From: alra@governance.net
Subject: 15,000 Cabins In Jeopardy – Fire Terminations

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
Phone: 202-210-2357 – Fax: 202-543-7126 – E-mail: landrightsnet@aol.com

15,000 Cabins In Jeopardy – Fire Terminations

Forest Service Testing New Cabin Elimination Fire Plan

If they are successful, the Forest Service will use fire to get rid of ranchers, miners, forestry and recreation users and all kinds of other people who use the forests for various purposes. This must not be allowed to happen.

Friday, November 28th is the Deadline for comments.

Don’t Allow Forest Service To Use Fire As A Tool For Removal Of Your Use

Your Calls and Comments Are Needed NOW!!

Call and fax Congressman David Drier immediately as well as Mark Rey, Under Secretary of Agriculture.  Call and fax the others listed below.  Drier must call Mr. Rey to ask for a 60 day extension to the comment period on the Angeles National Forest regarding the termination of the burned cabin permits as well as those that survived the fires.  

The cabins that survived are being terminated too.   These fires were on the North Fork San Gabriel Tract and San Dimas Canyon Tract in the Angeles National Forest where the Curve and William’s fires occurred in 2002.  A lot more areas are in danger from fire terminations caused by the fires in 2003. 

If the Forest Service is successful canceling these permits, thousands of other cabins, ranchers, miners and many other users nationwide will be in jeopardy.  Please do your part today.  Call today, Friday and every day next week.

The Forest Service is counting on the ranchers not supporting the cabinowners.  Recreation users not supporting miners.  People who want access not supporting other types of recreation users.

But everyone’s use of the National Forests is in jeopardy of this Cabin Elimination Fire Plan is allowed to go forward.

This must be an all for one and one for all effort.

*****Here’s what you must do now – you do not have much time.

-----1.  CRITICAL – Send a one page or more letter stating your opposition to this plan as your official comments to:   Marty Dumpis, District Ranger, San Gabriel River Ranger District, 110 N. Wabash Ave, Glendora, CA  91741.  You may also send your comments by email to: mdumpis@fs.fed.us.  Finally, you can fax your comments to: (626) 914-3790.  If you wish to read the Environmental Assessment, go to: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/angeles.   Send a copy of your comments to your Congressman and Congressman Drier at:  Honorable _____, US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515.

-----2.  Call the local Congressman, David Drier, to ask him to request a 60 day extension to the comment period from the Forest Service.  This will extend it beyond the holidays.  ****A request by the local congressman for a comment period extension is almost always honored by the Forest Service.   You can call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121 -- the Capitol Switchboard.  There is a temporary Free Number of (800) 648-3516.

The Capitol Switchboard will answer.  Ask for Congressman Drier’s office.  Then ask for the person who handles National Forests and cabin issues.  If you are asked whether you are a constituent, tell him the truth, but tell him that what the Forest Service is doing will affect all cabinowners nationwide.  Drier’s personal office number is (202) 225-2305.  His fax number is (202) 225-7018.   His local office in California can be called at (626) -852-26216.  He can be faxed there at (626) 963-9842.  Ask for Mark Harmsen.

Call all his numbers.

Ask for a commitment that Congressman Drier will request, in writing, a 60 day extension to the comment period from the Forest Service in Washington, DC.  Permittees have no chance at the local level.  They’ve already made up their minds.   (The 30 day comment period ended November 28th, but do not worry about that.  They are often extended.)

(A Note)  The Forest Service is telling Congressman Drier’s staff that there is a new rule and they cannot extend the comment period.  That is absolute nonsense.  The Forest Service is not telling the truth.  A request for a comment period extension from the local Congressman for is virtually always honored.

-----3.  Call Mark Rey, Under Secretary for Natural Resources for the Department of Agriculture.  His number is (202) 720-7173.  He is where the buck stops on Forest Service issues.

-----4.  Call your local Congressman at the above numbers.  Ask him to request a 60 day extension from the Forest Service to the comment period for the Angeles National Forest in California.  

-----5.  Call and fax Senator Diane Feinstein at (202) 224-3841 or send her a fax at (202) 228-3954.    These calls must be made immediately.  Make the same request as above.

More background:			

The Angeles National Forest plans a wholesale removal of forest homes and recreation residences in a national test to see if the US Forest Service can get away with eliminating cabins in every national forest using fire as the tool.  

Every user in every National Forest should take action on this issue.  It will ultimately affect you.  Besides cabins, they’ll use fire as an excuse to close roads, terminate grazing permits, stop forestry activity, cut off access, prevent construction of phone lines, microwave towers and all terminate all kinds of other special use permits and uses. 

Every forest user must rise up immediately to stop this attempt to rid the whole country of forest cabins.  This is a test.  If they get away with it, your use will surely be in jeopardy.  The Forest Service is using sleight-of-hand tactics in the process.
In 2002 – 110 -- Recreation Residence cabins burned in the North Fork San Gabriel Tract and San Dimas Canyon Tract in the Curve and William’s fires in the Angeles National Forest outside of Los Angeles.  

Since these cabins burned, many more have been lost to other fires in California and other states in 2003.  The Forest Service announced in February, 2003, in their initial scoping letter, “the San Gabriel River Ranger District was considering rebuilding and re-permitting the destroyed and existing cabins.

At the time, the agency knew the cabins and their access roads were located in riparian zones.  But they ignored that and got all the cabinowners to relax and let down their guard.  As a result, in the first comment period, very few cabinowners responded to the poorly written and distributed notice.  We believe the Forest Service deliberately wrote the notice make the permittees believe they had nothing to worry about.

Now the Forest Service has decided not to allow any of these cabinowners to rebuild and will terminate the cabins that survived the fire.  The terminated cabins will be phased out over ten years.  No in-lieu lots were found appropriate.  As a result of receiving only a few comments, the Forest Service decided to get rid of all the cabins.

The Environmental Assessment said that both tracts had riparian zone issues.   The Forest Service says this is in conflict with the Forest Plan.  We believe the agency knew this before they even did the initial assessment.  The agency made no attempt to mitigate the riparian issues as they have in numerous other forests.  They made little or no effort to fully inform the cabin owners they were in jeopardy.

Because of Thanksgiving, it is more important than ever to make your calls and write your letter.  Some people are traveling and others are distracted.  So please do your part.

Send that one page letter opposing the removal of the cabins.  Make that call to your Congressman and Congressman Drier as well as Under Secretary Rey.  This is a big deal that will affect all users of the forests.  Don’t let it happen.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Please forward this message as widely as possible.

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