From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Historic CCC Camp To Be Burned – Families Ejected

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 
E-mail: alra@landrights.org or alra@governance.net 
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 2000

Historic CCC Camp To Be Burned – Families Ejected

Urgent Action Required

Forest Service Permittees Face Removal

The Forest Service is getting rid of “exclusive use.”  

Family recreation is under attack.  Permit cabin use is being subtly undermined.

*****See Action Items Below.

Sound familiar.  The Forest Service wants to remove people from the forests.  They say they want public use but really they want no use.

The Forest Service has arbitrarily decided that the old and historic buildings of the Smokey Creek CCC Camp site are no longer serviceable and is planning to burn the former CCC camp to the ground.   This old and historic CCC camp is located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Southwest Washington State not too far from the Columbia River.

Smokey Creek CCC Camp is leased to the Mountain View Recreation Club which has used and maintained the site for 46 years.  A lot of time, sweat, care and labor has gone into making this camp a wonderful family experience.

The Forest Service has given a deadline to the camp users to vacate in the fall of 2006.  At that time, burning will eliminate the camp from any possible future use.  It will just become largely unused forest with no direct citizen involvement.

The Forest Service is trying to remove “exclusive use” of not only this area but many others across the country.  This threatens tens of thousands of cabin permittees and permittees of other types of uses across America. 

A similar attempt by the Bureau of Reclamation to eliminate “exclusive use” from Lake Berryessa in California is underway.  Your letters, testimony and phone calls have cased the government to possibly reevaluate their position.  Let’s see if you can do it again.

Mountain View Recreation Club has done a terrific job of taking care of the camp according to letters from the Forest Service over 46 years.

Fifty families participate in this club along with many of their friends and relatives.  The emphasis is on camping and horseback trail riding.  It is a wonderful place for kids.  Many thousands of use days have occurred that would not have happened if the camp did not exist.  Those use days will all disappear if the Forest Service gets its way.

By using the code word “exclusive use” the agency tries to hide their real agenda of eliminating any use.  It is the tragedy of the commons revisited.  By eliminating people who place a value on taking care of the resource, the agency supposedly makes it available to all the general public.  The result is that nobody uses the area and the public is the loser.

By its permit, the camp already must be available to other groups.  Thus the general public benefits and the forest benefits because real people take responsibility to managing and caring for the forest.  This saves the taxpayer money in the long run and enhances family recreation.  

Action Items:

-----1.  Send a fax, e-mail or letter to your Congressman and Senators opposing the Gifford Pinchot National Forest Plan to eliminate any use at Smokey Creek CCC Camp.  Help stop the huge plan by the National Forests to get rid of what they call “exclusive use.”   You may reach any Congressman or Senator by calling (202) 225-3121. 

If you don’t have their fax or e-mail number, be sure to ask for them.    Remember that letters mailed through the Postal Service to Washington, DC have to be examined for Anthrax and thus can take as long as six weeks.  You are better off to use fax unless the address it outside of Washington, DC. 

Why should you bother to send a fax or e-mail about an issue that may be remote to you?  Because the fight to continue special use permits and access to our Federal lands is everyone’s fight.  And by everyone who shares these concerns fighting for each other, those saved will be there to fight for you when you are under attack.  It is a team game.  If you don’t play it that way, you are certain to lose over time.  As Benjamin Franklin said, “If we don’t all hang together, we will most assuredly hang separately.”

-----2.  Your Congressman and some Senators will be coming home during the August recess.  They will likely hold town meetings.  It is vital that you attend these meetings to discuss the Smokey Creek CCC camp and the whole idea of removing “exclusive use” and other issues you are concerned about.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease.  As someone once said, “The world is run by those that show up.”

-----3.  Call, fax or e-mail Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA).  The historic Smokey Creek CCC Camp is in his district.   He is likely to support the camp but needs to hear from folks in his district.   (202) 225-5816.  Fax:  (202) 225-3251.  Internet:  http://www.house.gov/hastings.  Write:  Honorable Doc Hastings, 2715 St. Andrews Loop, Suite D, Pasco, Washington 99301.  You can call (509) 543-9396.

-----4.  Call, fax or e-mail Gifford Pinchot Forest Supervisor Clair Lavendel.  Phone:  (360) 891-5000. Fax:  360 891-5045.  E-mail:  dlavendel@fs.fed.us.    10600 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver, Washington, 98661.

-----5.  Call, fax or e-mail the Chief of the Forest Service, Dale Bosworth.  Phone:  (202) 225-1661.  FAX:  (202) 205-1765.  dbosworth@fs.fed.us

-----6.  Call or fax Mark Rey, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment.  His phone number is (202) 720-7173.  The fax is:  (202) 720-4732.  The question for him is why the Bush Administration is supporting the removal of uses from our Federal lands.  This is not consistent with our understanding of Bush Administration policy.

Pleaase forward this message as widely as you can.  Thank you.

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