Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Equine Land Conservation Resource Announces Three New Educational Articles

August 12 2019

Lexington, KY – August 12, 2019 – Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) announces that the following new educational resources on horse land protection are now available.

Stories that surround potential loss of equine land, facilities and trails in communities across the country abound. When these stories are recounted it is evident that the formation of advocacy groups, organizations and collaboratives are the most effective in creating a positive outcome for the equestrian community. The article, “Advocating for Success – Glendale Riverside Rancho”, recounts efforts to protect a historic and popular riding stable, recognizing that just saving the stable will not protect the equestrian lifestyle and vibrant equine-based economy of this unique set of communities – ranchos- in Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank California. https://elcr.org/advocating-for-success-protecting-the-riverside-rancho-equestrian-community-of-glendale-california/

Horse droppings on the trail creates an ever-repeating theme. Though equestrians tolerate it quite easily, (it is, after all, a byproduct of our favorite thing in the world), other trail users are not quite so enthusiastic about our friends’ leavings. In the article “Horse Manure on the Trails: Should we do something?”, author Lyndall Erb, long-time president of Bay Area Barns and Trails, a California based organization, describes the issue in both scientific and humanistic terms asking the question should we do something about it? Witty and practical, this article hits on a particularly odious issue. https://elcr.org/horse-manure-on-the-trails-should-we-do-something/

Our third article, “ELCR Joins the Coalition for Recreational Trails in Supporting Section 1514 of America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019”, covers the context of the topic, gives you information about needed support for RTP funding, led by the members and administrators of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT). For a short version of the legislation and a copy of the letter of support, go to https://elcr.org/elcr-joins-the-coalition-for-recreational-trails-in-supporting-section-1514-of-americas-transportation-infrastructure-act-of-2019/

About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): ELCR builds awareness of the loss of lands available for horse-related activities and facilitates the protection and conservation of those lands working to ensure America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical and economic benefits of the horse-human relationship remains accessible. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse on conserving horse properties, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability and equine economic impact. For more information about the ELCR visit www.elcr.org or call (859) 455-8383.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Why Is the Forest Service Trying to Evade the Public?

NYTimes.com - Full Article

The Trump administration is attempting to eliminate public voice from the management of national forests. We must speak up.

By Sam Evans

Mr. Evans is the National Forests and Parks Program Leader for the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Aug. 7, 2019

The United States Forest Service’s most important job is balancing the many needs and uses of the 193 million acres of public land it manages. But the Trump administration is preparing to abandon the process that makes it possible, eliminating public participation from the overwhelming majority of decisions affecting our national forests. If the Forest Service has its way, visitors won’t know what’s coming until logging trucks show up at their favorite trailheads or a path for a gas pipeline is cleared below a scenic vista.

At stake is how the Forest Service complies (or doesn’t) with the National Environmental Policy Act, our nation’s most important environmental law. The law requires every government agency to look for less harmful ways of meeting its goals. To that end, agency decisions must be based on solid science and made in the sunlight of public accountability. Each federal agency has some leeway to implement the law, but the Forest Service’s newly proposed rules would instead circumvent it, creating loopholes for logging projects, road construction and even permits for pipelines and other utilities...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Dozens Of Conservation Groups Oppose eBikes On Non-Motorized Trails

NationalParksTraveler.org - Full Article

By Kurt Repanshek on August 7th, 2019

Opposition to allowing eBikes on non-motorized trails in the federal lands system has been voiced by dozens of conservation groups, who fear permitting the motorized bikes on those trails will create a "slippery slope" that will lead to future problems with managing those trails.

In a letter to the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, the acting director of the National Park Service, and the acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the groups stated that they "oppose any effort that would allow any class of vehicle with a motor – including all classes of e-bikes, which by definition have a motor – to be allowed on non-motorized trails."

The issue came to light earlier this summer at Acadia National Park in Maine, where eBike users were told they could not ride on the Carriage Roads that wind through the park on Mount Desert Island. Fines for those caught on the roads start at $130, according to the park's website...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Turmoil at the BLM Is Threatening Public Lands

OutsideOnline.com - Full Article

All signs point to a massive selloff of federally managed public lands, as BLM officials defy congressional oversight

Wes Siler
Jul 30, 2019

Update: On July 29, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt reportedly signed an order appointing Pendley acting director of the BLM.

Running federal agencies without a formal command structure has become something of a hallmark of the Trump administration. Doing so seems intended to circumvent congressional oversight and to hide decision-making processes from the public. It also tends to allow an unprecedented amount of industry influence over public policy. That could be a particular problem at the Bureau of Land Management, as the result may be the removal of “public” from public lands.

The BLM manages its lands under the principle of multiple use. This balances the needs of extraction and agriculture industries with those of conservationists and recreationists, allowing all of those groups to coexist in an arrangement that protects our natural resources for the benefit of future generations. This mandate works for everyone involved, and, combined with the rest of America’s public lands, creates a system that generates hundreds of billions of dollars in economic output, effectively paying for itself, while balancing the needs of all users.

But William Perry Pendley, who may currently be running the BLM, has long argued against not only that principle of multiple use; he’s also stated that he wants to remove public interest from management decisions and has argued that all federal land should be sold to private interests...

Read more here: