OUR OHV FUTURE IS NOW–NOV 19
By: Land-Use Lump
November’s midterm elections gave the Bush Administration a friendly Senate and Congress, one that will allow the President to make judicial appointments and reform the EPA, USFS, BLM, BOR and USF&WS departments. The results give Bush the ability to make good on campaign promises like protecting access to public lands and bringing the economy under control. While both issues are great news to OHV enthusiasts, greens were already revved up before November 5th, and their losses in the Senate and House will drive them bug-nuts. They’re gearing up, this very moment, to shove even more Wilderness, Roadless and obstructionist lawsuits down the public’s collective throat. Every green group is waging a letter-writing campaign urging members to push Roadless and Boxer’s California Wild Heritage Protection Act, along with stopping any and all timber harvesting, oil/gas exploration, grazing and OHV-recreation. Greens know the sqweaky wheel gets the grease, so they’re on the mainjet.
We, on the other hand, don’t even have our gear on. We think that Bush won’t allow ‘Zero Roost’ policies for public lands, that Roadless will simply disappear and our OHV-Future will be secured. Think again. We’re fighting (at least, we should be) an opponent that has turned the U.S. Forest Service from a money-making agency to a Wilderness-generating green-group. The Sierra Club’s ‘Zero Cut’ policy has dropped USFS timber sales from 15 billion board-feet a year to 3 bbf, turning a cash cow into a total tax burden and endangering 73 million acres of National Forest and the trails within them. Not only have greens subverted the USFS through endless litigation, they’re working on ‘Zero Grazing’ on 265 million acres of BLM land, ‘Zero Drilling’ anywhere in the U.S. and ‘Zero Emmissions’ from Detroit. You can bet ‘Zero OHVs’ is also high on the ‘Burning Man’ totem.
WE ARE AT WAR!
Whether any of this has sunken in or not, be aware that greens are waging war on us! Also be aware that President Bush is waging his own war on terror. We must write and remind him that radical green groups are the Number One Domestic Terror Threat and that the green agenda is destroying forest health rather than preserving it, as greens claim. Remind him that Mother Nature has more weapons of mass destruction than Saddam Hussien, and that greens are pointing some of those weapons directly at innocent Americans.
One weapon is wildfire. The green strategy with ‘Zero Cut’ is to choke man out of our NFs. John Muir used to boast that he could ride a horse at full gallop through our ancient forests. Through Zero Cut, forests that once had old-growth qualities of 20-50 trees per acre now are choked with 500-1000 trees per acre. Fuel loads are so high that any ground fire becomes a crown fire that destroys everything, the whole forest. When Roadless was first introduced, then-USFS Chief Dombeck admitted we had 40 million acres so overcrowded that destruction from wildfire was imminent. Now its 73 million acres. Once these forests burn, taking our trails and homes, the land will be suitable for Wilderness designations.
FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE
Wildfire has been a hot topic in Congress this year, and we can tie forest health and OHV recreation directly to pending legislation like the Craig Amendment to the Energy Bill. We can kill Roadless once and for all, and we can protect our OHV future today. All we have to do is take the energy and momentum that won OHVers the election and upshift. Write President Bush, all of your representatives, and your local newspapers urging them to protect forest health and recreational access to public lands. Urge riding buddies or club members to join the fight. Check out the sidebar for talking points and numbers. Praise the President for taking steps to protect forest health and our access to public lands (he recently increased snowmobiles in our national Parks to 1100 per day), and urge him to go further. Press for the BlueRibbon Coalition’s Backcountry Recreation Area as an alternative to any new Wilderness, and tie recreation and forest health to the economy. Both the AMA and BRC have links on their websites that have contact information on your representatives.
Also, money talks louder than letters. Contribute to your representative’s campaign for 2004 early, and give all you can to arm the BRC and AMA legislative and political-action campaigns. That way, when greens sue to close trails in NFs and/or create Wilderness, we will have the artillery to fight back. President Bush is already inclined to help on idealogy, but we have to back it up with strength in numbers. Ricky Carmichael won 24 motos last season simply because he refused to lose. He worked hard during the week to demoralize his enemies, and everything on raceday was
OHV FUTURE TALKING POINTS