America Outdoors E-Bulletin
October 3, 2005
||Court Ruling to Impede Issuance of Forest Service Special Use
||A recent decision by the Federal District Court for the
Eastern District of California will require the Forest Service to file notice
and take comments and appeals before issuing categorical exclusions (CE's) for
special use permits. CE's allowed the agency to avoid detailed environmental
analyses under NEPA when there were no changes in the permitted activity. Any
permits issued under CE's after July 7, 2005 will be suspended until the notice
and comment can be issued.
According to a Forest Service official in the
Washington office, the agency will be forced to issue Federal Register notices,
take comments and develop an appeals process for all CE's related to any
special use permit for the time being. This process is expected to add a
minimum of four months to the permitting process if the CE is not appealed.
Along with the suit filed against the Forest Service by Wilderness Watch over
outfitter permits in the Sierra's, this Court ruling will greatly increase the
costs and raise new impediments to issuing any special use
Chief of the Forest Service
Dale Bosworth recently advised Regional Foresters:
actively pursuing options in light of this nationwide ruling, including working
with the Department of Justice to seek a stay of the ruling pending appeal. In
the meantime, the following steps must be taken immediately, pursuant to
the Court's orders of July 7, 2005, and September 16, 2005. For projects and
activities implementing land and resource management plans for which the final
decision was made after July 7, 2005, Line Officers will ensure that all
categorically excluded proposed actions are subject to the notice, comment and
appeal provisions of 36 CFR Part 215 that were not invalidated by the court.
The project or activity should be suspended until this process has been
ruling came in the case Earth Island Institute v. Ruthenbeck et al (Forest
Service employees) over a timber sale in California. Several other
environmental groups participated in the suit.
||Speeding and No Seat Belt Use Cited in 15 Passenger Van
||None of the occupants of the 15-passenger Utah State
University van which crashed into a ravine in Utah killing nine were wearing
seat belts. The van was traveling at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, according
to the Salt Lake Tribune who cited state investigators. All 11 occupants were
ejected and nine were killed. Two remain critically injured.
||Evergreen Insurance to Provide 20% Credits for Qualified AO
||Evergreen Insurance is now writing liability insurance
for outfitters to include canoe rental, whitewater operations, guides and
outfitters, and sporting camps. Evergreen has found that they are competitively
priced in writing guides, outfitters, sporting camps and whitewater operations
on Class III and below rivers. They do write coverage for Class IV & V
rivers but due to their limited experience in this area they may not be as
competitively priced. Lucas Hartford of Evergreen said they hope to become more
competitive as their experience with the industry grows. Qualified America
Outdoors members may receive a 20% underwriting credit on their rates!
Evergreen USA, RRG, Inc. has provided insurance to the outdoor recreation
industry for almost two decades and in the past year has expanded their client
base from 1,500 campgrounds and RV parks to now providing secure coverage for
other areas of the outdoor recreation industry. Evergreen can be reached at
||Forest Service Announces Roadless Area
Conservation Advisory Committee
|| Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns recently announced
the selection of members to the Roadless Area Conservation National Advisory
Committee. No one in the outfitting community or human-powered recreation
community appear to be among the advisors. This committee will provide advice
and recommendations on implementing the state petitions for the Inventoried
Roadless Area Management Rule adopted by USDA in May of 2005.
Members of the
committee will review petitions submitted by states, seek consensus, identify
issues, and provide the Secretary or the Secretary's designee with advice and
recommendations on implementing the State Petitions Rule. The committee
membership is geographically diverse, with members from ten states and the
District of Columbia.
Members of the committee include: Darin Bird,
representing state-elected officials; Robert Cope, representing locally-elected
officials; Adena Cook and Geraldine Link, representing developed recreation
organizations; Jeff Eisenberg, James Riley, and Gregory Schaefer, representing
commercial interest organizations; Denny Scott representing organized labor
organizations; and Paul Hansen, Dale Harris, Todd Schulke, Howard Vaughan, and
Chris Wood representing environmental organizations.
The Federal Advisory Committee Act establishes a
framework for the public to provide recommendations, advice, ideas, and diverse
opinions to the Federal Government. The Act also stipulates the members of an
advisory committee should represent different opinions and viewpoints.
The State Petitions Rule established a
process to provide Governors an opportunity to establish or adjust management
requirements for National Forest System inventoried roadless areas within their
states. USDA will accept state petitions until November 13, 2006.
||Register for Confluence in
||Confluence registrations are running ahead of the last
two years; so we are looking for a fantastic meeting. Register online and check
out the agenda.
Click here to register
begins on November 30 and ends with an optional seminar on December
Southwest Airlines, 800-435-9792, flies into Reno for those of
you near a Southwest Terminal. If
Southwest is not available in your area use Sidestep
http://www.sidestep.com. For hotel
reservations call the Silver Legacy at 800-687-8733. Use the code Ameri
to get the special AO rate.
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