Fee Demo Action Alert
If any of you have gone into the forest recently, you will have noticed more and more of these pesky "fee boxes" located at nearly all trailheads, most parking areas... and the places in the forests available to park a car for free are rapidly shrinking. Walking isn't an option for many people who want to visit the forests, so this results in a "pay to play" scheme that is limiting access to our public lands. This legislation goes one step further. If the move closer to the complete "Disneyification" of our National Forests is abhorrent to you, please take a moment to write a letter expressing your feelings about the privatization of our public lands to our legislative representatives.
A hand written fax carries more weight than an email or typed fax. A phone call carries the most weight.
Just say NO! to Fee Demo!
YOUR INPUT NEEDED NOW! PLEASE PHONE AND FAX THE COMMITTEE TODAY!
The House Resources Committee staff is right now preparing permanent
fee legislation to be pushed through on a fast track for a Committee
vote soon. It is imperative that Committee members hear loud and clear
that the taxpaying public will not stand for a permanent fee system
like Fee Demo for the BLM, Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service,
Bureau of Reclamation, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Indications are that this legislation will be closely modeled on HR
3283, introduced last October by Fee Demo's original architect Rep.
Ralph Regula, (R-OH). That bill would require Americans to pay a fee,
before they set foot or tire on any of 640 million acres of public lands.
HR 3283 will create a new annual nationwide "America the Beautiful"
pass, costing $85 or more, as well as multiple layers of fees. Basic
fees will be levied for access to all Forest Service, BLM, US Fish &
Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation lands and lakes, not just
for the Park Service lands. On top of these basic fees, expanded fees
will be required for campgrounds and boat launches and special
recreation permit fees will be needed for motorized recreation and for group
HR3283 would eliminate the Golden Age Pass, currently available to
senior citizens, that allows them a lifetime of entry into the National
Parks and a 50% discount at campgrounds for a one-time charge of $10.
Penalties for recreating without a pass will increase to a class B
misdemeanor punishable by 6 months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
HOW IN THE WORLD COULD SUCH AN EXTREME PROPOSAL EVER SEE THE LIGHT OF
Ralph Regula, a Republican from central Ohio who has NO public lands
in his district, is actually proud to claim authorship of this shameful
legislation, and he has strong Administration support in pushing it
forward. Regula created the infamous Recreational Fee Demonstration
Program (Fee Demo) in 1996, as a pilot program for the measures he has
now written into HR 3283.
WE NEED BOTH CALLS AND FAXES TO DC THROUGH SEPTEMBER!
BACKGROUND The Senate recently passed S. 1107, which calls for
permanent recreation fees for only the National Parks and allows the
program to expire for the BLM, Forest Service and US Fish and Wildlife
Service. While the Senate action is a major victory for Fee Demo
opponents, we are only halfway to our goal. We must now persuade the House
Resources Committee to also pass legislation very similar to S. 1107!
THE PUSH FOR HR 3283
HR 3283's author, Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH), is in line to be chair of
the House Appropriations Committee next year - a powerful position
controlling all the money that Congress distributes. It is risky for
Congressmen to oppose him on legislation he's introduced - such as HR
3283 - as Rep. Regula is in a position to retaliate later by restricting
funds for programs supported by his opponents. Rep. Regula is
actively twisting arms on the House Resources Committee to try and get
HR3283 passed, and he may succeed.
Our challenge is to show the House Resources Committee that the
American people want an end to Fee Demo, regardless of Rep. Ralph Regula's
wishes. It's a delicate situation for Committee members, and only
strong pressure from across the nation will succeed.
WHO TO CONTACT - PLEASE BOTH CALL AND FAX, IF POSSIBLE
We're starting by asking you to contact key Republican majority
members of the House Resources Committee. The majority Committee members
are the ones currently involved in preparing the permanent fee
legislation. Later on, after the legislation is made public, we'll contact
Democratic minority Committee members too.
Please all contact Committee chair Richard Pombo and Congressman
Regula - and as many of the others as you have time for. Please pick
names from your state and then others at random (i.e. we don't want only
the first listed names to get all the calls and faxes). Please try
and contact all listed below. (Try faxes in the evening if fax lines
are busy during office hours in D.C.) Hint - handwritten letters carry
more weight; you can write one letter addressed to "Dear
Representative" and fax it to all the offices!
PLEASE MAKE CALLS AND FAXES ASAP!! Who else can you get to call?
Family & friends?
Richard Pombo, CA, Phone: (202) 225-2761, Fax: (202) 225-5929
alternate Phone: (202) 225-1947; Fax: (202) 226-0861
Ralph Regula, OH, Phone: (202) 225-3876, Fax: (202) 225-3059
Elton Gallegly, CA, Phone: (202) 225-5811, Fax: (202) 225-1100
Ken Calvert, CA, Phone: (202) 225-1986, Fax: (202) 225-2004 Devin
Nunes, CA, Phone: (202) 225-2523, Fax: (202) 225-3404
Scott McInnis, CO, Phone: (202) 225-4761, Fax: (202) 226-0622
Thomas Tancredo, CO, Phone: (202) 225-7882, Fax: (202) 226-4623
Jeff Flake, AZ, Phone: (202) 225-2635, Fax: (202) 226-4386
J.D. Hayworth, AZ, Phone: (202) 225-2190, Fax: (202) 225-3263
Rick Renzi, AZ, Phone: (202) 225-2315, Fax: (202) 226-9739
Wayne Gilchrest, MD, Phone: (202) 225-5311, Fax: (202) 225-0254
Dennis Rehburg, MT, Phone: (202) 225-3211, Fax: (202) 225-5687
Walter Jones, NC, Phone: (202) 225-3415 Fax: (202) 225-3286
Tom Osborne, NE, Phone: (202) 225-6435, Fax: (202) 226-1385
Stevan Pearce, NM, Phone: (202) 225-2365, Fax: (202) 225-9599
Jim Gibbons, NV, Phone: (202) 225-6155. Fax: (202) 225-5679
Greg Walden, OR, Phone: (202) 225-6730, Fax: (202) 225-5774
John Duncan, TN, Phone: (202) 225-5435, Fax: (202) 225-6440
Rob Bishop, UT Phone: (202) 225-0453, Fax: (202) 225-5857
Chris Cannon, UT, Phone: (202) 225-7751, Fax: (202) 225-5629
Barbara Cubin, WY, Phone: (202) 225-2311, Fax: (202) 225-3057
WHAT TO SAY ON THE PHONE--> Please ask that permanent recreation fees
be limited to National Parks, as in Senate bill S. 1107. State your
opposition to recreation fees for Forest Service, BLM and US Fish &
Wildlife Service sites.
SAMPLE LETTER TO FAX--> (PLEASE VARY AND USE YOUR OWN WORDS. EXACT
COPIES OF THIS SAMPLE LETTER WILL CARRY LESS WEIGHT.)
Please support adoption of S.1107, which would allow the Recreational
Fee Demonstration Program (Fee Demo) to expire for the US Forest
Service, BLM, and US Fish and Wildlife Service. Please also oppose HR
3283, which would require all Americans to buy a pass before they set foot
on any public lands. It would abolish the Golden Age Pass and make
anyone caught on public land without a pass subject to criminal
penalties. Access fees to use public lands are a double tax.
Americans know the difference between the National Parks and the vast
tracts of undeveloped land managed by the US Forest Service, BLM, and
US Fish and Wildlife Service. I do not want to see these lands
developed with the same level of service and infrastructure found in
Please end Fee Demo for the Forest Service, BLM, and US Fish and
Sincerely, (Please print your name and address very clearly!)
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