Saturday, January 15, 2011

Restore full public access to federally-managed lands!

Much of the federal land across Utah and the West where my parents, grandparents, and Scoutmasters took me hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting back in the '50s and '60s was accessible by car. Today, many of those old roads are still in excellent condition -- good enough for a passenger car. This federal land grab is not honestly about protecting antiquities or landscapes. This land is being locked up primarily to deny access to the resources on and under that land.

Thanks to the big-city leftist radicals that infest the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forest Service, Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA -- which really doesn't represent the interests of anyone in Southern Utah), etc., many of those old roads have been barricaded against all motor vehicle travel since the Clinton-Gore days. Now that I'm a disabled veteran in my 60s, I can no longer take my grandchildren on those memorable roads because my vehicle is banned.

Now, the BLM plans to remove even more public land from full public access! It’ll be accessible only to healthy young adults. That is outrageous and unacceptable. Take a look at SUWA's own map to see how much land they want to lock up. Other Western States are similarly vulnerable. I have repeatedly warned Utah's congressmen on this issue but the concerns of real Utahns doesn't seem to be very important to anyone in Washington, DC.

The public land belongs to the people -- not the BLM, National Forest Service, and especially not to the Sierra Club, SUWA, etc. The BLM and the National Forest service have a duty to manage federal land for all the people – not lock it up for a special few.

Through the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, sportsmen pour $4.7 million into wildlife conservation and related programs per day. (Much of this money was diverted from its intended uses by the Clinton-Gore administration. No one was ever held accountable for that malfeasance because, after all, it was only sportsmen's money.) Sportsmen's organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Mule Deer Foundation, etc. add to the Pittman-Robertson effort though additional actual wildlife habitat restoration and conservation efforts. Yet, these people who do so many positive things for wildlife are among the very people so-called environmentalists intend to lock out of public lands! I challenge the handful of hippies that comprise Greenpeace, Sierra Club, SUWA to even try to come close to that. Who do they think will pay for managing all the land they lock up when the money from sportsmen dries up?

I thank Utah's Governor Gary Herbert for standing up to Bob Abbey of the BLM. Utah's congressional delegation must immediately partner with all congressmen and governors from all other Western States to push the BLM and its radical agenda back 30 years. One place to start it to prohibit the use of Pittman-Robertson money in any public land where full public access is restricted in any way.

1 comment:

  1. This week, the American public won a small victory in this struggle over long-established roads in Utah. See