Here is a copy of a letter I received asking for OUR help. PLEASE take a few minutes to make your comments/wishes known. Sorry it’s so long, and thanks in advance….
TWO MINUTES TO HELP RELEASE 43 MILLION ACRES BACK TO MULTIPLE USE
Good news about protecting access to your trails and public lands. Last week I was invited to testify before a Congressional House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands in Washington DC. At the conclusion of my testimony I hand delivered a file storage box jammed full of over 3000 letters submitted by Save The Trails members in support of HR1581 to release these unsuitable lands back to multiple use.
In response those opposing HR1581 hurriedly left the hearing and came back with what looked like a folder containing a few letters. We caught them off guard, but rest assured they will get their spin machines in full gear and try to churn out letters of opposition, so please keep those letters of support coming. (Link to send your letter at bottom of page-but please read on first)
WHAT IS TESTIMONY FOR HR1581 ALL ABOUT?
The purpose of my testimony was to provide facts and information to legislators from the perspective of a volunteer grass roots organization as to why 43 million acres of Wilderness Study and Roadless area public lands should be released back to multiple use under HR 1581 Wilderness and Roadless Release Act of 2011.
My testimony and others in support of HR1581 were well received by the majority of committee legislators, who not only appreciated hearing the facts, but also my time and expense in traveling across the country in order to meet with them.
We have the high ground and right now. HR1581 has a good chance of passing the House, but we both know the anti access folks will be pulling out the stops to try to derail this bill so they can lock up more of your public lands.
There is no doubt in my mind that if HR1581 passes it will shift our public lands programs towards access instead of closure. I think you will agree it is crucial that you and your friends and family all do your part and take action now- After all opportunities to take back 43 million acres for multiple use do not come along every day or even every decade. I need you, your family and friends to take Two Minutes to call your Congressman– even if you called them before, Post a comment on your Congressman’s Facebook Page and send a Two Minute letter if you have not already.
Read on to find out how we can keep the high ground and access to our public lands.
Perhaps most importantly we need to get more people sending letters and calling/Facebooking their legislators, so please use the link at the bottom of this email to send this alert to all your friends who support keeping their public lands open to everyone.
I provide details on how you can do this in the yellow boxes at the end of this email.
Those of you who have been reading recent Save The Trails alerts will know that all of these 43 million acres had been found unsuitable for Wilderness over 20 years ago, but had never been released. I offered extensive written testimony to Congress including maps and documents showing why these lands in one National Forest and surrounding BLM lands are unsuitable for Wilderness. I also provided a five minute verbal testimony and answered questions from Congressman.
Sequoia National Forest Retired District Ranger Dave Freeland also testified in support of the bill about why multiple use lands are so important. Having Ranger Dave support the bill was extremely powerful as he was in charge of hundreds of thousands of acres contained in the bill and has over 35 years of experience in the Forest Service.
Others who testified in support of the bill also did a great job including Dan Kleen President of NOHVCC, Melissa Simpson from Safari Club International, as well as elected officials Congressman McCarthy, Congressman Pearce, Senator Barraso, Honorable Mike Noel-UT and Honorable Kent Connelly-WY.
Here is the list of 85 organizations supporting the bill.
While in DC I also met with representatives from ARRA, MIC, AMA, NRA who attended the hearing in support of the bill. This was my first time appearing before a Congressional Subcommittee and they along with Blue Ribbon Coalition provided helpful advice to me on testifying.
OPPOSITION BASED ON MISINFORMATION
There were also people there to testify in opposition of the bill including Former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt , Undersecretary of Agriculture Harris Sherman , Director of the BLM Bob Abbey, and Outdoor Industry Association President Frank Hugelmeyer.
It was particularly interesting to see that those who opposed the bill often based it on the same misinformation. For example they claimed this bill would release ALL Wilderness Study Areas and Roadless Areas or 62 million acres of land, but this is untrue. This bill only releases those lands found unsuitable for Wilderness in 43 million acres. They also claimed this bill would hurt the environment by handing over these lands to unrestricted timber. oil and gas development. Also untrue, since these lands would still be managed under the strictest regulations in the world which prohibit such wholesale development. You can hear more about that in the video of my testimony, as well as Ranger Freeland’s.
OUTDOOR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION REPRESENTS ELITIST POSITION
As a trade organization created to promote recreation it was surprising when Frank Hugelmeyer, President and CEO of Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), testified in Opposition to HR 1581. A bill that would be good for the environment, good for the economy and good for recreation.
HR1581 would help ensure the public can continue to be allowed on lands where the majority of the public recreate, so one would think that an Outdoor Recreation organization, like OIA would heartily support HR1581, but not so.
While OIA claims to represent hundreds of their recreation member companies, in reality perhaps most of the recreation companies are members of OIA in order to attend the OIA trade show to help sell their products. Most of them probably have no idea OIA wants to lock up more lands for those elite few who have the time and physical ability to hike very long distances-the public be damned!
Are you a customer of any of the following companies? These are just a couple of the member companies from the Outdoor Industry Association member list, which OIA appears to represent as opposing HR1581. These companies need to hear from you expressing your dismay at their trade organization’s closure agenda.
• GoPro Camera’s
• Cabela Sporting Goods
• Levi Straus & Co • Char-Broil Grills
• Delorme GPS
• Lowrance GPS
• SPOT Tracker
• Specialized bikes
You can read more about this problem and see the full list of OIA member companies at
While in Washington DC I also had very productive meetings with the Chief of the Forest Service and the Deputy DIrector of the BLM, as well as many others, which provided important dialogue and better understanding of the need to keep trails open and disperse use.
This was an important and very worthwhile trip to testify in Washington DC and meet with decision makers and legislators.
Sandra please consider making a donation to help Save The Trails continue working to help keep your trails open. Save The Trails is funded purely by donations from people like you and so far those few donations do not come close to covering our expenses.
With your help Save The Trails will accomplish even more to keep your trails open.
~Chris Horgan and your friends at Save the Trails
• Read Stewards of the Sequoia testimony here and watch here
• Read Ranger Freeland’s testimony here and watch here
• Read Frank Hugelmeyers-Outdoor Industry Association testimony here
• Read McCarthy testimony here and watch here
• Read Barrasso testimony here and watch here
• Read Pearce testimony here and watch here
• See the entire hearing at http://resources.edgeboss.net/wmedia/resources/112/2011_07_26_npfpl.wvx
• Read testimony’s by others http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=252577
Please contact your Congressman to keep the pressure on.
We hear they are getting calls opposing the bill.
Please call them now 43 Million Acres are at stake
1) Call to Ask if your Congressman Supports this Important Bill (even if you called them before) Post a comment on their Facebook page
In order to get this important bill passed your Congressman needs to hear from you, so he or she will know that you want them to support it. This will only takes a few minutes, they will be happy to hear from you and you will feel good about doing your part and taking back your government. Your calls will increase leverage on our trip to DC.
Call them and ask them to
Support HR1581 “Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011”
If you need to find out who your Congressman is then just click here and insert your zip code and then click on the Contact link to get their phone number. http://www.house.gov
Post a comment on your Congressman’s Facebook page. You will find their Facebook link on their webpage.
If your Congressman is supporting the bill please thank them for their support and tell them how much you appreciate it. Here is the list of legislators cosponsoring this bill. Yours needs to be on the list.
If you have not already done so please send a letter and ask your friends to send one too
2) Take TWO MINUTES to Send a Letter Telling Congress to Pass HR1581 ‘Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011”
Just click on the link and send your letter http://www.savethetrails.us/Default.aspx?PetitionID=49
We need to keep those letters of support coming
3) Click on link at the bottom of this page to Forward To Your Friends
We need more people to voice their support to keep public lands open to the majority of the public
It does not get any easier than this to help reclaim your public lands for reasonable access and management. We need to make lots of noise in support of HR1581. Please tell all your friends and family to call and send a letter
For more information you can read the HR1581 bill here
Here is additional Background Information
Please click on the link below this email to send this alert to anyone who might be interested in supporting this important legislation.
This alert sent by your friends at http://www.Save The Trails.us
If you find the work we are doing is important please consider making a donation. Your support allows us to continue making a difference
I have logged my support…
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