Wild Lands Policy Meetings March 2011

Posted: March 7, 2011 in Wild Lands Confiscation

 

Today in Washington D.C.

Tuesday March 1, 2011

 
Dear Joan,

Here is just a quick report on our activity today in Washington D.C.
Meetings and Hearings

We started our day off early this morning with meetings between USA-ALL president Paul Anderson, Executive Director Michael Swenson, and senior staff from Senators Hatch and Lee and Congressmen Bishop and Chaffetz offices. We asked the staffers to update us on recent info on the status of the Wild Lands policy, discuss strategy, and offer our input. We want our members to know that ALL of these members of Congress are 100% with us and are working hard to protect Utah. We are well represented in D.C.

It should be noted that we plan to meet with staff from Congressman Matheson’s office tomorrow. We have been told that Congressman Matheson is supportive of our position

U.S. Capitol Building
Blue Bird Day in D.C. Today

in opposition to the Wild Lands policy. We plan on verifying this and fostering a better relationship with Congressman Matheson and his staff.

We immediately followed this morning’s meeting with a productive meeting with Senator Barraso’s (R-WY) natural resource legislative assistant. The purpose was to discuss some possible legislative action to protect access to public land and rural communities. We then had a meeting with Senator Mike Lee and his chief of staff also to discuss the same possible legislation discussed with Senator Barrasso’s staff.  

After a quick lunch we attended the Congressional oversight hearing from 2-7 PM. It was a very long hearing but proved interesting and even entertaining at times.

Committee Members
Committee Leadership 

Congressman Bishop was on top of his game as he made statements and questioned witnesses. Again ALL of Utah is lucky to have Congressman Bishop and his exceptional staff on our side. Witnesses of some notoriety to Utah were Governor Herbert and Commissioner Mike McKee. Both did a great job. Governor Herbert came across, cool, articulate, reasoned, and yet aggressive. Commissioner McKee really illustrated the significant harm Wild Lands would likely have on local economies and rural communities. There were also many other county commissioners and other experts. All did well. It really was great to see so many members of Congress who seem to be on our side and who really grilled BLM Director Abbey and Wilderness activist Peter Metcalf, owner and CEO of Black Diamond Equipment in Salt Lake City, UT.

For this hearing we were pleased to once again partner up with with Rick Podliska and our good friends from the AMA. We expect to see a press release with pictures from the AMA anytime now and we will forward that out to all of you as soon as we see it.

Stickers
Stickers and Utah Flag Pin.

We all displayed our, “Stop the Land Grab” Stickers provided by the AMA. Many participants asked us for stickers so they too could show their disgust for the Wild Lands policy. You may recall a few months ago when Director Abby came to defend this policy to us in Utah we had these same stickers and our supporters owned the meeting. Just as we did in Utah we were first in line with a good number of supporters from the D.C. and Virginia area. We had premium seating such that our proud stickers illustrated our disapproval of this terrible policy to all in the room. 

We also submitted written testimony for the public record and Congressman Bishop submitted our testimony and mentioned USA-ALL by name. The hearing was broadcast over the web (Paul, Rick, and I were visible on the front row for much of the hearing) and written testimonies will be available on the committee website http://www.naturalresources.house.gov . We may also soon have a link for you to watch a archived video of the entire hearing. Stay tuned for that.

SUWA had a good number of people there with their yellow “Wild Utah” buttons. Had we not shown up it would have looked as though most in attendance were in favor of the Wild Lands policy. SUWA and USA-ALL\AMA had fairly equal numbers there and helped restore balance to the gallery and provide support for sympathetic members of Congress and friendly witnesses. To have not been at this hearing would have been  mistake and a missed opportunity. 

There were no other obvious environmental groups represented there nor were there

any other pro-OHV access groups present. Based on much of the hearing and testimony (and the fact that Wild Lands rescinds the Utah Leavitt Norton agreement) it is increasingly clear to us that Utah has become the epicenter for these

Congressman Bishop
Mike Swenson and Congressman Bishop

issues (we in no way are diminishing the significant impact bad policy has on other western states or how much they may care) and the 2 Utah based organizations (USA-ALL and SUWA) on opposite sides of these national issues seem to be leading the charge for their respective supporters. It is ironic that 2 groups focused on land use policy in Utah are the face of opposing views on the national stage. We can’t help but see that we at USA-ALL and our partners at the AMA are packing a lot of water for not only Utah and our members but indeed for the entire country. We are at the tip of the spear. Lets just hope we have the support and ability to prevail on these arguments. The alternative or a loss would be disastrous.

We have more hearings tomorrow, and more meetings with members of Congress. We will travel back home to the great state of Utah late Thursday night. We also have been informed that there will be more hearings on Wild Lands in the next few months. We believe there may be opportunity for USA-ALL to participate even more in these hearings. With your support we will continue to fight for not only you, but again for the entire country. Please donate to sustain our efforts and then spread the word by forwarding this email to all you know and help us gain new supporters. This will help us continue our critical and urgently needed involvement. Failure is not an option. If you haven’t already please help us win this war. 

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=i5gelrcab&v=001GW57Qq-hwGSfbITEa1_DMWAJ9fpkz8O2OEQTc_HVzgTssqPzmF6V7M37urFQLpTUnWWGGjvXs4BD-_GF-WG9hUy37SC6x-qPjRBLbWCly5q7T3VELeUv8wEv_7CbE73T

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Comments
  1. […] Wild Lands Policy Meetings March 2011 (via Battlefield America) Posted on March 7, 2011 by Uncle Sam's Boot| Leave a comment   Today in Washington D.C. Tuesday March 1, 2011   Dear Joan, Here is just a quick report on our activity today in Washington D.C. Meetings and Hearings We started our day off early this morning with meetings between USA-ALL president Paul Anderson, Executive Director Michael Swenson, and senior staff from Senators Hatch and Lee and Congressmen Bishop and Chaffetz offices. We asked the staffers to update us on recent info on the status of the Wil … Read More […]

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