Public Lands Belong to You and Me
We cannot forget that the national parks, forests, grasslands,
seashores are not "federal land." They are our land, your and
mine. If we lose them, we will never get them back. We must
also remember that government is not bureaucrats. Government is
us, and that simple notion is the foundation of democracy.
Let's refuse to base our policy decisions on economics alone.
Fifty years ago, Aldo Leopold gave us a better standard: "Quit
thinking about decent land use as solely an economic problem. A
thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity,
stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when
it tends to do otherwise."
(Carol Estes writing for National Parks, September 1996)
The rush to privatize, commercialize and motorize our
public-lands is wrong. That this effort is being aided and
abetted by the political manipulations of anti-environmental
Congressmen working in concert with the private business
sector, is despicable.
What can we, the people, do to stop this effort and protect
our public lands from those who would wrest management control
from the American public?
Here are a few suggestions:
Wild Wilderness is supporting the petition efforts of Free Our Forests, a
grassroots organization from Washington State. Please add you signatures, and
those of your friends and neighbors to the more than 20,000 signatories of the attached petition.
The issue needs to receive broad public attention. Speak about
it to your friends and associates. Let others know that they can
learn more about this subject by visiting the Wild Wilderness
website. Write letters to the editor for your local newspaper
that try to inform others in your community about this
- What Should We Do? Here is a
document which provides excellent suggestions on this subject.
- Print, copy and distribute widely our flier entitled:
"Do Not Buy a Forest Pass".
To download in PDF format click here
To download in Microsoft Word format click here
(This doc. file can be edited and the high resolution graphic is fully scale-able).
- Should I purchase a pass? There is no one answer to
this question. Here are a few options compiled by the Conservation Chair of the
Lane County Audubon Society, Eugene Oregon.
- Notice of
Exemption The National Forest Defense Alliance has created
a notice to forest officers. It warns them not to issue a ticket
and explains that you are on public lands for some reason other than
recreation and are therefor EXEMPT for fee-demo.
- If you've gotten a ticket, received a warning, or you'd like to walk
in the woods without purchasing a pass and don't know if you
can legally do so, we're here to help. To speak with the Wild Wilderness Legal Defense
Consultant CONTACT US.
- Want instant access to a variety of fee-demo related legal briefs,
court transcripts and the like? Then check out the Anti Fee Demo Legal
Resources web site.
- Something was left on my windshield that looks
like a ticket. What should I do? This essay, titled "Tips for
Ticketees" isn't legal advice, but it just might help you better
understand what's going on.
- Dealing With Tickets. Great information from New England Public Forest Advocates.
The public needs to complain about what is happening. Write
letters to your government representatives telling them your
concerns. Write or call the Forest Service, BLM or other
federal land management agency that is responsible for your
public lands. Consider contacting the following specific
persons in Washington:
President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20250
Phone (202)456-1414 comment line
'EACH OF YOUR SENATORS'
Washington D.C. 20510
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington D.C. 20515
- To find out who represents you and to learn how to contact them click here.
- E-mail addresses for U.S. Senators can be found by clicking here.
- E-mail addresses for U.S. Representatives can be found by clicking here.
The large national recreation, conservation and environmental
organizations need to be prodded into action. If you are a
member of any organization which you think should become
involved in this issue, then please speak up in local chapter
meetings. Write your national organization leaders and urge them
to actively act in your best interest. Encourage other local
members to actively participate in this effort.
E-mail your comments to the Forest Service Fee-Demo Department.
E-mail your comments to the American Recreation Coalition's Fee-Demo Department.
Use the official US Forest Service Fee-Demo Comment form.
Add your name to this Internet petition.
Get fresh ideas here. . .
Read what your friends and neighbors are saying about fee-demo.
Contact Wild Wilderness and ask for suggestions.
And, finally, you could help support Wild Wilderness in our effort to
bring this issue to national prominence. Your letters and calls and
conversations are what we need most. A small contribution, although
not necessary, would be very beneficial and greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your support.
Fee Demo Protest, Summer '98
The United States is blessed with the largest base of publicly
owned land of any country in the world. The federal government
doesn't own this land; federal agencies, like our own Forest
Service, are simply entrusted with its care. The American
people own this land.
Secretary (now retired) Dan Glickman, July 1996)
This document was prepared by
Wild Wilderness. To
learn more about ongoing industry-backed congressional efforts to
motorize, commercialize, and privatize America's public lands,
Scott Silver, Executive Director
248 NW Wilmington Avenue, Bend OR 97701
Phone (541) 385-5261 E-mail: