Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The General's Thoughts on Omnibus Land Bill S22

Thoughts on Omnibus Federal Lands Bill – S. 22

I think a lot of recreationists who voted for “Change” in 2008 are disappointed by the Senate’s recent action to move S22 in the “dark of night” last weekend. Many OHVers in Nevada are still stinging from Harry Reid’s Black Rock Desert Wilderness Bill which he inserted into a non-related appropriations or defense spending bill at the 11th hour some 8-9 years ago.

I understand there were some Wilderness bills in S22 that had buy-in from local OHVers, counties, and other access interests, but those access provisions are jeopardized by the Senate’s late night maneuvers.

Many access and resource interests worked hard on the 2006 North Coast Wild Heritage Wilderness Bill (HR233) for a number of guaranteed access tenets and also some local economic relief in the form of grand-fathering historic commercial surf fishing permits in the Orick area -

Those victories came about by vigorous debate in an open forum, not crafted or deleted behind closed doors.

I can almost guarantee that many access tenets that users and pro-recreation Republicans
and Democrats fought for in the proposed Wilderness Bills in S22 will be penciled out or somehow compromised.

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  1. Don, thanks so much for your insight. What would you say in your experience is the best thing the average Joe the Plumber can do to help with issues like this?
    thanks, Del

  2. Del,

    As things shake out in DC, I would suggest that recreationists start by doing the following:

    1 - Join BRC
    2 - Join a local (and active) OHV club
    3 - Sign up with your local land manager (FS, BLM, State Parks, etc) to get posting and updates on their planning efforts and projects.

    Those 3 items are a good place to start!

    The General