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Old December 28th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default What's wilderness? Bush-era curbs are repealed ! ! ! !

(From UFWDA.ORG: http://www.ufwda.org/smf/index.php?topic=3313.msg13576 )

DENVER The Obama administration on Thursday undid a Bush-era policy that curbed some types of wilderness designations within the 245 million acres managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management.

While Congress remains the only body allowed to create "Wilderness Areas," the move gives BLM field managers the go ahead to protect areas determined to have "wilderness characteristics."

"I am proud to sign a secretarial order that restores protections for the wild lands that the Bureau of Land Management oversees on behalf of the American people," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in Denver, where he announced the shift.

Congressional Republicans pounced on the announcement as an attempt by the Obama administration to close land to development without congressional approval.

"This backdoor approach is intended to circumvent both the people who will be directly affected and Congress. I have to question why this announcement is being made only after Congress adjourned for the year," said Washington state Rep. Doc Hastings, a Republican tapped to lead to the House Natural Resources Committee when the GOP takes control of the House in January.

The order essentially repeals a policy adopted in 2003 under then Interior Secretary Gale Norton. That policy stated that Interior could not designate some wilderness protections on its own and had to rely only on Congress for any designations.

The 2003 policy reflected an out-of-court deal struck between Norton and then-Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt to remove protections for some 2.6 million acres of federal land in Utah.

The policy allowed oil and gas drilling, mining and other commercial uses on land under consideration as wilderness areas.

The new policy creates a management category called "Wild Lands".

The Interior Department said that "'Wild Lands,' which will be designated through a public process, will be managed to protect wilderness characteristics unless or until such time as a new public planning process modifies the designation.

"Because the 'Wild Lands' designation can be made and later modified through a public administrative process, it differs from 'Wilderness Areas,' which are designated by Congress and cannot be modified except by legislation, and 'Wilderness Study Areas,' which BLM typically must manage to protect wilderness characteristics until Congress determines whether to permanently protect them as Wilderness Areas or modify their management."

BLM Director Bob Abbey said it hasn't been decided how many acres are expected be designated as "Wild Lands" and whether those acres will be off-limits to motorized recreation or commercial development while under congressional review. It's also unclear whether there will be a time limit on how long acres can be managed as "Wild Lands" before a decision is made on their future.

Salazar said the agency will also resume evaluating federal BLM lands that could be recommended to Congress for designation as wilderness areas.

The BLM has six months to submit a plan for new wilderness evaluations, Salazar said.

Ranchers, oil men and others have been suspicious of federal plans to lock up land in the West, worrying that taking the BLM land out of production would kill rural economies that rely on ranchers and the eastern Montana oil and gas business.

Their suspicions have been heightened since memos leaked in February revealed the Obama administration was considering 14 sites in nine states for possible presidential monument declarations.

That included 2.5 million acres of northeastern Montana prairie land proposed as a possible bison range, along with sites in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Washington.

Environmental groups praised the reversal, though there has been grumbling that it took the Obama administration nearly two years to overturn the Bush-era policy.

"Washington D.C. always takes longer than you want, but we're glad we've gotten here," said Suzanne Jones, regional director for The Wilderness Society.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40796163...ws-environment
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Old December 28th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #2
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EVERYONE PLEASE contact Rep. Doc Hastings (R) of Washington asking him to lead a legislative effort to remove this new designation and power from the BLM IMMEDIATELY!

Rep. Doc Hastings (R) Washington:

Office Information:

Washington, D.C. Office
1203 Longworth
House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5816
Fax: (202) 225-3251

Tri-Cities Office
2715 St. Andrews Loop, Suite D
Pasco, WA 99301
(509) 543-9396
Fax: (509) 545-1972

Yakima Office
402 E. Yakima Avenue
Suite 760
Yakima, WA 98901
(509) 452-3243
Fax: (509) 452-3438


His Email address is restricted to those who are located in his district (another item you might wish to ask that he change).
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Old December 28th, 2010, 08:57 PM   #3
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You might also find the comments to the article on the MSNBC site interesting to read.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 07:51 AM   #4
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As you stated elsewhere, what the BLM does out west does affect us here thru the trickle down effect to the NFS.

Too bad the 'largest offroad forum in the midwest' is so inactive when it comes to land use and our sport.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #5
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I think they're home for the Holiday break. I thought Salazar's background was as either a lobbyist or CEO for an oil company?

As far as land use threads, compare it to the amount of Obama bashing on the Politico forum.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #6
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I think they're home for the Holiday break. I thought Salazar's background was as either a lobbyist or CEO for an oil company?

As far as land use threads, compare it to the amount of Obama bashing on the Politico forum.
Salazar should have a more appropriate job as a buttplug taste-tester. I knew he was going to pull something sooner or later. I got that email from BRC about it too.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #7
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17,130 members of this site and 4 of us comment. That's less than 1 in 4000 wheelers! And people wonder why we can't seem to get more done?

Everybody wants to wheel, but only as long as they don't have to be bothered by actually standing up and doing something for their sport, eh?

At least there's you guys, so I know I'm not ALL alone.
Thanks.

Last edited by Trail_Fanatic; December 30th, 2010 at 07:32 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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You're not alone Pat, Its just a tough battle, and the other side had more time and money.

I'm still fightin' beside you.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 10:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail_Fanatic View Post
17,130 members of this site and 4 of us comment. That's less than 1 in 4000 wheelers! And people wonder why we can't seem to get more done?

Everybody wants to wheel, but only as long as they don't have to be bothered by actually standing up and doing something for their sport, eh?

At least there's you guys, so I know I'm not ALL alone.
Thanks.
Pat,
A few of us are with you.
It's pathetic when a new girl from Hart gets 392 comments and 12,346 views in a little longer time than this thread. 7 comments and only 110 views.

Off road forum.
Apparently there is not enough interest to even open your thread in the forum. Maybe there is not a lot of off roading that happens here.

I will be contacting Rep. Doc Hastings.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #10
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Pat,
A few of us are with you.
It's pathetic when a new girl from Hart gets 392 comments and 12,346 views in a little longer time than this thread. 7 comments and only 110 views.

Off road forum.
Apparently there is not enough interest to even open your thread in the forum. Maybe there is not a lot of off roading that happens here.

I will be contacting Rep. Doc Hastings.
Extremely well said!
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Old December 31st, 2010, 08:03 AM   #11
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Well then, get her to post in here.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 08:13 AM   #12
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Well then, get her to post in here.
No, we don't need that type of posting in here, no need to trash this up.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 08:17 AM   #13
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People are lazy, make a poll and they might reply.

If we could get someone to find out the easiest way to get people of a common interest to band together to fight for what they love it would help the cause. That is what polls and statisics are for. And everyone likes something for free, that is how they get online info, we will give you XXXX if you fill out these 1,000,000 polls. So what I am saying is people want incentives over and above what they are fighting for. Maybe have meet and greets and have people sign petitions and hand out info. and at wheeling events. Also post links to everything that would make it easier for the lazy to do their part. I am speaking from experience here also(somewhat lazy when it comes to this stuff) Also could have a written form that people can change to suit their vocabulary and sign and submit, not everyone has the brain cells to communicate what we all want so help them help the sport.

I'm sure not everyone will read this because it has more than one sentece in it. But this is me trying to help.

We need a leader, someone to step up, with the drive and determination to continue this battle that will never go away. So find it in yourself, every one of you to do your part, even if it is only a little. We as a whole are strong and can do it but not if you don't do your part.

Last edited by firehawk; December 31st, 2010 at 08:22 AM.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 10:35 AM   #14
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"wilderness characteristics" sounds like a pretty dangerous and general wording for something like this...
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Old December 31st, 2010, 10:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail_Fanatic View Post
17,130 members of this site and 4 of us comment. That's less than 1 in 4000 wheelers! And people wonder why we can't seem to get more done?

Everybody wants to wheel, but only as long as they don't have to be bothered by actually standing up and doing something for their sport, eh?

At least there's you guys, so I know I'm not ALL alone.
Thanks.
X2 we all need to do more to protect our sport. I am as much to blame as anyone else for not doing everything I can. I think a big problem with people not paying enough attension to your "help" threads is the length of them. Maybe a shorter cliff's notes version with a link to the entire article would help. People around here seem to have a fairly short attension span. I could be completely off base on this but it is just my .02.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 11:49 AM   #16
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I no longer comment as I have been told numerous times that I am too outspoken, blunt, I said it wrong, etc. Therefore, I have stopped commenting on any land use forums. I read them daily, send my letters on my own but other than that, I have nothing more to add.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 11:54 AM   #17
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I wonder if we had a celebrity "face" or faces in the fight it might help, but what's the odds of one being a wheeler. The Nuge comes to mind, particularly if he and others in the hunting fraternity care, unless with their bucks they just hunt private land
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Old December 31st, 2010, 12:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moles View Post
Pat,
A few of us are with you.
It's pathetic when a new girl from Hart gets 392 comments and 12,346 views in a little longer time than this thread. 7 comments and only 110 views.

Off road forum.
Apparently there is not enough interest to even open your thread in the forum. Maybe there is not a lot of off roading that happens here.

I will be contacting Rep. Doc Hastings.

Very pathetic. But I also will be sending out a letter. This whole thing sounds fishy to me. And as someone stated the trickle down effect is what will ruin this sport if we do not stand behind it.
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