Tag Archives: public land

GOP blocks passage of ‘outdoors’ legislation

The matter came down to money. No surprise. Here’s a brief look at what happened.

Gimme, gimme! Republicans and the big giveaway of public land

NY Times columnist Timothy Egan drills holes in the latest Republican plan to giveaway the federal public land heritage owned by all Americans, including, oddly enough, the Mitt. Consider the possibilities of what would happen to the
Grand Canyon if the National Park Service were chased away. Same for Padre Island National Seashore. Same for thousands of other places, all of them part of the great natural heritage of America.

If you live inVt., like I do, vote for Bernie Sanders

Thank you for contacting me in regard to S. 2372, the Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act. I am glad for the opportunity to discuss this important issue with you.

The controversy at Cape Hatteras National Seashore revolves around using vehicles on the beaches, which are breeding grounds for sea turtles, piping plovers as well as home to seabeach amaranth and other endangered species. Vehicles driven on the beach crush these rare animals and plants, particularly the nests and eggs of the birds and turtles. In order to protect the endangered species native to Cape Hatteras beaches, the National Park Service (NPS) issued a rule stating that vehicle operators must purchase permits to drive on the beaches. Exceptions are made for the handicapped and for local commercial fishermen. NPS also designated specific routes that vehicles must adhere to. Additionally, some areas are closed during breeding season, and driving by night is prohibited while turtles are laying eggs and hatching because they are nocturnal.

Currently, S. 2372 would eliminate this rule in favor of the much more lenient Interim Protected Species Management Act from June, 2007, leaving the task of developing a new final rule up to the Secretary of the Interior. It would also invalidate the consent decree from the District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, in which conflicting parties agreed to create buffer areas and restrict night driving during turtle breeding season. Data show that while stricter vehicle statutes lead to a significant rise in species populations, they do not result in less revenue from tourists, which is the main cause of concern for proponents of S. 2372.

I understand your concern for the species that make the Cape Hatteras National Seashore their home. I will keep your thoughts firmly in mind when considering this legislation.

Again, thank you for contacting me about this important issue. Feel free to contact me again in the future about this or any other subject of interest to you, or for up-to-date information on what my office is working on please visit http://www.sanders.senate.gov. While there, I invite you to sign up for my e-newsletter, the Bernie Buzz, at http://sanders.senate.gov/buzz/. Please be aware that due to security screening procedures, postal mail to my office experiences delays that will lengthen the time it takes me to get back to you. The fastest way to contact my office is by calling 1-800-339-9834.

Sincerely, BERNARD SANDERS United States Senator

For the wild…
Alan Clark Gregory
Lt Col USAF, Ret.

New York buying 69,000 acres for Adirondack Forest Preserve

This is a big deal, that’s both good for fish and wildlife and the Adirondack economy. Conservationists made it happen.

Outdoor industry says it has a public voice

And that voice says preserve public land because it’s not only good for Wild Nature but good for the economy.Read about it here.

BLM = Bureau of Lumber and Mining

That moniker was used many moons ago to describe the real mission of the Bureau of Land Management and then fell into disuse when the agency finally got is spine for not just managing but protecting the public’s natural heritage, a k a public land. Now, though, that moniker appears to be returning, as this article about the industry friendliness exhibited by a BLM field office in Utah sorrowfully illustrates.

A brief critique of the NY Times’ choice of adjectives: There is almost zero percent natural land now in the United States that could legitimately be described as “pristine.” I can think of only a few spots in central Idaho that would qualify as “pristine.” And that, buckaroos, is the real sorrowful aspect of our public land heritage today.

Livestock grazing remains a polarizing topic in Congress

Raul Labrador, Idaho’s Republican congressman, seems to think that the only “public” that matters when it comes to “public land” are livestock ranchers. A top issue here (it’s been one for many decades) is the fact that livestock growers permitted to run their sheep and cattle on federal public land do so at rock-bottom prices. That means they pay only a small percentage in royalties they would pay to graze their grass-eaters on private range land. And the grazing of livestock on federal public lands managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management usually results in the decimation of fish and wildlife habitat. You can read the Idaho Statesman’s article about the congressman’s legislation right here. Livestock grazing is also a prime avenue for teh introduction of invasive plant species. Not the least of which is cheatgrass.