December 18, 2017

Republicans Defeat Attempt to Ban Wheelchairs, Bikes and Strollers from Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 13, 2017 –

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 1349. Introduced by Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA), the bill clarifies that the Wilderness Act never intended for a universal ban of wheelchairs, adaptive cycles, bicycles, and other human-powered implements in wilderness areas.

“This bill advances one of the principal objectives of the Federal Lands Subcommittee: to restore public access to our public lands.  When the House considered the Wilderness Act in June of 1964, the record is clear that its framers intended that the term “mechanical transport” be applied to non-human-powered vehicles like motorcycles – not human-powered devices like bicycles. Bicycles were allowed in wilderness areas from the inception of the Act in 1964 until 1977, when the Forest Service reinterpreted the act to ban them.  Bicycles peacefully co-exist with backpacking, hiking, horseback riding and packing on any other public lands – and they did for many years in Wilderness areas.  This bill only removes the current blanket prohibition against bicycles and other forms of human-powered locomotion established by bureaucratic regulation.  It in no way interferes with the discretion provided in other regulations and laws that gives land managers the ability to close or restrict the use of trails according to site-specific conditions. This bill restores this principle for America’s mountain bikers on our public lands,” Rep. McClintock stated.

“This bill prevents unelected bureaucrats from arbitrarily banning bicycles, strollers and wheelchairs from our public lands,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said. “Public lands should be open to all Americans. It is shocking to see self-proclaimed defenders of public lands in Congress vote to perpetuate a permanent ban on bikers, parents, the disabled, or certain hunters from accessing public lands. I’m proud to stand with Rep. McClintock in fighting for American citizens who are tired of government officials telling them they can’t  enjoy our nation’s public lands.”

Click here to learn more about the bill.

Background:

Congress enacted the Wilderness Act in 1964 to create a National Wilderness Preservation System that would “secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness.” Generally, the law prohibits commercial activities and motorized uses in wilderness areas.

Non-motorized bicycles were allowed in wilderness areas from the inception of the Act until 1977, when the U.S. Forest Service reinterpreted the law to ban them. Since then, federal regulators, acting in direct contradiction to the Act’s original intent, have imposed severe restrictions on public access to wilderness.

H.R. 1349 clarifies that federal land managers may allow bicycles, strollers, wheelbarrows, survey wheels, measuring wheels, or game carts on wilderness lands.

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Bill to Prevent Draconian Public Access Restrictions Under Wilderness Act Draws Praise

Press Release from the House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 7, 2017 –

Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on four bills. Among those bills considered at the hearing, H.R. 1349, introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA), would restore the original intent of the Wilderness Act and improve land access to disabled veterans, families and the elderly by clarifying that bicycles, strollers and wheelchairs are permitted in wilderness areas.

Congress enacted the Wilderness Act in 1964 to create a National Wilderness Preservation System that would “secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness.” Generally, the law prohibits commercial activities and motorized uses in wilderness areas.

Non-motorized bicycles were allowed in wilderness areas from the inception of the Act, until 1977, when the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) reinterpreted the law to ban them.

“Congress meant to exclude roads, permanent infrastructure and motors, not human-powered visitors who leave no permanent trace, Ted Stroll, President of the Sustainable Trails Coalition, said. Thus, H.R. 1349 does not materially amend the Wilderness Act of 1964. Rather, it restores the Act to its original meaning.”

Rep. McClintock pressed the panel on how the bicycle ban was originally implemented: “So the ban was strictly imposed by an unelected bureaucrat, is that correct?,” McClintock asked“Yes,” Stroll responded.

Conservationists like Stroll and key legislative backers of the original law, including Senator Frank F. Church (D-ID), have criticized restrictive interpretations as contrary to the law’s intent.  “If Congress had intended that wilderness be administered in so stringent a manner, we would never have written the law as we did,” Church stated, following USFS’s 1977 interpretation.

At the time he signed the Wilderness Act, President Lyndon B. Johnson noted, “[For cyclists and others] we must have trails as well as highways.”

Nevertheless, under the prevailing interpretation, “bicycles, strollers, and any human-powered wheeled conveyance are banned in an area larger than all of California, for no environmental reason,” Stroll stated.

“[The predictable opposition to H.R. 1349] will come from the Wilderness industry, an enterprise comprising people with strong ideological opposition to human activity in public lands, commercial pack outfitters, and organizations that raise money by scaring people that Congress will abolish Wilderness or dilute it of all recognition,” Stroll added. The latter are almost certain to tell the gullible that H.R. 1349 is part of that ultimate goal.”

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House Votes to Reduce Your Inalienable Rights

Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives voted and passed H.R. 38, by a vote of 231-198. All the usual suspects, i.e. NRA, NSSF, etc., are claiming a great victory. Stupid is as stupid does.

H.R. 38 is commonly known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. What isn’t known by most people is that in order to get the bill to the House floor, it had to contain the “Fix NICS” portion designed, we are told, to improve the criminal background check system.

So what does all of this do?

First, let’s look at the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (CCRA). Most fail to understand that it should be an unquestioned (inalienable: unquestioned, unable to be taken away) right of any man to defend himself, and yet today’s American society does everything that it can to hand that inalienable right over to the power and control of Government. It makes little sense to me.

With this fact in mind, why is it that Americans are required by Government to be taxed on a piece of paper that grants them a privilege to own or conceal-carry a gun? We must also ask, that if it is an unquestioned right to self-defense, why can’t we cross state lines legally carrying a concealed or any weapon at all?

In addition, ignorants who think they are fighting for Second Amendment rights, are some of the first to stand up and make a lot of noise about state sovereignty. When it fits their narrative, in their minds the states have the right, as found in the Tenth Amendment (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.) to control their own fates in ways “NOT DELEGATED TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE CONSTITUTION.” And so, by pushing Congress to pass a reciprocity act, they have now delegated the United States to control concealed carry, and the states have now lost some of their sovereignty in deciding how it wants to regulate guns.

With Congress now in control, a group of fascist crooks who would sell their soul to Satan to continue their quest for being pagan sodomites, can alter and take away their GRANTED, which you gave them, privilege with the drop of a hat. LOVING SERVITUDE!

True Second Amendment supporters, not those who think the NRA is their gun rights gOD, would be pushing to make all states “Constitutional Carry,” (poor choice of a label) i.e. man does not need a writ of privilege from any government to protect himself at all times. Which brings us to an interesting part of this new bill.

Some states have always had or recently enacted, laws that strip away the requirement for a permit to carry a gun, concealed or otherwise. With the passage of H.R. 38, where each state is to recognize the piece of paper issued for concealed carry, what does that mean for the constitutional carry person coming and going across state lines?

Read what “qualifies” someone to participate in the Government’s new privilege: “A qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence.

Constitutional carry assumes a person has a “privilege” to own, receive or transport a gun. There are already laws to deal with that. To qualify, that same person must have a valid photo identification document, a Government instrument, and “carry a valid concealed carry permit” issued in their state. Oops! According to the NRA and others, those who believe in the alienable right to keep and bear arms, just got punished. Whose side is who on anyway?

Seems that Constitutional Carry just got knocked down a peg or six and anyone wishing to be protected when they cross state lines must comply with fascist Big Brother.

So, you ignoramuses keep on turning everything you have over to the control of the Federal Government and soon you’ll have nothing. Follow the corrupt NRA, who is NOT the friend of Second Amendment people. They are the friends of making money and, like Government, will sell you down the river for a buck.

Secondly, it was basically the “Left” who insisted that “Fix NICS” be part of the bill or no deal. Many of the same people who think reciprocity was a good thing, also believe that a background check stops crime. In proclaiming victory, the NRA stated: “All Americans, including law-abiding gun owners, agree that violent criminals should not have legal access to firearms.” These are the same ones who stand and shout that gun laws only harm the lawful citizen, prohibiting them to self-defense, and yet they push something as stupid as a law they now claim will stop criminals.

Any “improvements” to the criminal background check system results in nothing more than more government control, which, it appears, Americans are falling in love with, and a further destruction of a person’s inalienable right to protect and defend themselves at all times.

We’re killing ourselves and loving it!

BUT DON’T GO LOOK!

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Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Vote

Today, Wednesday, December 6, 2017, Congress will vote on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. Call your representative and let them know how you feel about this bill.

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Obamacare Individual Mandate Repeal: House of Representatives Should Follow Senate Lead

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Health Care Expert Says Congress Can Fix Gross Violation of Individual Liberty

Mandate to Buy Insurance Failed to Make Obamacare Exchanges Function Properly

Washington, DC – With the Senate version of tax reform containing a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate, a health care expert with the National Center for Public Policy Research says the House of Representatives would be wise to embrace this restoration of individual liberty as the chambers conference on a final version of the bill to be sent to the White House.

“If Congress can’t repeal Obamacare all at once, then repealing it piece by piece is the next best thing. That’s what the Senate did Friday when it rolled back the individual mandate,” notes David Hogberg, Ph.D., a National Center adjunct fellow specializing in health care policy.

In a new National Center commentary published by the American Spectator, Dr. Hogberg suggests that the House of Representatives “now follow the Senate’s lead” in its own version of tax reform by adding a repeal of the penalty that compels Americans to buy health insurance, so that it is included in the final version sent to President Donald Trump.

“The Senate struck a blow for freedom,” adds Dr. Hogberg, the author of the bookMedicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians. “The House should do the same. This was never anything more than a gross encroachment on liberty. Nowhere in the Constitution or in constitutional law is there any justification for letting the government force people to buy health insurance. Chief Justice John Roberts erred greatly when he sided with the Supreme Court’s liberals in letting the mandate stand.”

In the commentary, Dr. Hogberg refutes Obamacare supporters who argue that the Obamacare exchanges will fall apart without the individual mandate. “The individual mandate has never worked as advertised,” he says. “It was supposed to keep premiums low and keep insurance companies in the exchanges. It has done neither.”

Also noted in the commentary:

  • The lowest-cost plan for a 27-year-old has risen 77 percent in cost since the exchanges started operating in 2014. The second lowest-cost silver plan has risen a whopping 88 percent in cost since that time.
  • Exchanges had over 250 insurance companies participating in 2014. In 2018 that number will fall to under 170, a drop of over one-third.
  • In 2014, 76 percent of exchange enrollees had at least three insurers to choose from. Only six percent had just one. Due to so many insurers leaving the exchanges, the percentage of enrollees with a choice of only one insurer will rise to 26 percent in 2018, while those with three or more insurers will fall to 48 percent.

“In short, the individual mandate does not now, nor will it ever, work as Obamacare supporters claimed it would,” writes Dr. Hogberg. “Considering that the mandate is also a gross encroachment on individual freedom, there is no reason why Congress shouldn’t repeal it in the name of tax reform.”

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Why Is Baiting a Difficult Term to Define?

It was a simple question…or so I thought, but it turns out that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) Communication Director opted not to define baiting of deer but to only refer to the Legislator’s creation of a law and/or suggested asking a Game Warden. Nice!

According to George Smith, outdoor writer and activist, he directed his question about what is bait to MDIFW because a reader wanted to know if a mineral block was considered bait.

It seems that Maine, under Governor Paul LePage, has channeled itself down the road more toward fascism creating such draconian laws with punishments not seemingly commensurate with the act and certainly not equitably administered to the masses. One example of such is the new law that punishes hunters for trespassing violations greater than any other labeled citizen.

The latest in the Maine Legislation’s attack on hunters, is another draconian law dealing with baiting deer. It is unlawful, and always has been to “bait” deer, i.e. to feed deer at a particular place for the purpose of lying in wait to ambush an unsuspecting deer…unless of course you are doing that over an “agricultural” crop.

The new law, shown below, prohibits placing “bait” someplace in order “to entice deer to that place.”

So what is bait?

Merriam Webster is all over the place in its definition of bait. Check these out as they seem to be dealing with the act of luring or enticing an animal.

2a :to harass (a chained animal, such as a bear) with dogs usually for sport

3a :to furnish with bait (see 2bait

  • bait a fishing line

 

  • bait a trap
b :enticelure 
4:to give food and drink to (an animal) especially on the road [Somebody help me out with this “especially on the road”]
And so I looked at “bait” as directed above and this is how Webster defines what bait is:
1a :something (such as food) used in luring especially to a hook or trap 

  • using worms for bait
b :a poisonous material placed where it will be eaten by harmful or objectionable animals
So much for that and does it really matter? Law makers don’t pay much attention to Webster’s definitions, or anybody else’s. They just do what they intend to do. And, as is usually the case, laws are either purposely written to confuse to keep lawyers wealthy or are poorly written and worded because the lawmakers are really ignorant. I’ll let you decide which applies here.
The Maine law now reads:
  • 11452. Baiting deer
  1. Prohibitions. A person may not, during an open hunting season on deer:
  2. Place salt or any other bait or food in a place to entice deer to that place; or [2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF).]
  3. Hunt from an observation stand or blind overlooking salt, grain, fruit, nuts or other foods known to be attractive to deer. This prohibition does not apply to hunting from an observation stand or blind overlooking:

(1) Standing crops;

(2) Foods that are left as a result of normal agricultural operations or as a result of a natural occurrence; or

(3) Bear bait that is placed at a bear hunting stand or blind in accordance with section 11301, subsection 1.

 

Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §10659  is enacted to read:

  • 10659.  Feeding or baiting of deer
  1. Prohibition. A person may not place salt or any other bait or food in a place to entice deer to that place from June 1st to the start of an open hunting season on deer and, if all open hunting seasons on deer are closed before December 15th for that year, from the close of the last open hunting season on deer to December 15th.
  2. Penalty. A person who violates subsection 1 commits a Class E crime.

What I find most confusing is the wording: “A person may not place salt or any other bait or food in a place to entice deer to that place.”

The real kicker is “OR ANY OTHER BAIT.” So what is “bait?” Salt is clearly appointed and “to entice deer to a place” is mostly clear, although lawyers could have a lot of fun (make lots of money) with that.

The Communications Director refused to answer Smith’s question as to whether or not a mineral block was bait, instead referring him to the written law and instructing the person to talk to his local Game Warden. Huh? Maybe the director knows the law is vague and took the easy way out or he was doing what politicians do best – avoiding giving a direct and concise answer.

Is bait something edible?

I recall the story of traveling down the road one day during deer hunting season and spotting a deer (a doe) in the middle of a hay field seemingly eating something. I stopped my car (I didn’t have an “Any-Deer Permit”) and eventually discovered the deer was having quite an episode with the remains of a balsam-scented plastic container designed as an air freshener to be used in the home.

Was this “Glade” scent box bait? One has to wonder if this deer was attracted to it and a hunter intentionally put one out in the field to “entice deer to” it, would he be guilty of baiting deer?

Which brings us to the tens of thousands of hunters who regularly use scents for masking and luring. Are these now illegal? Will hunters be entrapped by wardens? And what of the scent making industry? Do they see this law as a serious threat to their economic well being?

What is most stupid of this entire stupid law, is that it makes no sense and is inconsistent with other restrictions and inconsistent with sanity. It is unlawful to “entice deer to a place” by “baiting” and yet it is not unlawful to hunt deer over standing agricultural crops or in fields where an agricultural crop has been harvested, such as a corn field, etc. Evidently it is okay to hunt deer over a bear baiting station. Huh? But to place a squirt of “Doe-in-Heat” in the middle of a buck pawing and climbing into your tree stand or ground blind, is “enticing a deer to a place” and is therefore illegal.

Let’s be reasonable here. Like with baiting bears, the need is driven, we are told, as a means of increasing the odds of successfully harvesting a bear for management purposes, i.e. population control. MDIFW doesn’t need to reduce deer populations, in most locales, and so baiting is not needed and evidently MDIFW believes baiting will cause an increase in harvest numbers….or do they?

MDIFW has always been opposed to winter feeding of deer for some good reasons and mostly for poor reasons…or no reason at all. So, when we see stupid laws like this, we ask ourselves is this just another incremental fascist step toward banning all forms of feeding?

Because hunters use a wide array of scent covers and lures, the law should be better defined. Obviously the lawmakers are probably not hunters and/or, if they are, never use scent covers or lures. Surely, the new law, placed in the hands of lawyers, will be ruled as prohibiting anything that might lure or entice a deer to a place. Beware your aftershave or deodorant.

It is common sense, when game managers don’t want hunters hunting over bait piles, to state the fact. In my travels, I have come across piles of apples in the middle of a pine grove (I call them pine apples) and I’ve also seen apples, cut up or smashed, placed in netted onion bags and hanging from a tree limb about chest high. This is baiting. Clear and simple.

Creating words that say it is unlawful to use any kind of “bait” to entice deer to a place, without providing a clear definition of the word bait, is arbitrary and seemingly capricious – capricious enough that if one didn’t think the legislators were so ignorant but knew exactly what they were doing, would be bordering on criminal. This sets the stage for hunter entrapment, which may be the intent of the law. I don’t know.

We live in a police state and Maine and many other states seem eager to create laws to bolster the police state. Ben Franklin once said that when the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When legislators pass stupid laws like this one, and the one that doles out greater punishment to hunters, it casts fear into the hearts of many and thus the result is a form of tyranny.

Why do we put up with this?

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Bishop’s Bill, Not Yet Visible to Public, on Antiquities Act

Congressman Rob Bishop has introduced a bill, H.R. 3990, that, we are told, is intended to curb the authority of the sitting president to declare national monuments in a willy-nilly fashion. Will it? I don’t know. The bill has been introduced but the public has yet to be able to see any of the wording of the bill.

Below are press releases and statements made by others about the CAP Act.

Subcommittee Chairmen Respond to Antiquities Act Reform Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 10, 2017 –

Tomorrow, the Committee will markup H.R. 3990, the “National Monument Creation and Protection Act” or “CAP Act.” Introduced by Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), the bill protects archeological resources while ensuring public transparency and accountability in the executive’s use of the Antiquities Act.

“The Constitution gives to Congress alone the jurisdiction over public lands. While the executive should be able to move swiftly to protect small archeological sites from imminent threat of looting or desecration, the decision over whether to set aside vast portions of land in perpetuity should only be made after the lengthy debate, public input and accountability that are the unique attributes of the legislative branch,” Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA) said. 

“Our government works best when it works with the people it serves to accomplish objectives for the common good. For too long, our leaders have not adhered to these principles. The ‘National Monument Creation and Protection Act’ seeks to protect the public’s interests from executive overreach through collaboration with local stakeholders, comprehensive review of monument designations and congressional direction on any future presidential monument reductions. I thank Chairman Bishop for his leadership on this issue and look forward to passage of this important legislation,” Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR) stated.

“When Teddy Roosevelt created the Antiquities Act, his intent was to set aside unique areas of land, not to cutoff millions of acres for the federal government to control that produces no revenue or benefit – all while hurting local governments. Through the years, the abuse of this power has snowballed to a point where President Obama designated more acreage during his Presidency than all other Presidents combined. This process unfairly eliminates local input altogether and severely limits the public’s access to hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities as well as reasonable resource development on their public lands. It is important that the decision to designate or expand national monuments is returned to Congress, where the local citizens and communities can have a say,” Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Chairman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) said.

“This legislation secures a future for locally supported national monuments, checked executive authority, and empowered local governments. The original intent of the Act is upheld and strengthened with measures that bring us into the twenty-first century. I firmly believe this will provide the accountability we need when it comes to protecting our lands,” Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) stated.

“Regardless of political affiliation, presidents on either side of the aisle shouldn’t be able to create massive new national monuments by executive fiat without local public input. It is, after all, the people living near these national monuments that are most affected by their creation. Our nation’s public resources are best managed when the people that use those lands are intimately involved in the process. Chairman Bishop’s ‘National Monument Creation and Protection Act’ protects private property rights and empowers local stakeholders while also including important clarifying definitions that should have been included in the original law. I am grateful for his strong leadership on this issue and am proud to be a cosponsor,” Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Chairman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said.

Bishop Statement on Antiquities Act Reform Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 10, 2017 –

On Monday, Chairman Bishop announced the introduction and markup of the H.R. 3990, the National Monument Creation and Protection Act (CAP Act). He released the following statement

“The 1906 Antiquities Act was originally intended as an executive tool to protect historical and archeological artifacts and structures under threat. Regrettably, this worthy goal has been manipulated for ulterior political purposes. Today the Act is too often used as an excuse for presidents to unilaterally lock up vast tracts of public land without any mechanism for people to provide input or voice concerns. This is wrong.  

“This legislation provides for accountability in the Act’s uses. It modernizes the law to restore its intent, allowing for the protection of actual antiquities without disenfranchisement of local voices and perspectives. It standardizes and limits the president’s power to reshape monuments.

“If my colleagues are serious about their calls for accountability under this Act – no matter which party controls the White House – they will support this bill.”

Committee Passes Legislation to Require Transparency, Public Input in Antiquities Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 11, 2017 –

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3990, the “National Monument Creation and Protection Act” or the “CAP Act.” Introduced by Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), the bill protects archeological resources while ensuring public transparency and accountability in the executive’s use of the Antiquities Act.

“Congress never intended to give one individual the power to unilaterally seize enormous swathes of our nation’s public lands… Our problem isn’t President Obama or President Trump. It’s the underlying law – a statute that provides authority to dictate national monument decisions in secrecy and without public input. The only path to the accountability we all seek – no matter which party controls the White House – is to amend the Act itself,” Bishop stated.

“Under this new, tiered framework, no longer would we have to blindly trust the judgement or fear the whims of any president. The bill ensures a reasonable degree of consultation with local stakeholders and an open public process would be required by law. It strengthens the president’s authority to protect actual antiquities without the threat of disenfranchising people.

“Ultimately, if enacted, it will strengthen the original intent of the law while also providing much needed accountability.”   

Click here to view Chairman Bishop’s full opening statement.
Click here to view full markup action.
Click here for more information on H.R. 3990.  

 

 

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Bills to Modernize Endangered Species Act Advance Through Committee

Press Release from the House Committee on Natural Resources:

*Editor’s Note* – It is highly recommended that readers take the time to read the full text of each proposed bill. Links are provided. A synopsis, as is provided, often only relays what the author wants readers to read and not what a bill actually says and does, or does not do.

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2017 –

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed five bills to reform the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:

The ESA is a landmark statute created with noble intent. It also includes fatal design flaws that inhibit greater success and handicap state-led, science-based recovery strategies. These flaws must be addressed and the law must be modernized. This slate of bills provides a framework for this discussion that we will build upon in coordination with the Senate, Trump administration, states and all interested stakeholders. I thank the bill sponsors for their work on these important pieces of legislation and look forward to our work ahead.”

H.R. 424 (Rep. Collin Peterson, D-MN), the “Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2017,” reissues the final rules from the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to delist the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes region and maintains effective state wolf management in Wyoming. The bipartisan bill passed by a vote of 26-14.

H.R. 717 (Rep. Pete Olson, R-TX), the “Listing Reform Act,” allows for the consideration of economic factors in threatened listing decisions. It also provides flexibility to agencies’ prioritization in processing listing petitions, which relieves FWS from excessive litigation and allows more resources to be used for species conservation and recovery. It passed by a vote of 22-13.

H.R. 1274 (Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-WA), the “State, Tribal and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act,” fosters greater cooperation between the federal government and states by ensuring state, local and tribal scientific data is factored into ESA species listing decisions. The bill passed by a vote of 22-14.

H.R. 2603 (Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-TX), the “Saving America’s Endangered Species Act” or “SAVES Act,” removes duplicative permitting requirements for interstate movement of nonnative endangered species enhancing opportunities for conservation. The bipartisan “SAVES Act” passed by a vote of 23-16.

H.R. 3131 (Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-MI), the “Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act,” combats the recent proliferation of ESA-related litigation by capping attorneys’ fees to the same reasonable levels allowed for other types of citizen lawsuits against the government. It passed by a vote of 22-16.

Click here to view full markup action.

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The Left, The Right, Reality and Zinke’s Proposed Forest Management Practices

From the Left all we ever hear is “We’re all gonna die!” From the Right all we ever hear is “It’s about time we’re gonna get it right!” The reality is nothing ever changes. But, don’t go look. The Left/Right paradigm is fake but exists only in echoed rhetoric and that is exactly what we are seeing when Trump’s new Secretary of the Interior announced changes in forest management practices.

The West is burning up, as one report this morning stated. Forest fires are popping up everywhere and as is usually the case, the Left blames is on Global Warming, and the Right blames it on poor forest management practices that result in the creation of tinder boxes.

Another example of the emotional reactions of brainwashed and blinded people is that immediately fear mongering began about the possibility that a tree might now be cut on Maine’s new and mostly unwanted national monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters.

The Right claims that their intent is “a healthy forest through active timber management,” with never a definition of the intent – and that is for a reason. The Left threatens a lawsuit if Zinke tries to cut down one tree in Katahdin Woods and Waters.

St. Clair, the original owner’s son, who is now the front man, without having a clue what Zinke meant by changing forest management practices, said, “We didn’t donate this land to be used as a commercial timbering operation.”

And this is business as usual here in the U.S. of A. While nothing changes in the Federal Government, except that which the ruling establishment wants to change and Congress just does as they are told, a part of what never changes, which is the reason the Federal Government gets away with what they do, is that the Left and Right continue their reactions and responses in the usual manner. In this case, the Left says we’re all gonna die and the Right says it’s about time to get it right. And then it’s on to the next round of fake announcements and none of these mouthy people ever go back to examine exactly what took place.

I think James Beers, former member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says it quite well as to why nothing will change – except the emotional rhetoric that always accompanies false political announcement. The Left controls every aspect of government, as well as every non-governmental agency. Because of the infiltration and successful years of brainwashing and mind control throughout our indoctrination factories, even those, like Sec. Zinke, who, to the Left, appears to be a Rightist intent on destroying the forests, cannot help but do anything except what the Left desires – protect the forests and create the tinder boxes. Only politics calls for the political rhetoric to satisfy the voters of each perspective party.

Beers points out much the same when he says that the only way anything could change is through serious changes and/or repeals of certain draconian federal laws that prohibit change of any kind. And we know that will NEVER happen because it is not intended to happen. And so we keep on keeping on.

Beers writes in a recent email:

All of these above mentioned reasons for fuel accumulation and many, many other dwindling public land benefits that are slated for elimination by fiats, regulations and unjust law authorities granted federal bureaucrats in the past 40 to 50 years have a common taproot..  Past Administrations, their appointees and the bureaucrat “scientists” they have hired, all have this land closure and sustainable natural resource management elimination  as their ultimate goal.  Unless and until that “legal” (?) authorization for federal bureaucrats in federal laws like the ESA and Wilderness Act is either repealed or severely and specifically controlled in the specific federal laws authorizing such tyranny I don’t believe these somewhat generic and feel-good directives amount to anything.  The next Administration (look to all the Obama directives and letters, etc. on a wide variety of subjects) will simply issue their own directives (and probably in less than 9 months) and just drop the government truck into high gear and truck on down the road from where they left off on 19 January, 2017.

Because we cannot see, with each announced or “leaked” (that’s funny) change to anything, we will always keep hearing, we’re all gonna die, and it’s about time to get it right, but the truth is nothing ever changes, because “We the People” call all the shots and “we the people” have nothing to say about it – but we are trained to think we do.

Yep, somethings never change. Just more talk.

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Secretary Zinke signs Secretarial Order to Support Sportsmen & Enhance Wildlife Conservation

Order seeks to expand access on public and private lands and to promote hunting and fishing among youth, veterans, and minority communities

9/15/2017

Date: September 15, 2017
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3356, which will support and expand hunting and fishing, enhance conservation stewardship, improve wildlife management, and increase outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans. Secretarial Order 3356 is an extension of Secretarial Order 3347, issued on Zinke’s first day, March 2, 2017. That order identified a slate of actions for the restoration of the American sportsmen conservation ethic, which was established by President Theodore Roosevelt.

The new order comes days after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a survey that found there are 2.2 million fewer hunters in America now than in 2011. The order seeks to improve wildlife management and conservation, increase access to public lands for hunting, shooting, and fishing, and puts a new and a greater emphasis on recruiting and retaining new sportsmen conservationists, with a focus on engaging youths, veterans, minorities, and other communities that traditionally have low participation in outdoor recreation activities.

“Hunting and fishing is a cornerstone of the American tradition and hunters and fishers of America are the backbone of land and wildlife conservation,” said Secretary Zinke. “The more people we can get outdoors, the better things will be for our public lands. As someone who grew up hunting and fishing on our public lands – packing bologna sandwiches and heading out at 4AM with my dad – I know how important it is to expand access to public lands for future generations. Some of my best memories are hunting deer or reeling in rainbow trout back home in Montana, and I think every American should be able to have that experience.

“Today’s Secretarial Order is the latest example of how the Trump Administration is actively moving to support hunting and other forms of outdoor recreation on public lands. This means finding ways to expand hunting and fishing on public lands, improving access, and taking necessary actions to facilitate the enjoyment of these time-honored activities by any member of our society.”

Secretarial Order 3356 directs bureaus within the department to:

  • Within 120 days produce a plan to expand access for hunting and fishing on BLM, USFWS and NPS land.
  • Amend national monument management plans to ensure the public’s right to hunt, fish and target shoot.
  • Expand educational outreach programs for underrepresented communities such as veterans, minorities, and youth.
  • In a manner that respects the rights and privacy of the owners of non-public lands, identify lands within their purview where access to Department lands, particularly access for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and other forms of outdoor recreation, is currently limited (including areas of Department land that may be impractical or effectively impossible to access via public roads or trails under current conditions, but where there may be an opportunity to gain access through an easement, right-of-way, or acquisition), and provide a report detailing such lands to the Deputy Secretary.
  • Within 365 days, cooperate, coordinate, create, make available, and continuously update online a single “one stop” Department site database of available opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on Department lands.
  • Improve wildlife management through collaboration with state, Tribal,? territorial, and conservation partners.

“On behalf of the 5 million hunters, recreational shooters and members of the NRA, we commend Secretary Zinke for continuing to follow Teddy Roosevelt’s sportsman legacy by opening more land and water to hunting and target shooting,” said Chris Cox, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association. “In the past, management plans for federal lands have been put in place to ban hunting and shooting. Sportsmen and women can now breathe a sigh of relief that those days are over. This administration values access to public lands for sportsmen and we commend them for it.”

“For too long, sportsmen’s access to our federal lands has been restricted, with lost opportunity replacing the ability to enjoy many of our best outdoor spaces. This extension to Secretarial Order 3356 will go a long way to reversing that trend and help grow the next generation of hunters, fishermen, and recreational shooters,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I appreciate this new order and am committed to working with Secretary Zinke and my colleagues to do everything we can to expand and enhance access to our federal lands for all Alaskans, and all Americans, so that we can continue our rich sportsmen’s heritage.”

“Restoring wildlife habitat and expanding opportunities for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation will help increase wildlife populations and connect millions of Americans with our nation’s natural treasures,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Secretary Zinke’s order demonstrates his commitment to collaborate closely with conservation organizations and state agencies to achieve these critical conservation outcomes. We look forward to working with the Secretary, the Department, and our conservation partners to recover America’s wildlife and connect every American with nature.”

“Secretary Zinke’s action today follows in the great tradition of President Teddy Roosevelt and recognizes the central role that hunters play in conservation and successful wildlife management,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “The National Shooting Sports Foundation is deeply grateful to Secretary Zinke for the historic Secretarial Order that he signed  today. NSSF has worked closely with, and in support of, Interior Department officials on these priorities and other positive steps announced today. Today’s action will serve to benefit current and future generations for years to come.”

“Americans depend on reliable and affordable access to public lands to participate in outdoor sporting and recreational activities,” said Chairman Rob Bishop. “Unfortunately, these lands are not being managed to facilitate consistent, open access. Today’s Secretarial Order to increase these opportunities strengthens the foundation of our country’s hunting and fishing heritage and helps ensure that sportsmen and women continue to enjoy access to our federal lands and waterways.”

“For many Americans, hunting and fishing wouldn’t be possible without public land and the access it provides for these pastimes. Secretarial Order 3356 represents a renewed commitment to working with our nation’s sportsmen and women to ensure that our legacy of hunting and fishing-driven conservation continues to stand the test of time,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “We applaud Secretary Zinke for recognizing the critically important role that expanded federal land access plays in achieving this goal.”

“We support Secretary Zinke’s order to expand opportunities for hunters and anglers on BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service and Park Service lands as well as on private lands,” said David Allen, President and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. “Access to quality wildlife habitat remains one of the most significant factors impacting hunting and fishing participation throughout the country. This order will help ensure sportsmen and women continue to have opportunities for quality recreational experiences on public lands and potentially private lands.”

“Generations of Idahoans, including me, have passed on their love of hunting, fishing, and shooting sports to their children and grandchildren,” said Senator James Risch, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. “I applaud Secretary Zinke’s quick action to protect those fundamental rights and expand access for sportsmen and women across the country.”

On his first day in office, Secretary Zinke reversed an order that would have banned lead ammo and tackle on National Wildlife Refuge lands, and he began the process of expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands across the Department.

In August, the Secretary announced a proposal to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 10 national wildlife refuges, and he announced the initial stages of a plan to acquire land to make the Bureau of Land Management Sabinoso Wilderness Area accessible for the first time ever to hunters, hikers, and wildlife watchers.

In addition, Secretary Zinke recently made recommendations to President Trump on 27 national monuments that call for changes to some that, while still protecting the land, would also protect and expand public access to that land for citizens who want to hunt, fish, and hike and experience the joy and beauty of these special places.

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