Forest Service proposals blasted at Congressional hearing
Posted April 16, 2000 - 04:59 PM
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Forest and Forest Health on April 4. AMA Washington Representative Edward Moreland warned that the Forest Service is acting against the wishes of Congress by scrapping the congressional mandate that requires the varied use of forest land.
Instead, Moreland testified, the federal agency's focus on what it refers to as "ecological sustainability" could shut down virtually all forest land to motorized recreation.
"Any attempt by the Forest Service to change its mandate without congressional approval is illegal, and should not be considered part of any proposed rule," Moreland said.
The AMA joined a variety of outdoor recreation groups to testify at the oversight hearing on the effect of new Forest Service rules on national forest recreation. The AMA was joined by the Blue Ribbon Coalition, United Four Wheel Drive Associations, America Outdoors, and the Southern Sierra Fat Tire Association.
Moreland praised the committee for exposing the collusion between President Clinton's administration and radical environmentalists to bypass Congress and try to shut down Forest Service land to motorized recreation. He also said that the groups calling themselves "environmentalists" are actually "anti-access" groups, since AMA members "are environmentalists in every sense of the word -- from volunteering time to maintain trails, to advancing the philosophies of responsible recreation through educational programs at the local level."
Forest Service proposals range from the "Wilderness Lite" roadless-lands initiative that could ban off-highway vehicles from almost 80 million acres of national forest land by year's end, to its plan to change the way it collects fees for special-use permits that could price motorcycle events like enduros out of national forests.
"I am confident that representatives from the Forest Service and members of the anti-access community will argue that the total decimation of off-highway vehicle recreation is not their plan," Moreland testified. "However, I am here to tell you that if each of the myriad of proposed rules is implemented, we are looking at the last of motorized recreational access on our public lands as we know it."
Posted April 16, 2000 - 06:18 PM
Posted April 17, 2000 - 06:27 PM
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