The results of the recent Congressional elections are going
to have a monumental effect on access issues that are important to snowmobile enthusiasts in the
As a 501(c)(3)
Politics - like abortion, religion, and war - is one of
those issues that few will be able to agree on among their friends, or even
between members of the same organizations such as
The majority party in the House and Senate win the right to appoint the Chair to the various committees. When the republicans were the majority in the 109th Congress, they appointed republican chairs to the committees. Now that the democrats will soon be in control during the 110th Congress, they will appoint democrats to chair these committees.
The House Committee on Resources is the committee in the House that reviews and decides whether new wilderness bills will be allowed to come out of the committee for a full House vote. Richard Pombo (R-CA) was the Chair of this committee. Over the last few years, he has blocked several wilderness bills from coming up for a vote; including Rick Larsen’s (D-WA) Wild Sky Wilderness Bill (HR 851) (1) for a new 106,000 acre wilderness near Index, Washington, and several others wilderness bills in other western states. It is my opinion that the Wild Sky Wilderness bill WILL be voted into law in the 110th Congress without Mr. Pombo as the gatekeeper in this committee, and there is very little snowmobilers will be able to do to stop it. Mr. Pombo also voted to allow snowmobiles to continue using Yellowstone National Park (YNP).
Mr. Pombo, along with several other representatives
supportive of snowmobile access issues, were targeted by several extreme green
groups including the Defenders of Wildlife (
Several other very important issues to keep an eye on in the 110th Congress are the roadless bill that will be re-introduced by Jay Inslee (D-WA) (4), the 300,000 acre Idaho wilderness bill titled the “Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act” that will be re-introduced by Mike Simpson (R-ID) (5), the Rockies Prosperity Act, better known as the Yellowstone to Yukon project (6), and of course the ongoing saga to close snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park.
I realize that there are many other issues that are very important
to snowmobilers, but I felt it was important to inform our
Chairman – Snowmobile
1 - Wild Sky (2005)
“This year, during the 109th Congress, is the third year the Wild Sky Wilderness bills have been introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D, WA) and Rep. Rick Larsen (D, WA-2). The Senate bill has passed both times but the house bill has died in the House Resource Committee thanks to Rep. Richard Pombo (R, CA-11) We are hopeful that with help from multiple-use recreationists across the country, the third time will not be the charm”
2 - Democrats' green agenda gets big boost (11/10/06)
“Pombo was swept
from office Tuesday in an election that put Democrats in control of Congress
and left environmentalists optimistic they'll see more money for parks,
3 – Caribou Issue (11/6/06)
4 – National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act (HR3563 – 2005)
“To maintain the roadless
character and values of the areas in accordance with the final rule and record
of decision published in the Federal Register on
5 - CIEDRA (HR3603 - 2005)
6 – Rockies Prosperity Act (HR1204 – 2005)
“To designate as wilderness, wild and scenic rivers, national park and preserve study areas, wild land recovery areas, and biological connecting corridors certain public lands in the States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, and for other purposes”.
A few other links just for fun:
Bush Administration Allows
More Snowmobile Use in
“The Bush decision was based solely on the opposition of the snowmobile industry and ignored the wishes of the vast number of Americans who want to experience the peaceful tranquility of the park in wintertime and minimize harassment of the park's wildlife”.
Northwest Conservationists Seek Balance in Caribou Habitat
“Plaintiff groups involved in the litigation include the Selkirk Conservation Alliance, Idaho Conservation League, The Lands Council, Conservation Northwest, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity”.
Wolverines aren't evil, just feisty—and overlooked
“But increased winter recreation is decreasing this
security. Snowmobile use has grown exponentially in the northern
Information below provided by Defenders of Wildlife.
This was an amazing week for our wildlife and wild places. Thanks to the support of
people like you, our wolves, polar bears and other imperiled creatures have a
These victories are only the beginning. The American people have
spoken out in favor of forward-thinking environmental policy -- and against
elected leaders that pander to special interests at the expense of our
wildlife and wild places.
* indicates open seat races