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Re: E-M:/ FW: LWCF Letter to Clinton



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Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com
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--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: "Scott Silver" <ssilver@wildwilderness.org>
To: "Scott Silver" <ssilver@wildwilderness.org>
Subject: Outfitter Bill -  LWCF/CARA 
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 18:31:57 -0800
Message-ID: <043901bf526e$27dc6a60$b825a3ce@ssilver>


Below is a forwarded message that relates to a specific threat to
wilderness. The message originates from Grand Canyon Private Boaters
Association.  The reason I draw your attention to this is because there
may
be an effort to HIDE this bill within the LWCF/CARA bill.

The current LWCF/CARA legislation is already bad enough. The inclusion of
JUST this new Outfitter Bill (SB 1969) within the LWCF/CARA legislation
would provide ample reason to oppose the entire LWCF package.  SB 1969
re-writes the Wilderness Act with respect to permitted commercial uses
within Designated Wilderness. It is that bad.

LWCF/CARA will probably end up spiked with many similarly poisoned
initiatives. There is also enormous potential for LWCF/CARA to funnel
money
directly into promoting the wreckreation agenda. AND, it is a safe bet
that
Senator Frank Murkowski and Rep Don Young are as unconcerned about the
environmental HARM this bill will wreak as they are anxious to mis-spend
the
money it will provide.

Promoting Industrial Strength Recreation is an extremely high priority
item
for both Murkowski and Young. Weakening the Wilderness Act by letting SB
1969 become a part of LWCF/CARA is too high a price to pay for this
tainted
money.

Scott




GCPBA NEWSWIRE - "Outdoor/Outfitter Trade Group Meeting"
12/16/99

Early in December, a consultant to the GCPBA Board attended Confluence, a
yearly conference of whitewater outfitters sponsored by their trade
group,
America Outdoors (AO).  Main topics of interest were the Outfitter Policy
Act of 1999, AO policy objectives, the Keynote address by Representative
Jim Hanson (R-UT), and the NPS Concession Environmental Assessment. The
following notes were made at the meeting:


OUTFITTER POLICY ACT

Outfitters love the bill and hope to get it passed.  Congressional
representatives who support the act include Larry Craig (R-ID), Craig
Thomas (R-WY), Don Young (R-AK), Jim Hanson (R-UT), and Frank Murkowski
(R-AK).  There is talk of hiding the Outfitter Policy Act in the
Conservation and Reinvestment Act of 1999 (H.R.701), which deals with
funding for wildlife on the Outer Continental Shelf.  Some of the current
features of this bill are:

1. Automatically approved allocation and use on any activity not directly
addressed in resource management plans.

2.  Automatic transfer of permits to other parties with no agency
renegotiations allowed.

3.  No opportunities for agencies to use the Request for Proposal (RFP)
and competitive bidding processes.

4. The ability for inactive outfitters to allow for the agency to
re-allocate their approved use with the right to reclaim it later.

5.  Strict time limits on agency decision making and evaluations that
automatically rule on the side of the outfitter if actions do not fall
within limits.


AO POLICY OBJECTIVES INCLUDE

1.  Having all outfitters call upon their "influential" customers to
write
letters to Congress supporting pro-outfitter initiatives

2.  AO is opposed to Teaming with Taxes, a tax on equipment purchases
that
funds wildlife habitat improvements. However, AO fears being viewed as
opposed to wildlife.

3.  AO is not opposed to Fee Demonstration, but wants the experiment to
be
over. AO wants it to either be permanent or taken away, but wants a
decision made instead of continuing with the demo.

4.  AO reported that they had defeated a Department of Labor attempt to
call concessionaires, "service providers."  Had DOL been successful,
outfitters would have been forced to pay prevailing wages to their guides
as well as provide benefits.


REPRESENTATIVE JIM HANSEN

Representative Hansen (R-UT) was a keynote speaker during the conference.
Some of his points included:

America has too much protected Federal land. The Representative was very
aggravated by the Roadless Initiative proposed by President Clinton , and
promised to fight it as much as possible.  He warned of the power of the
"greenies" in Washington D.C. and their ability to facilitate protection
for the environment.

Representative Hansen said that President Clinton and Secretary of
Interior
Bruce Babbitt were breaking the law in their attempts to establish twelve
new national monuments. He thought that many of these monuments would be
abolished after the election.

Representative Hansen noted he had protected outfitter rights in the
Grand
Canyon when it came to overflights and helicopters being able to fly into
the canyon to pick up outfitter customers.  Representative Hansen
guaranteed that outfitter rights will be of concern when he becomes the
Chairman Of the House Natural Resource Committee, and
expressed his frustration with a Congressman from New York that is
attempting to drain Lake Powell. The Congressman feels that the
Endangered
Species Act has gotten out
of control, and that something needs to be done about it. Finally,
Representative Hansen told the crowd that he is definitely an
environmentalist.


NPS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS

The National Park Service has instituted a new rule requiring park
concessionaires to undergo environmental audits. This would consist of
concessions management
personnel inspecting all of a concessionaire operation and judging the
operations impacts on the environment. This monitoring program would
later
be taken over by the concessionaire themselves.  Certain operations can
be
categorically excluded from having to participate in this program when
NPS
determines that there is no environmental impact by that operation. For
instance, Grand Canyon outfitters have been praised by NPS for replacing
two-stroke engines on their boats with four-stroke non-polluting motors. 
A
Park Service official indicated that Grand Canyon river outfitters
probably
would be categorically excluded from the environmental audit.

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