Act Now to Prevent the Sale of Climbing Areas on Public Forest Service

The Access Fund needs your help to determine if your local crag could be sold in a USFS plan to sell 200,000 acres of public National Forest land in 31 states.
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Act Now to Prevent the Sale of Climbing Areas on Public Forest Service Land

March 17, 2006, Boulder, CO-The Access Fund is rallying local climbing advocates to ensure that a United States Forest Service plan to sell 200,000 acres of public National Forest land in 31 states does not result in the loss of public climbing resources. The Forest Service has created an auction list of lands scheduled for sale. However, they may revise their list in response to public comments. The deadline for revisions is March 30th. Once a final auction list is determined, it must be approved by Congress.

Because there is so much land up for sale, we need your help to determine if your local crag could be sold- go to www.geocommunicator.gov/NILS-PARCEL2/map.jsp?Map=USFS and select map “USFS RURAL SCHOOLS” or http://www.fs.fed.us/land/staff/rural-pdf.shtml and click on your forest for a PDF map. If you see your local crag indicated on the map, write and tell the Forest Service to remove your climbing area from the auction list. Also, send us an email at ActionAlert@accessfund.org

Climber letters to the Forest Service are needed to ensure that public climbing areas are not sold before the auction list is submitted to Congress. The Forest Service will receive comments to their proposed list of lands for sale through March 30. Send email to SRS_Land_Sales@fs.fed.us, and written comments to:

USDA Forest Service
SRS Comments, Lands 4S
1400 Independence Ave., SW, Mailstop 1124
Washington, DC, 20250-0003.
Faxes go to (202) 205-1604

The Access Fund will be following up with additional action items after the USFS has submitted its list to Congress.

Why is this important to climbers and why is it important that the climbing community present a unified voice in opposition to this ill-conceived plan? The Forest Service, who says that they are only considering isolated parcels that no longer meet national forest system needs, have nonetheless included previously proposed wilderness and popular recreation areas on the auction list. Public Land sales set a dangerous precedent, by relying on the permanent sale of public resource to fund local schools and road projects. Selling off America's natural heritage is not the way to fund short-term budget needs to pay for government services. Short-term gains would be offset by the permanent loss of public lands, and profits from the proposed sales would fall far short of what's needed to help rural governments pay for schools and other basic services.

The Access Fund is in favor of federal funding for rural schools and roads but does want the permanent sale of public lands to only temporarily support this program. FOR MORE INFORMATION and letter-writing talking points, go to http://www.accessfund.com/pdf/USFS land sales - AA talking points - final.pdf

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