October 20, 2019

Maine’s LD11 – Fabricating Problems for a Predetermined Solution

It matters not to me in this rebuttal whether LD 11 passes or not. God knows I have worn out my keyboard over the years writing about the ups and downs and ins and outs of any and all constitutional amendments presented as a protective device to guarantee the right to hunt, trap and fish.

A recent Letter to the Editor writer expressed concern that passing such an amendment was, “a solution in search of a problem.” However, in an attempt to sell any readers of her theorizing, the writer creates a “problem” in search of a predefined solution.

The writer states: “In fact, LD 11 could actually create problems. Requiring that hunting and fishing be the “preferred means” of managing and controlling wildlife could limit local communities and our state wildlife agency from making sound, science-based decisions.

“What’s more, enshrining these activities in our Constitution would amount to an open invitation for poachers to exploit them to their advantage and could subject longstanding conservation laws to legal challenge from those arguing that this constitutional right exempts them from existing restrictions like bag limits or prohibitions on spotlight or road hunting.”

Depending upon the wording of a constitutional amendment, there exists the possibility that such an amendment could “limit” anti-hunting and animal rights groups from endless and frivolous lawsuits. That is often the nexus behind such proposals. But, understand there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING “sound and science-based” behind so-called wildlife management of today. One could honestly argue that the necessity for an amendment is necessary because to the admitted social nature of most decisions made about wildlife management, none of which are based on anything resembling science.

But, honestly, suggesting that a constitutional amendment would increase poaching while encouraging hunters to break the law and exceed bag limits, etc. is preposterous.

It is always entertaining to discover the fabrication of myths and fairy tales from those lacking in knowledge and/or cannot find any solid data to support their claims or to refute intelligently the reasons why Maine should not need a constitutional amendment.

Whether or not you are in support or opposition to proposed legislative and public initiative actions should be disseminated with facts not creations of one’s imagination.

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Just Another Government Fraud?

Ammoland files a report about how the House Subcommittee on Natural Resources will take up discussion on the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. Passage would mean billions of dollars from royalties paid by gas and oil companies. Most applaud this measure believing it will be good for “conserving” fish and wildlife and access to recreational land, but will it?

The red flag that shot up for was this bit of text: “Our nation’s fish and wildlife are among its most valuable resources, along with clean air, water, healthy forests and agricultural lands that support all of us,” stated Virgil Moore, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of Idaho Fish and Game. “Today we find ourselves at a critical crossroads and face a challenge that could alter our children’s and grandchildren’s opportunities to enjoy these resources. By investing in our State Wildlife Action Plans, which serve as a blueprint for restoring and managing the most sensitive imperiled species within our state’s borders, we will be ensuring future generations can enjoy our rich wildlife heritage.”

Note that there is not one single mention of the recreational acts of hunting, fishing, and trapping, And, you won’t read or hear about them either. Those pushing this fake act are doing it for the money and the furtherance of their agendas to ban hunting, fishing, and trapping. As a matter of fact, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies lobbied Congress a few years back in order that they can have a piece of the Pittman/Robertson and Dingell/Johnson Excise Tax, paid in large part by hunters, fishermen, and trappers, to promote their anti-hunting, non-consumptive, environmental programs that work completely contrary to the North American Model of Wildlife Management.

Support this bill if you want to, but I see it as a worthless bit of tripe that will pull the wool over the eyes of many, many hunters and fishermen. Isn’t that really what the goal is?

What future is there in funding an agency whose objective is to destroy your heritage?

BUT DON’T GO LOOK!

 

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Maine State Senator Davis: Lessen the Punishment for Hunting Over Bait

It’s a beginning I guess! Maine Senator Paul Davis has introduced LD 1816, an amendment that will lessen the punishment for hunting over bait.

Earlier this year, the Legislature, after making changes to a bill that came out of committee, passed LD 1083, that would, after a second offense, make the offender ineligible, for life, to buy a hunting license. No other similar legal offenses carry such draconian measures. Sen. Davis doesn’t believe “the punishment included in the new deer baiting law fits the crime.” I completely agree.

Now, what is it going to take to get the Maine Legislature to revisit the illegal law they passed last year where they opted to punish hunters and fisherman more than any other group if they were caught destroying private property – in this case, “No Trespassing” signs.

LD 557 states that, “The hunting and fishing licenses of a person convicted of destroying, tearing down, defacing or otherwise damaging a property posting sign in violation of section 10652, subsection 1, paragraph B must be revoked, and that person is ineligible to obtain a hunting or fishing license for a period of one year from the date of conviction.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled previously in cases involving “unconstitutional animus” that you cannot punish one group over another for a similar crime. While the SCOTUS has tiptoed around cases where state’s rights and “sovereignty” are involved, under no other cases decided by the SCOTUS have they wandered very far from the ruling that regardless of whether a state thinks it has a right to make laws, they cannot inflict biases, especially social ones, against one group over another.

As one example, in U.S. Department of Agriculture vs. Moreno, Congress attempted to pass a law that would deny “hippies” Food Stamp Benefits. Members of Congress openly admitted their intent of this law was because of their refusal to accept “hippies” as part of their idealistic social existence. Regardless, SCOTUS said no. This unconstitutional animus, in essence, violated Due Process.

I applaud Sen. Davis’ desire to correct a disparate law that hinders due process while at the same time targeting hunters, but someone in Augusta needs to step up to the plate and correct LD 557 that destroys the due process allowed under the U.S. Constitution through unconstitutional animus. All licensed hunters and fishermen should be incensed that the Maine Legislature would specifically and unequally target these two social groups for punishments that are held in reserve to other preferred groups.

If the Maine Legislature corrects this problem, as they should, they must then correct LD 557.

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A Right to Hunt Amendment “Just Like The Second Amendment?”

A freelance outdoor writer and registered Maine guide, in his blog post at the Bangor Daily News, brings out some interesting points in support of a constitutional amendment billed as a guarantee of a Maine citizen’s right to hunt, trap and fish. In essence, he tells his readers that the legislative committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, who did not support the proposed constitutional amendment, caved into the demands of animal rights extremists and denied rural people the right to feed themselves and to make a living. All good points.

“I think many in the capitol area and urban enclaves see hunting and fishing as recreation or sport, and as such believe recreation and sport do not have the merit needed for constitutional tinkering. While that may be the case in Portland, Augusta or even Bangor, it most certainly is not the case for the people who live in the places the suburbanites come to recreate in.”<<<Read More>>>

Let’s look at a couple of issues brought up in the related article. The author brings up a good point when he writes: “…many in the capitol area and urban enclaves see hunting and fishing as recreation or sport..,” and, “…you are more likely than not to find locals fishing for white perch…than those fishing for a trophy-sized trout.”

Both points ever so true, but why? At least some of that blame can be placed squarely on the media, and I don’t mean the mainstream media necessarily. The major number of so-called outdoor writers bombard everyone through most forms of media with trophy hunting this and trophy fishing that. Is it any wonder the urban dweller only knows hunting and fishing as a trophy collection activity? It is always a breath of fresh air when writers, like the one at center stage, tells more of the truth of what hunting, trapping, and fishing are all about. And let’s not forget that surveys of hunters repeatedly state that the main reason for hunting is for food…NOT trophies.

The author points out that he believes the IFW Legislative Committee buckled to the pressures of the radical Left’s animal rights groups in turning their noses up at this proposal – “…you chose to serve the interests of anti-hunting, extremist organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and WildWatch Maine…” 

The other day I wrote a piece in reference to the Committee’s rejection of the proposed amendment. In that piece, I point out what the chairman of the Committee said about his fear of what people might think if the proposal passed the Legislature and went to the voters and was defeated. He said it “would have a seriously negative impact.” We must ask ourselves the question as to how many other ballot initiatives, or even proposed bills, are given the same scrutiny, rooted in fear of reprisals and “negative impact.” It should alert readers that the author of the subject piece was precise when he said that the Committee, “chose to serve the interests of anti-hunting” organizations, for surely they did.

So let’s not go from the frying pan and into the fire! Regular readers here know that I have not had much support for the constitutional amendments for the right to hunt and fish in Maine due to the language of each proposal. It just doesn’t go far enough. In fact, the language suggests several things but does not guarantee anything. It might slow down the onslaught of anti-hunting law proposal but certainly will not end them. In addition, we see that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) doesn’t and won’t support this proposal and certainly would not support an amendment that should contain strong enough language that requires MDIFW to manage game species for the purpose of surplus harvest. LD 11 is the best written so far, but it’s just not enough. As the language gets tougher, the support by politicians dwindles. That should tell us something.

Consider when the writer states, “The text of the legislative document was concise, plainly written and made provisions to ensure that regulation and game law enforcement would not be compromised – much like the second amendment to the U.S. constitution. Gun owners must still abide by firearm laws, ordinances and regulations enacted by governments as allowed by the second amendment.”

It is impossible to have a legislative document that is “concise, plainly written,” that, on the one hand, guarantees anyone the right to anything, while at the same time makes provisions for regulations to limit that right. The author wants his readers to believe LD 11, the constitutional amendment for the right to hunt, trap, and fish in Maine, is “much like the Second Amendment.” Yikes. Isn’t what is wrong with the Second Amendment is that everyone has attacked it and turned it into something it was never intended to be?

I’m also not sure I understand what the author means when he says that the laws, ordinances, and regulations enacted by governments are “allowed by the second amendment.” The Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, as written did NOT provide government to bastardize them into useless overregulated documents. We allowed government and their posses of useful idiots to trample all over the Second Amendment buying into the propaganda that such limitations of a natural right are reasonable.

How much more precise can a Bill of Right be to state, with no other qualifiers, that “the right of the people,” to keep and bear arms, “shall not be infringed?”

I’m sorry to burst anyone’s bubble here but as a citizen subject of the U.S. Corporation you DO NOT have a right to keep and bear arms “that shall not be infringed.” The Government and all useful idiots have mocked, spit on, trampled, changed, misinterpreted and utterly destroyed a right of the people, not like any other right, and as such keeping and bearing an arm has become a government-meted right that you can take advantage of if you follow their rules and regulations that severely limit what you can do and guarantees THEIR control over you.

I have to ask, therefore, why would we want a constitutional amendment to hunt, trap and fish if that right was “much like” the Second Amendment?

The author laments of his fears of being able to feed his family and support his livelihood as a Maine guide. I’m just not very sure LD 11 would take care of his fears. When we examine what has become of our Second Amendment is there any reason to believe that a watered down amendment at the onset, promoted as a guaranteed right, will last?

Not that it actually matters now, as more than likely the rejected-by-committee proposal will never see the floor of the Legislature, but we have to ask ourselves whether it is better to fight for the best wording in an amendment that actually has some teeth, and risk losing, or to fight for a watered down quasi-right that in the end will cause us to lose anyway?

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Maine’s Moose Lottery: It’s About Gaming the System Isn’t It?

Man is inherently dishonest even when they think they are not. Most come down on the side of the ends justify the means and/or there’s nothing wrong with a “white” lie. Also clawing at my brain is the idea that ethics is something you do when nobody is watching. As a result, untold amounts of energy are being expended on an hourly basis to “game” any system that is in place in order to gain a personal advantage.

Maine has an annual moose lottery. It’s not perfect and many (those who seem to never win) think it’s unfair. It’s about to become more complicated and corrupt. Why? Money!

A bill has been introduced that would allow money to exchange hands during a legal moose permit swap. According to the man who is in charge of permitting, around 100 moose permits are swapped each hunting season. The intent of the swapping regulation is to allow two people to exchange their permits for reasons other than a profit. Here’s a real example of one such swap that was beneficial to both parties involved without the need to buy or sell anything.

Two people were drawn as winners in the moose lottery. Both drew a permit in a zone they didn’t live near. It was not their first choice. As it happened, that if they swapped permits each would be closer to home for their hunt. What’s wrong with that? And wasn’t that the intent of the rule, to begin with?

Now it seems that complaints have surfaced because wealthy moose permit winners want to offer someone else with a permit gobs of money for an exchange (are their no limits?). Currently, that kind of remuneration is prohibited. It appears the most complaints came about when someone holding a moose permit for a calf or cow moose, wanted to pay someone who held a permit for a bull to swap. What’s wrong with that?

When applying for a chance for a moose permit, each applicant must choose the zone they prefer to hunt in. I believe the system allows for each applicant to name first and second preferences of what zones. Perhaps a third or more. You don’t get to choose what sex or age moose you will hunt, which makes one wonder who does.

I know of at least one, and I’m sure there are more, applicant who put in for a zone to hunt moose knowing it was the least requested zone increasing their chances of winning. The intent was that if they won, they could find someone to swap permits with. He won his permit but couldn’t find a swap. He didn’t go on the hunt and the permit was wasted. This is part of gaming the system. It still goes on and I would expect it would go on even more if money is allowed to enter the swap.

What might happen if I live near Zone 1, one of those areas few apply for because of its remoteness, and I am approached before the permitting process with a proposal to apply for Zone 1 and if I get drawn and draw a bull permit, I can make $10,000 or more by swapping my permit with someone else who has already arranged for a guide to take them on a Zone 1 hunt. Obviously, there are certain risks being taken here but millions of dollars are wagered each and every day for taking risks.

There are other issues to consider. It was brought up by someone else that allowing for the exchange of money would prompt those not interested in moose hunting to apply for a permit knowing that money could be made by “swapping.” In effect, the Maine Moose Lottery would become an endeavor at catering to the whims of wealthy hunters who could buy every permit issued.

Some may see all of this as not such a big deal. If so, where do we stop? If the demand by the wealthy to get a moose permit is so high, then why not begin with allowing the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to simply auction off the 2,000 to 3,000 permits allocated each year. Think of the revenue they could generate to go toward their raises and pensions. They could continue to work with the guides and outfitters in order that all can profit…all at the expense of the taxpayer who simply is seeking a chance at hunting a moose.

Consider that with the ability to buy a moose permit, interested parties will go far beyond locals and out-of-staters. International interest will grow as well.

Maybe the Maine Legislature will consider passing and modifying this proposal in order that they can tax it and they too will generate more income for raises and pensions. There is no end.

Money corrupts! It always has and always will. Each time the Maine Legislature allows for more infiltration of money the more corruption will take place. The system will continue to be gamed by those seeking an unlawful advantage for their selfish wants. You cannot avoid this!

Even though the MDIFW Joint Committee has put in language in the proposed bill that would prevent licensed guides from reaping any profits from buying and selling moose permits, or arranging for them, are members of the committee so naive to think this loophole can’t be beaten. Come on man! Under the table deals and straw “purchases” would run rampant. And those are the only ones I’m smart enough to think of.

In the meantime, the so-called honest moose hunter’s chances at a moose hunt are further diminished because the majority of permits are being taken up by nonhunting applicants for profits.

As the saying goes, “Money talks and shit walks.” I’m walking.

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Nine Members of NPS Advisory Board Quit

*Editor’s Note* – Trump gets an “F” when it comes to making his nominations for key positions, especially with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM and others. However, having 9 members of the National Park Service advisory board quit may not be such a bad thing. As a matter of fact, maybe it is time to disband this and other useless “advisory” boards because the purpose of their existence and the efforts they carry out are contrary to most everything American. For example, the NPS advisory board works directly and indirectly with certain programs within the United Nations to appoint certain parcels of land/historic sites for the purpose of a systematic ceding of control of such nominated lands (national monuments, parks, and historic sites) to the United Nations. I doubt this is what the majority of Americans want but I’m sure, due to their ignorance, they haven’t a clue about any of this.

BUT DON’T GO LOOK!

“Three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service abruptly quit Monday night out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year.

The resignation of nine out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration. In May 2017, Zinke suspended all outside committees while his staff reviewed their composition and work.”<<<Read More>>>

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Give Trump an “F” When It Comes to Department Head Nominations

It’s been one year since “Make America Great Again” took office in the White House. It’s been one year and the man has failed miserably in his ability to nominate a Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the head of the Bureau of Land Management.

Some may think these appointments (nominations) aren’t that significant. However, when we read the letter I posted earlier today about actions by the BLM that effectively caused the mistrial of Cliven Bundy and others, one has to wonder what kind of leadership exists or has existed in the department in the past.

Perhaps placing nominations to head the USFWS and the BLM are more important than an assistant to the deputy of the vice deputy to represent the powder puff convention?

Why the wait?

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Curtis Bill Enhances Antiquities Protections, Creates First Ever Tribally-Managed National Monument

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 9, 2018 – Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on H.R. 4532, the “Shash Jaa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act.” Introduced by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), and cosponsored by every Member of the House of Representatives from Utah, the bill builds upon President Trump’s right-sizing of the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) and creates the first tribally co-managed national monument in history.

While it is difficult to overstate how politicized the creation and management of our national monuments has become, I believe all sides of this debate share many common goals,” Rep. Curtis stated. “These goals include a high priority on protecting and preserving both antiquities and the natural beauty of this area, as well as maintaining traditional uses of the land.”

In in the waning days of office, President Obama unilaterally designated the BENM against the will of Utah’s elected leaders, local stakeholders and tribes.

Despite empty promises to the contrary, the original BENM proclamation did not bestow tribal co-management. Instead, the proclamation created a token advisory role for tribes and no legal or official decision making authority.

“There is no one who cares for the land more than we do, the local residents and native people of San Juan County. It is the people who live closest to the land that understand the land best and should have a voice in how lands are managed,” Member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Suzette Morris stressed.

Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), described the Bears Ears Commission, the tribal advisory board established under the original BENM proclamation, as a scam.

“The Commission is a fraud, it’s a sham. They get to advise, but the advice can easily be rejected. Land managers have the ability to arbitrarily change things and there is nothing tribes can do about it,” Chairman Bishop argued.

Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) questioned Ms. Morris on whether local tribes were consulted by the Obama administration prior to the BENM designation and whether tribal co-management was ever achieved. “No,” Morris answered. 

President Trump signed an Executive Order in April 2017, requiring a review of recent monument designations to determine whether they were consistent with the “original objectives” of the Antiquities Act.  The review asserted, among other conclusions, that BENM’s size was not the “smallest area compatible” with care of the objects requiring protection, as required under the Act, and that tribes did not have an “adequate role” in managing the monument.

On December 4, 2017, President Trump signed a proclamation to protect identified antiquities in the region with the creation of two new separate, more targeted monuments: the Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument. To codify those actions and prevent future administrations from arbitrarily modifying the monument boundaries, congressional action is required.

“We now find ourselves with a reset and the opportunity to move forward with a legislative process for protecting this area,” Governor of Utah Gary Herbert stressed. “If we really care about protecting the antiquities and archeological artifacts… if we really care about giving native Americans co-management responsibility, it has to be done legislatively.”

“Without congressional action, Bears Ears, Shash Jaa and Indian Creed will be relegated to nothing more than political footballs being punted back and forth with each presidential adminstration. Nobody wins in that scenario – not the archeological resources, not the environment and certainly not the people of San Juan County,” Director of the Coalition for Self-Government in the West of the Sutherland Institute Matt Anderson stated.

H.R. 4532 codifies the newly-created monuments and establishes the Shash Jaa Tribal Management Council, made up of a minimum of four local tribal members, guaranteeing tribal input in management decisions.

H.R. 4532 will finally empower the voices who have been silenced in the debate, and those are the tribes of the local tribes who actually live in San Juan County,” Morris said.

The bill maintains the existing 1.35 million acre mineral withdrawal under the original BENM designation to “put to rest any suspicion that the monument was reduced in order to advance energy development,” Governor Herbert stated.

The bill also establishes the first-of-its-kind Archaeological Resources Protection Unit, a statutory assignment of additional law enforcement personnel, and additional federal dollars, for the exclusive protection of antiquities within monument boundaries.

Click here to view full witness testimony.

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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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