This is the reponse letter I got from Senator Russ Feingold, WI, in regarding the land grab the goverment made in closing 9.4 million acres of land from recreational use, primarily in the western part of the country. Here is the link to my original post on this: http://motorsportsnewswire.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/u-s-house-subcommittee-to-consider-banning-riding-on-9-4-million-acres-0926093/ .
The House and Senate were not able to get this “omnibus” bill passed on its own merits so they took the underhanded route of tacking this huge bill onto the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act which was a small (supposedly 2 page) bill for providing funding for war memorials, and fastracking it through so that no one had any real chance to oppose the bill or the method by which it was rammed through. Then they voted on the Battlefield bill and swept the massive omnibus bill in with it with essentially no real vote on the merits of the original bill. Sounds fair, doesn’t it?! Sounds like our legislators taking away riding and recreation areas against the will of the people…again. And remember who pays these guys…we do. This is those tax dollars that you paid last week at work shutting you out of using the public lands you pay for!
Please read the reponse letter below and remember who did this to us the next time you want to go riding out West and you can’t because the land is all shut down! Senator Feingold states that “I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind should the full Senate consider an omnibus public lands bill this Congress (2009-2010).” I’m sure his ears will be burning but he obviously is not keeping my thoughts in mind when he votes in this manner.
Dear Mr. Petrie,
Thank you for contacting me in opposition to Senate consideration of an omnibus public lands package. I appreciate hearing from you.
Last Congress (2007-2008), the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 was originally introduced as S. 22 on January 7, 2009, by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). This bill would authorize, among other things, certain programs and activities concerning our national parks, forests, trails, and wilderness areas. I opposed an effort to end debate on the bill out of concern that amendments to the bill were blocked. That effort to end debate was successful, and S. 22 passed the Senate with my support on January 15, 2009, by a vote of 73-21. An effort to pass S. 22 in the House of Representatives in an expedited manner failed when the bill failed to receive the support of a 2/3rds majority.
Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced H.R. 146, the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act, which passed the House on March 3, 2009. The Senate amended H.R. 146 to include the text of S. 22 and change the title to the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. H.R. 146 passed the Senate with my support on March 19, 2009. The amended bill passed the House on March 25, 2009, by a vote of 285-140. The President signed it into law on March 30, 2009. I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind should the full Senate consider an omnibus public lands bill this Congress (2009-2010).
Thank you again for contacting me. For more information about my work on behalf of Wisconsin, you can subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter by visiting http://feingold.senate.gov/newsletter.cfm. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.