From: alra@governance.net

League of Private Property Voters
PO Box 423
Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-2471  Fax: 360-687-2973 Email: lppv@landrights.org


Monday, February 23, 2004

Contact:  Chuck Cushman 360-687-2471


The League of Private Property Voters (LPPV) today released it's Fifteenth Annual Congressional Vote Index, rating all members based on votes cast in 2003 and naming Champions and Enemies.

35 Champions of Property Rights and 35 Enemies of Property Rights were named in the Senate, and 192 Champions and 165 Enemies were cited in the House.

The entire Vote Index can be viewed on www.landrights.org

"Congress was generally supportive of our agenda in the past year, in particular on forest management with passage of the Healthy Forest Initiative.  That bill will both improve access for people and help the environment by allowing limited timber harvest in order to avoid catastrophic wildfires," said LPPV Chairman Chuck Cushman.

However, there is some legislative danger on the horizon.  Gigantic, powerful land trusts including the Nature Conservancy are attempting to grab a billion dollar tax break for themselves.  This has been defeated in the House, but is still alive in the Senate.

LPPV is a coalition of more than 600 grassroots organizations that advocate the rights of property owners, including farmers, ranchers, woodlot owners, residents of rural communities, owners of recreational property, and inholders of private property located within and adjacent to federal lands.  It also includes cabin permittees, livestock grazers, foresters, miners, off-road vehicle advocates, equestrians, snowmobilers, hunters and recreational shooters who make productive use of federal lands.

The nine Senate and twelve House votes chosen for this year's Index represent 2003's most important examples of protection of the constitutional rights of property owners against a powerful and overbearing federal government.  They also show support for recreational and commercial access for federal lands, upon which many rural communities depend and all Americans share.

"I encourage all voters to give their legislators the credit they deserve.  Thank your Champions and, in one way or another, "educate" the Enemies," concluded Cushman.


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