Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 
John Stewart

Senate Committee Advances 96-Bill Lands Package

Senate Committee Advances 96-Bill Lands Package

June 30th, 2008

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bingaman introduced a new bill that is a bipartisan collection of more than 90 individual bills which have been reported by the Senate Energy Committee. This legislation follows enactment of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act, which was signed into law last month. That Act was successful in packaging dozens of bills which were not able to pass the Senate individually. Sen. Bingaman hopes that the Omnibus Public Land Management Act (S. 3213) will similarly facilitate the passage of the remaining resources bills which have been reported by Senate ENR during this Congress. Here’s what’s in S. 3213:

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John Stewart

BLM Recreation and Visitor Services

BLM Recreation and Visitor Services

 The BLM-managed public lands offer more diverse recreational opportunities than any other Federal agency.

On more than 258 million acres of public lands, people enjoy countless types of outdoor adventure – participating in activities as widely varied as camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, boating, whitewater rafting, hang gliding, off-highway vehicle driving, mountain biking, birding and wildlife viewing, photography, climbing, all types of winter sports, and visiting natural and cultural heritage sites.

In an increasingly urbanized West, these recreational opportunities and the landscape settings where they take place are vital to the quality of life enjoyed by residents of western states, as well as national and international visitors.

Recreational use on BLM-managed lands also helps support the economies of western communities and states. More than 22 million people now live within 25 miles of public lands, and two-thirds of the lands managed by the BLM are within 50 miles of an urban area. Visits to recreation sites on BLM-managed public lands have significantly increased over the years, from just more than 51 million in 2001 to over 55 million in 2006.

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John Stewart

Fun in the Desert Rockfest 2008

Join the Victor Valley 4 Wheelers in Johnson Valley OHV Area near Barstow, CA. for Fun In the Desert Rockfest 2008.

September 26-28, 2008

Register online at www.victorvalley4wheelers.com or download the registration form below.

Download event flyer

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John Stewart

Is geothermal on the move?

For clarity, "hydrothermal" and "geothermal" basically hot water that is being used to produce electricity.Interestingly, there are numerous "geothermal projects" being proposed for development on public lands under the management control of the Bureau of Land Management. Test wells have been drilled. Test results have not been released.Could it be this is now the valve being opened to fund questionable projects at tax-payer expense?Note, this news release talks about "demonstration projects." Demonstration projects can consume a lot of funding without accomplishing a result. Time will tell.....

DOE To Invest US $90 Million in Advanced Geothermal EnergyJune 27, 2008 - Washington, D.C.The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to US $90 million over four years to advance the research, development and demonstration of next-generation geothermal energy technology.DOE said that it plans to make up to 26 awards through this competitive funding opportunity, which is open to industry and academia.Funding is available at US $10.5 million for fiscal year (FY) 2008. Subject to annual Congressional appropriations, up to an additional US $30 million is expected to be available for awards in FY 2009 and US $49.5 million in FY 2010.A minimum of 20 percent private sector cost share is required for R&D projects and funding for the awards is subject to Congressional appropriations. Recipient cost share requirements for demonstration projects will be up to 50 percent and vary by both the phase of the award and the activities within a particular phase."Geothermal energy is a clean, reliable, scalable, renewable energy source and these geothermal projects will help the U.S. tap domestic heat sources that were previously out of reach," said Andy Karsner, DOE's Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "Increasing the use of traditional hydrothermal and geothermal base load resources is an important component of the Administration's efforts to diversify our nation's energy sources in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance our energy security."Applications for this funding opportunity are due on or before August 12, 2008.

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John Stewart

Bi-Partisan Political Activity - A Primer

Bi-Partisan Political Activity - A PrimerJohn StewartNatural Resource ConsultantCalifornia Association of 4 Wheel Drive ClubsWhether your club focus is social interaction or working to save your favorite wheeling area, members are what make it possible. It starts with membership in a local club centering on a shared goal. Soon, you find that others share common concerns about their area of interest and you begin sharing information. You have started "networking", the basic building block of a creating a coalition. Soon, you will find yourself in position to engage in political activity; either by contacting you elected representative to talk about an issue of concern or to endorse a bill.Wheelers are interested in recreation and have spent many hours learning how to drive and fix their rig. While the mechanical skills have been honed, the political skills have been ignored.The reality is that the quality of your recreation experience is dependent upon how articulate, active, and successful you are in bi-partisan political activity. The following is a "no nonsense" guide to bi-partisan political activity.1) ALWAYS TALK ABOUT YOUR RECREATION ISSUES AND CONCERNS. During conversations with political staffers, candidates, or elected officials, stick to the topic of your concerns; not party affiliation.2) TALK ABOUT WHAT HE (or SHE) IS FOR AND WHAT HE (or SHE) IS AGAINST THAT AFFECT YOUR RECREATION OPPORTUNITY. You may be a mechanic, teacher, web designer, or business owner. Talk about your recreation opportunity and how the proposed bill will affect it.3) DON'T TALK ABOUT OTHER POLITICAL ISSUES OF HIS POLITICAL PARTY. Your concern is a single issue, recreation. Talking about other issues will get you locked into being a party supporter of that candidate or issue.4) BE SUPPORTIVE OF A CANDIDATE ON ISSUES THAT CONCERN US, EITHER PRO OR CON.5) NEVER PUBLICLY ENDORSE A CANDIDATE, BUT PRAISE HIS OR HER SUPPORT FOR RECREATION ISSUES. If you endorse someone, you lock yourself in. You become a "Democrat" or "Republican", and the other side will tune you out.6) NEVER PUBLICLY ENDORSE AN AMENDMENT OR REFERENDUM THAT DOES NOT DIRECTLY AFFECT RECREATION, BUT LEND SUPPORT THROUGH COALITIONS ON ISSUES THAT DO AFFECT RECREATION MEMBERS. Coalitions achieve their strength through diversity. That is where we can leverage recreation positions and ideas.7) WE MUST HAVE ACCESS TO ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS (OR THEIR STAFF) WHO CAN OFFICIALLY AFFECT US - - - AND THAT MEANS WHO'S IN OFFICE IS WHO WE WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH - - - WHO WE WANT TO LISTEN TO US.8) PARTY AFFILIATION IS YOUR PERSONAL BUSINESS, AND YOU SHOULD ACT ON IT ANY WAY YOU WANT. HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD COMMUNICATE WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS AND PROMOTE RECREATION ISSUES REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATION.The above are elementary political techniques - - - things that recreationists need to learn more about --- think more about --- and do more about. Bi-partisan activity through coalitions will strengthen all of us.
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