In this September Wilderness Update we are changing our format to give you a quick synopsis of the key topics with the full stories following:
Wilderness Update - It looks like Boxer's wilderness bill is dead for this year. She will bring it before congress again in 2003. WE MUST NOT LET OUR GUARD DOWN! To be educated on the tactics and long-term goals of the environmental movement Read more
An alternative to wilderness - the Back Country Designation - We are forming a California Back Country Coalition to introduced a bill next spring as an alternative to the Boxer wilderness bill. We think the time is right to make this move based on the considerable opposition to the Wilderness bill. Read more about this promising alternative to wilderness.
Vote for candidates that support recreation - How can we protect our forests, freedom, economy and access? Support candidates that believe in rational management policies based on reason (and who also support a Back Country alternative designation). Read more
Mike Ferrantino, of Bike Magazine, disputes the claims of a "Coup" by the "Mountain Biker's For Wilderness." In this article Mike describes the coup being celebrated by the "Mountain Biker's For Wilderness (as well as the appeasing compromise IMBA reached with the wilderness proponents) as: "I never really expected 'victory' to feel this much like getting bent over and reamed, but hey, you learn something new every day..." Read more
Senator Boxer has introduced her vision of California Heritage Wilderness in the Senate. That
"vision" is not expected to advance; however, it will never go away. She and her supporters have
resorted to fraudulent tactics by use of a recently organized organization called "Mountain
Biker's For Wilderness" to fool mountain bikers into supporting this bill as described in a past
Access Alert, which can be viewed on our web site.
Three representatives from California have introduced their version of the overall Boxer Wilderness proposal. Together, these three bills encompass more area than the Boxer bill. They will not go away.
The Warrior's Society opposes the Wilderness Bill. In a recent IMBA alert Jim Hasenauer commented on Boxer's bill:
"Wilderness advocates are adept at getting people to support the concept of Wilderness without paying attention to the detailed boundaries."
"At the present time IMBA is able to support approximately half of the proposed Wilderness areas as is; about 30% of the areas need a boundary adjustment which will keep significant mountain bike trails open; about 20% of the proposed areas need to be protected by a mechanism other than Wilderness."
Similar wilderness initiatives are being prepared for New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and other states. These efforts are part of a larger plan called "The Wildlands Project"
The California Wilderness Campaign touts its support of the Wildlands Project on its web site.
To gain a deeper understanding of history and ideology of the Wildlands Project, which has its roots in the Earth First movement, visit this web site.
This site provides information on the Wildlands Project using the words of the founders of the movement, including Dave Forman, one of the founders of Earth First.
Wilderness bills as well as the movement to remove Dams and Reservoir's, is just a part of the agenda to bring the Wildlands Project to fruition.
Earth First described this campaign on their web site.
As these last two sites reveal, Dave Forman and his followers have no clue as to what will happen to the millions of citizens affected by his and the main stream environmental organizations goal to bring the Wildlands Project to fruition, to depopulate 50 percent of the United States and apply restrictions similar or more severe than the wilderness act.
No sane person would argue against protecting the environment. Where the danger lies is how you go about it. Do you look for technology and common sense methods to achieve it? Or do you take attempts to depopulate millions of people to go backward and return 50 percent of the U.S. to its "natural" state before the Europeans arrived?
Their campaign to deconstruct the dams on the Colorado River and throughout the U.S. will have tremendous impact on our water supplies when we are already facing shortages. Arizona, Nevada as well as California, depend on the water these dams provide to sustain our cities and towns.
As it is now, the need for water around the world is a crisis situation. Mexico already owes us millions of gallons of water we can't collect. We are currently experiencing drought across the U.S. and are in constant threat of it here in Southern California. The goals of the Wildlands Project and the main stream environmental movement will only add to this crisis.
How bad is the drought in the west? Governor Bill Owens of Colorado wants more dams built in order to retain more water for Colorado to deal with the drought at the expense of the states (Arizona, Nevada and California) below Colorado.
In the same article environmentalist claim they aren't to blame for the drought because ""The reservoirs we have aren't full, and if we had other ones, they would also be nearly empty."
Their policies of pursuing the agenda of removing he existing dams and reservoirs will only make this drought and future droughts worse.
But the effect on our economy, national security, and way of life as we know it are not their concerns. As Dave Forman stated:
"We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects . . . We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settled land." -- David Foreman, Earth First! Confessions of an Eco-Warrior
John Davis, editor of Wild Earth Magazine explains the Wildlands Project this way.
"Does all the foregoing mean that Wild Earth and The Wildlands Project advocate the end of industrialized civilization? Most assuredly. Everything civilized must go..." -John Davis, editor of Wild Earth magazine
Well know anti-mountain bike crusader Michael J. Vandeman is a supporter of the Wildlands Project. He and his followers are well known flamers on mountain bike message boards. Check out his web site.
On the right hand side of this page are all the activities he wants to ban from the forest. At least he doesn't discriminate, he wants to ban hiking and rafting also. Check out the other info on his site and you'll see references to other supporters of the Wildlands Project.
The mainstream environmental movement's campaign for the roadless initiative, their opposition to President Bush's Health Forest Initiative and active forest management, and the many lawsuits filed to close off areas by the Southwestern Biodiversity Center and others by abusing the endangered species act, is also part of this campaign.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Oppose the Wilderness bill
Vote Senator Boxer out of office in two years
The Blue Ribbon Coalition is looking for suggestions on the actual language for the final draft
of the "Back Country Designation". Once we have agreed to the basic principles, we will submit
the proposal to one of the potential sponsors for their congressional staff/committees to draft
final legislative language.
We will be putting out a voters guide before the November elections with a list of candidates that are supporters of an alternative designation.
You can read more about Back Country Designation on the blueribbon coalition web site. The idea is simple; protect the Back Country characteristics of these areas while allowing diverse recreation. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management need management options to protect these lands yet still allow multi-use recreational activities.
We can make a difference!
Bicyclists' political involvement in Maryland was crucial to re-electing a recreation friendly candidate, John Hurson, and defeating both a state and county bill that would have banned recreation. They also sent the sponsoring county representative packing by helping to defeat his re-election bid.
So, you don't live in California and have no influence on the California Heritage Wilderness proposal? Not quite. Congressional hearings will be held in the House and Senate during coming years. Your elected representatives are the ones that will be making the decisions on those bills.
Every two years, Americans have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote. This year, 2002, is a time when every seat in the House of Representatives is up for election. Nation wide, many Senators and state governors are also up for election. This year is also the year when re-districting due to the 2000 census will have an impact on the congressional races.
THERE ARE TWO CRITICAL POINTS THAT MUST SUCCEED IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTION
The stakes are high for this election cycle. Every candidate elected or re-elected that supports Balanced Management will help protect our public lands from the mismanagement and disasters that have befallen them.
Candidates that support Balanced Management must retain control of the House and regain control of the Senate.
Neither is a direct boon to recreation - but we must address the management crisis that is the current situation. The recent devastating fires did not come unexpected; warnings were ignored and policies being pushed and implemented only added to the fuel.
Finally, if you are not registered to vote, please do not delay: REGISTER TO VOTE!!!
CANDIDATES YOU CAN SUPPORT AND CANDIDATES YOU SHOULDN'T SUPPORT
Up until the November elections the Warrior's Society will be notifying you of candidates that support Balanced Management as well as our proposed Back Country Designation. Here are two issues you should be aware of:
In California the impact of redistricting is being felt in San Diego and Imperial Counties. These counties have been represented by one individual that has been a friend of Balanced Management: Duncan Hunter. Duncan Hunter has stood up to the opponents of Balanced Management and we appreciate his support.
The problem is redistricting has caused some changes. Duncan Hunter no longer represents Imperial County. That area has been annexed to Bob Filner's district. Filner is not a friend of Balanced Management.
Maria Garcia www.garciaforcongress.com will be running against Filner. She is a supporter of Balanced Management as is Dick Monteith who is running for Gary Condit's old seat www.monteithforcongress.com
If you live in these areas please visit their web sites and donate the cost of a pair of tires to their campaigns.
Vote for and donate to candidates at all levels of government that support the pro-active management of our Forests as well as your freedom to responsibly enjoy them.
Please exercise your freedom to vote.
"Mountain Biker's For Wilderness" described the wilderness compromise in Nevada County this way
in to Tom Stienstra who wrote about them in his San Francisco Chronicle column published
Thursday, August 22, 2002:
"A mountain biking group has won a coup by convincing Sen. Barbara Boxer to remove 300,000 acres from her landmark bill that proposes to add 2 million acres of wilderness in California.
In exchange, Mountain Bikers For Wilderness and other bike organizations will support the California Wild Heritage act of 2002.
'With Wilderness designation, we can preserve some of our remaining wild places, and I can still enjoy mountain biking on my favorite trails (with the new version of the bill),'' said Don Mass Jr., the Chico area representative for Mountain Bikers For Wilderness.
No form of mechanization, in clouding mountain bikes, is al lowed in federal-designated wil derness areas. The popularity of bikes on trails in national forests in the Sierra Nevada (outside wilderness borders) led to a statewide revolt by bikers who feared being shut down when Boxer's bill was first introduced.
In the past six weeks, fine-tuning has led to hundreds of small changes in the bill that will keep many of the most popular areas accessible for bikes, including in the Tahoe and Eldora do National Forest on the flank of the Sierra west of Tahoe."
Click here to view the access alert exposing this group as a fraud.
Mike Ferrentino of Bike Magazine (Oct. 2002 issue, page 82) had another take on the results of this compromise in Nevada County:
"...At the end of July, John Gardiner, California's newest IMBA state rep, announced, '[W]e have finally reached a reasonable compromise regarding the Wilderness/bicycle conflict...In the event that this Wilderness bill passes Congress, we would have access to all trails in the Grouse Ridge area with the exception of Sand Ridge trail, Beyers Lake Trail and the northernmost tip of the Grouse Ridge Trail north of the intersection with the Lindsey Lakes trail (near Sawmill Lake).'
Basically, this move restricts mountain bike access in the Grouse Ridge area to two out-and-back rides, one smallish loop route and nothing else. And the hikers would still be able to park right at the Feely Lake entrance and go off wherever they want. And they can keep on doing that if this becomes 'Wilderness.' I never really expected 'victory' to feel this much like getting bent over and reamed, but hey, you learn something new every day..."
In November vote for candidates that support rational management policies
Oppose the Wilderness bill
Vote Senator Boxer out of office in two years
WRITE U.S. SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN
Senator Feinstein has not yet endorsed the bill and is concerned about not only our access but also the economic effects this bill would have. The first action you can take is to contact U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Senator Feinstein's support is crucial to the advancement of Senator Boxer's bill. Senator Feinstein is carefully examining the proposal and is listening to her constituency. The time to influence her is now!
Due to security concerns, mailed letters are not the best way to convey your concerns. It takes as much as a month between mailing and the opening of a letter by congressional staff. Please send a fax or place a telephone call, then follow with a mailed letter.
PLEASE FAX YOUR LETTERS with the subject line: Oppose Wilderness Bill
Honorable Senator Feinstein
One Post St., #2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 393-0707
Fax: (619) 231-1108
Fax: (310) 914-7318
Fax: (415) 989-3242
Fax: (202) 228-3954
Fax: (559) 485-9689
Fax a copy of your message to Senator Boxer.
Honorable Senator Boxer
1700 Montgomery St., #240
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 403-0100
Fax: (213) 894-5012
Fax: (909) 888-8613
Fax: (619) 239-5719
Fax: (559) 497-5111
Fax: (415) 956-6701
Fax: (916) 448-2563
If You Can Do More...
WRITE A HOUSE SPONSOR OF THE BILL -- U.S. Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) will introduce companion bills in the House for northern California and U.S. Representative Hilda Solis (D-CA) will do the same for southern California. They, too, are examining the details of Senator Boxer's proposal. Fax your letter to:
Honorable Mike Thompson
119 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0501
Fax: (202) 225-4335
Phone: (202) 225-3311
Honorable Hilda Solis
1641 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0531
Fax: (202) 225-5467
Phone: (202) 225-5464
WRITE YOUR CONGRESSPERSON -- Find the name and address of your member of Congress. Ask your member to speak to Representatives Thompson and Solis about bicycling and the Wilderness bill.
WRITE YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER -- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Learn the address of your local paper.
Messages to television and radio stations, web news sources and discussion groups are also appropriate. Letters to media should be
short -- around 200 words. Reasoned discussion is always preferable to inflamed rhetoric. The goal is to persuade others, not to yell.
POINTS TO MAKE IN YOUR LETTER
* State your concern that some of California's best trails will be closed to bikes through Wilderness designations. If you have specific knowledge of areas in Senator Boxer's proposal that overlap great riding, provide that information.
* Mountain bikers support conservation and would support alternative designations such as the Backcountry Designation http://www.sharetrails.org/backcountry.htm
* California is the birthplace of mountain biking and home to 2.5 million off-road cycling enthusiasts. We are an important constituency that generates millions of tourism dollars for the state of California. Bicycling adds more than $2 billion annually to the state's economy.
* Citizens need detailed maps of all proposed Wilderness areas to carefully examine this geographically based proposal.
LONG PROCESS AHEAD -- STAY TUNED
To pass, this bill must go through a committee process in the Senate, then a vote of the full Senate. The bill must go through a similar process in the House of Representatives. Once both bills make it through their respective chambers, they must then go to a conference committee to iron out the differences. If the bill doesn'tâ pass by November, the entire process must start again next year.
The wilderness bill is part of a bigger plan called the Wildlands Project, which seeks to put 50 percent of the United States under the same restrictions or more severe restriction than the Wilderness Act. We will have more information on the Wildlands project in the second part of our two part commentary "Do The Mainstream Environmental Organizations Deserve Your Blind Support?" We also have other examples of the corruption used to fool the public into adopting the more extreme policies of the environmental movement.
There are many other actions attempted to be taken that will affect our access and support the Wildlands Project. AB1130 Ð The Sierra Nevada Conservancy Bill also being pushed by Senator Shelia Kuehl (D-Los Angeles) will also have an effect if it is enacted. This is part of the California Legacy campaign, also part of the Wildlands Project, being supported by the Wilderness supporters and their allies in State Government. The Sierra Nevada Conservancy will result in more closures for mountain bikers.
While held up last week from moving out of the Senate Resource & Wildlife Committee, it has been shoved into AB997, a bill dealing with stream bed alteration also authored by Dickerson.
IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY, TAKE ACTION NOW!
Click here for a list of all the wilderness alerts
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