Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 21:44:02 -0700 Subject: Big wins in Congress this week BIG WINS for Wise Use this week! The Interior Department appropriations bill was considered by the House of Representatives this week, and advocates for access to public lands and private property rights won important victories! !!!!! IMPORTANT VICTORIES THIS WEEK !!!!! NO SNOWMOBILES AMENDMENT - Reps. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Chris Shays (R-CT) intended to offer an amendment to prohibit snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park. They saw that they were going to lose the vote by a large margin, and pulled the amendment from consideration. NO VOTE - VICTORY!!! ROADLESS AMENDMENT - Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA)intended to offer an amendment to "codify," or make into permanent law, the Clinton Roadless regulations, which would severely limit access to public lands and private inholdings. A wave of opposition from public lands access, private property rights and labor unions concerned with economic damage built up, and it was clear the amendment would be defeated. Inslee pulled the amendment off the floor. NO VOTE - VICTORY!!! KLAMATH BASIN ANTI-FARMER AMENDMENT - Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)and Mike Thompson (D-CA) put up for a vote an amendment to end the farm leasing program in the Klamath refuge. This arrangement has benefited both farmers and wildlife by producing food for both people and migrating birds. But the extreme enviros say NO WAY - they believe that mankind is the enemy, and want to put an end to all efforts where people work with the environment. This amendment would gradually end the leasing, and at first would only impact seventeen families. So the enviros figured they could just crush such a small number of people. Well, were they ever wrong! Thanks to Reps. Wally Herger (R-CA) and Greg Walden (R-OR) and grassroots activists all over the country, the amendment was defeated by a narrow vote of 201 in favor to 223 against -VICTORY!!! Thanks also to Reps. Nethercutt, Hastings, Doolittle who also spoke against the amendment. ANOTHER VICTORY: The Wildlands Project is a plan to - no joke here, this is completely serious - a plan to depopulate up to seventy percent of the land area of the United States and turn it into wilderness. This Master Plan of the environmental movement's most extreme elements was dealt a severe blow this week also. One of the authors of this kooky plan is Mr. Karl Hess, an extreme preservationist best known for attacking - for fighting against - legislation to compensate land owners when the Endangered Species Act eliminates use of their property. He is, incredibly - again, no joke here - actually on the Interior Department payroll as a top aide to BOTH Interior Budget Director Lynn Scarlett AND Interior Secretary Gale Norton!!! Scarlett and Norton proposed to create something called the Cooperative Conservation Initiative (CCI), fund it at $50 million, and hand over the money to Karl Hess for him to distribute to his enviro buddies. You know the story - "discover" an endangered species, then give the land owner an "offer he can't refuse" involving severe restrictions of use of property. The CCI proposal has been ZEROED OUT in both the House and Senate versions of the Interior Department budget, and has virtually no chance of becoming law. VICTORY!!! ANOTHER VICTORY: For landowners in South Florida fighting against the combined power of the Corps of Engineers and the uncaring, inconsiderate National Park Service (NPS) it was a good week. Language was stripped from the Interior bill which would have allowed the NPS to seize the private property of several hundred families, and pay them less than ten percent of their land's value. It also stripped out a provision to give the incompetent NPS an equal say with the Corps in how the massive, multibillion dollar Everglades "resoration" project was managed. The NPS suffers from a five BILLION dollar maintenance backlong on its existing properties, and yet is constantly attempting to expand its empire. There was no vote, because both provisions were stripped out on a technicality - the NPS was attempting to slip through language to make itself Lord and Master of the Everglades, and make the local residents bow and scrape. Thanks to Rep. Jim Hansen (R-UT), who raised the first point of order, and to Rep. Don Young, (R-AK), who raised the second point stripping the anti-private property language. ANOTHER VICTORY!!! THANKS GO TO The Congressional Western Caucus and its Chairman, Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA). Pombo and his Western Caucus members and allies were vitally important in rounding up votes for all of these important victories. The Interior Department budget did of course have tens of millions for more land acquisition, more grants to leftwing environmental groups, all the stuff we fight every year. But on the important issues above, grassroots activists from all across the country won out, and we should celebrate our victories. CONGRATULATIONS!!! - Please forward this message to your entire list.