| October 5, 2010 | 0 Comments

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

Phil Taylor, a reporter for E&E Publishing, a Washington D.C. based natural resource news source, wrote an article on Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson’s CIEDRA Wilderness bill. Taylor’s excellent article was also picked up by the New York Times (See links below for the article).

Taylor reports about how successful the Idaho Recreation Council has been in stopping this bad-for-recreation bill. That’s quite a coup for IRC’s Main Brain, Sandra Mitchell. Mitchell, in my opinion, has been unfairly maligned in Idaho’s papers. 

Lawmakers Split Over 330,000-Acre Idaho Wilderness Proposal

And on the Times website:
Lawmakers Split Over 330,000-Acre Idaho Wilderness Proposal

Folks at BRC have a very bad feeling about what may happen in Congress after the election. Not because of how the make up of Congress might change, but because of what Congress might do in the interim.

The Wilderness lobby is pushing hard to get as much of their agenda passed before the next Congress is seated, and CIEDRA is on the top of that list.

As if to confirm the reading on our “Concern-O-Meter,” Taylor quotes Paul Spitler, National Wilderness Campaigns Associate Director for the Wilderness Society, as saying if they don’t get their Wilderness wish list passed in this Congress, it would be a major set back for them.

Spitler is right. Wilderness activists are quaking in their boots at the prospect of what they view as an unfriendly Congress after November. And CEIDRA is only one bill they’re concerned about:

     “Other lawmakers attempting to bring opposite sides of the wilderness debate together for public lands proposals have experienced similar struggles.

     Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) more than a year ago introduced a wilderness bill that sought to balance the interests of environmentalists, off-highway vehicle users and the timber industry.

     The “Forest Jobs and Recreation Act” would designate more than 600,000 acres of wilderness in Montana and require 100,000 acres of timber harvests over the next 15 years, but the bill continues to face opposition from some environmental groups and county commissioners and is yet to receive a committee markup.

     Paul Spitler, national wilderness campaigns associate director for the Wilderness Society, said there are about 20 wilderness proposals covering roughly 4 million acres of public lands that wilderness advocates would like to see passed by this Congress.

    But like CIEDRA, the fate of many of those bills will be difficult to determine without knowing the outcome of the November elections.

     “It’s going to be tough to get these bills out of this Congress,” he said. “There’s a pretty serious risk here that if they don’t happen in this Congress, it will be a major setback for them.”” 

That underline/bold/italicized emphasis is mine.

There is tremendous pressure to slip as many of these bills as possible through some kind of last minute “all or nothing” omnibus bill. They’re even talking about attaching one or more to some “must pass” spending bill. And if there is a lame duck session, “Katy bar the door,” as they say.

What to do? Call Senators Risch and Crapo today and tell them to do everything they can to prevent CIEDRA from passing. Ask them to oppose any effort to attach CIEDRA to another bill or in another omnibus bill.

Find the phone number via BRC’s insanely easy politician finder: Click  HERE and enter your ZIP.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact BRC.
Thanks in advance for your involvement,

Brian Hawthorne                                       Ric Foster
Public Lands Policy Director                   Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition                               BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102                              208-237-1008 ext 107 

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Category: Access Issues, Action Alerts, Midwest - Access Issues, Political Arena

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