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Senators Wyden and Reid Planning 2013 Omnibus Federal Lands Bill

by Chuck Cushman, American Land Rights, 1/30/13

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@pacifier.com Web Address: http://www.landrights.org Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE - Washington, DC 20003

Senators Wyden and Reid Planning 2013 Omnibus Federal Lands Bill

Senator Wyden Joins Reid To Lead Omnibus Federal Lands Bill Effort

Please read this excerpt from Public Lands News (Jan. 18, 2013):

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Conservation legislation at the top of Wyden's list

Despite the failure of the last Congress to act on dozens if not hundreds of conservation bills, new Senate Energy Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) intends to tackle the backlog first thing this year.

"To that end, one of Sen. Wyden's first priorities will be to pass the dozens of lands bills left over from last Congress," said Wyden's press assistant Samantha Offerdahl. "As you may know, Sen. Wyden introduced several wilderness bills that didn't move last year, including proposals to protect thousands of acres of wilderness land near Devil's Staircase, Cathedral Rock, Horse Heaven and Wild Rogue in Oregon."

As usual the obstacle last year was the Senate's filibuster rule. Faced with the press of other business, such as Hurricane Sandy relief, Senate leaders did not choose to offer either an omnibus wildlife bill, an omnibus lands bill or a combination of the two on the floor.

Wyden intends to meet that Senate impasse head on. "Generally, Sen. Wyden has said that he would like to restore the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to something resembling the success of the committee in the past," said Offerdahl. "That means routinely passing public lands bills important to the nation, and moving through the gridlock that halted the progress of public lands bills many members of the Senate introduced in previous years."

House members have already begun reintroducing park and rec bills this month for the 113th Congress, with a handful of minor measures in the hopper. For instance Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced a bill (HR 250) January 15 that would require Congressional approval of any national monument designated by a President. Senators will begin introducing their bills January 22.

Last year the Senate Energy Committee, under former chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), did not get around to going public with an omnibus lands bill that was expected to include 100 or so individual bills, although it reportedly assembled a measure. Those individual bills would have designated new national parks, designated wild and scenic rivers, designated wilderness areas, authorized land exchanges and much more.

A wildlife bill composed of 19 individual measures promoted by sportsmen effectively expired on the Senate floor Nov. 26, 2012, when Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) demanded a procedural vote on the budget impacts of the bill (S 3525). Sixty votes were needed to keep the bill alive, but only 50 senators voted for it.

Some of the items in the wildlife bill were also candidates for the omnibus lands bill, if not the whole measure.

All the conservation legislation will have to start over in this
113th Congress; however, the odds will be slightly more favorable because Wyden intends to move aggressively on them. In addition Democrats who tend to support omnibus land bills and omnibus wildlife bills made modest gains in the November 6 elections.

The Senate Energy Committee had been taking the lead in assembling an omnibus bill but Senate Democratic leaders did not give clearance for floor consideration. For its part the House Natural Resources Committee moved more than 100 land bills through the House floor, only to see them die in the Senate.

End of Public Lands News article excerpt.
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Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) want to move quickly before the opposition gets organized. Your Senators are critical to stopping this giant Omnibus Federal Lands Bill.

You can't let them get away with these back room dark of night tactics they've used before.

By creating a giant Omnibus Federal Lands Bill, they go to each Senator to ask what bills he or she wants to get passed. They give most Senators one or two bills and sometimes more.

Each Senator then simply looks the other way on the overall bill and does not object to bills he or she would ordinarily be opposed to. This process hurts you and gets a lot of bad legislation passed.

You can stop the Omnibus Federal Lands Bill.

*-----Don't think that because you have called once or twice that you are done. You must keep up the pressure*.

Action Items:

-----1. Please forward this urgent message to at least 10 other people. Your whole list if possible.

-----2. Call both your Senators at (202) 224-3121. That is the Capitol Switchboard. Ask for your Senator by name. When the office answers, ask for the person who handles Federal Lands or Natural Resources. Ask for a commitment from your Senator that he or she will oppose any Omnibus Federal Lands Bill.

Your Senator can stop this bill. All he or she must do is promise the Leadership that he or she will object or filibuster the bill. That will make the bill controversial. You must make the bill controversial.

When you call your Senators, ask them to oppose any nomination of Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) as Secretary of Interior. See the background story below.

-----3. Call your Congressman also. He or she must vote on the Omnibus Federal Lands Bill so get a commitment from his or her staff to oppose any Omnibus Federal Lands or Omnibus Environment Bill. You may call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121. Follow the same instructions as above for the Senators.

Background

Here's a reminder list of some of the land grab threats the Obama Administration, Senator Harry Reid and other members of Congress have planned for you.

-----New Endangered Species Act Land Grab based on habitat for the Sage Grouse that could take over millions of acres like the Spotted Owl

-----New National Monuments;

-----New Wilderness study areas; -----Wild Lands land grab; -----Treasured Landscapes Initiative; -----America's Great Outdoors Campaign; -----New BLM Land Use Planning/Wilderness expansion; and -----Expansion of the use of Eminent domain and Condemnation.

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Join or donate:

Please consider supporting American Land Rights by visiting our membership page http://www.landrights.org/members.htm to join or donate." You may also mail a check for $35 ($25 if you are a first time member) to American Land Rights, PO Box 400, Battle Ground, WA 98604.

ALRA is working hard to keep you informed. E-mail is not that expensive but ALRA also sends tens of thousands of faxes and letters to alert your allies and friends about your issues. In addition we maintain a full time staff in Battle Ground, Washington plus a grassroots lobbying operation in Washington, DC to serve our members and allies. Your support at this critical time would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance, Chuck Cushman, Executive Director. ccushman@pacifier.com <mailto:ccushman@pacifier.com>
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Look up Chuck Cushman or American Land Rights Association on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Be sure to hit the Like button when you're there. You can endorse our activities as well.

You can find out more about American Land Rights by going to Google and typing in the following search terms one at a time: Chuck Cushman, Charles Cushman, American Land Rights Association, National Inholders Association and League of Private Property Voters.

I hope you will support our efforts to keep you informed by joining or send a contribution to American Land Rights. See the section above with the instructions or go to www.landrights.org <http://www.landrights.org/>

Working together and building coalitions across America is the only way your private property and Federal land access will be protected.

If you are a member of another group, continue to support them. We hope you support American Land Rights in addition but not instead of them.

Sincerely,

Chuck Cushman American Land Rights
(360) 687-3087 - ccushman@pacifier.com <mailto:ccushman@pacifier.com>
 

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