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Release of Unsuitable Wilderness Lands   Updated 4/1/2014

 
 

Support HR1581 Legislation To Release Millions of Acres Back to Multiple Use

Research by Stewards of the Sequoia discovered that over twenty years ago millions of acres of Public Lands were determined to be unsuitable for Wilderness designation, yet decades later these lands have still not been released back to their intended uses.

Did you know most of the public lands in the mountains surrounding Lake Isabella, Greenhorn and Breckenridge are at risk of being closed through possible Wilderness Designation? Routes could be closed to mountain bikes and motorized use such as: Black Gulch Jeep Road, Freeway Ridge Jeep Road, Delonegha Jeep Road, Borderline Jeep Trail, Kern Canyon Trail, Kern River Trail, Willow Gulch Trail, Dry Meadow Trail, Just Outstanding Trail, Bull Run Trail, Cannel Trail, Rincon Trail, Cedar Trails and More.

No More Trail Closures

NO MORE TRAIL CLOSURES Program

Stewards of the Sequoia have been working for years now to stop this by every means possible, such as adopting nine trails in these areas and performing thousands of hours of maintenance on them, submitting comments opposing Wilderness and documenting why these lands are unsuitable for Wilderness. Research by Stewards of the Sequoia discovered that both the Forest Service and BLM studied these lands over 20 years ago and found them UNSUITABLE for Wilderness. Yet nothing has been done to formally release these unsuitable lands, until now.

STEWARDS TESTIFIES IN WASHINGTON DC IN SUPPORT OF RELEASING LANDS
Stewards Executive Director invited to testify before the House Subcommitee Read More

STEWARDS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR INTERVIEWED BY LOIS HENRY-BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Talking about the HR1581 bill and other interesting land use issues Click to Listen

BACKGROUND
All Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) and Roadless Areas in Sequoia National Forest have been evaluated by the BLM and Forest Service and almost all were found to be unsuitable for Wilderness Designation way back in 1988.
These lands have a rich history of Multiple Use and contain mines, cabins, developed campgrounds, roads and trails.

Yet twenty two years later these lands continue to languish and in many cases are subject to inappropriate restrictive and costly management regulations as if they were Wilderness, merely because they have yet to be released.

Recreation and other land uses desired by the community and the public have been and continue to be needlessly restricted or prohibited, such as Mountain Bike, Off Road recreation, camping and many other uses.

The long overdue Release of Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) and Roadless Areas is hampering land management and harming the environment in our Sequoia National Forest and surrounding BLM Lands, and many other areas of public lands.

WILDERNESS STUDY AREA AND ROADLESS RELEASE ACT
Congressman Kevin McCarthy has introduced HR 1581 the ‘Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act” on 4/15/11 and Senator Barrasso has released a companion bill in the Senate S1087 to do the following:

  1. To release lands which decades ago were determined by the Forest Service and The BLM to be unsuitable for Wilderness designation.
  2. Families will continue to be allowed to enjoy recreation, hunt, fish, mountain bike, dirt bike, 4x4 and camp on these public lands
  3. These lands would once again be actively management as needed to promote forest health and reduce catastrophic wildfires.
  4. These lands would once again provide renewable resources and minerals to reduce our dependency on foreign sources.
  5. These lands would once again generate tax revenue,provide jobs and boost rural economies.
  6. As you may know Wilderness is the most restrictive designation for public lands. Only Congress has the ability to designate lands as Wilderness
    • However the Secretary of the Interior recently released Rule 3310 forcing BLM staff to designate Wild Lands, which would be de facto Wilderness, without Congressional approval.
    • The so called Wild Lands BLM designation would subvert the will of the people and the authority of Congress.
    • These bill seek to uphold the original intent of the Wilderness Act of 1964. They l will restrict further abuses, such as BLM Rule 3310, so lands cannot be treated as de facto Wilderness without Congressional approval.

These bills are long overdue. Decades are a long time to keep lands lock up for no valid reason.

The ‘Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act” will finally stop these lands from being managed as de facto Wilderness and return these lands to their intended uses.

WHAT IS THE COST OF WILDERNESS? Find out Here>>>>>

Bakersfield Californian-Lois Henry thinks this bill will help even up the scales
http://www.bakersfield.com/news/columnist/henry/x177282986/McCarthys-wilderness-bill-strikes-a-balance

He Was There...Bill Will Not Reverse Existing Wilderness Designations
http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/forum/x1766488720/He-was-there-Bill-wont-reverse-existing-wilderness-designations

Kern Valley Sun has this to say
http://www.kvsun.com/articles/2011/05/19/news/doc4dd2c71e3954d903329948.txt

Stewards of the Sequoia comments
http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community/x254542925/Release-of-lands-long-overdue

Public voices huge Support to release lands in Wall Street Journal Poll
http://online.wsj.com/community/groups/question-day-229/topics/should-40-million-acres-land

LACK OF SUITABILITY AS WILDERNESS
The agencies have identified many reasons why these lands are unsuitable for Wilderness including but not limited to:

  1. Lack of Wilderness Qualities
  2. Military Over flights
  3. Existing Mining Claims within the area
  4. Adjacent to existing communities
  5. Difficulty in signing and patrolling
  6. Difficulty in fencing
  7. Existing historical motorized use

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