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House Natural Resources Committee Passes Legislation Protecting Sportsmen’s Access

H.R. 2834 passed the Committee with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 29-14. This vital piece of legislation would require fishing, hunting and recreational shooting to be included in all federal land planning documents and would fix numerous inconsistencies in federal law that are being exploited by litigious environmental groups to reduce hunting opportunities on federal land. This bill is strongly supported by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, Safari Club International, the National Rifle Association, and millions of sportsmen across the country.

“This legislation is vital given the Administration’s recent actions toward hunters and recreational sport shooters,” said Melissa Simpson, Director of Government Affairs for Safari Club International. “Sportsmen have repeatedly sought to collaborate with the federal agencies and have been greeted with proposed closures in areas such as the Sonoran Desert National Monument, where the BLM intends to close the entire one-half million acre national monument to shooters.  There are some 63 shooting sites within the monument, closure of which will end access for sportsmen.   Passage of H.R. 2834 is necessary to protect against these anti-hunting policies.”

“Sportsmen are increasingly facing attacks aimed at stopping them from using public land,” said Bud Pidgeon, President and CEO of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.  “This bill closes the loopholes that anti-hunters have used time and time again to try to deny access for hunting, fishing and shooting.  Now is the time to put a stop to it.  We are extremely pleased and appreciative that the House Natural Resources Committee recognized the importance of this bill.” 


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Yellowstone will open to Snowmobiles for 2011-2012 this Winter Season!

Watch for more information at www.saveyellowstonepark.com

The information from the Park Service provides visitors, area businesses, and park employees with an outline they can use for the 2011-12 season.  Under the plan motorized oversnow access will continue this winter, just like last winter. Here is a quick summary of this coming season's rules.  Up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles and up to 78 snowcoaches will be allowed per day in Yellowstone National Park.  Yellowstone's East Entrance and Sylvan Pass will be open for motorized and non-motorized over snow travel, subject to weather and safety constraints.  Trail and off-road use of snowmobiles and snowcoaches has always been, and will continue to be, prohibited.

Another already completed special rule has been published that addresses snowmobile access in Grand Teton Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr.  Memorial Parkway, including access along Grassy Lake Road from Flagg Ranch to the National Forest and on Jackson Lake for licensed anglers.

In closing, I understand that the fight over Yellowstone has been a long, contentious and complicated battle.  We are now in the 13th year of our combined efforts to maintain snowmobile access to Yellowstone National Park.  Please remember, the fact that Yellowstone remains open to snowmobiles represents one of the most profound victories over the extreme environmental movement in our lifetime.  Enjoy the victory and make your plans to come and enjoy Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks this winter on a snowmobile!

Note: As additional information on items covered in this summary are announced by the Park Service they will be posted at our dedicated website of www.saveyellowstonepark.com

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4x4Wire Endorses The TrailPAC

John Stewart, Editor of 4x4Wire stated, “The TrailPac is a unique opportunity to boost public participation in the election process.”  The TrailPAC is seeking to find candidates that understand and support the basic need of motorized recreation - access to trails.

Don Amador, founder of The Trail PAC, states, "The Trail PAC is honored to get the endorsement of 4x4Wire.  As a leader in trail-access communications, 4x4Wire is strongly positioned to help TPAC get off-road recreationists involved in the political process and the 2012 election."

4x4Wire is proud to endorse The TrailPac and its efforts to educate the motorized recreation community about issues affecting recreation and the position of election candidates on those issues.

4x4Wire joins a growing list of prominent pro-trail leaders such as Craig Manson - former Assistant Secretary for USFWS at the Department of Interior, Dennis Hollingsworth – former California State Senator and founder of the California Legislature Outdoor Sporting Caucus, Chris Carter – International Six Days Enduro Gold Medalist and off-road hero, and Del Albright – a national off-road and 4WD spokesman that endorse The TrailPac.

To find out more and donate, visit The TrailPAC on the web at: http://www.thetrailpac.com/

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Proposed State Waiver Moves to Next Phase

The revised draft documents in the proposed State Waiver package can be viewed at: http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/nps/wqmp_forests.shtml

Public comment on proposed changes to the State Waiver will be accepted until November 21, 2011.

After reviewing the changes to the proposed State Waiver, I believe all concerns submitted on behalf of CA4WDC have been adequately addressed. Specifically, the revision clearly articulates that NEPA review applies to all projects and activities initiated under the proposed State Waiver. In addition, clarification of State Categories A and B have been clarified with their relation to USFS “projects and activities”.

With the release of this revision of the proposed State Waiver, the SWRB has clearly noted that a CEQA Environmental Impact Report of the proposed State Waiver as supported by the environmental community and others is not warranted.

The "effect" of this action is that all National Forests in California will now have consistent guidelines dealing with water quality without having to submit each activity or project to the appropriate Regional Water Quality Control Board for approval.

The proposed State Waiver accepts the USFS Water Quality Management Handbook as the guide for the management activities such as road maintenance, grazing, mining, and all activities requiring a permit.

As long as projects comply with the guidance in the Handbook, they should proceed with no extra approval or review necessary. The Handbook, in existence since 2001, has been updated and defines actions to be used by Forest Service, contractors and permittees involved in activities or projects on National Forest lands within California.

Over a period of almost two years, stakeholders have held meetings discussing the Handbook content and the proposed State Waiver.  All documents have been circulated for public review and comment. Extensive legal review has been conducted by State Water Board and USFS to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.  I have been an active participant in all phases of the discussions and meetings on this topic as the statewide OHV representative selected by USFS staff.

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Revised Recovery Plan for the Mojave Desert Tortoise Released

An electronic copy of the revised recovery plan is available at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html. Alternatively, the revised recovery plan and reference materials are available by appointment, during normal business hours, at the following location:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office
1340 Financial Boulevard, Suite 234
Reno, NV 89502

(telephone: 775-861-6300).

Requests for copies of the revised recovery plan should be addressed to the State Supervisor at the above address.

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