June 20, 2019

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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Katahdin Woods and Waters Dog and Pony Show

*Editor’s Note* – If the new Obama/Quimby national monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters, is so damned “beautiful” that the world would want to come and see, the media and promotional information about the monument can only come up with two pictures to show off – the Penobscot River (in fall foliage) and Mt. Katahdin (which isn’t in the park).

Maine is headed into black fly season, perhaps this new “tool kit” written about in the below linked article will suggest close-up photographs of mosquitoes and black flies, as they will most certainly be the featured distraction for a great part of the duration of when people might think about coming to the monument to see…..er, to experience….er, uh, to be part of….um. Well maybe they will just consider a ride through the park, gazing at stands of dense spruce and fir trees, except in places where they have cut the trees down to see outside the park.

Also, the article attempts to compare a recent “monument” in New Mexico in hopes of convincing people the park will be popular despite its so-called “controversies.” What that means is the majority of the people didn’t want the monument but fascist power forced us to have it anyway. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks officials say visitors to the park has risen 102% since the monument was created. Swell, but someone help me with the math. 0 visitors before monument designation, times 102%, equals? But maybe you don’t quite understand.

And remember, all the two-faced Environmentalists who wanted so much to “protect” this piece of land, good mostly just for its timber, are eager to bring the entire world to the park…after they get done cutting down trees, building roads, building visitor centers and bathrooms, picnic grounds, etc. Yessiree, that’s some protection.

In addition, how are these mentally unstable Environmentalists going to handle any Trump Administration laws that will provide that this monument remain open for such things as hunting and snowmobiling, etc?

“Rather, Hamblen says new opportunities are likely to open up. However, the task of developing a new regional economy is not a small one. One piece of the puzzle that’s perhaps been missing from other designations, says Hamblen, is a plan to guide local businesses to help them get the most out of the new monument.”<<<Read More>>>

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