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 Oregon Mountaineering Association
131 NW 4th St. # 258; Corvallis OR 97330
oma@i-world.net
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Oppose FLREA (Forest Fees)
Fax or call through July, 2006

ACTION ALERT (From Keep Sespe Wild)

Summary: Please fax, call, write or email your senators and representative in addition the the key ones listed below in the alert. Last Octobers hearing exposed serious abuses in the implementation of the FLREA (or current version of the "forest fee program"). Given those abuses and the upcoming elections it's time to press for changes in this program, if not it's outright repeal. For plenty of background information on this issue see the wildwilderness.org website. Note that the list includes Rep Walden (OR), Sen Wyden (OR), and Sen Cantwell (WA).

Dear Public Lands Supporter,

It is extremely important that your legislators in Washington DC hear from you NOW about the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, the FLREA. They need to hear that the Forest Service and BLM continue to charge citizens for simple access and use of our public lands in blatant violation of the provisions of the law. They need to take action to see that that this law is repealed.

Fee opponents are continuing to work with members of Congress to roll back the FLREA. This summer, as Americans head outdoors to enjoy their priceless public lands, is a key time. Please act now to protect this irreplaceable heritage, not only for yourself but also for your children and grandchildren!

This election year is also a vital time to remind key Committee chairmen in DC - as well as those legislators representing you there - why we still strongly oppose the FLREA and want it scrapped. Please contact all those running for office to make repeal of the FLREA a campaign issue.

The FLREA imposes multiple layers of fees on visitors to America's public lands. Congress attached it as an earmark on a spending bill in December 2004, replacing the previous Fee Demo program. The U.S. Senate's Public Lands & Forests Subcommittee held a public hearing in October 2005 to review Forest Service and BLM implementation of the FLREA. Numerous agency abuses were identified, but no action has yet been forthcoming to amend or overturn the FLREA.

SCROLL DOWN TO FIND CONTACT INFO FOR CALLING AND FAXING KEY LEGISLATORS IN DC, THE MAIN POINTS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR MESSAGES, AND A SAMPLE LETTER. PLEASE CONTACT THE COMMITTEE CHAIRS AS WELL AS YOUR OWN SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVE.

PLEASE KEEP CALLING AND FAXING THROUGH JUNE AND JULY!

CONTACT ALL THOSE RUNNING FOR OFFICE TO GET THEIR STAND ON PUBLIC LAND ACCESS FEES. GET THEM TO MAKE OPPOSITION TO FEES A PART OF THEIR PLATFORM!!

WHO ELSE CAN YOU FORWARD THIS ACTION ALERT TO, WHO WILL RESPOND? THIS IS A GENUINE GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN, DEPENDING ON A DIVERSE AND EXPANDING NETWORK OF PUBLIC LANDS USERS ACROSS THE NATION.

PLEASE MENTION THESE POINTS (in your own words):

  • Ask first that the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act be repealed.
  • Say you want the Forest Service and BLM to scrap the High Impact Recreation Areas (HIRAs) and Special Recreation Permits that are being used to charge fees for access to hundreds of thousands of acres of undeveloped backcountry.
  • Let them know the Forest Service and BLM are implementing many new fee sites without the public participation process clearly spelled out in the FLREA.
  • Protest the FLREA's authorization of fines of tens of thousands of dollars and/or jail time for visiting your public lands without paying the fee.
  • Tell them that candidate positions on fees will effect how you vote.

WHO TO CONTACT
(Faxes are still much quicker than letters to DC and much more effective than phone calls or emails):

EVERYBODY SHOULD CONTACT AT LEAST THE FIRST THREE BELOW,
AND THEIR SENATOR, IF THEY ARE LISTED FURTHER DOWN. THEN PLEASE
CONTACT ONE OR MORE OF THE OTHERS AT RANDOM (#S 4-9 immediately below).

(1) Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), Chair, Senate Public Lands & Forests Subcommittee.
Phone - (202) 224-2752
Fax - (202) 228-1067

(2) Rep Richard Pombo (R-CA), Chair, House Resources Committee,
Phone - (202) 225-1947
Fax - (202) 226-0861

(3) Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), minority chair, House Resources Committee,
Phone - (202) 225-3452
Fax - (202) 225-9061ssssssddd

.................................................
(4) Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Ranking Member,
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee,
Phone - (202) 224-5521
Fax - (202) 224-2852

(5) Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Chair,
House Forests and Forest Health Subcommittee,
Phone - (202) 225- 6730
Fax - (202) 225-5774

(6) Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), Chair,
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee,
Phone - (202) 224-6621
Fax - (202) 228-3261

(7) Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY), Chair,
Senate National Parks Subcommittee,
Phone - (202) 224-6441
Fax - (202) 224-1724

(8) Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), Chair,
House National Parks Subcommittee,
Phone - (202) 225-2365
Fax - (202) 225-9599

And
(9) Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Chair,
House Appropriations Committee,
Phone - (202) 225-5861
Fax - (202) 225-6498

PLEASE ALSO CONTACT A SENATOR BELOW IF ONE OF THEM IS FROM YOUR STATE (THEY ALL SIT ON THE SENATE ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE).

(1) Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Phone - (202) 224-3841
Fax - (202) 228-3954

(2) Senator Maria Cantwell (WA)
Phone - (202) 224-3441
Fax - (202) 228-0514

(3) Senator Ken Salazar (CO)
Phone - (202) 224-5852
Fax - (202) 228-5036

(4) Senator Ron Wyden (OR)
Phone - (202) 224-5244
Fax - (202) 228-2717

(5) Senator Conrad Burns (MT)
Phone - (202) 224-2644
Fax - (202) 224-8594

For all other Senators and Representatives please call the Capitol Switchboard at:
(202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your elected official.

SAMPLE LETTER TO FAX

(Please take a few minutes to vary and rearrange the wording below and add other comments. Exact duplicates of this letter will carry less weight than your personal letter.)

Dear Senator, (or Dear Representative) (Date)

Please repeal the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. The FLREA places an unfair burden on visitors to public lands, which belong to all Americans and are places where everyone should have access and be welcome.

The US Forest Service and BLM are implementing the FLREA in several ways that clearly exceed the letter of the law. The Forest Service's High Impact Recreation Areas are an agency invention not defined or authorized by the FLREA. The BLM is circumventing the restrictions in the law by requiring Special Recreation Permits for access to remote backcountry and wilderness areas. HIRAs and Special Recreation Permits are being used to charge fees for access to hundreds of thousands of acres of undeveloped public land.

Recent Forest Service documentation of HIRAs shows that 75% of their fee sites within HIRAs do not have the six amenities specified in the law - designated parking, permanent toilet and trash cans, interpretive signs, picnic tables and security services.

The Forest Service and BLM are also opening new fee sites - over 600 already - without the public participation process outlined in the FLREA.

I am also strongly opposed to the FLREA's heavy penalties for failure to pay the new fees. Fines up to $100,000, jail time of up to one year, and a federal criminal record are totally inappropriate for what should be a minor infraction.

Thank you for your assistance.
Yours sincerely,
(Your name and complete contact information including mailing address)

------------

Thank you all for participating in the summer of 2006's Big Push to communicate opposition to the FLREA to key legislators in DC. Together we can make a difference, as we have before.

Yours,
Alasdair Coyne,
Keep Sespe Wild

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