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Senate passes HR3022 66-12

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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby rscofield » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:03 pm

S22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, is a complementary bill introduced in Senate last week. Some parts good; other parts bad. Of particular interest to this group is Title I, subtitle K and M.

Bureaucrats –R- Us, Russell


Text of S22 http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.22:



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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby SteveB » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:20 am

I think one can't help but ask what will become of these new Wilderness areas. I find it suspicious the way this is happening, and have visions of cell towers, strip mining and logging, and wire fences for cheap grazing rights dancing before my eyes when I read about this. I've been getting many (late) alerts from various rights groups on this, namely how this designation removes certain use rights from the already-public land. As some here may know I have a long enmity for grazing rights on public land, basically the wholesale granting of rights to rich ranchers while allowing them to fence off that same public land. I'm 100% for protecting more land for sensible public use, but calling land "public" while restricting public access and granting a small niche of people a right to rape the land for their own enrichment just isn't right. I think this is more than a simple political issue (I'm a repub envirmentalist!), and borders on legislative rape of our wild places!

Ask yourself: just what will be done with these new wilderness areas?
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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby trav867 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:59 am

Thanks for that link, rscofield. It's worth taking a look at the wiki page for National Wilderness Preservation System: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_W ... ion_System

The important part is this:
"On federal lands in the United States, Congress may designate an area as wilderness under the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Wilderness areas are subject to specific management restrictions. Human activities are restricted to non-motorized recreation (such as backpacking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, etc.), scientific research, and other non-invasive activities. In general, the law prohibits logging, mining, roads, mechanized vehicles (including bicycles), and other forms of development."

I think the intention of the Wilderness Act was to prevent public lands from being exploited, but I agree that the grazing issue needs to be looked at more closely. Similarly, I question the number of pack animals that are allowed on hiking trails. Access is a legitimate point, and while I haven't read the bill to know what roads will be closed, I'm surprised that pre-existing roads will be shut down.

From my point of view, to look out across the southern Sierra and not see a single road, car, or power line, is one of the best feelings in the world, and I have the Wilderness Act to thank.
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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby SteveB » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:07 am

trav867 wrote:From my point of view, to look out across the southern Sierra and not see a single road, car, or power line, is one of the best feelings in the world, and I have the Wilderness Act to thank.


All quite relevent. However, I find myself worrying in the last year or so for the loss of wilderness. Here in Reno, the Developers are king. Land is gobbled up cheaply, land graded, and developers lay claim to places where indian rock art is, only to get either stolen, raped, or bull-dozed. Water to support all these thousands of new homes is ignored because people like Harvey Whittemore want to make even more money, and when the market downturns the developers give up, leave the land levelled and unaccessible, and the City Councils and NABs green light even more developments in wild areas. There is even virtually no public debate to proffered plans to commit genocide on wild horse herds in Northern Nevada.

I haven't much hope at this point, and seek some serious outlet for my concerns. The usual groups (Sierra Club, etc) are willingly impotent these days to do anything about our concerns.
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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby Haiwee » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:53 am

Quite a few folks on this thread have used the phrase "locking up land." I guess I'm missing something here. In my mind, wilderness designation does just the opposite: it preserves the land for future generations. We're in no way locked out, we're just forced to use different modes of transportation, namely either foot travel or horseback.

Now I haven't yet seen maps of the areas that will be protected. I don't know if access roads will be closed, making it more difficult to enter these areas. But I don't really care. Protecting these lands from development is far more important to me than having an easier time getting to them. Besides, a little extra work getting there means less foot traffic and more solitude in the back country, and that's always a good thing.

People sometimes need to remember this distinction: these aren't federal lands, they are public lands. They belong to us all. Far better to designate them as wilderness than to see them ruined by some resort developer or an energy company. Just my two cents.
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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby hikerduane » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:30 pm

Up north here, woodcutters get upset when long used and some unmaintained roads get put "back into production" which gives us fewer areas to cut firewood. I have seen them close a short, lightly used road to put it back into production, only to see 10 years or so later, have them open it back up for logging. Whatever was growing in the road is graded over now. That doesn't make sense, our government at work.

I don't know the process, but public land can be used by private companies for energy use, transmission lines/pipelines, wind farms etc. I guess a wilderness designation would stop that, but people will be howling again when gas goes up, they think of their pocketbook first. I work over in NV during the week and a proposal has been submitted for a wind farm in the hills, east a little of the Virginia City area. Where do we put this stuff, we need the energy?
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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:54 pm

Back in the days when the wilderness was wilderness, the Native Americans (Indians) roamed the land. See, they had no concept of land ownership, designation, or entitlement. Wohwaa :puke: This is just another big gubment ploy sponsered by big money special interest groups to run us off the land, and keep us all locked up in some city. Much like they did to the Indians. Land of Many Uses ehh????

I could write a book on the politics behind this one as it effects my line if work big time. Lets just start with saying its because of all them darn free grazers out dar. The cows are eating up all the sagehen chicks and thats why we have to make it all wilderness.....Wohwaa :puke: What a crock!

Yep thats right, its still the wild west here and the battle is still going, except its not fought with arrows and hawkens riffles out on the plains anymore, but with pen and ink behind closed doors. See, those poor range cows create no more of an impact on the land under Taylor than old Mr. Whittermore does with the mega house he just erected next to my in-laws (I think he has spent one or two nights there). Meanwhile the dude is out buying up everything natural he can water included under the watchfull eye and approval of the BLM. Viddler Water Company to boot. If these people want to do something good for the land they should start with the ferrel horse problem, and follow it up with making old Harvey and any other developers post financial surity for his projects in the form of reclemation bonds like they force the mining industry to do so they cant just walk away with vacant lost when the market flops. Heck, I have a long list for them, but I cant come up with the rub to pay them off or buy my way out of permitting.

As for too many horses in the highcountry......... :puke: :puke: Your little hiking trails wouldnt be there without those horses and horsemen to maintain them. Big rocks and logs just dont get up and walk off the trail in fount of ya.
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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby el cuervo » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:00 pm

BM wrote:

"See, those poor range cows create no more of an impact on the land under Taylor than old Mr. Whittermore does with the mega house he just erected next to my in-laws"

It would seem you have never fished on the Kern Plateau and seen the non-native cattle damage done to the banks of Mulkey Creek, for example, in the Golden Trout Wilderness where native trout try to survive.

I have seen the damage first hand and it makes a big difference in the health of this native fish habitat.

Seems that the lease to run those cattle is up for review soon.

Instead of advocating moving non-native fish around historically fishless lakes, perhaps voting to remove cattle from Golden Trout Wilderness so native Golden Trout have a chance would be for the better?
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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby hikerduane » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:01 pm

I have to disagree and agree with Bad Man on a few things. First, horses should be allowed into wilderness, but something needs to be done on heavily impacted areas. They helped build trails, maybe as part of their permit, the packers would have to repair/mitigate? impacted areas to be able to operate, even if private parties use the trails also. Kinda like when loggers bid on a sale, they have to build or improve roads, which comes out of their profits.

Second, I have seen where the wild horse issue gets little interest from bpers, as most of the impact is away from areas we frequent. The west and Nevada in particular is overrun with wild horses, some, not what I would call wild if you can get within 50' of them. They are grazing over areas where antelope and other critters need to forage, but wild horse advocates want them left alone. What do we do with all of them? Wild horse adoptions are way down I understand and wild horse advocates won't allow them to be sold for consumption or sold overseas, as they know what will happen to them there.

Third, I have seen developers come into wild, beautiful areas, try to develop an area only to have it not fly for whatever reason then go bankrupt. For example, Gold Mountain up by Portola, Dan Garnder couldn't make it. Dyer Mountain up by Westwood, belly up before it got off the ground. I think these areas are just too far from population centers to make a go of it. Disney had been looking at the Chester/Lake Almanor area, but nothing has come of that. A couple projects that have made it, White Hawk by Graeagle, north of Truckee, and Graeagle itself developed by Harvey West which is currently expanding. He had ties to Lake Tahoe years ago.
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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:35 pm

hikerduane,

Not sure where you and I disagree???? Sounds like we have made the same observations.

Cuervo,

You got me there......no I havent seen the damage done on the Kern Plateau and seen the non-native cattle damage done to the banks of Mulkey Creek, for example, in the Golden Trout Wilderness where native trout try to survive. Nope havent seen that, but I can attest to you that I have set eyes on a cow or two in my day and have whitness my fair share of livestock damage ect......So what do you want to see??? Less cows/AUM or no cows or what? Do you eat beef or sport leather shoes??? Do you want to see no cows in wilderness areas is that it?

In respect to livestock on high country trails......yes some damage is occured by horses which make trails wide ect.(and yes it makes me sick too). But, just remember its those nice easy going horse trails that make it possible for most folks to enjoy the high country. Horse wont travel all places human can, but human can go all places horses do. The decrease in the amount of stock permitted in the high country has a direct relation to trail condition today. EVERY SINLGE outfitter, horse/mule owner I have ever been around for the sake of the stock, dismounts and removes large rocks, logs and generaly improves the condition of the trail traveld. No way do you want your horse to go lame over a poor maintained trail. Bottom line is the trails are mainly there because of horses......

So since this thread is about good old HR3022 66-12.....let me ask this........What does wilderness mean to you??? How and for what should wilderness be managed and who should be charged with managing it? Should wilderness be managed at all?
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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby JMat » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:52 pm

I spent alot of hours in my younger years working on trail crews(by hours I mean months) and can tell you unequivocally that horses and mules do more damage than just about anything short of a vehicle. Anytime you put that much weight on such little surface area you're asking for damage.
That being said... most of our trails have been made and maintained by horses and mules but that certainly doesn't mean they should have unlimited access to our forests and there certainly is a happy medium. Just because horses have historically helped build trails doesn't mean they should always be there.
One thing I've seen as of late is trail crews with llamas. While they don't carry as much weight they certainly do less damage. Although they still can't carry someones fat @ss up the trail, is that such a bad thing. I've always carried everything I need into the backcountry but there should be an exemption for disabled people.

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Re: Senate passes HR3022 66-12

Postby hikerduane » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:15 pm

Bad Man, I reread your last paragraph, agree there where I thought I read something different. My mistake.
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