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TJ aka Teej
06-24-2003, 17:43
http://www.appalachiantrail.org/trailnews/index.html

House Subcommittee Decimates Federal Land Acquisition
The House interior appropriations subcommittee has voted, in effect, to destroy the land-acquisition programs of the USDA Forest Service and the National Park Service, recommending only $11 million in the coming 2004 fiscal year for the former and $14 for the latter — easily the lowest levels for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) appropriations in 25 years, including the term of Interior Secretary James Watt in the Reagan administration. The Senate Appropriations Committee appeared ready to follow that lead. Moreover, administration budget officials told the Forest Service this month to return $7 million of this year's appropriations for land acquisition to a firefighting reserve, less than three months after the agency got them (halfway through the fiscal year). On July 20, 2002, all Forest Service land-acquisition funds were taken for firefighting and restored eight months later. ATC had endorsed for 2004 a $1-million Georgia project and a $3.8-million Tennessee project, both second phases of 2003 A.T. projects and included in the administration's budget request, as well as a Virginia project affecting several A.T. sections. The House subcommittee is chaired by Rep. Charles H. Taylor, R-N.C., whose district includes the Appalachian Trail. Other members with the Trail in their districts include Reps. Don Sherwood, R-Pa., and John Olver, D-Mass. During the 2000 campaign, President Bush pledged to "fully fund" the LWCF, and the White House earlier this year said it had done so in 2002. The measure passed June 18 would cut the fund by half, bringing the total down 65 percent from 2001, including a 78 percent drop in land-acquisition programs. The bill also abandons Congress' commitment to its new Conservation Trust Fund.
June 23, 2003

TJ aka Teej
06-24-2003, 18:05
Subj: [AHS] Capitol Trails Broadcast - Conservation Funding; Trails & Transportation
Date: 6/24/03 5:20:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Capitol_Trails@americanhiking.org
To: Capitol_Trails@americanhiking.org
Sent from the Internet (Details)




American Hiking Society’s Capitol Trails Broadcast -- for AHS Alliance Members & Partners, Late June 2003, No. 63



Contents:



1) Tell Congress to Keep the Promise of Conservation Funding
2) Urge Congress to Support Trails in New Transportation Law



1) TELL CONGRESS TO KEEP THE PROMISE OF CONSERVATION FUNDING




Tell Congress to fulfill its promise to fund critical recreation and conservation programs through the Conservation Trust. Last week, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee cut conservation spending sharply in the FY 04 budget, with the federal side of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) hit the hardest, receiving $215 million less than last year.





Each year LWCF is authorized to receive $900 million for recreation, including the creation of parks and hiking trails at the state and local level, along with land acquisition for national parks, forests, and refuges. The FY 04 House bill only asks for $198 million, with $98 million for LWCF’s stateside grant program and $100 million for federal land acquisition. The Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Program (UPARR), an important source of funding for recreation in lower income areas, was zeroed out in the bill.





These programs previously fell under the rubric of the Conservation Trust Fund, a compromise package established in FY 01 to benefit a variety of conservation, recreation, and wildlife programs. But appropriators are now abandoning the mechanism and cutting its programs by more than $400 million. The next stop for the bill will be the House Appropriations Committee this week and then it will head to the floor of the House sometime after July 4th. The Senate will likely act on appropriations sometime after July 4th.





What You Can Do: Call your Member of Congress TODAY and deliver the following message:
Ask your Member of Congress to make the following requests to Representative Don Young (R-FL, Chairman of House of Representatives Appropriations Committee):
1) Increase funding for LWCF;
2) Provide funding for the UPARR Program; and
3) Fully fund the Conservation Trust Fund.





For more information, visit www.ahrinfo.org





2) URGE CONGRESS TO SUPPORT TRAILS IN NEW TRANSPORTATION LAW







Urge your Representative and Senators to support programs that benefit hikers and trails in the next federal transportation law. Thanks to transportation policy reform in the early 1990s, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration has become the nation's largest single source of funding for multiple use paths, trails, and related projects. The transportation law includes key programs that fund trail projects nationwide. The current law, TEA-21, expires in September 2003, and Congress needs to reauthorize a new law.





Ask Congress to support expanded funding for trail projects in the reauthorization of federal surface transportation law, specifically Transportation Enhancements and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The new transportation law should identify the National Trails System as a priority for completion and enhancement, and require all highway construction/reconstruction projects to consider safe trail crossings. Any improvements to project delivery must not compromise important protections for natural resources, environmental quality, and historic or cultural sites. Strengthening the trail programs under transportation law will provide a means to increase Americans' physical activity, improve recreational opportunities nationwide, and enhance public health. To write your Congress Members via email, visit http://www.americanhiking.org/policy/write.html.





The Bush Administration’s proposal for renewing the transportation law, The Safe and Flexible Transportation Efficiency Act of 2003, or “SAFETEA,” was unveiled last month. It received mixed reviews among many transportation interests, but importantly, the primary trail funding programs remain in the proposal. Although funding for the RTP receives a $10 million boost, the Administration’s proposed funding levels overall fall substantially below what House and Senate authorizers seek in the new law. The Enhancements program would receive $510 million in its first year up to $580 million in FY 2009.



--------------



To call your Member of Congress:

US Capitol Switchboard

(202) 224-3121





To locate your Member on-line:

U.S. House of Representatives: www.house.gov
U.S. Senate: www.senate.gov





White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/



Library of Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov
Comprehensive information about Congress, including legislation, committees, and Member information. Also provides links to other judicial and administrative branches as well as state and local governments.

-------------------------



Celina Montorfano

Director of Conservation Programs

American Hiking Society

1422 Fenwick Lane

Silver Spring, MD 20910

(301) 565-6704 x205

(301) 565-6714 (fax)

cmontorfano@AmericanHiking.org

http://www.AmericanHiking.org

ga>me>ak
06-25-2003, 10:36
Great posts, thanks for the gov links. I'll fire off a nasty gram el pronto:mad:

icemanat95
06-25-2003, 11:25
I have one thing to say on this subject. Where is the money supposed to come from here folks?

Who do you all suggest that we take the money from to pay for these programs? Where is the slack in the federal budget? Should we cut Medicaid and Medicare? Social Security? Education? Welfare? Unemployment Compensation? Military Spending? Intelligence Spending? Law Enforcement? FEMA? HHS? Where do you want to make cuts to pay for the acquisition of recreational lands?

Or do you want to raise taxes on someone to pay for it? Who do you choose? The top 1 % who are already paying 30% of the federal budget already? The top 5 % who are covering about 50% of the budget? Or spread it out over the top 50% of earners who are paying roughly 90% of the Federal budget already? Who pays?

Or maybe we just hold off on federal land acquisition until the economy recovers and we have the revenue stream to cover it, and put the limited money available now into programs that are immediately necessary.

Blue Jay
06-25-2003, 12:23
Yes, to the first 10 questions and the top 5%. You are completely fooled by corporate media reports that claim the top 5% actually pay more than a trifle.

Ankle Bone
06-25-2003, 13:10
Bravo Iceman! If you're really from Mass., you must feel as politically lonely as Arnold does when he's hanging with Maria at the Compound!

ga>me>ak
06-25-2003, 15:40
Just a thought, but for starters, maybe the Forest Service could actually get more than 2% value of the timber sales from the timber harvested from public lands. And stop paying to build the roads timber co's use to harvest the trees. Let them pay for it. The timber co's are making huge profits off of this. I think the public deserves a reasonable slice of the pie and we are not getting it. :-? And no, I'm not saying take so much that jobs are lost, co's close, blah blah blah. Or maybe some of the 60 bilion, yes billion, that the gov subsidizes to the oil co's for transportation of their oil. just a thought.........
Hell, I'd pay more for park usage or a small tax if the asses would use it for what it's supposed to be used for and not divert it elsewhere...as they do now

Mala
06-25-2003, 21:41
The shrub and his regime don't give a damn about the trail because we don't use their oil when we are hiking. They would rather give $3 billion dollars to Packistan like the butthead did yesterday.

TedB
06-25-2003, 23:42
There is an army of lobbists in Washington. Just follow the money and you are sure to find more wasteful spending than you ever imagined.

I'm quite sure this money would be better spent protecting our wild lands for future generations.

Lone Wolf
06-26-2003, 05:28
Talk about wasteful spending. The section between Tenn. 91 and Double Springs shelter is being re-routed. The section currently is on NFS land and protected. The ATC/NFS purchased private land next to the trail for over 1 million bucks. *** for? And Mala, quit your bitchin about oil. You need it for your motor home, full size pick-up and motorcycle. You're comin off as one of them hypocritical liberals.

Mala
06-26-2003, 21:30
i wasn't bitchin' about oil I was bitchin' about the draft-dodging schrub and his cronies. Who are you LWs evil twin? For the record, my motor home has been taken off the road, my pick-up gets 20mpg and my motorcycle gets 75 mpg Liberals are too far to the right for me.

icemanat95
06-27-2003, 16:00
I'd love to get into a real piss-up here about the relative qualities of liberals and conservatives, I really would, because I have very strong feelings on the matter, but I won't. Simple reason, no-one's going to change their mind here and it would just lead to endless sniping back and forth...exactly the sort of B.S. behavior that killed Trailplace and ATML.

I wish I had never said anything on this subject in the first place.