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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It took me a minute to fill out the form to send a message to my congressman. (They provide the text for you) PLEASE do this!

Please click here to send a message to your congressman:

http://capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/alert/?alertid=14061961


*************

Scott Johnston sent a message to the members of Rubicon Trail Foundation.

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Subject: Are You Tired of Government Over Stepping it's Bounds?

Take Back Utah!
Are You Tired of Government Over Stepping it's Bounds?

The below is from Utah Shared Access Alliance:
Let's help them keep Moab open!!


We have been warning you and thousands of others that this day would come. On October 1, 2009 a congressional committee will consider a wilderness bill that would turn 9.4 million acres of Utah public land into congressionally designated wilderness. This is a major step towards the closing of nearly 40% of all the land that BLM manages in Utah. This may seem surreal but it is actually happening. We must stop this bill. With your help we can do it. Please read this email in entirety, forward it to friends, and act on its call for help. With enough of you getting involved we guarantee we can either stop this bill or minimize the damage that it will cause.

Please click here to send a message to your congressman:

http://www.facebook.com/l/7dad6;capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/alert/?alertid=14061961

Or here: http://capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/alert/?alertid=14061961

The bill in its entirety:

http://www.facebook.com/l/7dad6;thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:HR01925:|/bss/111search.html|

If you would like to read the propaganda from our opposition and the main proponents of the bill go here http://www.facebook.com/l/7dad6;www.suwa.org. Be sure to take some anti-nausea medication these guys spin things pretty hard.


Sincerely,
Michael Swenson
Utah Shared Access Alliance
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Wow, more bullshit from the government? I'm shocked.

edit: Dug into the website a little bit; the Sierra Club is a supporter of SUWA. That tells me all I need to know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Who or what is SUWA?

And note that no congressman in Utah is supporting this bill. I think it's bullshit that if no one in the state that is affected is supporting the bill, that the rest of the states can impose it.

Alas that's democracy!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WTF????

I didn't vote to promote the wilderness act! Still, The Utah Wilderness bill is at an impasse (see her email below) So I guess that is good? -Molly


Congresswoman Betsy Markey to me
show details 8:26 AM (10 minutes ago)

Dear Molly Houck,

Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 1925, the Red Rock Wilderness Act. I appreciate hearing from you, and I am working hard to stand up for the people of Colorado's 4th District.

Colorado's wilderness is a treasure and that is why I voted for the H.R. 146, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. I am proud to have introduced two wildness measures that were included in the final bill, the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness Act and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Expansion Act.

Over the past several years, legislation has been introduced into the House of Representatives to expand Utah's wilderness areas. The current legislation, introduced by Congressman Maurice Hinchey of New York, would designate over 9 million acres of Bureau of Land Management land as Wilderness Preservation Areas. I believe we need to ensure our wild open spaces are preserved for future generations, however when we evaluate these lands, we cannot merely look at the acreage we need to look at the overall picture. Congress is currently at an impasse over this issue because of the acreage involved and since it does not have the support of the Utah delegation.

We need to take steps toward the preservation of our wild land, but it needs to be done in a manner that allows stakeholders to come together and have an opportunity to be a part of the process. We need an inclusive public course or action that will ensure all those concerned have adequate opportunity to comment about decisions regarding our public lands.

I encourage you to continue to contact me about the issues that are important to you. Please feel free to visit my website (http://betsymarkey.house.gov) where you can share your ideas with me, learn about the services I can provide to you, and sign up for my periodic email updates on what I am doing to help Colorado's 4th District.


Sincerely,

Betsy Markey
Member of Congress
 

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Sent to Mr. Polis this morning:

Dear Mr. Polis:

I sincerely hope you have time to read this, as it is not a form letter, though I've sent it from an online resource.

I am writing to ask you to oppose or revise H.R. 1925, America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act of 2009. This was brought to my attention via a call for action, and normally would have a form letter attached...something about my being a "concerned outdoor recreationist." While I am an outdoor ecreationist, I am certainly not the sort of "concerned citizen" who shows up for every government meeting, writes letters to the editor, and in general sticks their nose in everyone else's business. I am simply a citizen, doing my job day by day, and enjoying my public lands outside of work and hobbies. I am, frankly, very enthusiastic about enjoying my public lands, and very protective of them...both in the sense of preservation for future generations, and as concerns my and future generations' access to them.

The approximately nine million acres proposed for designation as Wilderness in H.R. 1925 contain what I consider to be National Treasures of the Natural World, beautiful and unique, remote and wild. These areas, by their very nature, are difficult to access even by Jeeps and trucks. The time required to access these areas on foot greatly magnifies the difficulty of access, not to mention the logistics of using horses or bicycles to traverse these regions or to access a remote trailhead. Removing the ability to access these areas with a vehicle will put them effectively out of reach of myself and many other people...people who work hard during the week and hope for a weekend where they can drive out somewhere wild and remote, turn off the engine, and unwind by hiking in the wilderness for a couple of days.

Removing that access, as H.R 1925 would do, removes that opportunity for me. Diminishing the areas where I can go for those opportunities means crowding me and many others in to a shrinking collection of overcrowded, noisy and filthy campsites (for example, at Colorado National Monument, where my girlfriend now refuses to camp, or any number of public campgrounds where noise continues well in to the night), or coordinating time outside of work for a once-a-year, week-long hiking trip, where I might see a small fraction of one of these areas. This is not what I want.

I feel it is important to note that while the resolution mentions that it is important to preserved these incredible scenic areas for future generations, passage of HR 1925 will no more allow future generations to enjoy their beauty than it will allow you or I to enjoy them in the present day. Designation as a Wilderness Area means no vehicles, no horses, no bicycles, and in some cases no access whatsoever. H.R. 1925 would effectively put many currently-accessible areas of the backcounty out of reach of nearly everyone.

I strongly urge you to consider either revising H.R. 1925, or voting against it entirely, and instead champion a multi-use resolution which protects these unique regions while still allowing access on foot, horseback, bicycle, truck and jeep. There exist many examples of responsible use, of "mechanized" corridors within wilderness areas--"mechanized" refers to bicycles as well as trucks, jeeps, motorcycles and other vehicles--where the wilderness area remains unspoiled, and the corridor allows these public lands to be seen by the public, to be hiked in, to be enjoyed by current and future generations. In fact, one of the proposed closures, the "Behind the Rocks" area near Moab, Utah, already has a designated wilderness study area. The <removed> area, also in Utah, is I believe an excellent example of a mechanized corridor through, and accessing, a pristine wilderness area. Travel off-route is limited to a narrow swath away from the existing road, and <the area> remains, in my mind, one of the most beautiful, unique, and unspoiled areas in the country.

Closing these areas does not mean anything for future generations except perhaps a bird's eye view from an aircraft. Opposing H.R 1925 means allowing the public to experience and enjoy public lands. If you feel a revision to H.R.1925 would be more appropriate, please designate the areas in question as "Wilderness" with access corridors, as opposed to the outright closure the resolution seems to encourage. I use my vehicle in as responsible a manner as possible, adhering closely to the standards of "Treading Lightly", to access these areas for hiking, running, camping, photography, you name it, I do it there. Without motorized access, these areas will be effectively lost to me and the majority of the public...many of the areas mentioned in the resolution are difficult to access as it is.

I understand the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources will hold a hearing for H.R. 1925 on October 1. I encourage you to let your colleagues on the Committee know that this designation of over nine million acres of new Wilderness will not preserve these areas for future generations, it will restrict them from us and our children, now and forever. Please keep in mind the inscription on the Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone National Park: "For the benefit and enjoyment of the people." The letter, spirit, and living legacy of the Act which created that park is in stark contrast to the content of H.R. 1925.

We cannot afford to close any more trails. It is neither impossible nor unusual to keep our public lands preserved as well as open to the public. Again, I ask that you oppose H.R. 1925.

Thank you for your consideration of this important issue. If you are interested in discussing this more, I can refer you to people better equipped for the discussion than myself. I may be reached via email at <my email>.

Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely,
Sean
 

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I got the same freaking letter, Molly....of course... Yeah, thanks for picking out the keyword "wilderness" in my letter and sending out a form letter with completely the wrong response. :rolleyes:
 

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Who or what is SUWA?
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

I think it's bullshit that if no one in the state that is affected is supporting the bill, that the rest of the states can impose it.
Not directed at the application to this specific instance, but I disagree with this logic. Flip it around. What if everyone in the local area/state wanted to close some place lake Barstow or the Rubicon, but nobody else did? Should everyone outside that state have no say in the matter? We're talking about federal lands here, those owned by every citizen of the country (from the widely optimistic standpoint). If I still lived back east and CO or UT or whoever was allowed to start mining or other mineral extraction in some wonderous area just because it benefited their state at the expense of destroying something like Arches, a place I might only get to see once in my life, you can be sure I'd still be pretty pissed about it. Some things need federal protection and management less they be exploited and destroyed by greedy locals. Again, not directed at this specific bill.

But the biggest question I do have about this specific bill is where is the map? The bill just describes general areas and acreages. And yes, some of them are pretty alarming. But they just officially turned RMNP into a wilderness and I don't see any roads closing. In fact, I've been to a number of wilderness areas where specific travel corridors have been left out where existing roads and trails were. I can't find any specific information for this bill that states if it would in fact be a blanket closure or if they would leave such corridors open. Just a bunch of propaganda and spin from both sides. The one very small scale map I have seen would seem to indicate that a number of existing road/trail corridors would be left open.

I also don't see the problem with Markey's form response letter. Sure it's general and politically soft, but as I read it she basically states that while she does support wilderness acts she does not support this one because of its approach/method of formation - which lacks public input, doesn't have support of the local reps, and covers a very large area that can't have been studied carefully enough to determine the merit of a wilderness designation. It certainly seems applicable to me.
 

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In fact, I've been to a number of wilderness areas where specific travel corridors have been left out where existing roads and trails were. I can't find any specific information for this bill that states if it would in fact be a blanket closure or if they would leave such corridors open.
Yes.

Why I wrote what I did, rather than just send the form letter as-is. It is certainly possible, and to my mind preferable, to protect wilderness while at the same time allowing access through mechanized corridors. The trail through Pritchett Canyon is exactly that, and I can think of more, but that's probably the best example known to most...one of the hardest trails, through an area under the most stringent of access restrictions, no problem.

Protect and conserve for the enjoyment of the people, not from the people.

-Sean
 

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they have been trying to turn moab into a wilderness area since the 70s. there is a bill about it every couple of years. not too worried. :2cents:
Liberal Democrat president plus a liberal Democrat congress with a majority vote, in an era rife with legislation funded and lobbied for by niche special interest groups. Don't get caught with your pants down.

If leadership were more centrist right now, I wouldn't worry so much either...but this is the extremes lobbying the extremists for action.

-S
 

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Yes.

Why I wrote what I did, rather than just send the form letter as-is. It is certainly possible, and to my mind preferable, to protect wilderness while at the same time allowing access through mechanized corridors. The trail through Pritchett Canyon is exactly that, and I can think of more, but that's probably the best example known to most...one of the hardest trails, through an area under the most stringent of access restrictions, no problem.

Protect and conserve for the enjoyment of the people, not from the people.

-Sean
Pritchett Canyon has issues with private ownership being involved in the access to the trail ... the SUWA has a link about the land swap act in the area. That land swap act potentially has done more to keep trails open than most anything ... just need the understanding and cooperation of private land owners to make this a win-win!

If the off road community was in the past and is in the future respectful in the first place there probably wouldn't be land use issues!
 

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Goes to show why we have the problem we do though - they EXPECT a ton of responses from the greenies, none from us.
I think you should re read the content of the letter ... it is aimed at saying this bill is not currently the proper one for creating a wilderness area in Utah because it is a 9 million acre wilderness area blanket that has not been properly defined ... the opening paragraph is a statement to how a proper bill did not effect our off road community(stackholders) and benefited all of us with the preservation of land from development, mining and logging via the wilderness designation!

I think the key thing to read into this letter is that there are millions of people in eastern states(represented by the 70 YR OLD NY congressmen that keeps submitting this bill) that view the unpopulated part of Utah as a money drain and are more focused on the numbers that effect their daily life and not the details that effect us semiannually!

Making public land a designated wilderness area saves us tax money and generally appeases the "greenies" with out taking away land access to those who recreate and use those areas now ... it should be a win-win if done properly.
Wilderness area designation does eliminate mining, logging and development ... those are more effective at closing trails than anything in my observation!

This has been going on for twenty years ... and failed for twenty years!

I support wilderness areas in general ... it just needs to be well defined like RMNP and not 1/5 of Utah!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah but my guess is that it is NOT being done properly, nor will it ever get done properly. There are too many cheifs and not enough indians in our democracy now-a-days.
 

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Pritchett Canyon has issues with private ownership being involved in the access to the trail
That is not what I referred to, but it is a factor there and at several other trails where SITLA parcels overlapped existing routes. I'm not sure I'd call it an "issue" since the landowners have largely been accepting of the existing routes, provided users are respectful of the land they traverse, or in the case of Pritchett, pay the owner.

Making public land a designated wilderness area saves us tax money and generally appeases the "greenies" with out taking away land access to those who recreate and use those areas now ... it should be a win-win if done properly.
Wilderness area designation does eliminate mining, logging and development ... those are more effective at closing trails than anything in my observation!

This has been going on for twenty years ... and failed for twenty years!

I support wilderness areas in general ... it just needs to be well defined like RMNP and not 1/5 of Utah!
Agreed. Properly is the key. I would point out however that RMNP, and other areas which are not in national parks but are in national forests, are not open to off-pavement travel. The "why" may be debatable, but the end result--closure--is certainly not up for debate.

Yeah but my guess is that it is NOT being done properly, nor will it ever get done properly.
That's why it needs our responses...as well as our responsible stewardship :). Not "our" as in COTTORA, but "our" as in people who use public land.

-Sean
 

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Yeah but my guess is that it is NOT being done properly, nor will it ever get done properly. There are too many cheifs and not enough indians in our democracy now-a-days.
You do realize that Democracy is based on the principal of keeping the Cheifs from getting things done "properly" ... "indians" are also the folks that generally don't want things getting done!

If you are one of the millions living in New York and don't drive a car let alone a 4x4 and can't find Utah on a map let alone want to see your tax dollars go there, for no tangible benefit to you, you might understand the aim of this bill!

Our democratic representative system works ... if you take time to look at it and understand it!
For twenty years now this bill has not passed , and in the future if it does pass it will likely not hurt our ability to recreate there!

The real threat to closing of trails in Moab is private ownership limiting or removing access to the public land or usage rights being given to mining ,logging ect.
...a lack of money and time to manage and maintain them...
which us properly using ,volunteering and supporting via user fees may alleviate.

Please realize that there is a history to this topic... beyond the period of time we have chosen to get involved with it!

We need to keep doing a number of things we are already doing, like Stay the Trails and Blue Ribbon promote ... the divisive stuff that pits the 4x4 community agains "greenies" just sets us back ... SUWA is not wholly an enemy to us and we need to quit buying into them being an enemy until they specifically say we are their enemy!

http://www.suwa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_mission

Nothing in their mission statement says take away current land from 4x4 use or make recreational use of all public lands go away.
 
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