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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
BRC AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS INITIATIVE UPDATE - August 30, 2010

The two key goals of the American's Great Outdoors Initiative

I want to begin by saying this update will not speculate on what President Obama will do insofar as exercising his authority to designate National Monuments. We'll wait until after the November election for that. And we wont be speculating on how the Treasured Landscape Initiative is related to the America's Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO Initiative) - yet.

There seem to be two key goals in the American's Great Outdoors Initiative. One is to facilitate another omnibus public lands bill and the other is to increase White House involvement in the Departments of Interior and Agriculture's activities.

Underneath all of the 'let's get America recreating outdoors' rhetoric, President Obama's Memorandum lists three "functions:" 1) outreach; 2) coordination; and 3) reports. The outreach function includes the various listening sessions we've been alerting you about, as well as the information obtained by the Department of Interior (DOI) website http://www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/. The result of which will be included in a report due November 15, 2010, just in time for a lame duck Congress.

At this point its obvious that the "outreach" function is all about pushing a legislative agenda. The AGO Initiative has already been used by the Wilderness activists to push several wilderness bills. There are a couple of dozen bills that are already queued up and could pass via a "pass all or nothing" omnibus or separately. Either way, wilderness advocates are hopeful the AGO Initiative, and the attention in the media, will push several bills through during the next session of Congress (scheduled for September 14 through October 8).

The second goal of the Initiative is embedded in the "coordination" function of Obama's Memorandum. It directs the Environmental Protection Agency, Council on Environmental Quality, the Departments of Ag and Interior to "identify existing resources and align policies and programs to achieve its goals." The Memorandum also requires the Chair of the CEQ to issue a report by November 15, 2010, and Annual reports by September 30, 2011, and 2012.

At first glance, that doesn't seem all that significant. The administration, via CEQ, can already get into AG's and Interior's business, and for many previous administrations has been used to advance various White House programs. Still, adding a formal coordinating function is one more way the Executive Branch is putting its fingers in what is properly Congress's business.

Is it really all about the money?

At second glance, this new coordination function could be a very clever way to have the administration's hand on a billion dollar money spigot.
Right now, Congress is debating whether or not to fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and if yes, how to fund it and for how much. LWCF is a fund that diverts federal excise taxes from offshore oil and gas development for state and local conservation programs such as buying private lands and otherwise increasing the federal estate. But it is sporadic because Congress must allocate funding each fiscal year.

Congress is considering giving it long term funding authorization via a comprehensive energy bill (HR 3534) that would guarantee the program funding for the next 30 years, but there is a lot of opposition.

A separate source of funding is also on the horizon. Every version of climate change legislation has provisions that would establish some sort of "climate adaptation fund" (or similar), that would provide billions of dollars for all kinds of "climate change mitigation" projects, including buying private lands. The source of funding varies with the legislation, but essentially it's a carbon tax. Potentially, such legislation would eclipse the LWCF both in scope and the amount of tax dollars spent.

The agencies are literally salivating at the prospect of this new source of tax dollars. As far back as 2009, when the first climate bill was making its way through the House, federal bureaucrats and environmental groups have been making plans to spend it. Actually, for the last couple of decades, preservationist oriented employees inside the land managing agencies have been promoting a ambitious conservation agenda, seeking not only to greatly expand the federal estate, but also to influence what activities occur on adjacent private and state owned lands. All of the work and preparation is done. All that is needed is a source of funding.

It seems obvious that this administration, under Secretary Salazar, is determined to get it -whether through climate legislation or direct taxes. When reporting about the AGO Initiative Jim Coffin wrote in a June 28 edition of Public Lands News:

The administration under the lead of the Council on Environmental Quality will have its hands full trying to come up with a conservation consensus after the listening sessions. Citizens have focused on everything from a demand for guns to broad conservation agendas.

Instead of beginning the initiative with a set of concrete proposals the administration said it will listen to interest groups and the American people first. If and when the initiative is fleshed out, insiders believe it could include:

* full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund,
* revitalization of the National Park System in time for its 100th Anniversary in 2016,
* the designation of a number of national monuments on Bureau of Land Management land,
* an omnibus public lands and parks bill (as is in the works now in Congress), or
* all of the above.

The source of the billions of dollars to accomplish such ambitious goals will be most controversial and has of course not been identified. However, Salazar has given broad hints in a dozen Congressional hearings that he has his eye on offshore oil and gas royalties. And, perhaps, on a sharp increase in onshore oil and gas royalties.

We're now 78 days away from the final report, we've had 27 meetings, and about a gazillion hits on the DOI website. It looks as if Coffin's sources will be right. Reports from meetings in CA, MT, UT, OR, CO (and other states) certainly confirms that input the agencies are getting is all over the map. Every interest group imaginable is pitching the administration for funding. At the Salt Lake City break out session, I got the impression that every "save the bug," "save the bog" and "save the beast" group in the Northern Hemisphere was angling for their piece of those carbon taxes.

Then you have input from farmers, livestock growers, and recreational users. The input is so wide ranging and general in nature that the administration could decide on virtually anything and the report would justify it as "reflecting the view of a majority of Americans." Sadly, such is an all-too-typical result of federal land manager's "public outreach" these days.

It's always tricky to make land-use predictions, however, I do feel it is safe to say the AGO Initiative will at least include two key tenets. One is directly related to the next omnibus public lands package, the other is to increase White House involvement in the day-to-day activities of the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and to influence where the Natural Resources Climate Adaptation Fund is spent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Why This Is So Important?

A Report will be given to the President next month showing the Top Rated Ideas, so we have less than a month to Take Back the High Ground and be sure the Ideas we like are on top.

We can easily do this; after all we are the majority. So now it is time to show them they awakened the sleeping giant :patriot:. Please go to the site (America's Great Outdoors IdeaJam) and see for yourself.

PLEASE VOTE FOR (PROMOTE) any IDEAS you think are GOOD and (DEMOTE) any IDEAS you think are BAD.

Here is the list of IDEAS to PROMOTE and DEMOTE
http://www.savethetrails.us/AGO-Vote.html

Be the kind of people who make things happen, not those who stand around wondering what happened!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
:patriot:

Demoting the Top “Greenie Innovator’s” Ideas Made Easy

You may already know this but here’s how to DEMOTE (or PROMOTE) every idea posted by anyone.

I’m using “Top Innovators” as an example because they can be found listed down the right hand side of the “Main” or “Home” AGOI page below the “What’s Hot” topics or by clicking on the “Top Innovators” choice at the top of the main screen here . . . http://ideas.usda.gov/ago/ideas.nsf/ . . . but you can group anyone’s “Ideas” for nuking (DEMOTION) using this simple method.

From the “Top Innovators” list pick your favorite ahat by clicking on their name as listed which will bring up their user “Profile”. Select “Ideas” from the choices presented under the innovators name and let the fun begin!!!

Obviously, this can also be used to “PROMOTE” all the ideas of OHV FRIENDLY folks you may find and works in the “All Ideas” or any of the four “theme” areas the same way.

Hint: On the “Main” or “Home Page” most of the people listed BELOW OUR OHV FRIENDLY “Top Innovator” Chis Horgan who is with the OHV FRIENDLY organization “Save The Trails” (http://www.savethetrails.us/) are the Green enemas (look quickly at a few ideas to be sure).

Enjoy!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Time is Running Out for OHV Access

There is little time remaining to cast your vote to preserve OHV access. The AGOI site will be shut down in less than ten days and the results will be presented to POTUS November 15th.

This conservation backed movement put in place by the Obama Administration must be stopped!

Honestly, it will take less than two minutes once you complete the simple site registration process to PROMOTE the Pro-OHV “Ideas” on the main page. If you have some spare time while you are there, DEMOTE the Pro-Greenie ideas contained on the same page.

There will be a bunch of pissed off politicians sitting around after November 2nd without a job, however they will still have the opportunity and power to pass very important legislation waiting before them, some of which could result in the permanent loss of access to millions more acres of YOUR PUBLIC LAND. The “green crew” is counting on these disgruntled jobless bottom feeders to do their bidding in exchange for a final cash handout or job offer from their powerful lobbyists.

We need to make our pro-access OHV voices heard loud and clear where ever the opportunity presents itself starting with the Presidents AGOI web site, the November 2nd election of course and by continuing to contact our Representatives in the House and Senate (whether you voted them out or not).

The majority of Americans are tired of our Government running every facet of our lives, mad as hell about politics as usual and the career politicians along with newly elected officials know this. They now realize that they had better start paying attention to WE THE PEOPLE if they want to keep their sweet jobs, so what better time to give them a piece of your mind?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is suppose to be the last day folks so please get up there and vote.

The greenies only posted one new idea yesterday and just a couple the day before.

They may make one final assault to demote our Pro-OHV ideas that are winning so if you haven't already done it . . . please take a few minutes to at least promote those ideas under "Hot Topics" on the right hand side of the main page at . . . America's Great Outdoors IdeaJam

Our Public Servants may leave the site up through the calendar month or beyond so keep checking in to vote.

Thank you for helping in the fight for continued access to OUR PUBLIC LANDS.
 
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