WORDS OF CAUTION
John M. Wright, RPG
& Legislation Chairman
February of 2009
By the time you read this
Congress will have been back in session for almost a month and we will have a
new President. I believe we can expect quite
a dramatic change in the prevailing attitude in Washington regarding public and even privately
owned lands. “Green” is definitely the political “in” and the environmentalists will probably be afforded an
unprecedented opportunity to have many of their “dream-world” theories implemented.
We could be looking at a lot of changes
that will affect our hobby and while most of them will not happen right away,
in the long run they could present us with some real problems.
I know that I am still beating on
an old drum, but the issue that should probably concern us most is the “Omnibus Land Act” which also includes
HR554 or S320 “The Palentological Resources Preservation Act” among more
than 150 other separate, but equally
important issues. While legislative
action on this bill has been delayed it is still very much alive. Action on this package is scheduled for later in the legislative
session because of other more pressing concerns, but it could be brought to the
floor during a lull in proceedings at any time for a vote. I fully expect an all out effort to get this
astronomical “ponzi scheme” pulled
on the American people at some point during this legislative session.
enacted into law, The Omnibus Land Act will close or severely restrict access to
millions of acres of public land and exercise control over private
property rights in many areas. Thousands of miles of roads, trails, and
waterways used for recreation will be closed. It will reduce mining, lumbering,
grazing and farm lands, and hamper or eliminate energy exploration in many
areas, which will ultimately result in higher prices for consumers. Many businesses, those in particular associated with recreational activities, do
not realize that severe restrictions are going to be imposed on them and
ultimately may even force them to shut
down. The economies of many smaller communities and
rural districts will be hurt. It will also establish precedence and procedures
for acquiring and controlling many additional vast land areas in the future.
our members and the general population are unaware of the Omnibus Land Act and
its ramifications. The majority of the bills in this package would not be
passed if considered individually on their own merit and this sleazy underhanded
method of lumping them together and trying to sneak them into law is apparently
a rare but true reflection on the character of many of the individuals that we
elected to serve and protect our interest.
bill is absolutely so ridiculous that it wouldn’t surprise me for them
to someday require us to register our “rock-hammers” and tumblers.
accept these infringements on our lawful rights and learn to live with them, or
we can put up a fight and try to stop, change, or repeal these
by letting our representatives know how we feel. It’s our choice! Rest assured that our adversaries are letting
representatives know their desires.
PUBLIC LAND ACCESS ISSUE INFORMATION AND OPINIONS: