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Sparks fly on Capitol hill (Read 1695 times)
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Sparks fly on Capitol hill
01/16/11 at 09:41:51
 
By Amy Joi O'Donoghue, Deseret News
Published: Friday, Jan. 14, 2011 4:22 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY A clearly frustrated Gov. Gary Herbert was joined by other top Utah officials Friday, taking the head of the national Bureau of Land Management to task over a new order directing how "wild lands" designations are made.

The question is how many times are you going to inventory (public lands). When is enough enough? Herbert asked Bob Abbey, who was in Utah to meet with members of governor's Balanced Resources Council.

Herbert said he was dismayed and caught off guard in December when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the directive for state BLM offices to begin a reassessment of public lands within its purview specifically to see if they qualify as "wild" and thus meriting protections.

"We were kind of caught blind on this. We have tried to be open and transparent and I think that ought to be the principle," Herbert said, adding that "if we somehow have to do it in the shadows then it is probably not the right thing to do."

Herbert's remarks drew loud applause, whistles and cheers, as did those of Lt. Gov. Greg Bell who said Salazar's order "flips the whole process on its head."

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Please read the article and then leave a comment on it, on here as well as the Deseret News website.
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #1 - 01/16/11 at 13:35:43
 
It was pretty clear at the meeting that the vast majority of our elected officials are upset with this . When Jim Hansen just comes out and says that this is going to be tied up in court then you know that they feel this is the only option .

More than ever , they need to feel that the public is behind them . Kane County has spent millions fighting this war for years and they have recently had great success . They took criticism for spending the time and money doing it but they understood how important it was to fight this .

Now I'll bet the same will hold true for the State. From the Governor on down everyone needs our support .We need to be  vocal and show them we are behind them .  That means when a letter needs to be written , a meeting needs to be gone to or a rally needs to be supported , DO IT !!
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #2 - 01/16/11 at 15:22:56
 
The Salt Lake Trib had a write up as well on page one on Sat.

Some with more smarts then I will have to tell you how to find it on line. Grin
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #3 - 01/16/11 at 16:26:33
 
Here is the Tribunes Artical

By Brandon Loomis

The Salt Lake Tribune
First published Jan 14 2011 06:24PM
Updated Jan 14, 2011 10:45PM

Utah officials and a hostile crowd at the state Capitol let the Obama administration know what they think of its new wildlands protection policy Friday when the Bureau of Land Management director came to town.

Illegal, some said of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazars December announcement that the agency would resume identifying for-protection areas with wilderness characteristics.

Economically unsettling, others said. A policy formed in the shadows, according to the governor.

If weve got to do it somehow in the shadows, Gov. Gary Herbert said to applause at a meeting of his Balanced Resources Council, then it probably is not the right thing to do.

BLM Director Bob Abbey having agreed to the governors request to come to Utah and explain the plan to protect solitude in areas that have no legal protection spent most of an hour and a half session taking criticism from the council and groans from the audience.

About 150 people filled a Senate Building committee room for the meeting, most of them sporting Stop the Land Grab buttons. Environmentalists, who showed up later than many off-roaders, listened from spillover rooms elsewhere on the Capitol grounds.

Herbert asked Abbey to explain Salazars policy, which marked a reversal of a Bush administration deal struck with then-Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt that ended the BLMs identification of lands worthy of congressional consideration for wilderness designation.

Now, the BLM can again protect lands until Congress acts, Abbey said, provided they cover at least 5,000 acres, lack roads or significant human disturbance and offer excellent opportunities for recreational solitude.
At question in Utah are six area-management plans approved late in the Bush administration that identified 2.8 million acres with wilderness qualities but protected only 400,000 of them, Abbey said. The BLM now will determine whether more of those lands should be shielded from development.

Part of the agencys multiple-use mandate is to protect some lands for future generations, Abbey said. Its not just about today.

The BLM boss drew groans from the audience when he noted that the regional planning process would determine how much land deserves protection and said, Were not creating de facto wilderness.

Former Rep. Jim Hansen, a Utah Republican, won applause when he told Abbey that protecting new lands without congressional approval is illegal.

Only Congress can designate wilderness for perpetual protection from roads and development, but federal agencies routinely preserve them under their planning processes. Agencies previously established wilderness study areas for consideration. Salazars policy does not call for more study areas, but does allow for protection of wilderness characteristics elsewhere.

Abbey said such preservation is within the agencys administrative authority.

This action was not taken in the shadows, he said.

Fridays encounter saw a clash between two Balanced Resource Council members who have served in Abbeys job under previous administrations. Pat Shea, a BLM director during the Clinton administration, objected when Kathleen Clarke, a director during the Bush administration, asked to allow Hansen to speak, even though he is not a council member.
Council Chairman Ted Wilson ruled Hansen could speak, and Shea left the meeting.

Clarke told Abbey the land-management pendulum that swings from development in one administration to preservation in another threatens local economies.

We will cause industry to flee this state, she warned.

Abbey responded by noting that 5 million Utah acres are under lease by oil and gas companies, but the companies are drilling only 1 million acres so far.

Some trail riders worry about what federal land managers will do. Layton resident Lynn Blamires said 5,000 acres small by wilderness standards is a big area to keep off-limits from vehicles.

There are very few people, he said, who have enough vacation time and money to invest in an activity to see that whole parcel on foot.

But Bryson Garbett, president of Garbett Homes and a former Republican legislator, joined the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance in a pre-meeting news conference to thank Salazar for his move. He recalled a trip along eastern Utahs White River in the fall during which his son found a well-preserved American Indian ruin. He could see 700-year-old fingerprints in the adobe, he said.

The only way to protect the scenery and these kinds of sacred sites, Garbett said, is to keep them wild.
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #4 - 01/16/11 at 20:34:40
 
Some assistance appreciated. I am engaged in verbal combat with card-carrying SUWA members on another site. Feel free to jump in and add your comments:


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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #5 - 01/16/11 at 21:20:57
 
I went to the link . I've viewed their site some time ago but now I am locked out completely . I'm not sure if they would even let me register . It seems like every thread topic that I saw  was  way biased .


What the heck are you doing at a place like that BF ? Weren't you raised better than that ? Rolling on floor laughing Grin
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #6 - 01/16/11 at 23:16:07
 
BF quite honestly the guys your dealing with are not worth wasting your breath on. I can guarantee you that if you asked them one simple question their answer would be no and that tells you their mentality.

Ask them "If after this newly mandated review of the BLM managed lands inventory and a full review of the current recommendations to Congress for permanent Wilderness status is completed, should the review find the current total of lands needing Wilderness designation and protection to be accurate and as such the BLM finds no changes need to be made or additional lands need to be added to the Wilderness list; Would they ask SUWA, and any other group seeking additional wilderness areas, to give up the push for more Wilderness areas? Would they accept this review as the "FINAL" decision on the subject?"

The answer will be NO because "THEY know better than the BLM or anyone else what lands should be Wilderness"

So why waste your energy on them, they are nobody's with no real power or influence. I have sat and watched their imbecilic banter go back and forth like a bunch of 5 year olds fighting over a doll, even amongst themselves. Personally I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of having anything I say to comment on. My recomendation is to simply end the conversation with something like "I guess we will have to agree to disagree on the issue and leave it to the lawyers"  and leave it at that.

Focus your energies on the politicians who can make real progress in stopping this latest twist on the same land grab thats been going on for decades. Remember your military training, go after the command and control and the rest of the oppositions ranks will fall apart Smiley
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #7 - 01/17/11 at 05:25:48
 
quadforce wrote on 01/16/11 at 21:20:57:
What the heck are you doing at a place like that BF ? Weren't you raised better than that ? Rolling on floor laughing Grin


I have an account on that site because contrary to popular opinion, I do engage in other outdoor activities besides ATV'ing.

As far as the tree/cactus huggers debate goes, it was all in entertainment.
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #8 - 01/17/11 at 09:03:09
 
BruteForce wrote on 01/16/11 at 20:34:40:
Some assistance appreciated. I am engaged in verbal combat with card-carrying SUWA members on another site. Feel free to jump in and add your comments:


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B F, don't wast your time with the engagement, I've been in a number of meetings with those people and any time they don't get what want or if the heat gets to high they walk out, Pat Shea case in point in Fris meeting.

Thanks G R for putting up the Trib peace.
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #9 - 01/17/11 at 13:27:03
 
[quote author=HONDATV link=1295196111/0#8 date=1295280189]BruteForce wrote on 01/16/11 at 20:34:40:
Some assistance appreciated. I am engaged in verbal combat with card-carrying SUWA members on another site. Feel free to jump in and add your comments:


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B F, don't wast your time with the engagement, I've been in a number of meetings with those people and any time they don't get what want or if the heat gets to high they walk out, Pat Shea case in point in Fris meeting.

The problem , as I see it, and it is my personal opinion, SUWA does not negotiate in true faith and they do not care whos life or livelihood they mess with or destroythe land in Utah would be locked up for those that can hike or horseback or not at all if they had their way.  

The problem for me, I love the outdoors and after 35 years of doing search and rescue my knees and back do not allow me to backpack anymore.  Examplewho is going to hike or horseback in the 30 miles of sandy river bottoms of the Paria?  Five or ten miles maybeso all the rest is locked up and nobody can enjoy the incredible beauty of that canyon.  How incredibly selfish!

They seem never to give and if they do it, the same issue will be back on the agenda to attack as soon as a decision is made.   I am probably more of an environmentalist than most of their folks but given their tactics I will fight them every chance I get just because of their extreme agenda.

Sorry to saybut that is as I see it.
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #10 - 01/19/11 at 06:07:37
 
I found this on the ATVTV Paiute trail blog. It's a great read and I can completely understand the frustration behind the person that wrote it:

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A short excerpt:

"Today I look out and watch it all burn. Yes, it was a lightning strike, a natural cause, but your decision to let it burn has not only cost us taxpayers many MILLIONS of dollars more than if you had put it out when you had the opportunity, but it has now burned through many more acres of pristine wilderness, including the very trail you had closed off to me so I wouldnt damage the environment. I now question your judgment, and wonder why I bothered not going ahead and riding onward. What difference would it have made in the end? I trusted your judgment and yet I now realize you didnt have my interests at heart at all. It was merely control."
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #11 - 01/19/11 at 10:08:20
 
I wrote a comment on that page and I got back "The page cannot be displayed".  I will try again later...they probably don't want to hear what I have to say anyway. soap box
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Re: Sparks fly on Capitol hill
Reply #12 - 01/19/11 at 11:58:10
 
BruteForce wrote on 01/19/11 at 06:07:37:
.....I trusted your judgment and yet I now realize you didnt have my interests at heart at all. It was merely control."


Speaking of control, I talked to a BLM employee the other day who was also very strongly of the opinion that the Wild Lands designation needs to be protested and spoken out about as much as possible.  His understanding through the BLM is this is basically a "separate-but-equal" designation to wilderness, meaning they can designate the land as "wild" even if it doesn't have wilderness characteristics.  It just has to be remote, apparently.  It will, however, be treated equally to wilderness in terms of access and usage.  

The examples such as Puebloan ruins in the newspaper article above are great examples of things that do need protecting.  But.  The sense I got in speaking with this BLM employee is that such things are not necessarily what is being targeted by the "Wild Lands" policy, instead the focus is on areas more like those surrounding the High Desert Trail being discussed in a separate thread on this site.  

Even less-dedicated hangers-on such as myself (who don't get to ride as much as many of you, due to messed up priorities most likely) need to get involved here, this sounds like a fight that will be lost early if not met early.  As has been mentioned, this has less to do with riding access, and much more to do with Federal control and special interests managing public lands for the benefit of those who don't inhabit those lands, to the detriment of those who do.  My letters are in.
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