* Presidents, Governors, and Mayors set broad agendas and appoint staff that significantly impact access.
* At both state and federal levels, Congress/State Legislative bodies are reactive to change and public pressure. Historically, the U.S. Senate is a slow deliberative bodywhere rhetoric flourishes.
* Local Boards of Supervisors are important because they can influance federal actions and are obligated to consider local economic impact.
And, That's My View.....
The Bureau of Land Management reports that 16% of the 607 million acres of land owned by the federal government is designated as wilderness in the form of 708 National Wilderness Areas located in the U.S. This bill adds over 80 new wilderness designations or additions to federal lands.
During Senate debate on S.22, Senator Tom Coburn, R-OK., noted: "We are not suffering from a lack of wilderness areas in the United States. According to the Census Bureau, we have 106 million acres of developed land and 107 million acres of (officially declared) wilderness land."
Recently released by the GreenInfo Network, the California Protected Area Database notes that slightly over 48% of the state of California is open space lands that have been protected for primarily open space.
While the population is increasing, the population is also moving. According to the U.S. Census Bureau study, there is a population shift from metropolitan-urban areas to rural areas. This shift is giving rise to conflicting use of land.
On the positive side, the U.S. Forest Service is realigning their structure to accommodate the increased pressure for recreation. Providing for increased recreation opportunity will be controlled by the need to protect the resources.
On the negative side, the population shift to rural areas is giving rise to the "forest-urban interface". Within this context, the new residents of the rural areas bring their urban lifestyle and values. Often, lifestyles and values that are in conflict with rural lifestyles and values.
As the population grows, so does the demand for outdoor recreation, especially motorized recreation. In a 1960 outdoor recreation survey, OHV recreation was not listed. From 1982 to 2000, OHV recreation became one of the fastest growing outdoor recreation activities. In the spring of 2004, 49.6 million people (23.2% of the population) had participated in OHV activities within the previous 12 months.
As with the population shifts, more OHV recreationists (34.2%) are coming from urban areas.
As we move forward into the future, recreation opportunities will face new challenges. Working through those challenges to preserve recreation opportunity will require a new vision for recreation that meshes with the changing and diverse demographics of the population. It is about demographics, geography, lifestyle, and values.
The year 2008 is an important election year. I encourage everyone to learn about your local candidates. I encourage everyone to register to vote and get out to vote on election days during this important election cycle.
Have you ever complained that your elected representatives do not care about your issues? You can do something to change that. It begins with YOU registering to vote and YOU casting your ballot at the polls.
Too busy to go to the poll??? Here are two good sites with that walk you through everything you need to know about Absentee Voting...
Go Vote Absentee -- http://www.govoteabsentee.org/
Long Distance Voter -- http://www.longdistancevoter.org/
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