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[ft-l] [AHS] Capitol Trails Broadcast - Roadless Rule & Trail Funding

FYI - see below from the American Hiking Society.

Please write or call  Senators Graham (202-224-3041) and Nelson
(202-224-5274) and ask them to support the House's appropriation of $4
million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to purchase land to
protect the route of the FNST.    Please do it this week as Congress will
finalize the budget beginning Sept 4.   Please also write or call Bill
Young (202-225-5961), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and
thank him for his strong support of the FNST, and ask him to help see these
funds are included in the conference committee's negotiated budget for
Interior and Related Agencies.  Without these funds, the FTA and the USDA
Forest Service cannot continue our progress in protecting the FNST.

Please contact me if you have any questions or need any assistance.

Kent L. Wimmer, AICP
Florida National Scenic Trail Liaison
Florida Trail Association, Inc.
(850) 942-9376 (w)
(850) 942-9378 (fax)
(850) 386-8442 (h)
Mailing address:
USDA Forest Service
National Forests in Florida
325 John Knox Rd, F-100
Tallahassee, FL 32303-4160

----- Forwarded by Kent Wimmer/NONFS/USDAFS on 08/27/2001 04:19 PM -----
                    hiking.org                     To:     Capitol_Trails@americanhiking.org                                 
                    Sent by:                       cc:                                                                       
                    <Capitol_Trails@c-t-g.c        Subject:     [AHS] Capitol Trails Broadcast - Roadless Rule & Trail       
                    om>                            Funding                                                                   
                    08/22/2001 05:23 PM                                                                                      

Capitol Trails Broadcast for AHS Alliance Members & Partners


Visit <http://www.americanhiking.org/policy/current/roadless.html> to send
message to the USDA Forest Service supporting the Roadless Area
Rule, as it now stands. Tell the Forest Service to conserve our precious
last wild forests for future generations.

The Roadless Rule was the result of the most extensive public participation
in a rulemaking process in history. Despite over 600 public hearings and
million comments overwhelmingly in favor of strong roadless area
the Forest Service is re-examining the policy and says it needs more
comments to draft another final rule.

The roadless rule, lauded by American Hiking and the conservation community
since its inception, would have prevented logging, road construction,
and drilling on 58.5 million acres of unspoiled national forest lands,
except in rare circumstances. These activities are already allowed on most
National Forest lands.

As written, the rule adequately addresses issues of fire management, forest
health, access, and local input. However, opponents of the rule argue that
the process was one-sided and didn't consider the long-term consequences
the forests.

For more information, also visit the Forest Service's website at:

Contact your Representatives and Senators to help increase funding for
trails in FY 2002. The House and Senate have both voted on their Interior
Appropriations bills, and now a bicameral Conference Committee will develop
a single bill that must pass by the end of September. Of note, the Senate
bill includes funding decreases for some trail and recreation programs,
as Recreation Management and Capital Improvement and Maintenance for trails
in the Forest Service, and it fails to provide important funding ($4
million) for land acquisition for the Florida National Scenic Trail.

In addition, the House bill includes a four-year extension of the Fee Demo
program. Originally instituted in 1996 as a three-year experimental program
(and subsequently extended through September 2002), Fee Demo entitles the
National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Fish
and Wildlife Service to test new or increased entrance and user fees at up
to 100 sites per agency. The agencies use the revenues to address
maintenance backlogs, resource management needs, and visitor services.

American Hiking opposes the four-year extension and believes the program
should go through the proper law-makings channels rather than the
appropriations process. AHS' concerns with Fee Demo arise from inconsistent
application, spotty agency accountability, and equity issues.

Write your Congress Members, urging them to increase funding to protect the
natural and recreational resources of the nation. Also express your opinion
of the Fee Demo program. Urge Congress to adequately fund trails and
recreation on our public lands through appropriations instead of user fees.
American Hiking recommends the following appropriations:

- $8.25 million for the sixteen national scenic and historic trails
administered by the National Park Service.

- $12 million for the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and
Conservation Assistance program.

- $330 million for Recreation Management, Heritage and Wilderness and $100
million for Capital Improvement and Maintenance for trails in the Forest

- $59 million increase for Recreation Management in the Bureau of Land

Trail and recreation management programs in the federal agencies remain
severely underfunded and understaffed. The agencies require funding
increases to enhance natural and cultural resource management and
protection, improve visitor services, and strengthen volunteer

For more information, visit
http://www.americanhiking.org/policy/current/funding.html or write

To call your Member of Congress:
US Capitol Switchboard
(202) 224-3121

To write your Senator:
The Honorable ______________
United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

To write your Representative:
The Honorable ______________
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC  20515

To locate your Member on-line:

Celina Montorfano
Alliance Policy Manager
American Hiking Society
1422 Fenwick Lane
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 565-6704 x205
(301) 565-6714 (fax)

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Capitol Trails Broadcast is a read-only list of news and alerts from the
American Hiking Society.
1422 Fenwick Lane
Silver Spring MD  20910
(301) 565-6704