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Current try to privatize more Public Lands - WriterMs - 11-03-2015

I am hoping Bob or others who keep up to date on legislation will take a look at this information right away.

One of RVSue's regular commenters had informed her of this issue and need for sending your objections to the key lawmakers. Sue then had him post it on her own blog to inform readers. So I feel the info is likely very accurate, but this did not come from my own research.

Here is what RVSue had posted though it was past the Oct. 28 hearing date:

WARNING: I am passing this along from an Escapees Email I received:

Information has now been received of a draft bill, the “Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Modernization Act of 2015”, to privatize even more publicly owned land by the increased use of concessionaires or selling the land to private ownership. A hearing was held earlier and now the hearing record is open for public written testimony until November 6, 2015. The proposed bill will increase day use and permit fees.

Now is the time to contact the chair and the ranking member on the House Committee on Natural Resources via their staff members. Please send an email that is short and polite commenting on your experiences using public lands. Specify that your comment should be included in the record of the October 28 hearing.

Emails should go to:

Representative Tom McClintlock, Chair
House Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Federal Lands
Washington, D.C. 20515
[email protected]

Representative Niki Tsongas, Ranking Member
House Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Federal Lands
Washington D.C. 20515
[email protected]

RE: Current try to privatize more Public Lands - mockturtle - 11-03-2015

Yes, I received the same notice and plan to voice my opinion. In addition to the above, we need to contact our own representatives. Public land does, after all, belong to the public. We need to exert our rights as citizens. This is not 'political' but is a finger in the eye of users of public land for recreational purposes.

RE: Current try to privatize more Public Lands - Bob Dickerson - 11-03-2015

This is not political?We all know which party contols congress.

RE: Current try to privatize more Public Lands - GotSmart - 11-03-2015

(11-03-2015, 06:27 PM)Bob Dickerson Wrote:  This is not political?We all know which party contols congress.

Representatives and Congressmen pay close`attention to phone calls and letters/emails.  That is how they gauge their reelection potential.

WE hire them, we can fire them.

RE: Current try to privatize more Public Lands - highdesertranger - 11-03-2015

ok I will try to not go the political route here. some insight on Tom McCintlock he represents a large part of N Cal. he has been fighting for his constituents in N Cal for years against Sacramento, without much luck. so this post doesn't surprise me. people in N Cal feel like they are under assault from state and federal government. these are ranchers, loggers, miners, and farmers. if they are not getting relief though the government in place, they will change strategies and try new avenues. warning this is not just in California this is happening throughout the west. a majority of the N Cal counties have voted to secede from California. when I am out in the sticks I try to communicate with the locals, let me tell you there is a lot of anger out there. this anger is pointed in the direction of outsiders coming in and telling them what they can and can not do. let me tell you this us against them thinking is a big reason for the explosion of no trespassing signs throughout the west. 20 years ago it wasn't like this. so hopefully I didn't cross the political line, I didn't mention any parties or say one side was right or wrong. highdesertranger

RE: Current try to privatize more Public Lands - highdesertranger - 11-03-2015

notice on the bottom of this pic,  the hand written little note,  this is becoming more common.



RE: Current try to privatize more Public Lands - akrvbob - 11-03-2015

Has anyone bothered to go and look at the bill, or do you just do what Excapees tells you to do?

I've tried to read through it and it's difficult reading, but the summary is simple and clear and I support the bill. It allows Federal Public Land administrators to charge day-use-fees which I support.

When I was a campground host in the Sierras I had 4 small campgrounds and a very busy day use area. One of the campgrounds and the day use area were free, I collected no money. I spent at least 15 hours a week cleaning them but the company got no money for them. I put at least 2-3 rolls of toilet paper into them every day, but again, the company got no money for it. Both were huge messes every spring and we would send a crew of people in to shovel the mud off the sidewalks and blow the leaves/needles off the road--no money came in. I painted all the picnic tables and toilets in them, the company was NOT reimbursed for any of it.

My last year there the contract came up to bid again and the company told the Forest Service they would not bid for, or do any work unless they were paid for it.

That exact situation is happening all over the whole system and this bill will solve the problem. I support it.

I wanted to be paid for my work, and the concessionaires expect to be paid when they do the work. That only seems right to me.

RE: Current try to privatize more Public Lands - WriterMs - 11-03-2015

As I was writing the post below.. Bob HAS posted his take on the bill. So what I wrote below is my apology for jumping the gun. I may need to let RV Sue know about this, too!!

Mea Culpa... I should have waited until I had time to look into this more before posting. The description given in the summary alludes to the bill allowing more vendors (like developed campgrounds is implied) and some "privatization" (which could mean commercial vendors like those who run services in National Parks.

I read it as they want to "improve" (pave over) more public lands. And RV Sue and the Escapees seem to be against it. HOWEVER, trying to do a quick search now on Google, it seems it is a very mixed bag of "stuff" in the bill. Evidently approval of the federal budget recently allows funding for some federal land improvement which some outdoor organizations seem to support. And then there are search results about the permit cost for cutting your own Christmas tree in the Sawtooth NF is increasing from something like $8 to $12.

SOOOOO...... now I see the implications of perhaps reducing boondocking sites in favor of campgrounds with amenities may not be correct or may be only a small part.

Again.. sorry for the preliminary post. I thought it was "pro" preservation for primitive sites to object and stop the privatization. Maybe the moderator will simply remove it until Bob or a trusted source can study it and give us the real scoop???

RE: Current try to privatize more Public Lands - highdesertranger - 11-03-2015

well I will admit I didn't read the bill, but I know were Mr. McClintock is coming from. what I was trying to get across was because of the way people in the rural west are being treated, privatization of public lands is gaining traction in the rural west. I don't like this but I totally understand. when your back is against the wall you tend to fight back. highdesertranger

RE: Current try to privatize more Public Lands - akrvbob - 11-03-2015

Here is the act itself:

Like I said, it is very hard to read, but nothing I saw in any way implied privatization of Public Land. It's all about concessionaires and fees as far as I could tell almost only Day Use Areas.

This is the summary:

Here is the Library of Congress Summary of the Bill:

Library of Congress Summary:

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Modernization Act of 2014 - Amends the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to extend the authority for the collection and expenditure of recreation fees on federal lands through 2020.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to:
* charge day use fees for lands and waters at a National Conservation Area, a National Volcanic Monument, 
a destination visitor or interpretive center, and sites of concentrated public use that meet specified criteria;
* charge transportation fees at National Park Service units;
* charge amenity fees for the use of facilities or services on federal lands;
* charge fees for special recreation permits issued to recreation service providers and for individual and group use of federal facilities, lands, and waters;
*and issue recreation concession permits to provide facilities and services on lands and waters managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Prohibits the Secretary from charging recreation fees for any site, area, or activity except as authorized by statute.

Requires the Secretary to determine a nationally consistent fee policy and rate structure for specified fees authorized by this Act.
Establishes a stewardship program for recreation service providers involving credit against permit fees in exchange for maintenance and resource protection work performed.

Requires congressional approval of certain new or increased fees.

Increases the portion of fee revenue available for expenditure at the collection site from 80% to 90%. Limits fee revenues that the Secretary may use for overhead, administrative, and collection costs

I can't find anything in that in any ways implies privatization of Public Lands.