a management designation that, if you can believe it, is actually MORE restrictive than WSAs.
If BLM designates any portion of these Wildlands, it will cast serious doubt on future collaborative efforts and it will place a much higher burden insofar as whether BRC will continue our participation.
What to do when your constituents won't support your massive Wilderness bill? Well, if you take Cecil Andrus's advice, you simply wait till nobody's looking and ask the President to snatch the land with a whisk of a pen!
And people are wondering why the support for federally managed lands is waning... sheesh!
Andrus tells Obama to designate Boulder-White Clouds as national monument
Baucus to sponsor RMF Heritage Act legislation
The Seattle Times chimes in with an oped in support of the latest Wilderness proposal for Alpine Lakes and the San Juans.
BLM plan addresses valley biking, drilling, conservation
State, counties file for control of So. Utah roads
With the deadline speedily approaching for comments on the BLM's EA that could affect the future of the Bonneville Salt Flats, we thought it would be a great time to take a look back at Speedweek 2011 and some total awesome pics.
We also want to send congratulations out to George Poteet and Ron Main whose Speed Demon Race Car received Hot Rod Magazine Trophy for Fastest Speed at 416.539 mph Mile 5 [Exit speed 426.910 mph] and a look at their 462 mph run along with some other great videos.
Also, don't forget to check out Save the Salt Coalition's website, they have been at the forefront in the fight to protect the Bonneville Salt Flats from continued deterioration and ensure that the Bonneville Salt Flats is still here for future generations of speed demons.