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- JBS-L - Josselyn Botanical Society discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 18 Feb 2006 14:20:35 -0500
text/plain (229 lines)
HI All,  THis is SO scary!  Please use the link below to contact our 
Congresspeople.  It literally takes about one minute....  This Land is Your 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "The Wilderness Society" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "Betsy Newcomer" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 6:16 AM
Subject: WILDALERT: Bush Budget Puts Our Public Lands on Blue-Light Special

> *****************************************
> * WILDALERT -- Wednesday, February 15, 2006
> * Brought to you by The Wilderness Society
> *****************************************
> As much as 800,000 acres of Americans' public land would be sold
> into private hands under one egregious provision of President
> Bush's proposed budget. Astonishingly, less than two months ago,
> bipartisan opposition in the Congress defeated a similar scheme.
> This absurd proposal deserves the same reaction from all of us.
> Please send that message to your Members of Congress! You can
> take action immediately by clicking here:
> http://action.wilderness.org/campaign/selloff/inn7sdd2hjnbjkm?
> *****************************************
> Though many details of President Bush's 2007 budget are still
> murky, some, regrettably, are painfully clear. Amid serious cuts
> to public lands programs (already grossly under-funded) there
> now comes a blatant proposal to begin selling off our public
> lands themselves.
> It's not a new idea. The anti-environmental right has long
> cherished a fevered pipedream of selling off America's public
> estate. The President's budget proposal is a dangerous
> escalation of the crusade that now shows signs of becoming a
> trend.
> Just two months ago, Rep. Richard Pombo included in a budget
> reconciliation bill a provision to sell off millions of acres of
> land to mining interests and developers. The measure passed the
> House. But unified opposition from western conservationists,
> hunters, anglers, local elected officials, businesses, governors
> and Democratic and Republican Senators alike forced its removal.
> Similar coalitions have blocked other such extreme proposals,
> including one in which Pombo actually identified units of the
> National Park System to sell.
> In all, over 300,000 acres within our National Forests could be
> sold in 32 states. California would suffer most with 85,000
> acres on the block, but this isn't just a threat to western
> public lands. In the southeast, where public lands are rare,
> 55,000 acres could be sold.
> The Administration has already identified the forest lands it
> will sell. It has given the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) a
> sales quota, marching orders more appropriate to door-to-door
> salesmen than to professional land managers. That agency will
> identify sales tracts as it completes its land use plans. But to
> meet the Administration's sales quota, the agency might need to
> sell as many as half a million additional acres.
> Administration spokespeople are struggling to depict these land
> sales as small, isolated, of no particular public value or
> consequence. Nonsense. One is a 160-acre parcel in the Big Creek
> drainage of Emigrant, MT, in a popular recreation area adjacent
> to an upscale guest ranch. Another includes over 700 acres of
> the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Oregon and
> Washington. A third comprises 1,300 acres along a remote and
> rugged river gorge with rare low-elevation old-growth forest in
> Washington.
> Why? There is no good reason but there is a formal excuse: to
> raise money to help fund rural roads and schools. No one doubts
> the federal obligation to help local governments pay for such
> things, but the help should come, as it currently does, from the
> general treasury, as a broad public responsibility, not from
> casually peddling America's icons. Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) sees
> the plan as a destructive way to pay for what he considers
> reckless tax cuts. "It's like selling your homestead to pay your
> credit cards," he said.
> Voicing his concern, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) said, "public lands
> are an asset that need to be managed and conserved." And Rep.
> George Miller (D-CA) said, "The suggestion that the only way to
> fund rural schools is to sell off our national forests is just
> ludicrous in a nation this wealthy."
> *****************************************
> It is critical that our congressional representatives know very
> early on that we are opposed to selling our public lands. Budget
> sense should rest on leadership and political courage, not on
> slapdash schemes to sell the public estate. Please act today!
> You can send your comments to your Members of Congress
> immediately by clicking here:
> http://action.wilderness.org/campaign/selloff/inn7sdd2hjnbjkm?
> But if you can find time to write your own comments, that would
> be the most helpful. We have included a sample letter from which
> you can draw the major points.
> You can send that letter directly to:
> Rep. Tom Allen
> U.S. House of Representatives
> 1127 Longworth House Office Building
> Washington, DC 20515-0001
> Sen. Olympia Snowe
> U.S. Senate
> 154 Russell Senate Office Building
> Washington, DC 20510-0001
> Sen. Susan Collins
> U.S. Senate
> 461 Dirksen Senate Office Building
> Washington, DC 20510-0001
> Click here to look up additional contact information for your
> Senators and Representative:
> http://action.wilderness.org/wilderness/leg-lookup/search.tcl
> Click here to see how much Forest Service land in your state is
> potentially on the auction block:
> http://action.wilderness.org/ct/5pwb1M713uQn/ProposedLandSalesFY07
> *****************************************
> Dear Representative/Senator:
> President Bush's proposed budget for FY2007 includes a
> monumentally wrongheaded scheme to raise money by selling off
> what could amount to 800,000 acres of America's treasured public
> lands. I am strongly opposed to any such sale and urge you to
> ensure that it joins other recent land privatization schemes on
> the legislative trash heap.
> Our public lands are an American birthright, something that
> makes our homeland unique. Those lands deserve protection,
> defense and thoughtful stewardship. They are not commodities to
> be used in a shortsighted, craven scramble for a few dollars,
> simply because we lack the political courage to appropriate
> outright what we need to meet our obligations. Our public lands
> are treasures that we should rightly hand on to our children and
> to our grandchildren.
> Late last year, Rep. Richard Pombo proposed, and the House
> approved in the budget reconciliation bill, an outlandish scheme
> to sell millions of acres out of public ownership and into the
> hands of mining companies and other developers. The resultant
> outcry from anglers, hunters and other conservationists, from
> western governmental leaders, from ranchers and business people,
> was such that the provision was scrapped before the budget
> resolution was approved.
> The President's land disposal scheme is equally objectionable
> and warrants the same end. I believe it is crucial for Members
> of Congress to publicly declare their opposition to this
> harebrained idea and to do so immediately.
> Our public lands deserve more than to be treated as a budgetary
> slush fund. As a voter and a lover of our public lands, I count
> on you to defend them.
> Sincerely,
> (Your name and address)
> *****************************************
> The Wilderness Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to
> conserving American wilderness. Our mission is to ensure that
> future generations will enjoy the clean air and water, wildlife,
> beauty, and opportunity for recreation and renewal provided by
> pristine forests, rivers, deserts, and mountains. As a
> subscriber to WildAlert, you join more than 300,000 Wilderness
> Society members and supporters in our efforts to protect and
> restore America's wild places.
> *****************************************
> Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.
> http://action.wilderness.org/wilderness/join-forward.html?domain=wilderness&r=Ypwb1M714jzK&
> If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for
> the The Wilderness Society Center at:
> http://action.wilderness.org/wilderness/join.html?r=Ypwb1M714jzKE&
> To unsubscribe or update your address and account information,
> please visit your subscription management page for WildAlert at:
> http://action.wilderness.org/wilderness/smp.tcl?nkey=inn7sdd2hjnbjkm&
> ***********************************
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> ***********************************
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