Unfortunately, once again, WA State US Senator Maria Cantwell and WA State US Representative Jay Inslee have introduced companion bills in Congress November 17, 2011, to end multiple-use recreation, including snowmobile use, on the majority of our so-called Roadless areas across not only WA State, but all across the western United States.
Recall that if President ClintonÔÇÖs version of the Roadless Act is finally implemented, much of the 58.5 million acres of Inventoried Roadless Areas would become off limits to snowmobile use.
For those unfamiliar with this proposed legislation, the paragraphs below from our SAWS Roadless editorial dated August 2009 should help clarify this issue:
The 2001 Clinton Roadless Rule contains three classifications for recreation; ÔÇ£Primitive, Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized, and Semi-Primitive MotorizedÔÇØ. As you can see, snowmobile use would only be allowed in one of these three designations – Semi-Primitive Motorized. Not a pretty picture for those that value multiple-use recreation on our non-wilderness┬ámultiple-use public lands.┬á As a reminder, we currently have 109.5 million acres of designated wilderness – how many more acres of non-wilderness lands do we need closed to multiple-use?
You can view maps of the so-called roadless areas by state at the following link. These maps show Inventoried Roadless Areas, but do not break down which areas would be designated in the above three classifications: Roadless Area Maps
In the Spokesman-Review blog below, it states in the very first sentence ÔÇ£Two Washington lawmakers┬áled a┬ábipartisan group of┬á131 sponsors to┬áintroduce legislation Thursday to assure an administrative rule protecting 58.5 million acres of wild roadless areas on America’s public┬álandsÔÇØ.
Interesting that the lead sentence in the article regarding these two bills uses the word ÔÇ£bipartisanÔÇØ, which is very misleading.
In reviewing the sponsors and cosponsors of these two bills, S1891 and HB3465, there are 19 democrats, 0 republicans and 1 Independent that support S1891. And there are 111 Democrats, 0 republicans and 0 Independents that support HB3465. Where is the ÔÇ£bipartisanÔÇØ support? I guess the 1 independent, Joseph Lieberman, in the Senate, must allow them to claim that this is a ÔÇ£bipartisanÔÇØ bill. Give me a breakÔÇª
Here are two links to the bills in question:
S1891 – A bill to provide lasting protection for inventoried roadless areas within the National Forest System
HB1891 – To protect inventoried roadless areas in the National Forest System
Please contact your elected officials in the US Congress and let them know your opinion on these two bills.
WA SAWS Rep ÔÇô Snowmobile Alliance of Western States
Cantwell, Inslee lead effort to protect roadless┬áforests
Posted by Rich
Two Washington lawmakers┬áled a┬ábipartisan group of┬á131 sponsors to┬áintroduce legislation Thursday to assure an administrative rule protecting 58.5 million acres of wild roadless areas on America’s public┬álands
Led by Sen. Maria Cantwell┬áand Rep. Jay Inslee of Washington, a group of sponsored by 20 Senate and 111 bipartisan House co-sponsors introduced the┬álegislation to bolster the┬árecent Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation┬áRule.
The Roadless Area Conservation Act will confirm long-term protections against damaging commercial logging and road-building for vulnerable wildlands on 30 percent of the 193-million-acre National Forest System, shielding roadless areas from political tides and┬áwhims of future┬áadministrations.
Roadless areas provide many benefits to Americans and wildlife: They safeguard the source of drinking water of 60 million Americans; they contain some of the most important fish and wildlife habitat in National Forests; and they provide abundant opportunities for quality outdoor recreation such as hunting, fishing, and backpacking, supporting an industry that contributes an estimated $730 billion to the U.S. economy each┬áyear.
National forests cover 9.2 million acres of Washington ÔÇô about one-fifth of the stateÔÇÖs total land mass. There are two million acres of inventoried roadless areas in the Evergreen State, including sites like Kettle River Range, Dark Divide and Lena┬áLake.
Sen. Cantwell’s office prepared this report┬áhighlighting the economic, environmental and societal benefits that roadless areas┬áprovide.