SAWS/BRC/TSA ACTION ALERT: Management Policy for
Region 1 Recommended Wilderness Areas
HELP US END U.S.D.A. FOREST SERVICE
POLICY IN MONTANA AND BEYOND!
It is unusual that the Snowmobile Alliance of
Western States (SAWS) sends
out an alert asking our members to mail back a letter, a form letter at that,
to oppose any issue. This is one of
those rare times. As a SAWS member, you CAN make a difference. It is critical that all pro-motorized access users,
including snowmobilers, participate in this process. SAWS, the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and the Treasure State Alliance (TSA) urge you to do your part.
What is at Stake?
25 million acres of public national forest and grasslands in
Region 1 (Montana, North Dakota, northeast Washington, northern Idaho, and northwest South Dakota) are threatened with
imminent closure. This includes vast expanses of
snowmobile open country riding areas. Your involvement and action is critical in making the
difference between a “closed” sign and an “open” sign. Please take a moment to read the information in this
letter and act on the action items as requested.
SAWS, BRC and TSA have
been tracking Forest Plan revisions for many years. SAWS has
previously sent out numerous action alerts regarding these forest plan
revisions. Despite our efforts working within the planning process, the U.S. Forest Service in Region 1 (Northern Region) is planning a de-facto
Wilderness management regime for all “Recommended Wilderness Areas” (RWA) under
Under normal circumstances, the “Recommended”
wilderness classification is just that: a recommendation. The decision
of “whether or not to create wilderness”
is supposed to be left up to Congress and the American people, not the forest
or pro-wilderness collaborative coalitions.
Sadly, the U.S. Forest Service Region 1 Forester seems
to think the Forest Service, not Congress, have the authority to manage these lands
-- as wilderness! New Forest
Plans state that RWAs will now become closed to all motorized use, including
winter snowmobile use. Closures will occur immediately upon the completion of
these new Forest Plan Revisions!
Why you should care and
take action NOW.
these Forest Plan Revision projects are nearing
completion, and others are already complete, so please respond today. The US Forest Service Region 1 manages the 25 million acres of public national
forest and grasslands listed above. New Forest Plans, under the guidance of the Northern Region Forester, dictate
that large areas will be classified as RWAs. Thousands of acres of prime
recreational land will be included as RWAs in these new Plans. If you have doubts that this will not affect
you in some way because you don’t ride on US Forest
Service Region 1 managed lands, you are mistaken. If the Forest
Service and influential pro-wilderness coalitions get away with this negative
motorized recreation action in Region 1, it will surely follow to other Forest
Service regions. There has already been talk of implementing this same policy
in areas of Region 6 (Washington/Oregon).
Here’s how you can make a difference:
It is important for you to take a few minutes to
read this information and take action TODAY! Read
the letter at the end of this alert detailing the problem and asking the Forest Service to abide by
the law. Print, sign and mail the letter to the Montana SAWS address.
a. Only Congress has the authority
to create designated wilderness, but these RWAs
are being treated as de-facto wilderness under the Region 1 Forester’s
direction as soon as they are created. This unlawful policy must be
b. No law or Forest Service policy requires the Forest Service to take such drastic
action but closures will
be immediately imposed upon the completion of the new Forest Plans. No attempt will be made to postpone these
closures until Congress passes legislation to legally designate these forest
lands as wilderness! We hope Congress would not act to create wilderness but
history has clearly shown that once wilderness is recommended Congress acts on
it and wilderness is established. ONCE WILDERNESS, ALWAYS WILDERNESS.
c. Pro-access groups such as BRC, SAWS and TSA are
committed to end this abuse of power. But we can’t do it without members of these organizations helping to
get it done. As
previously mentioned this is a joint encounter with SAWS
working cohesively with other pro-access groups, including the BRC, TSA and
groups falling under those umbrellas.
will combine your letter with thousands of others.
will present the letters to the U.S. Forest
Service at a rally to be held in January 2007 at the Forest Service
Region 1 Office in Missoula. The letters will also be presented to the
National Forest Service Office in Washington D.C.
importantly you, as members of SAWS, can make a difference together with
members of the BRC and TSA.
Your letter and opinion will count.
print, sign and send in your letter today!
Personalize your letter to have a greater impact.
Mail your letter to:
Montana SAWS Director
PO Box 1202
Copies of your letter will be sent
Johanns, Secretary of Agriculture
Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment
Tenny, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources
Senator Max Baucus
Senator Jon Tester
Representative Dennis Rehberg
certainly welcome to send copies of your letter to other state senators,
representatives, local and state government agencies, groups and organizations
that you believe will take an active role in this action.
What you need to do today:
The U.S. Forest Service, as well as Montana’s political leaders, must hear from those who want to
protect access for recreation to Montana’s National Forests. Here is how you will become an
integral part of making a positive difference as a United States public citizen who has the right to public access of your
public land! Remember the plan is to get
as many letters as possible completed in December for presentation at a Rally
at Region 1 Headquarters in Missoula in January 2007.
Time is short so please mail your letter today. Details of the rally are
still being worked out with the Treasure State Alliance taking the lead on this component.
Step 1 TODAY
by copying and editing the following letter with your personal input or if time
is short for you, simply print the form letter, sign and complete your personal
information and mail it back to:
PO Box 1202
Complete step 2 and 3 as soon as possible.
step 4 & 5 to the best of your ability.
make a difference by following these 5 simple, easy steps!
- Sign your petition letter and
mail it to the Montana SAWS address provided above
- Print the petition letter for
your friends to sign. Share this e-mail with a friend and have them print
the petition letter or write a letter. A copy of the petition letter is posted on our
- Bring copies of the petition letter
to your next club meeting and distribute them with instructions
- Publish this information in
your state association and club newsletters with mailing instructions
- Attend a Forest Planning
meeting and sign up to speak out for motorized access
Alliance of Western States
Protecting the right to ride for the owners of
303,604 registered snowmobiles (2005) in the western United States.