Speaking at field hearing in California, GOP leaders repeat myths of over-regulation and environmental litigation
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — In the Orwellian world of the know-nothing Republican-led House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, advocacy for control of damaging off-road use becomes support for “unfettered access” for motorized users. That’s the message the House leadership send in a press release following a field hearing in Sacramento, where Republican backers of extractive industries once again renewed their call for removing what they call multiple-use barriers on public lands.
The hearing was led by Utah Republican Rob Bishop and Tom McClintock, a California Republican who has essentially declared war on wilderness conservation with legislation aimed at removing millions of acres of federal land from wilderness status.
Without offering any substantive proof, the Republican leaders once again claimed that decades of increased regulation, environmental litigation and reduced forest management have diminished multiple-use access of these public lands.
Here’s what Bishop had to say:
“Given the federal government’s ownership of over 600 million acres of the land containing these resources and incredible natural sights, much of this debate is centered on how to best balance the many competing and worthy uses of public lands and resources.” National forests are an important and necessary source of economic activity and recreation for local communities and the public. This resource needs to be managed for the benefit of all users and I strongly believe that there is plenty of it to go around. … During a time when certain activists are all too eager to exercise the full force of the law to attack multiple-use, we need our federal land managers working with us to keep the public’s lands open for the use and enjoyment of all.”
“The preservation of our forests for future generations does not mean closing them to the current generation. I believe that the vast timber, land and recreational assets administered by the U. S. Forest Service represent a limitless and renewable source of prosperity for our nation and for our local economies, a portion of which can then be redirected to assure the maintenance and preservation of the national forest lands for the use, enjoyment and prosperity of the American people in perpetuity. But, that will require a significant change in policy within the current Administration.”
And Republican Congressman Wally Herger added this:
“Today’s hearing highlighted the fact that poor federal land management practices have significantly harmed rural communities. These are the people’s lands and I believe that we can protect our federal lands while ensuring Americans have multiple-use access to them, which would help restore recreation, timber and many other essential rural industries. Unfortunately, burdensome, unnecessary regulations combined with frivolous lawsuits by fringe groups have helped to create a cycle of high unemployment, underfunded schools, and forests that are consistently threatened by catastrophic wildfires. At a time of great economic hardship it is essential that we bring restore public access to our federal lands and allow local communities, not bureaucracy, to decide what is best to get themselves back on their feet. If we put local communities back in charge of their own destinies, I believe that we will see renewed job creation and greater stability for the rural economies that truly need it.”
Filed under: energy, Environment, Forest health, forests, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands, Summit County news Tagged: | conservation, Federal lands, national forest lands, public lands, Rob Bishop, Tom McClintock, United States Forest Service, United States House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks Forests and Public Lands