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BLUERIBBON COALITION PARTNER ACTION ALERT!

Attention Washington, Oregon and Idaho Recreationists!

Our partners over at the Snowmobile Alliance of Western States (SAWS) just sent us an important "CALL TO ACTION" over a serious threat to motorized recreation in Washington. Please do what ever you can to help and pass this information along to everyone you know.

I have pasted a copy of the email below; please take a couple of minutes to read over the information.

Thanks in advance for your involvement,
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107

Subject: SAWS Action Alert: Mt St Helens Advisory Committee - Future of the Monument
From: "SAWS Idaho" [email protected]
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 20:05:20 -0600
To:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

SAWS Members,

Today I received the request below from Carl Schmalenberger, the President of the Mt St Helens Tracriders, with a request for help from our SAWS members.

Please write a short letter to state that you support the Mt St Helens Monument remaining under Forest Service management, and that you do not support a proposal to have the monument moved under control and management of the National Park Service.

We certainly do not want to see Mt St Helens become the next Yellowstone National Park saga attempting an outright ban on snowmobile use.

Comments may be emailed to [email protected]

Refer to the request below from Carl and below that a copy of the Mt St Helens Advisory Committee Press Release.

Thank you in advance for responding to this request.

Dave Hurwitz
Chairman - Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

Dave,

FYI, An update on the Mt St Helens Advisory Committee.

Could you forward this to the SAWS members and urge them to send a short email with there comments?

The committee has received about 34 emails from individuals (most favoring the forest service) and about 640 form letters from a link generated from the National Parks Conservation Association web page.

It appears that the committee is taking in to account that the 640 comments are one form letter.

I was disappointed with the local turn out at the first public comment meeting. There were about 20 speakers (15 for forest service and 2 for parks)

There is one more next month (place and time in the press release).

I realize it can be hard to make a meeting in person, but lets see if we can get an increase in email comments for keeping Mt St Helens in the forest service.

Let everyone know it just takes a minute to send a brief email in there own words supporting the forest service.

The attached press release is the rough draft of the committee's recommendations.

Thanks for your efforts and the time it takes.
I have a hard enough time keeping up with our local issues.
Give me a call if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Carl Schmalenberger
President
Mt St Helens Tracriders

Mt St Helens Advisory Committee

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Draft Recommendations on the Future of the Monument

The congressionally impaneled advisory committee met in an open public retreat session on February 27th & 28th in Longview to work through draft recommendations on the future of the monument. This followed a year of public meetings held in locations throughout SW Washington. These recommendations are designed to be released to the public for public comment before the committee adopts final recommendations for presentation to our Congressional delegation.

The Committee has agreed to the following meeting schedule:

Monday March 30th for Public Comment in Kelso in the Commissioners Hearing Room from 6-9pm.

Monday April 13th for Public Comment in the Camas Police Department Community Room, 2100 NE 3rd St., Camas, WA from 6-9pm.

Thursday May 14th all day at the Cowlitz County Regional Conference Center for drafting final recommendations. Open to the public. No Public Comment.

Comments may also be emailed to [email protected]

The draft recommendations are listed as follow :

ACCESS

Properly fund maintenance of all trails, roads and facilities
Improve and expand access
o Fund and build 504 all-weather road extension from Coldwater to US12
o Fund and build 503 spur all-weather road from Cougar to Carson
o Upgrade FS Road 25 to all-weather road, Level 5 Standard

INFRASTRUCTURE

Reinvest in Coldwater Ridge as an overnight destination to include science, interpretation, education, visitor services, food and university partnerships
Insure visitor and emergency communication capability around the Monument

Develop and fund an Emergency Response Plan Provide adequate, non federal utility service where needed in the Monument Shift responsibility for the Spirit Lake tunnel to the Corp of Engineers

RECREATION

Recreational opportunities should be broadened to embrace a diverse and responsible use of the forest

Adequately fund and maintain recreational facilities

Create camping facilities using Lower Falls as a template

Recommend more recreational activities including camping and fishing in the Restricted Area that are compatible with the Act by creating a Scientific and Recreational Advisory Committee to vet recreational opportunities and suggestions in the Restricted Area for the managing agency

Designate seasonal recreational activity locations for motorized and non-motorized participants

CONSERVATION

The Restricted Area should be left to unimpeded recovery maintaining the geological and ecological processes as well as the integrity of the features
Visitor impacts and carrying capacity of the Restricted Area will be consistent with the goals of the Act

No road building in the Monument

Support coordinated partnerships with all stakeholders to control invasive species

Maintain habitat protection

Encourage partnerships with voluntary organizations

SCIENCE

Expand science funding with specific emphasis on more direct public education and broader interpretive and applied science programs

Dedicate the Monument Scientist to science

Provide an expanded science experience for visitors

Promote the Monument as a scientific laboratory
o Involve the universities and community colleges
o Develop new technologies

INDUSTRY

Continue to develop relationships with industrial land owners bordering the Monument

Encourage relationships with emerging technologies and industry in remote sensing, robotics, nanotechnology and renewable energy

Create an R&D laboratory setting for technology applications in harsh
environments

Continue to address recreation and tourism as industrial components
TOURISM

Develop destination resorts in and around the Monument

Develop a year-round regionally coordinated marketing plan

Fully fund the managing agency's interpretive programs

Develop a regional tourism network (Destination Marketing Organization)

Develop a user-friendly, unified (state and federal) fee system

Develop products and services that will enhance visitors' experience

Establish and fund a Special Use Permit process for the Monument

MANAGEMENT MODEL

Retain Forest Service management

o Create an administrative unit consisting of existing Federal lands west of and including the 25 Road with no expansion of the Monument boundary
o The Monument itself must be a line item funded from the Mandatory portion of the Forest Service budget
o This model should be used as a template for "Special Places" within the National Forest Service system, as the current model has failed
o Require an annual meeting with stakeholder groups

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE GIVEN FURTHER CONSIDERATION FOLLOWING PUBLIC COMMENT:

Congressional oversight
Ongoing role for the Advisory Committee
Cooperative Agency Status
Partnership agreements with state, local, federal entities and other stakeholders to include an annual meeting
Cooperation of counties on comprehensive planning on private lands adjacent to the Monument

Co Chairs
Lewis County Commissioner Lee Grose 360-740-1120
Cowlitz County Commissioner Axel Swanson 360-577-3020
Skamania County Commissioner Paul Pearce, 509-427-3700
 
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