4x4Wire Live Search

Search - Easy Blog
Search - Categories
Search - Contacts
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Web Links
Search - EasyDiscuss
Search - Tags

4x4Wire

About you, your 4x4 and access

News and information from ARRA - Americans for Responsible Recreation Access

John Stewart

ARRA Washington Newsletter - January 2011

The Lame Duck that Wasn't Lame
------------------------------
I previously said that Lame Duck sessions historically have achieved very little in the way of legislative accomplishments. Well, the Lame Duck session for the 111th Congress proved to be the very opposite with the passage of the Bush tax cuts, unemployment benefit extensions, food safety legislation, the START treaty with Russia, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and medical benefits for 9/11 rescue workers. In other words, we saw a flurry of activity and a lot of bi-partisan cooperation.

Continue reading
  4075 Hits
  0 Comments
John Stewart

ARRA Washington Newsletter - December 2010

ARRA sent out a special alert to our members asking you to contact your Senators urging them to oppose any legislative effort this late in the session.  If you haven't already done so, click the link below to locate the alert for further information.

http://www.arra-access.com/site/R?i=H2XNy0OZKbai21sLQ-GqKA..

America's Great Outdoors Initiative
-----------------------------------
Back in April when President Obama established the AGO initiative, he instructed that recommendations coming out of the process be on his desk by November 15th.   Well, that didn't happen and the President is still waiting.

Read more about ARRA's efforts to provide more transparancy to this process...
http://www.arra-access.com/site/R?i=fHZ1amL3-DKMk1Qh2ueiAw..

Forest Service Planning Rule
----------------------------
We have kept you apprised of all the developments surrounding the Forest Service Planning Rule from the very first day when the Notice of Intent was printed in the Federal Register. As we previously reported, recreation was barely mentioned as a priority of the agency.  ARRA members have been very active in expressing their collective concern about this major oversight and we are most appreciative of your efforts.

Read more and see the Congressional letter to Chief Tidwell...
http://www.arra-access.com/site/R?i=Hbq4F2xm0wmdxkCw9sYd3A..

2011
----
It's hard to believe that the New Year is almost upon us.  2010 has certainly been a year of challenges and of changes.  Challenges like the Forest Service Planning Rule process and the AGO Initiative.  And changes like the result of the 2010 elections.

One thing I learned from this year's electoral process is the sheer audacity of attempting the ridiculous despite overwhelming odds.  I am referring to the Tea Party movement.  Only in America could a loosely connected group of people, common citizens actually, come together outside of the traditional two party-system and make a real impact on the outcome of the elections.

Initially, both political parties chose to either demean or ignore the Tea Party Movement.  Later, the Republican Party decided it had better pay attention and began a dialogue with the Tea Partiers, and as the saying goes, the rest is history. Whether you agree with the Tea Party Movement or not, there is a lesson to be learned from their experience and that lesson is:  people do make a difference.

I think ARRA members made a difference in 2010 as well.  We were right on top of emerging issues affecting the recreation community when others were not.  We have made a difference in shaping the debate on public lands issues in the Administration and on Capitol Hill.

One could argue that the new Congress will be more receptive to our approach on federal lands issues.  Even so, it will be incumbent upon us to tell our story and to share our concerns.  We hope in the New Year you will continue to work with us on these issues.  Remember, "people do make a difference."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Larry E. Smith
Executive Director
Americans for Responsible Recreational Access

 

  4112 Hits
  0 Comments
John Stewart

ARRA Washington Newsletter - June 2010

Monumental Problems for the Department of the Interior

While the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has diverted a lot of press attention away from the Monument designation controversy, the issue remains alive and will continue to dog the Secretary of the Interior until all documents surrounding these "brainstorming sessions" are released to the Congress. Last month, we sent out a special ARRA news bulletin on this very issue and we included some of the documents released by the department. We also asked some pointed questions about what has not been disclosed.

Special ARRA News Bulletin on H. Res. 1254.

On May 25th, Reps. Hastings and Bishop wrote Secretary Salazar a letter requesting that he bring the missing documents when he testified before the House Natural Resources Committee on the very next day. The Secretary chose not to do so. This led the two congressmen to introduce on May 27 a second Resolution of Inquiry that, if passed by the full House of Representatives, would require the Department of the Interior to turn over to the House the documents in question. We anticipate the House Natural Resources Committee will vote on H. Res. 1406 sometime in June. We will soon be asking ARRA members to contact their Representatives to seek support for the Resolution.

Continue reading
  5227 Hits
  0 Comments
John Stewart

ARRA Washington Newsletter - April 2010

Sadly, one result of this process is that partisan tensions in Washington are at an all time high. Neither side seems willing or trustful enough to work with the opposing party. Like kids at the local school playground, we might have to call a "time out" and send everyone to their rooms in hopes that civility will return and members of Congress can begin to work for the common good. Short of this, we all stand to suffer.

Omnibus Public Lands Bill and More!

Last month, we reported on the Monumental Problem the Department of the Interior had when the disclosure of a confidential document revealed that the Administration was considering the designation of a whole slate of new monument areas. The leaked document was dismissed by the Secretary of the Interior as merely the work of a "brainstorming session" within the Bureau of Land Management. It now seems the little brainstorming session has morphed into something else and Administration's caterpillar is about to spread its' wings.

On March 26, 2010, the Obama Administration announced its decision to hold a White House Conference on April 16th called: America's Great Outdoors Initiative. The conference has been billed as an opportunity to collect ideas from all over the country on new initiatives that could be undertaken by the Administration to connect the American people to America's great outdoors. Normally when a White House Conference is announced, a detailed agenda is also distributed, but not in this case. Specifics about this conference coming from the Administration have been sketchy to say the least.

Due to the diligent work of a very good journalist, more details about the conference have come to light. A March 29th special bulletin of the Public Lands News reported the following: "If and when the initiative is fleshed out, insiders (we assume this means sources within the Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture) believe it could include:

*  The designation of a number of national monuments on BLM land
*  Full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund
*  Revitalization of the National Park System in time for its 100th Anniversary in 2016
*  An omnibus public lands and parks bill
*  All of the above"

Jim Coffin, editor and publisher of Public Lands News went on to write that the "source of the billions of dollars to accomplish such ambitious goals....has not been identified publicly." Coffin speculated that the money might come from off shore oil and gas royalties since Secretary Salazar has previously identified such royalties as a new source of revenue, especially if royalty revenues are increased.

Well, guess what happened on March 31, 2010, two days after Jim Coffin's article? President Obama announced a major initiative to authorize new off shore drilling for oil and gas off the Atlantic coast. The pieces of the puzzle are beginning to come together. First, we had the internal work at BLM preparing lists of action items that were later described as the results of a mere brainstorming session by some faceless government workers. Second, we have the announcement of a major White House Conference focusing on public lands, and finally, a potential funding mechanism to support such expansion efforts becomes known when the President unveils a new policy authorizing expanded off shore oil and gas exploration.

Okay, you say, why should you care and what is the rush all about? You should care because this initiative might be so huge that it will be difficult to sort out the full scope of the proposal. Remember, the Congress just passed a 2300 page health care bill even though Members of Congress didn't know all the details of the reform package. The answer to the "what's the rush" question is easy. The Obama Administration is reading the same political polls as everyone else. Predictions are that the Democratic Party will have slimmer margins when the new Congress convenes after the November elections. Therefore, the rush is to get this package through the Congress while they still have the votes!

We are hoping that good things will come out of this White House Conference, but we also believe in Ronald Reagan's mantra:trust but verify.

These next few months are shaping up to be very interesting. We will keep you posted and we hope you stay engaged.

Forest Service Planning Rule

The process of collaboration on the proposed Forest Service planning rule has begun. The first two days of meetings in Washington were called the Science Forum. Then the next two days were the National Roundtable meetings. Other sessions will occur throughout the country this month and next.

These are important sessions since they will set the tone for the future management of our National Forests. For example, one issue that received quite a bit of attention during the course of the Science Forum was the need to elevate "recreation" as an area of focus under the rule. This was one of ARRA's main criticisms of the Notice of Intent, so it was heartening to hear others say that this was an omission that needed to be addressed.

One of the themes I heard during the first day of the National Roundtable session was that our national policies are sometimes disconnected from the realities that exist at the local level. The forests in the eastern part of the U.S. are very different from those in the west. Gateway communities face different challenges than those communities totally dependent upon the harvesting of forest resources. In other words, one size doesn't fit all. This doesn't mean we shouldn't have a national rule. It does mean, however, that we need a rule that is flexible and accommodating to a variety of needs ranging from timber harvests, to grazing, to mining, to recreation and to tourism.

The rule will only be as good as the input provided in these sessions. Therefore, it is critical that the Forest Service hear from those of you who care about recreational access, especially for motorized recreation. The ARRA website has a listing of the upcoming meetings. Be engaged and make a difference. Do your part to help shape the new planning rule for our National Forests.The future is yours to control.

Sincerely,

Larry E. Smith
Executive Director
Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA)

 

  4371 Hits
  0 Comments
John Stewart

ARRA Washington Newsletter - December 2009

Washington Newsletter
December 2009

The December Legislative Race
-----------------------------
Congress has returned to Washington from its Thanksgiving recess only to face a legislative agenda packed full of unfinished business items.  One commodity not in abundance is time since the Christmas holiday is a little more than three weeks away.  The Senate will spend much of December on health care reform, but both chambers may face possible votes on supporting additional troops for the war in Afghanistan and some yet-to-be-determined legislation to address the very high unemployment rate.

Nellis Dunes National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Act
--------------------------------------------------------
It seems as though we seldom have good news to tell you, but the Nellis Dunes National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Act of 2009, H.R. 765, has the potential of becoming very good news for OHV enthusiasts living in the Las Vegas area.   The legislation, sponsored by Representative Dean Heller of Nevada, would create an OHV recreation area of more than 10,000 acres by using lands owned by Clark County and the Bureau of Land Management.   The legislation would authorize the conveyance of approximately 1,200 acres of BLM land to Clark County so the County can develop an active off-highway vehicle recreation park.  An additional 9,000 acres would be designated as an off-highway vehicle recreation area to be managed by BLM.

Continue reading
Tags:
  4865 Hits
  0 Comments

OutdoorWire Websites

OutdoorWire

OutdoorWire

Portal page for OutdoorWire Access and Landuse Central Read More
4x4Voice

4x4Voice

California OHV recreation news and information Read More
MUIRNet News

MUIRNet News

News and information about outdoor recreation Read More
4x4Wire

4x4Wire

Off road recreation and news and information Read More
TrailTalk 
Forums

TrailTalk Forums

4x4Wire TrailTalk Forums for 4x4 tech information Read More
  • 1

4x4Wire Tech Section

Jeep 4x4 Tech

Jeep 4x4 Tech

Jeep Tech from JeepWire Read More
Toyota 4x4 Tech

Toyota 4x4 Tech

Toyota Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
Mitsubishi 4x4 Tech

Mitsubishi 4x4 Tech

Mitsubishi Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
Isuzu 4x4 Tech

Isuzu 4x4 Tech

Isuzu Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
  • 1