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Traveler's View: Proposed Overhaul Of Land And Water Conservation Largely Ignores Conservation

Nov 6th - 12:02pm | ecbuck

Bullet point No. 2. Which doesn't elminate land acquisition it shifts it from federal to state land acquisition.  So my suspicion was correct.  The concern isn't that lands won't be aquired, its that the feds won't expand their lands.  Lands are secondary, federal control is primary.

Nov 6th - 11:56am | Lee Dalton

My main concern is the section on Offshore Drilling.  While his bill sounds noble and pure, there is no telling what it might end up becoming in reality.  That is what we must guard against.  Congress, and Rep. Bishop in particular, are experts at sleight-of-hand.  At this point in time, we must simply be on guard and remain vigilant. 

Nov 6th - 11:51am | SmokiesBackpacker

Bishop, Is there anything that moron has ever gotten right?  He is in the back pocket of business, clearly.   ....Comrades

Nov 6th - 11:46am | ecbuck

 And that is PROVE, not just claim or make accusations.

Nov 6th - 11:46am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, here's a link to the summary provided by Rep. Bishop's committee: point No. 2.

Nov 6th - 11:36am | Lee Dalton

Comrade, this bill goes far beyond just the concerns about money and where and how and by whom it will be spent.  It has the potential for opening a whole Pandora's Box of environmental nightmares.  It's one more classic example of short sighted focusing only on short term gain for a special few without regard for consequences far into the future.

Nov 6th - 11:24am | ecbuck

Could you cite the section that cuts $150 mil from land acquisition?  Explain why you wouldn't want to develop more resources (through offshore drilling, research and education)  to fund such a program.  As to the $20 billion,  I guess we could oppose any bill on the basis it doesn't address the $20 billion wish list.

Nov 6th - 11:17am | Kurt Repanshek

What don't I like aside from cutting $150+ million for land acquisition, or devoting at least 20 percent, and possibly more, for offshore energy exploration, or admitting there are $20 billion worth of operational and maintenance needs out there already, but giving them but 3.5 percent, or making it a bit more difficult for communities to receive assistance?

Nov 6th - 10:34am | ecbuck

To me it limits it to communities above 20,000. Are you saying you believe that communities under 20,000 wouldn't be eligible for any money?  I don't think it says that at all. As for PILT and land acquisition, I was just noting that they were part of the measure.

Nov 6th - 10:09am | Kurt Repanshek

I guess it depends on how you interpret the wording, EC. To me it limits it to communities above 20,000.As for the backlog, I was just pointing out that on one hand he notes how large it's become, but then only allocates a very small percentage. Frankly, Congress needs to tackle it with a direct appropriation.

Nov 6th - 09:42am | ecbuck

which cuts out a lot of Western communities. It doesn't cut them out, they can still compete for 70% of the state allocated funds.  As to the $20 billion, I don't believe it is the purpose of the LWCF to fullfill that wish list.  Any expansion on your thoughts on PILT and the federal land acquisition clause?

Nov 6th - 09:33am | ecbuck

Though laudable that the legislation shows interest in urban parks and recreation, that 100,000-resident benchmark would effectively prevent any city in Wyoming from competing for the funds;.....

Nov 6th - 09:32am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, you're correct on the 5 percent, but of the 45 percent set aside for stateside assistance grants, 30 percent would be for cities with at least 20,000 residents, which cuts out a lot of Western communities.As for the operations and maintenance backlog, that should have been almost "$20 billion," not million. I've corrected both.

Nov 6th - 08:56am | Lee Dalton

No, Bishop didn't get it wrong when he named his bill.  He was just lying again.  It was another political smokescreen of the kind used by too many of our Congress members.  It's nothing but one more cheap attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of unwitting Americans in hopes few of them will notice the real motives behind their bills.

Critic: Starving Federal Agencies Fuels Land-Transfer Push

Nov 5th - 20:17pm | ecbuck

That's a net loss of 4%.   And a net loss of 4% takes you to "starving'?  I don't think so.  In fact at $2,000 a grazing permit, it doesn't even start to trim the fat.   And where in the world does the idea come from that federal agencies want to "change" nature?

Nov 5th - 20:10pm | Lee Dalton

Ah, but Comrade, inflation has eaten up 18% of the USFS income in the past ten years.  That's a net loss of 4%. And where in the world does the idea come from that federal agencies want to "change" nature? Isn't it the developers and miners who want to change it? You been smoking some of that Colorado Good Stuff?  

Nov 5th - 19:20pm | ecbuck

those that want to preserve nature want ever more money to manage (protect it from developers and resource capitalists) it.  Rick, if it is already owned by the feds - the money isn't being spent for protection from developers and "resource capitalists" .  By the way, are you not the consumer of "resource capitalism'?

Nov 5th - 18:51pm | Rick B.

In other words [your favorite pet phrase to twist something to your own ends], those that want to preserve nature want ever more money to manage (protect it from developers and resource capitalists) it. 

Nov 5th - 18:28pm | ecbuck

The title is "starving" but in fact the Forest Service budget appropriations have gone up 14% in the last ten years.  I find it ironic that those that want to "preserve nature" want ever more money to manage (change) it.  

Nov 5th - 17:38pm | Lee Dalton

This is an article that deserves, and needs, much more careful attention from Traveler readers.  Right here is probably the biggest real threat to every one of us who values the beauty of our public lands and access to them.

Benefit Of Hurricane Sandy: One More Acre Of Wilderness At Fire Island National Seashore

Nov 5th - 19:54pm | Ronald Kinsella

That nature trail was truely a wonderfull thing for those confined to a wheel chair.....Pushing my father through made part of his life an adventure

NPCA Launches "Parks In Peril" Campaign To Get Obama Administration To Protect National Parks

Nov 5th - 18:23pm | ecbuck

So Lee - I will ask again, where do the monies for those phones come from?  The phone give aways measure in the Billions - no matter who's name we put on it.  The grazing defict is in the tens of millions - assuming in fact the costs would go away if there were no grazing.

Nov 5th - 17:36pm | Lee Dalton

Are you sure the phone give away was Obama?  Do a little research and you'll learn it's a product of Congress.  And thanks, Comrade, for doing a little actual research on grazing fees.  Do a little more.  You still have a lot to learn.

Nov 5th - 15:24pm | ecbuck

Upon further research, I will concede the grazing program nominally spends more to administer than it receives in fees.  I say nominally because I suspect the "administration costs" wouldn't go away if the grazing stopped.  Further, I think this is more a testament to the inefficiency of the federal government than anything else.

Nov 5th - 15:05pm | Michael Kellett

The present conversation shouldn't go past without Fort Monroe being mentioned.

Nov 5th - 15:04pm | ecbuck

This telephone assistance program started in 1984!  

Nov 5th - 13:41pm | Lee Dalton

Obama Phones?????? Huh?  This telephone assistance program started in 1984!  Who was president in 1984? Snopes says: claiming that "the Obama administration created a program to give free cell phones paid for by taxpayer money to welfare recipients." All the elements of such statements are erroneous or exaggerated:

Nov 5th - 13:25pm | Lee Dalton

Anon's post excellently illustrates one of the greatest challenges we who support public lands and parks are facing.  To be honest, I had completely forgotten about Fort Monroe.  It's far from where I live and there are so many other very pressing challenges to our parks and public lands that it was easy to let it slip from mind.

Nov 5th - 13:12pm | ecbuck

the data was overwhelming Wild claims yes - most dismissed by the likes of the EPS - data no.  Please show me "data" from an independent source that shows systematic and irrepairable damage to federal lands due to fracking.  

Nov 5th - 12:27pm | Rick B.

Folks, I just started to research "damage from fracking" and the data was overwhelming. Of course, at the same time I realized that it is so overwhelming that no one open to being educated about it would start from a denial point of view, so I'll simply leave it to Eric to "do your own research". I'm not going to butt my head up against that wall.    

Nov 5th - 12:10pm | ecbuck

 my contention on below-cost public land grazing.

Nov 5th - 12:01pm | ecbuck

And if the low fees are costing the federal government $110+ million  

Nov 5th - 11:41am | Michael Kellett

Hi EC, I think Kurt's comment adequately supports my contention on below-cost public land grazing. Regarding oil and gas development, you say: As to fracking and mining damage, you made the claim, you provide the documentation that they create massive damage and the cost of cleanup to the Feds exceeds Fed receipts.  

Nov 5th - 11:34am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, if just 2.7 percent of the nation's livestock growers graze their cattle and sheep on public lands, how much benefit is that $1.35 AUM charged by the Forest Service and BLM vs. the $7-$8 being charged on state and private lands providing shoppers?

Nov 5th - 11:27am | ecbuck

Kurt, that "subsidy" is reflected in lower prices to the consumer.  Would I prefer the government exploit otherwise underutilized land to lower the cost to the consumer.  Absolutely.  Same is true for oil and gas, coal, etc.  Note, this is a far different "subsidy" than taking monies from productive activities and giving it to a select group of recipients.  

Nov 5th - 11:25am | Steve Corneliussen

For some reason my long Fort Monroe comment is listed under "anonymous." In fact I've been deeply, and quite visibly, involved in the struggle to save Fort Monroe for over a decade. Thanks. Steve Corneliussen (Kurt, if you fix it, maybe then just delete this reply? Thanks.)

Nov 5th - 11:13am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, should the government lose money on grazing fees and subsidize a small percentage of livestock growers (supposedly just  2.7 percent of the country's livestock growers graze on U.S. Forest Service and BLM lands)?Especially when fees on state lands and private lands can be many-fold greater?

Nov 5th - 11:12am | ecbuck

ranchers with grazing allotments or oil companies See answer to Michael hedgefund managers

Nov 5th - 10:56am | ecbuck

 reducing livestock grazing on public lands would be a net loss for American taxpayers

Nov 5th - 10:49am | Lee Dalton

" The "majority" would rather get their handouts than fund the Parks." Is that you, Mitt?  Or are you talking about ranchers with grazing allotments or oil companies, hedgefund managers, or other similar partakers at the American Buffet of Subsidies? Be sure to read the article today about starving land managment agencies.

Nov 5th - 10:40am | Michael Kellett

Hi EC, It was Michaels suggestions that were way over the top and ecomically unsound. ...

Nov 5th - 10:29am | Steve Corneliussen

It's great to see NPCA undertaking this initiative, great to see the Traveler supporting it, and great to see the comments that have been posted. I'm grateful for all that the commenter Michael Kellett does for national parks, and I'm glad to see commenter Lee Dalton say, "The really scary thing is that this list is nowhere near complete."

Nov 5th - 10:02am | ecbuck

Oh, and by the way, I agree the NPCA fills a purpose. I agree with many (though not all) of their suggestions.  It was Michaels suggestions that were way over the top and ecomically unsound.  

Nov 5th - 09:42am | ecbuck

 Unfortunately, national parks are not included in any of the sound bites flying around at election time.  Because for the majority it is not a priority item.  If it were a priority item, you could bet it would be in every sound bite.  The "majority" would rather get their handouts than fund the Parks.  

Nov 5th - 09:06am | Lee Dalton

"Seperate from your group for sure but squarely in the majority.  If I weren't, people would be electing Congressmen that put a far greater priority on the Parks." Two obvious problems with that statement: 1) EVERY poll taken shows overwhelming support for national parks by Americans of all kinds.

Nov 4th - 17:16pm | ecbuck

 the Presidential mandate We have very different definitions of "mandate".  But, nice attempt at shifting the discussion from National Park policy to entitlement policy.  

Nov 4th - 17:12pm | Rick B.

And if you were representative of the majority, the Presidential mandate over the past 8 years would be grotesquely different.   We're straying a bit afar from the forum. Again, have yourself a perfectly smurfy day.

Nov 4th - 16:50pm | ecbuck

 " For you and Michael (et al)..." puts you off on a little island separate from et al [sic]. Seperate from your group for sure but squarely in the majority.  If I weren't, people would be electing Congressmen that put a far greater priority on the Parks.  

Nov 4th - 16:41pm | Rick B.

Eric, I sort of agree with you, insofar as My view is more balanced, which is what you said. Just a different subjective viewpoint.  

Death Valley Storm Recovery By The Numbers

Nov 4th - 22:04pm | nc1

Let us know what you find out. I could volunteer during college winter break (December.) Winter hasn't even begun, yet. I hope that this is the worst we'll see.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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