From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Giant Land Grab On Fast Track

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 20003

Giant Land Grab On Fast Track

Deadline – You must call by early Wednesday morning, September 22nd.  The vote on S 347 will probably occur around 11:00 AM Washington DC time.

You should still call after that time because the vote in the full House will be scheduled and you must raise as much of a fuss as possible quickly.  Get as much done by Wednesday morning as possible and then continue until you get the rest over the next few days.

What’s the problem?

A bill to “study” the “Rim of the Valley Corridor” in the mountains around Los Angeles and Ventura Counties in California is being rushed to a mark-up in the House Resources Committee tomorrow morning (Wednesday) September 22nd.

If you don’t live anywhere near Los Angeles, why should you care?  Because these studies are the first step toward a Federal land grab in your area.  They are the camels nose under the tent.   So by making a few phone calls for the people who live in California, you build unity and support for your issue when the threat comes to your doorstep.

It is urgent that you call your Congressman in opposition to S 347.    That is the number they are using in the House Resources Committee.  Below we have listed the House Resource Committee members.  Call all that you have time for but for sure, call those from California.  

They can all be reached at the same number by calling the Capital Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.  Ask for the Congressman you are calling when the switchboard operator answers. When their staff answers the phone, ask for the person who handles National Parks or Resources Committee matters.

S 347 has already passed the Senate and if it gets out of the Resources Committee, stands a good chance to get passed by the House because of the lack of time to really examine the consequences of the bill.  A lot of bad bills pass in the dark of night just before elections.

S 347 is called the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act and would study expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area by adding a corridor of all the mountains surrounding the San Fernando Valley, La Crescenta Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Simi Valley and Conejo Valley.

Let’s see, we’re going to ask the Park Service to study whether it ought to get more land, more jobs, more money and more power.  Can anyone guess what this study is going to say?

Ultimately what the Park Service will want is a giant network of corridors covering all the mountains around the North West part of Los Angeles and part of Ventura Counties.   

Members of Congress are being told there is no opposition.  Actually, the bill is so huge that most knowledgeable people thought it could never pass.  Boy, were we wrong.

Santa Monica Mountains NRA is famous for being a park where the Park Service was sued and ultimately had to pay large damages for initiating a raid against an innocent rancher, Donald Scott, was killed in the raid.

Santa Monica Mountains NRA was supposed to cost $155 million when it first passed Congress in 1978 and is now over $1 billion with many more millions need to complete the project.  

The National Park Service promised they would protect private property owners and that most private land would not be purchased.  However, they continually expand their appetite so the scope and cost of the NRA just keeps increasing.

The proposed expansion is likely to cost over $2 billion in additional dollars.  This would detract from existing National Parks which are already strapped for funds for basic health, safety and visitor services.

When this writer served on the National Park System Advisory Board in the early 80’s, most members felt that Santa Monica Mountains was a noose around the neck of the entire Park Service and should never have been a Federal park.  Its only claim to fame is that it burns every five years.

Now they want to expand it.  Why would a Republican Congress do that?

S 347 was proposed by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and that bill has already passed the Senate.  

Some might say, it’s just a study, why worry about it?  Because if the Park Service comes out in support of the expansion, then the urban green groups throughout California will have a rallying cry for a massive park expansion and greatly outnumber rural voices.  It will be a repeat of the California Desert Bill.

If S 347 passes and the huge expansion eventually passes Congress it will:

-----1.  Cost over $2 billion dollars and perhaps a great deal more.  It will become a never ending money pit with Congress having to keep up with public expectations.

-----2.  Takes money away from many other more deserving National parks.

-----3.  Interdicts transportation corridors which will mean new bridges and passageways for wildlife corridors throughout the region.  They’ll use the wildlife as an excuse for a substantial increase in regulatory control.

-----4.  Force the closure of hundreds of miles of exiting roadways substantially reducing motorized recreation.

-----5.  It will be hard or impossible to get communication towers and other utilities installed in these corridors.  

-----6.  The corridors will be like a series of giant nooses put around the necks of the many communities encircled areas.  Economic and social activities will be greatly inhibited.

-----7.  They say they will put in hiking trails, but the area is so hot in the summer that very little hiking takes place.  There is virtually no water.   In the winter, it becomes floods and mud.  At the existing Santa Monica Mountains NRA they have to actually bus people out of the center of the City of Los Angeles in order to increase visitorship.  People who have a choice don’t spend much time there.

-----8.  Movie and TV companies who use these areas for films will be prevented from doing their normal work.  The Park Service likes naturalness.  They don’t really like people.  They just want enough to justify their budget.

-----9.  Could require Class I air standards which would have a negative impact on private industry.

-----10.  The combined length of these corridors is between 100 and 200 miles long.  

Please make your calls to your Congressman if he or she is on the list of Resources Committee Members.   Also call for sure the Representatives from California and then as many of the others as possible.

House Resources Committee -  All can be called at the Capital Switchboard at  (202) 225-3121.  You can fax the committee at (202) 225-5929.  Be sure to put the Congressman’s name on it.  (We’re only listing those Members who may be open minded about this issue and willing to listen)

Richard Pombo (R-CA) (Chairman)
Don Young (R-AK)
Billy Tauzin (R-LA)
Elton Gallegly (R-CA)
John Duncan (R-TN)
Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Scott McInnis (R-CO)
Barbara Cubin (R-WY)
George Radanovich (R-CA)   (S-347 is his substitute bill as Chairman of the Parks Subcommittee.)
Walter Jones (R-NC)
Chris Cannon (R-UT)
John Peterson (R-PA)
Jim Gibbons (R-NV)
Mark Aouder (R-IN)
Greg Walden (R-OR)
Tom Tancredo (R-CO)
JD Hayworth (R-AZ)
Tom Osborne (R-NE)
Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Tom Cole (R-OK)
Steve Pearce (R-NM)
Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Devin Nunes (R-CA)
Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Calvin Dooley (D-CA)
Brad Carson (D-OK)
Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
Joe Baca (D-CA)

Because of the short amount of time, please call at least three people to get them to make calls too.  They may not see their e-mail in time.

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