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The Grange standing Conservation and Environmental Committee has been expanded to include Policy and Procedure.

 

 

 

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“It is probably a healthy exercise, when considering the extinction of species in this age, to remember that many thousands of life forms have ceased to exist from wholly natural causes -- dinosaurs spring invariably to mind.  And further that some organisms -- especially primitive forms, which, as it were, are ‘past their prime’ -- will pass into oblivion, both without human assistance and in spite of it.” - from The Birdwatcher’s Companion, page 229, authored by Christopher Leahy of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, 1982.
 
 
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Position Paper On Tolowa Dunes / Kellogg Beach Parks In Del Norte County

(Key Points)

Overview: The key issue underlying most if not all political action & interaction in Del Norte County (DN) today is land use.

    • Private land rights to own free & clear, to use / manage for income, development & as a form of personal wealth. (V Amendment)
    • County government and public involvement in the due processes for the use & control of public lands. (CEQA & NEPA)

Failure of the California State Parks and Recreation agency to follow proper Public Process when creating the Tolowa Dunes State Park (2001).

  • Failure to follow proper public notification to the general public of possible adverse impacts to our uninterrupted historic recreational and commercial uses both after and before the creation of the Tolowa Dunes State Park in 2001.
  • Failure of California State Parks to notify the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors that a new State Park was being created in the county in 2001.
  • Also failure to notify the County Board of Supervisors of potential changes to the historic recreational and commercial uses at Kellogg Beach (Pt St George to the Mouth of the Smith River) after the new park was created.

To redress these as well as other related issues there is an immediate and compelling need to:

First - preserve of the uninterrupted historic public recreational and commercial uses at the "2001 designated Tolowa Dunes State Park" (TDSP).

  • As stipulated in the April 1983 Interim Plan
  • Acknowledgement that this plan and its tenets have never been supplanted and to date remains in force.
  • This "ecological jewel" (TDSP) is a direct product of uninterrupted historical and commercial use for activities mentioned in the 1982 "Lake Earl Project Interim Plan for Land Use and Management of State Lands". Del Norte County government and public fully supports and intends to take a proactive role in the continuance of this state and view the Interim Plan as a starting point for managed diverse multi use of the TDSP.
  • Review the failure by California State Parks to immediately implement the codes and regulations that could possibly adversely impact uninterrupted historic use in a timely fashion. An action that would have alerted the county government and it's residents to potential loss of our uninterrupted historic recreational and commercial interests.

Second - have an impartial full and through review of the TDSP legitimacy; any and all documentation showing notification or lack thereof to the County of Del Norte regarding the formation of the "Lake Earl Project" going back to the late 1970's and including the redress of the following grievances:

  • No notification in or to Del Norte County in the 1970's on the formation of the "Lake Earl Project."
  • No CEQA studies conducted before the 2001 creation of the TDSP.
  • No notification to the BofS prior to the creation a new California State Park (TDSP 2001)

  • Lack of proper "legal notice" to the General Public in 2001 prior to the creation of the TDSP.

  • No public hearing in Del Norte County regarding the formation of TDSP.
  • No public hearing in Del Norte County announcing any potential changes that could potentially occur that would adversely impact the uninterrupted historic recreational and commercial uses at the newly created Tolowa Dunes State Park.
  • No notification was ever given to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors regarding the potential changes that could potentially occur after the Tolowa Dunes State Park was created in 2001 until the belated presentation by Marilyn Murphy on August 23, 2005.

Third - keep county government and public involvement active and involved via open, transparent and timely disclosure of all current and future state actions involving public land, public land transfer (swaps) and public land use in Del Norte County as per CEQA and NEPA (where applicable).

Fourth - take whatever means, including the use of motorized equipment, required to open fully, equally and with out discrimination TDSP to the handicapped, infirm and / or elderly; in full accordance with the letter and intent of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Recently there were three announced meetings with CA State Parks and Del Norte County residents on the TDSP issue. One on 02 January 06  and another on 26 January 06 indicating a strong expressed desire by all with the intent to cooperate in the management of TDSP based on the Interim Plan. Only one meeting produced a document, one strongly indicating the desire for mutual cooperation. This intent was strongly outlined in the State Park's Agenda for the second meeting.

The second meeting was attended by Supervisor Blackburn from the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors and all other notable interest groups were invited. There was a strong showing by OHV, small beach related enterprises and handicapped. Other groups (i.e. Friends of Del Norte), though officially invited, didn't show.

State Parks presented their Agenda (a summery of notes made at the previous meeting), it was accepted by all; but then never stayed long enough to cover half the items "in their own agenda". One can only speculate that perhaps they had another, "hidden agenda".

They did, however; say there'd be another meeting. They (State Parks) had an idea that they would present to us all for discussion, a State Parks opinion / idea / suggested compromise (words they used)  at our next get together.

The expressed goal would be to hold a series of future meetings with a mutually acceptable neutral facilitator, involving all concerned parties.

The third meeting was held 03 February 06. It was billed as a "Workshop" with the idea of hearing all points of view either submitted to State Parks in writing prior to the meeting or in writing at the meeting. The results were to be compiled and announced shortly after - as of this writing (11 May 06) we are still waiting.

Your humble reporter has reviewed both prior submissions and those supplied at the "Workshop". The prior submissions were mostly in letter / e-mail form and were from representatives of a few local groups with a more significant proportion from well-funded, well-heeled large special interest national conservation organs. Needless to say; they vehemently opposed all open, free, cooperative, managed multi use of the TDSP recreational area.

On the other hand, the submissions at the 03 February meeting went 180 degrees in the other direction. The meeting was highly attended by our local residents who demonstrated overwhelmingly their support to cooperate in the open, free and managed multi use of TDSP (essentially The Interim Plan of 1983).

(Submitted by alt)

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Protest - click pic

A post script note: Shortly after the the 03 Feb. meeting your LE Grange organized and collected over 400 signed form letters supporting managed OHV use of TDSP. These were then faxed to the State Parks office in Sacramento - to date - there has been no recognition, much less acceptance, of this Del Norte County petition to our state government. 

(For more Info On Public Usage Loss in Our Parks click here.) 

 

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How Coordination Plans Work


by Fred Kelly Grant

Local governments that have implemented “coordination” status with federal management agencies are successfully fighting erosion of private property rights in their communities.  The “coordination” status is authorized by almost every federal statute relating to management of land, resource, and environment.  All the local government has to do is formally accept the congressional invitation to “coordinate,” and federal agencies have no choice but to agree.

What is this “coordination” factor, which elevates the involvement of local government in federal planning and management actions?  The foundation for the concept is found in the Federal Land Policy Management Act, i.e. commonly known as FLPMA.   Section 1712 of Title 43 of the United States Code requires that the Bureau of Land Management must coordinate its “land use inventory, planning, and management actions” with any local government which has engaged in land use planning for the federal lands managed by the federal agencies.

Congress did not leave the definition of the word “coordination” to chance, or to the whim of the federal management agencies.  Congress defined the word by specifying the duties and responsibilities of the BLM regarding local plans.  The statute REQUIRES the following:

  1. BLM must keep apprised of local land use plans;
  2. BLM must assure consideration is given to local plans when federal plans are being developed;
  3. BLM must attempt to resolve inconsistencies between federal and state local plans;
  4. BLM must provide “meaningful…involvement” of local government officials in the development and revision of plans, guidelines and regulations;
  5. The Secretary must, finally, compare local and federal plans and make sure they are consistent “to the maximum extent…consistent with federal law.

BLM regulations set forth a very clear process by which the local government, which has developed a plan is able to “coordinate” with the BLM, and this process includes an elevation of the participation level of the local government to a point of notice and “meaningful” participation above and ahead of “public participation.”

Note that the statute does not limit mandatory coordination to “counties,” but rather extends it to “local government.”  That language includes any unit of local government, often identified as any separate tax raising unit of government, i.e., school districts, road districts, fire districts, irrigation districts, and cities and towns.  So, in a county where county commissioners or supervisors refuse to develop a local plan for coordination status, any school board or other tax-raising unit of government can gain coordinate status for itself.  The ideal goal for local government would be to develop a plan by which the county, towns within the county, school districts, irrigation districts, fire districts, could all participate in the same coordination activities.

Other federal land management agencies are also required to deal with local governments on a higher plane than they do with the general public.  This applies to those which operate under and implement the National Forest Management Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the National Preservation Act, Soil Conservation district statutes, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Two of the most important elements of coordination are prior notice and necessity of seeking consistence.  First, prior notice of planning and management actions gives local government the opportunity to make its analysis, to make its recommendations, and then monitor the consistency of federal action to local plan throughout the process.  The local government must receive notice even before anyone else in the general public.  Second,  the federal agency is required to make every practicable effort to make the federal and local position consistent.  If consistency and agreement cannot be conceived, the issue of consistency goes to the Secretary of Interior.

To gain maximum impact from coordination status, a local government must develop and adopt a local land use and management plan, which defines the natural resource priorities in terms of the economic, social, and political customs and culture of the community.  In those areas in which livestock grazing is critical to the economy, priorities must be set with the economic backbone centralized.  All local industries and uses that make up the economic strength of the community should be prioritized with regard to their dependence upon and impact upon the natural resources and environment.  Each area’s plan should be written specific to the area, taking into account the adverse impact on the economy if federal agencies restrict and reduce natural resource use.  An existing plan from another area can be used as an example of format and of methods of establishing priorities, but each area must develop its own plan, specific to the area and its citizen’s needs.

An effective path to development of a plan takes one of two forks:

  1. Where county supervisors or commissioners, or the governing body of the particular taxing district, want to implement a coordination status, they can achieve that status by appointing a natural resource council which will put together the local plan and its priorities.  They present it to the Commissioners/Supervisors for adoption, and then serve as advisors on natural resource issues to the governing board.
  2. Where the Commissioners/Supervisors are not of a mind to develop and adopt a plan, then those of you seeking protection take up the process of developing the plan, independently.  When you have finished the plan, it is up to you and your supporters to use all your persuasiveness to convince the governing board to adopt the plan.

Once the plan is adopted, the council should be appointed by the Commissioners/Supervisors to monitor actions of state and federal agencies for the purpose of making sure they maintain consistency with local plans, and of making sure that when new issues arise they take on the work of presenting amendments to the local plan to cover the new issues.

Once the local plan is adopted, the governing body must advise the Federal and State agencies that the local government is involved in land use planning within the terms of the federal statutes and regulations relating to federal-local coordination.  The advisory letter should invite the agencies to send personnel to meet with the governing body to discuss the procedure through which coordination will be implemented.  That procedure should be decided upon and reduced to a written agreement in order to avoid future disputes as to how and where coordination took place.  The procedure should set forth all the elements of coordination set forth in FLPMA: advance notice, opportunity for early comment and persuasion, and consistency review. 

Even though FLPMA itself may not be involved in the land management issues you face, the other federal statutes have like requirements.  For example, the Secretary of Interior must give local government advance notice of any listing decision that he intends to make, and he must take into account any local plan relating to species before he makes a listing decision.  These duties put local government at the table with U.S. Fish and Wildlife.  The Clean Water Act also requires that consideration be given to local plans as to water quality, so this requirement puts participating local governments at the table with EPA and the state environmental quality agencies.

In the world of coordination, Owyhee County, Idaho and Modoc County, California (both of which have been using coordinate status to protect their citizens for the past ten years) can offer a long list of success stories about situations in which local government has brought state and federal agencies to the table for solutions which are not harmful to ranchers, farmers and water users.

Click Here to Read County Planning Success Stories in Owyhee County

Development of the group of citizens who are interested enough to work tirelessly on development of a plan and persuasion of commissioners/supervisors is the first step to achieve coordinate status.  It is highly recommended that the this group consist of representatives of the industries of the area, Tribal representatives (if possible), business people, school board or district representatives, fire department, water users, and health districts be invited to participate.  The broader the group, the more inclusive will be your plan, and the more persuasive will be the presentation to the governing board for adoption.

It is highly recommended that anyone interested in pursuing the coordinate approach for local government should attend a seminar offered by Stewards of the Range, taught by Fred Kelly Grant, on the process of developing, gaining passage of, and then enforcing a coordinating local plan.

Click here for Training Sessions on Coordination Plans.



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NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted
material  herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have
expressed  a  prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit
research and  educational purposes only. For more information go to:
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HOLD THE WIRE

 

This Story Is Hot Off The Press

&

Still Developing

 

Two Camber of Commerce Del Nortians recently traveled to the State Capital, Sacramento, to meet and talk to people who most affect what happens in our community. One of them, Mr. Chris Howard, gave a report to the Board of Supervisors at the last meeting (10/10/06).

 

He covered quite a few points, however one stood out like a sore thumb. Evidently during a meeting with State Parks' Ms. Ruth Coleman (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22217); Ms. Coleman dropped a bomb when she confirmed to both Chris Howard (Chamber Pres.) and Mike Sullivan (Supervisor Elect) that State Parks was planning to shut down all activity within the redwood parks system - including Jedediah (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=413).  Scary!

 

At present we don't know much more than that. Supervisor Elect Gerry Hemmingsen will be meeting with Ms. Coleman in a couple of days and may be able to glean more info for us on this very important Del Norte matter.

 

For the rest of the story stay tuned and periodically check back with us here @ LEGrange E-News.

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Wilderness Designation Trade-Offs Faulted
Environmentalists Say Bills to Protect a Million Acres Come With Too High a Price

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 24, 2006; A03

Congress is on the verge of approving half a dozen bills that would protect as much as 1 million acres of wilderness areas across the West, but the move has infuriated environmentalists who charge that lawmakers are giving away too much pristine public land to real estate developers and local communities in the process.

If lawmakers finish work on the legislation before adjourning -- several bills have passed the House already and a Senate hearing is scheduled for Wednesday -- it would amount to the largest designation of new wilderness areas in a decade. But advocates and critics are in a bitter fight over the trade-offs, with opponents saying the public is paying too high a price.

One pending bill would protect a 273,000-acre stretch of California's northern coast to preserve steelhead and salmon habitat -- but it would also guarantee that off-road vehicles could use an area nearby. Another measure would create a 300,000-acre wilderness area in Idaho while handing over 4,000 acres to state and local authorities to develop or manage on their own.

"For a public interest movement to succeed, it has to be supported by the public and it has to move [forward]," said Rick Johnson, Idaho Conservation League executive director, who teamed up with Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) to craft the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act. "This is not the time to let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

But several environmental activists, including singer-songwriter and Idaho resident Carole King and Janine Blaeloch, director of the Seattle-based Western Lands Project, said the bills would set a dangerous precedent.

"With some environmental groups supporting these bills, we are entrenching this trend and we're making it more difficult for wilderness advocates in the future to gain uncompromised wilderness designations," Blaeloch said. "When you're in a hostile political environment that requires these kinds of trade-offs, you need to stop."

The new legislative approach reflects a simple political reality: Republican congressional leaders will accept new wilderness areas only if they come with these kinds of trade-offs. Wilderness designations have often been difficult to push through Congress because they are more restrictive than national forest or park designations, and bar man-made structures or roads within their confines.

As House Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-Calif.) said in an interview: "If I didn't want wilderness, I easily could have stopped all these bills."

Instead, Pombo let Simpson's bill and Rep. Mike Thompson's (D-Calif.) Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Act pass his committee and the full House in late July after they made concessions to off-road vehicle buffs and local officials.

"By doing that, you've brought in groups who have been historically opposed and made them into supporters," Pombo said.

The battle over the Idaho bill, which would create the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness area northeast of Boise, is typical. The proposed site, which overlaps the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, includes trails that cut across boulder fields featuring gigantic granite rocks the size of railroad cars. The rocks were dragged by glaciers thousands of years ago and dropped into odd and seemingly precarious perches.

There are several emerald and turquoise alpine lakes in the area, as well as waterfalls that pour into local streams. In summer, the ground is a patchwork of brilliantly colored wildflowers -- including lupine, Indian paintbrush, columbines and lilies -- that grow in the sunny vales between patches of forest.

Simpson, who grew up visiting the area's Redfish Lake, calls Boulder-White Clouds "one of the most beautiful areas, and one of the most contentious areas," in his state. He has spent six years working on the issue, trying to reconcile environmentalists' priorities with those of ranchers embroiled in litigation over imperiled species, county officials who want to expand their tax bases and motorized-vehicle users.

"It's just something that needs to be done," he said, adding that when it comes to his bill, "wilderness is only one part of it."

That approach infuriates King, who has lived in Idaho for 29 years and owns a ranch and a condominium in the two counties affected by Simpson's bill. King estimates that she spends half her time lobbying to preserve the state's wild areas and has "probably met with a third of Congress at this point."

"I'm fighting for every possible area that can still be experienced as the Creator made it," she said in an interview. "You don't compromise what the Creator made."

Anticipating congressional action, a coalition of 80 environmental groups published an open letter to the conservation community this month urging their allies to reject wilderness bills that sell off public land.

Carl Pence, who served as the Sawtooth National Recreational Area's ranger between 1987 and 1993, criticized provisions of the bill that would designate trails for motorized vehicles, saying they run the risk of requiring federal officials to pay for relocating the routes if riders end up harassing wildlife.

"It's a second-class wilderness," Pence said.

But Johnson, of the Conservation League, called such complaints naive, saying off-road vehicle registrations in Idaho have tripled in the past three years and conservationists would be better off codifying the current trails in law to prevent them from encroaching elsewhere.

"People are buying these toys, and once they get into this country, it's hard to get them out," he said. "What we gain is a place that will be quiet forever."

Cliff Hansen, one of Custer County's three commissioners, said he decided to back the wilderness designation only when he became convinced that it would offer some revenue for the county and sufficient rights for off-road riders.

"Everybody's given a little, and I think it's a good bill," he said. "When it first came about, part of me thought we didn't need more wilderness in our area."

One of the most successful champions of these trade-offs has been Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who has written three bills in the past six years designating 2.1 million acres of wilderness in his state. To gain support, his two most recent bills -- both of which were co-sponsored by GOP Sen. John Ensign (Nev.) -- allowed Nevada authorities to pipe water to Las Vegas from hundreds of miles away and to auction off thousands of acres of federal land to the highest bidder.

"We've worked hard to tack on conservation components to what are essentially development bills," said John Wallin, director of the Nevada Wilderness Project.

Mike Matz, executive director of the Campaign for America's Wilderness, financed by the Pew Charitable Trusts and other foundations, said his group sees these proposals as the best way to add as much as 6 million acres of designated wilderness in the next six years. Other environmentalists "want to hold out for the whole enchilada, but the problem is Congress doesn't swallow the whole enchilada."

However, even Matz, along with many other environmentalists, balks at a bill being pushed by Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R) and Rep. Jim Matheson (D), both of Utah, that would sell as much as 40 square miles of federal land -- nearly twice the size of Manhattan -- and use the profits to pay for a water pipeline and other area projects.

Bennett, whose proposal would sell off as much as 25,000 acres of federal land in Utah's fast-growing Washington County while protecting other red-rock areas, said environmentalists would be wise to take the deal he is offering.

His advice to them, he said in an interview, is: "Take it and then keep arguing for more, that's your job. I don't object to you earning a salary for a hopeless cause."

Staff writer Rick Weiss contributed to this report from Idaho.

 2006 The Washington Post Company

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To see US House text of HR 233 click HERE  
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House approves wilderness bills for California, Oregon, Idaho

MATTHEW DALY
Associated Press

The House approved legislation Monday to create about 277,000 acres of federal wilderness in far northern California, one in a series of bills to protect national forest land in Western states.

The bills would create nearly 670,000 acres of new wilderness areas and protect 47 miles of wild and scenic rivers in California, Idaho and Oregon, as well as ban drilling in northern New Mexico's Valle Vidal. The House also passed legislation to establish National Heritage Areas in several states, including New Mexico, Utah and Nevada.

The three wilderness bills would protect about 277,000 acres in California, 315,000 acres in Idaho and 77,200 acres in Oregon. In all, about 1,046 square miles of new wilderness would be created.

The unanimous votes - which sent the bills to the Senate - were unusual, particularly since they involved wilderness expansion, typically a contentious process. Wilderness designation forbids commercial exploitation and motorized recreation.

These bills, however, have all been in the works for years and represent compromise among groups from business owners to ranchers, local governments, recreation advocates, conservationists and Indian tribes.

The California bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., would designate more than 277,000 acres of Northern California as wilderness and approximately 79,000 acres as a recreation management area for off-road vehicles and mountain bikes.

Dubbed the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Act, the bill would protect some of the most breathtaking and remote areas in California, including portions of Mendocino National Forest and Six Rivers National Forest and stretches of undeveloped beach and coastal bluffs in Humboldt and Mendocino counties. The Black Butte River in Mendocino County would be designated a wild and scenic river.

If it becomes law it would be the first federal wilderness area in California since passage of the Big Sur Wilderness and Conservation Act of 2002, and the largest since the California Desert Protection Act of 1994.

"This is a great bill. It's carefully crafted to take all interests into consideration," said Thompson. He won a vote on the bill after making a deal with Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Calif., to add the recreation area and drop about 27,000 acres of wilderness from the Senate version of the bill, by Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.

The Oregon bill would create more than 77,200 acres of new wilderness preserves in the Mount Hood National Forest. The Idaho bill would designate three new wilderness areas comprising 315,215 acres in the rugged mountain peaks of the Sawtooth and Challis national forests, while conveying other public land to the state and local governments. It also would add 600 acres to the existing Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

A fourth bill would protect Valle Vidal - or Valley of Life - a region in New Mexico's Carson National Forest where energy companies have expressed interest in drilling for coal-bed methane.

ON THE NET

Information on the H.R. 233 (Calif.), H.R. 5025 (Oregon), H.R. 3603 (Idaho) and H.R. 3817 (New Mexico) is at http://thomas.loc.gov

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Staff writer Erica Werner contributed to this report.

 

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Date Line:July 12, 2006 (click here for original article)

Media Release:

PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY SHOWS SUPPORT FOR BACKCOUNTRY RECREATION AREA DESIGNATIONS INSTEAD OF WILDERNESS

Contact: Don Amador, BRC Western Representative
       Phone: (925) 625-6287
       Fax: (925) 625-5309
       E-mail:
brdon@sharetrails.org

       Webpage: http://www.sharetrails.org/

In The "CAN DO" Spirit Of Our Last Election

We At Your Lake Earl Grange Are Listening!

Go ahead sound off and "spill your guts". Give us your opinion on this very local and very visceral issue, or any other issue for that matter.

Write us here at LE Grange in a Letter to the Editor, an Op Ed piece & / or a Local Ledgend   story.

(for more info - continued on page 1A)

 

 

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"Now Here's Something You Won't See In Our Local Opinion Rag" 
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PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY SHOWS SUPPORT FOR BACKCOUNTRY RECREATION AREA DESIGNATIONS INSTEAD OF WILDERNESS
EUREKA, CA (July 12) -- A recent public opinion survey shows majority support for a Backcountry Recreation Area alternative to a proposed 300,000 acre Wilderness Bill in Northern California. In Del Norte County, 66 percent of people surveyed supported a Backcountry alternative instead of a Wilderness designation. 53 percent of respondents in Humboldt County said it was wiser to designate land as a Backcountry Recreation Area.

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The BlueRibbon Coalition, a national recreation group, had commissioned the survey to gauge local support for Congressman Mike Thompson's Wilderness Bill. In Humboldt County, 1,974 respondents were for the plan while 2,435 were against the Thompson Bill. 178 Del Norte County folks said they were supporting the bill, but 347 stated their opposition to the plan.

Don Amador, western representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, stated, "I think this shows that a strong majority of people on the North Coast will support a Congressional land designation that protects the land while allowing for responsible and managed motorized and mechanized recreational uses."

"The BlueRibbon Coalition is proud of our Backcountry Recreation Area alternative to Wilderness designations and we believe this survey shows support public support for that concept," Amador said.

"It is our hope that Congress will consider designating some lands in the Thompson Bill as Backcountry Recreation Areas so that off-highway vehicle recreationists and mountain bikers can enjoy continued access to those areas," Amador concludes.

(click here to see original article)

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# # #

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. http://www.sharetrails.org

NOTE TO PUBLISHERS: High resolution images used in this story are available for download at:

http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/PL/Survey120706/
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Just In Case You Were Wondering Who
 
Who are the faces at BRC, the unsung heroes fighting to keep the public in Public Lands & the Public Lands in public hands? For an intro: Click Here
 

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Concerned With The Environment

Worried about our environment, curl up with a good book that will enlighten as it entertains:
 

"In Paris, a physicist dies after performing a laboratory experiment for a beautiful visitor.

In the jungles of Malaysia, a mysterious buyer purchases deadly cavitation technology built to his specifications.

In Vancouver, a small research submarine is leased for use in waters off New Guinea.

And in Tokyo, an intelligence agent tries to understand what it all means.

Thus begins Michael Crichton's exciting and provocative and provocative techno-thriller State of Fear. Only Crichton's unique ability to blend scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction could bring such disparate elements to heart-stopping conclusion.

This is Crichton's most wide-ranging thriller. State of Fear takes the reader from the glaciers of Iceland to the volcanoes of Antarctica, from the Arizona desert to the deadly jungles of the Solomon Islands, from the streets of Paris to the beaches of Los Angeles. The novel races forward on a roller-coaster Thrill ride, all the while keeping the brain in high gear in high gear. Griping and thought-provoking, State of Fear is Michael Crichton at his very best."  (by Will Staehle)

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