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DON'T PUT THE EARTH IN JAIL

Discussion in 'Land Use' started by mudfanatic, May 2, 2000.

  1. mudfanatic

    mudfanatic 1/2 ton status

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    DON\'T PUT THE EARTH IN JAIL

    DON'T PUT THE EARTH IN JAIL

    by Clark L. Collins
    BlueRibbon Coalition Executive Director

    The BlueRibbon Coalition believes that the Clinton/Gore administration's land
    use proposals are just an effort to lock up our public lands and put the
    earth
    in jail. We don't believe our public lands need to be locked up, "in
    protective custody" so to speak, in order to protect them.

    Helen Chenoweth, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Forests & Forest
    Health, hit the nail on the head recently saying,"Steel gates seem to be the
    new western flower, they're springing up everywhere."

    King William and Prince Albert have found our public lands guilty of
    providing
    enjoyment for their subjects. Now they are slamming the gates shut on the
    King's forests.

    Our public lands should be open for the enjoyment of the American people.
    However, this administration, and their friends in the environmental conflict
    industry, have collaborated on one land lock-up scheme after another. They
    have found the American public unworthy of sharing our parks and forests.

    At the heart of the Clinton/Gore "land legacy" agenda is closing roads for
    general public access. Locked gates in our national forests are something
    that
    should alarm everyone. The President has ignored the pleas of local elected
    officials and based his decisions on political pandering to selfish special
    interests. Our rights to use and enjoy our public lands are being violated by
    these proposals.

    This administration seems committed to a "lock the public out" agenda. They
    are catering to anti-recreation-access extremists who believe our public
    lands
    must be protected from public use. It seems their only suggestion for
    protecting our natural resources is to eliminate everyone's impact on the
    environment but their own. We believe that's a very selfish viewpoint.

    The Clinton/Gore Roadless Initiative is being used by green advocacy groups
    as
    a short cut to Congressional Wilderness Designation. Tallying acres of
    Wilderness designated is how these groups keep score of their success. To
    them
    it's just a political numbers game, and recreation access is the big loser.

    Lots of folks don't realize that Wilderness designation isn't good for
    recreation. They don't realize that mountain bikes and other recreation
    vehicles aren't allowed. They don't realize that even horseback riding is
    severely restricted in some designated Wilderness areas. Wilderness advocates
    have deliberately mislead the American public on this issue.

    BACK COUNTRY RECREATION AREA - AN ALTERNATIVE TO WILDERNESS DESIGNATION

    The BlueRibbon Coalition is working on a Congressional designation that would
    allow a broad range of recreation interests to work together. Our Back
    Country
    Recreation Area proposal would give a concerned public a chance to protect
    our
    back country areas without locking them up.

    We agree there are many special places that should be protected. However,
    they
    should be protected FOR the public instead of FROM the public. Back Country
    Recreation Area designation would protect the recreational resources while
    still allowing responsible resource management.

    BlueRibbon Coalition member organizations have worked hard to promote
    responsible use of our public lands. These efforts have included
    collaborative
    projects with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and even the
    National Park Service. These programs include TREAD LIGHTLY, habitat
    restoration projects, trail improvements, sound reduction, improved signing,
    and youth outreach.

    We've not only worked on volunteer programs, but our member organizations
    have
    worked on state and federal trail funding programs that benefit all
    back-country trail users. One of these programs, the federal Recreational
    Trails Program, is now providing $50 million a year for trail improvements
    nationwide. That's putting our money where our mouth is.

    The stated objective of the BlueRibbon Coalition is "Preserving our natural

    resources FOR the public instead of FROM the public." These are our public
    lands. We should be able to enjoy them. Locking the public out isn't the way
    to build support for protection.

    For information on the BlueRibbon Coalition and our Back Country Recreation
    Area proposal visit our website at www.blueribbon.org or call our home office
    in Pocatello at (208)233-6570.

    <font color=red>mudfanatic</font color=red>[​IMG]
     

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