November 22, 2019

The Divided Police States of America…Corporation

On the Department of Interior’s web page, you will find the below photograph. The caption that goes with the photograph reads: “The Vehicles of Interior: What Employees Use to Get the Job Done. Take a look at some of the specialized vehicles that are used to manage our public lands.”

The vehicles shown have nothing to do with “land.” The vehicles are designed for water and the air. Evidently it takes a Police State to “manage our public lands.”

I know when I think about “our public lands,” I envision armed police thugs driving around in armed and armored vehicles and what government calls “space” craft.

Looking at the photo and thinking about it sure tells us a lot about the condition of our existence in these, “The Days of Noah.”

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Zinke Signs Secretarial Orders to Increase Recreational Opportunities on Public Lands and Waters

Press Release from the Department of Interior:

*Editor’s Note* – Please note the actual intent of the Secretary’s orders. Nothing he is establishing creates any new or expanded recreational opportunities on Public Lands. He is merely designating certain Interior personnel to come up with some suggestions.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today signed two secretarial orders continuing his efforts to prioritize the Department of Interior’s recreation mission and increase access to public lands.

Secretarial Order 3366 directs certain Interior bureaus to create and deliver plans to the Department within 90 days that focus on developing or expanding recreational opportunities on public lands and waterways. This order also directs bureau heads to designate one full-time employee charged to oversee recreational opportunities.

“From my first day on the job, I have made it abundantly clear that we are going to refocus on Interior’s long-standing but recently forgotten recreation mission,” said Secretary Zinke. “We are incredibly fortunate, as Americans, to have amazing public lands and waters to carry out our tradition of outdoor recreation but the Department must continue to create opportunities to increase access for these pursuits.”

“We are delighted by the Secretary’s actions to put in place what he has pledged: a system that will elevate the priority of outdoor recreation on public lands and waters managed by the Department of Interior,” said Thom Dammrich, the President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The Secretary’s action recognizes the importance of outdoor recreation for our economy, particularly rural economies, and for the physical and mental health of all Americans. His actions today will help grow outdoor recreation and ensure that fun in the outdoors remains central to the American lifestyle. The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable pledges our support to the Secretary in his efforts to elevate the Department’s commitment to outdoor recreation.”

“Outdoor recreation is an economic engine that produces 2% of the U.S. GDP and is growing at a faster rate than the U.S. economy as a whole,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, the President of the RV Industry Association. “With the right public policies, outdoor recreation will continue to be an American economic engine for years to come. Which is why the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and its member associations applaud today’s announcements by Secretary Zinke as a common sense plan to elevate the importance of outdoor recreation on public lands and waters throughout the Department of the Interior. This is an important step towards improving the visitor experience on public lands and waters across the country.”

“The recreation industry looks forward to cooperating with the department to offer visitors to parks, refuges and other special places great experiences,” said Derrick Crandall, President of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “The result of better and modernized visitor infrastructure which will contribute to a renaissance of rural communities and a renewed commitment by all Americans to the strong conservation ethic our nation has shared with the world. We thank Secretary Zinke for putting a new emphasis on welcoming enjoyment of our public lands and waters and embracing new skills and new ideas to make visits compatible with protecting our natural and historic resources.”

The bureaus are also asked to provide recommendations for improving and streamlining relevant permitting requirements for guides and outfitters and facilitated outdoor recreation providers and to improve contracting processes for recreation-specific concessioners.

“Whether your favorite activity is kayaking on a river, riding an ATV on sand dunes, jogging on a trail or hunting on a refuge—recreating on public lands and waters is good for the mind, body and soul,” said Secretary Zinke. “And it is also incredibly vital to local economies who rely on recreation spending to help create jobs.”

Secretarial Order 3365 establishes the position of Senior National Advisor to the Secretary for Recreation to ensure deliberate and active coordination of recreational policy in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The position will be filled by Rick May, who currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary.

May, who joined Interior in November 2017, is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL Captain and decorated veteran who served in the Iraq War. Since his departure from active duty in 2010, he has worked with wounded Veterans in various types of recreational activities, helping them to reintegrate back into mainstream America. May is a graduate of Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and he also holds a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management.

“Rick is the absolute best person for this job,” said Secretary Zinke. “The work he has done in helping disabled veterans connect with the outdoors through recreation opportunities speaks for itself. As a former SEAL, he has the leadership needed to help the Department chart its course in making recreation a priority again.”

“First, I’m truly honored and grateful for the confidence that Secretary Zinke has placed in me to hold this position,” said Rick May. “The power of recreation can not be overstated, and its ties to overall health and well-being are undeniable. It is my mission to get more Americans out to enjoy our great public lands, and I look forward to increasing access and opportunity for each and every one of them.”

The Secretarial Orders come on the heels of Secretary Zinke selecting members of the newly created “Made In America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee. A primary charge to the committee is to advise the Secretary on public-private partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving the infrastructure on public lands and waters.

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Committee Begins Effort to Restore Public Lands with Review of Federal Maintenance Backlog

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2018 –

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held the first in a series of hearings to address the maintenance backlog of the Department of the Interior (DOI).

Today, DOI manages more than 500 million acres of land in the U.S. and has a total of $16 billion worth of deferred maintenance, with almost half owned by the National Park Service (NPS).

“The deferred maintenance backlog is a top priority for anyone who loves our national parks,” Vice President of Government Relations for the National Park Foundation Jason Rano stated.

Dan Puskar, Executive Director of the Public Lands Alliance, attributed an increase of visitation as a driving factor in the backlog stressing the adverse impacts on visitor experiences.

“Whether it is a deteriorating road or bridge or a crumbling historic structure, neglected built assets on America’s public lands can have a detrimental impact on the experience of visitors,” Puskar said.

“I would like to acknowledge Chairman Bishop’s hard work,” Ranking Member Raul Grijalva stated, in reference to the “National Park Service Centennial Act,” which became law (Public Law 114-289) in the 114th Congress. “This bill created new revenue streams and established new programs to leverage private investment to support our national parks. These are important tools that we should continue to support though they are not enough to buy down deferred maintenance across the entire system.”

Panelists stressed the need for additional dedicated revenue streams and management reforms to effectively tackle the backlog while also fulfilling broader statutory responsibilities of the agencies.

“We know that we cannot rely on appropriated dollars alone,” Deputy Director of the NPS Daniel Smith and Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Steve Guertin argued. “Most importantly, we are looking at a new proposal to raise funds for this purpose by dedicating a portion of federal energy revenues to address this problem.”

The President’s DOI budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2019 proposed the establishment of a Public Lands Maintenance Fund. The proposal envisions increases in revenue from federal energy leases to provide a dedicated funding source for the NPS and other targeted agencies.

“Today we’re dealing with the problem, next we start dealing with solutions to the problem,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) stated.

Click here for additional information on today’s hearing.

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Sec. Zinke Fails the President About National Monument Review

“Instead of doing as asked, Secretary Zinke recommended decreasing the size of only four of the most blatantly illegal national monuments while leaving the boundaries of all the others standing with mollycoddle language, which will soon get stricken by environmentalists. Worse, he asked that the president do as Clinton and Obama did before him: that is, designate as national monuments federal lands that do not qualify under the Antiquities Act, including, in a surprisingly questionable case of special pleading, one in his home state of Montana. If President Trump does not heed his own pugnacious and not Zinke’s pusillanimous counsel, the matter will be up to the entity entrusted by the Constitution with management of federal lands: Congress. That is as it should be, but whether Congress is up to the task is doubtful, given not just the past nine months but the last 107 years.” <<<Read More>>>
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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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RMEF Reaffirms Support of Public Lands

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—In light of continuing chatter and rhetoric aimed at privatizing federal public lands, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation continues to advocate its support for keeping public lands in the hands of America’s citizens.

“The 640 million acres of public land across the United States play a highly significant role in our wildlife system,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Without them, our management system, which is the most successful in the world, would crumble and the health of our wildlife populations would deteriorate.”

Allen publicly challenged Steve Hanke, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, who called on the government to sell public lands to private ownership in a recent issue of Forbes magazine.

“We cannot afford to play games here. What we need is a focused, pro-active land management approach for our public land assets in this country. RMEF will not waiver on supporting public lands but we are seeking better habitat management and the resources to make that happen,” said Allen.

Allen highlighted a recent elk migratory study by Dr. Arthur Middleton that shows how critical public lands are to the survival of elk in the Greater Yellowstone region.

“We have to manage our public lands with more of a focus on wildlife,” added Allen.

RMEF maintains its decades-long position that public lands must remain public and that such land needs to be managed for the benefit of wildlife and public access but especially for the overall health of forests, grassland and waterways.

Since 1984, RMEF and its partners completed nearly 11,000 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects with a combined value of more than $1 billion. These projects conserved or enhanced more than 7.1 million acres of wildlife habitat.

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Bipartisan Group Reintroduces Sportsmen’s Act

Republican News

Measure Will Provide Access to Federal Lands, Protect Longstanding Traditions

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., this week introduced S. 733, the Sportsmen’s Act of 2017. This bipartisan package expands and enhances sportsmen’s access by making federal lands throughout Alaska and the nation “open unless closed” for fishing, hunting, recreational shooting, and other outdoor activities.

“For too long, sportsmen’s access to our federal lands has been restricted without reason or transparency,” Murkowski said. “Our bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act will ensure that our federal lands are open unless closed, provide new opportunities for more Americans to enjoy those lands, and require federal agencies to expand and enhance access in accordance with their missions. The bill we introduced is an important first step as we seek to have these priorities signed into law.”

“The number one issue for sportsmen across the country is access. This widely supported, bipartisan bill will open more areas to hunting and fishing and grow America’s thriving outdoor recreation economy,” said Heinrich. “Hunting and fishing are a way of life for millions of Americans – especially in New Mexico where outdoor recreation as a whole is directly responsible for 68,000 jobs. Sportsmen have a deep connection to the outdoors and benefit from the recreation, wildlife, and water that our public lands provide and I remain deeply committed to conserving these treasured places for our children and all future generations to enjoy.”

“With more than a half-a-million sportsmen and women in Idaho alone, this legislation will ensure they can continue to access their favorite hunting or fishing spot,” said Risch, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair. “This year, I am confident we can get the Sportsmen’s Act to the White House.”

“As an avid sportsman, I know firsthand that our hunting and fishing heritage is so important to who we are as West Virginians and as Americans,” said Manchin, Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. “This bipartisan bill will boost West Virginia’s economy while expanding hunting and fishing rights and allowing people a greater ability to enjoy the outdoors. I truly believe that people in the Mountain State and across this nation should be able to enjoy hunting and recreational shooting and have the ability to go out and enjoy the outdoors. We should protect these traditions that help define who we are and I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this important piece of legislation.”

“I’m proud to once again join my colleagues to promote America’s hunting, fishing, and conservation heritage through the Sportsmen’s Act,” said Fischer. “This legislation includes measures to enhance opportunities for Nebraska sportsmen and women. As Vice Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, I am committed to preserving outdoor recreation for future generations to enjoy.”

“North Dakotans have so many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors through hunting and fishing—and the bipartisan bill I helped reintroduce today would expand those opportunities further,” said Heitkamp. “Whether it’s ice fishing in the winter or pheasant hunting in the fall, getting out and enjoying nature sets our state apart. By improving access to public lands, creating more shooting ranges, and providing for input from sportsmen on federal policies, our bipartisan bill would make sure future generations have the same chance to take advantage of the great outdoors.”

The Sportsmen’s Act, S. 733, was referred to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and would:

  • Provide a clear congressional declaration of policy for all federal departments and agencies to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting opportunities on federal lands in accordance with their missions;
  • Establish a national “open unless closed” standard for Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands, while ensuring the public has notice of and can comment on decisions regarding temporary and permanent closures;
  • Require agency justifications for proposed closures, and limit temporary closures to no more than 180 days (subject to renewal only after a new notice and comment period);
  • Prohibit the National Park Service from restricting the lawful transportation of bows and crossbows that remain in a vehicle while an individual is in a national park unit;
  • Facilitate commercial filming on public lands by requiring agencies to finalize a single joint land-use fee schedule within 180 days, exempting small crews of three or less from commercial filming fees, exempting small businesses from having to acquire additional permits and pay additional fees for incidental filming, and ensuring that First Amendment rights to free speech and newsgathering are protected on federal lands;
  • Implement the “Hunt Unrestricted on National Treasures” (HUNT) Act, which would direct all relevant agencies to improve access to high-priority federal lands where hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation are permitted;
  • Increase states’ authority to allocate Pittman-Robertson funding for shooting ranges on public lands, while encouraging federal land management agencies to cooperate with state and local governments to maintain ranges; and
  • Permanently establish the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee to advise the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture on issues relating to wildlife and habitat conservation, hunting, and recreational shooting.

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The Sportsmen’s Act, S. 733, will be considered during the committee’s business meeting on Thursday, March 30. Last Congress, Murkowski added a similar sportsmen’s package to her broad, bipartisan energy bill through an amendment that passed by a vote of 97 to 0.

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RMEF Maintains Stance: No Sale or Transfer of Public Lands

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains its long-standing stance in adamantly opposing the sale or transfer of federal lands to states.

“We have always been against the sale or transfer of our public lands but now we’re seeing some western state legislatures mulling or taking action that could lead to that happening. We’re also hearing some chatter on the federal level,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “This is dangerous for two reasons. First, it could result in the privatizing of these lands and the subsequent permanent loss of public access for hunters, anglers, hikers and others. Second, this discussion is a smoke screen of sorts that does nothing to address the real issue of the crucial need for active management of our forests.”

RMEF released a detailed position on the issue in 2016. In addition to stating an opposition to the wholesale disposal, sale or transfer of federal land holdings, it also highlighted the urgent need for active land management.

The lack of active management has a detrimental impact on the landscape in the form of ailing forest health, an increasing number of catastrophic wildfires and a reduction in quality habitat for elk and other wildlife.

RMEF maintains litigation reform is essential to limit non-stop, frivolous lawsuits by environmental groups that use their political agendas to frustrate the implementation of badly needed land management practices as they also seek to eliminate any consideration of multiple use in many national forests.

Additionally, RMEF maintains that some within public land management fundamentally oppose active management of forest and range resources in favor of a hands-off preservation approach to landscapes which has a detrimental effect on wildlife and wildlife habitat.

“We call on RMEF members across the nation and America’s sportsmen and women to contact representatives in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to urge them to provide federal land managers the tools and direction to develop and implement effective active land management procedures. We also call on them to strongly urge state and federal lawmakers to speak out against the sale or transfer of public lands to protect our ability to hunt, fish, camp, ride and recreate, and then hold them accountable for their actions.” added Allen.

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Small Wyoming Project Yields Big Public Access Benefits

MISSOULA, Mont.—Thousands of acres of previously difficult to access public land in western Wyoming are now accessible thanks to efforts by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners.

“Chalk this up as a win-win on several different fronts,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “This project provides public access for hunters and others who enjoy the outdoors but it also permanently protects important habitat for elk and other wildlife.”

RMEF, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and private landowners teamed up to permanently protect a 44-acre tract in western Teton County that improves access to 6,400 acres of nearby Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Caribou-Targhee National Forest lands. The property also provides a contiguous public route from the lowlands of the Teton River Valley to the sprawling Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area and the Grand Teton National Park beyond that.

“Sportsmen and the public had a difficult time accessing BLM and National Forest land south of Teton Creek unless they knew a property owner in the area,” said Doug Brimeyer, wildlife management coordinator for the WGFD’s Jackson Regional Office. “The partnership that developed from this acquisition was spearheaded by several RMEF members and is a great example of how local members and sportsmen can get involved and make a difference. WGFD is excited about the newest access area in Wyoming and looks forward to working with RMEF in the future.”

The tract features riparian, mountain forest, meadow and foothills habitat beneficial to elk, moose, mule deer, grizzly and black bear, mountain lion, Canada lynx and other wildlife.

“This property was brought to our attention by father-daughter RMEF members Jeff and Lexi Daugherty. They helped us with key relationships and efforts along the way, and we are grateful for their involvement,” added Henning.

In addition to the generous contribution of the van Meerendonk family, funding contributions from WGFD, Jackson Hole Land Trust, Wyoming Wildlife Foundation, private donors and RMEF’s Torstenson Family Endowment helped complete the acquisition.

RMEF uses TFE funding solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

WGFD takes over management of the property just in time for Wyoming’s big game general hunting season.

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