Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Brief Reprieve in Sale of Forest Service Land

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the US Forest Service's plan to sell hundreds of thousands of acres of public land, including 2,100 acres here in Boulder County, to fund the Secure Rural Schools initiative. The proposal included an insanely short 30-day comment period, set to expire today. Well, the Forest Service has announced that the comment period has been extended by another 30 days. So, if you care about this issue and have procrastinated until now, you have another opportunity. In my previous essay, you will find a link to the maps of the parcels proposed for sale, the email link where you can send your comments, a copy of my response which you are free to plagerize as much as you like, and a detailed list of the parcels potentially for sale in Boulder County.

The extension of the comment period is due to some very strong feedback from Congress on this issue. Now we need to continue the pressure to get this bad idea killed permanently. Send your comments in to the Forest Service, and send a copy to your Representatives and Senators in Congress.

Colorado Senator Ken Salazar had the following to say in response to this proposal:
Even if this program were to be conducted with the best planning and greatest transparency, I question the wisdom of the current proposal to sell pieces of America's permanent heritage of public lands as part of a short-term budget issue. I have publicly expressed my opposition to this sell-off proposal.

I am further concerned that the Forest Service provide meaningful public education, convenient access to maps and other relevant information to the public, and a reasonable amount of time for comments. Maps of the specific parcels to be sold should be available at every Forest Service office and at central locations in every affected county, including public libraries and public land record offices. I have written to Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth to withdraw the February 28 notice of the proposed sale, take steps to ensure that the maps are broadly available, and then re-publish the notice to give the public the full 30-day notice period for review and comment.

Representative Mark Udall from Eldorado Springs said the following:
The Bush Administration would like to be able to sell enough National Forest lands to raise $800 million for distribution under a law intended to help counties that experienced decreased payments because of reduced National Forest timber sales. That law is scheduled to expire this year. The Administration also would like to give the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) more authority to sell public lands.

I do not support these proposals. It might be appropriate to dispose of some small tracts of federal lands - by exchange or otherwise -- in order to acquire lands valuable for wildlife habitat or other purposes. But I think the idea of selling federal lands to fund government programs is short-sighted and not the proper way to manage these assets. I think the Administration's proposals would not be good for Colorado or for the American people who are the owners of the Federal lands.

I do not know whether Congress will consider the legislation proposed by the Administration. But if that should occur, I will vote against it unless it is so drastically revised that it would be in the public interest.



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