3/5/2004

From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Sneak Attack On Private Property

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400  Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087  Fax: 360-687-2973  E-mail: alra@landrights.org or
alra@governance.net  Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE  Washington, DC 20003




Sneak Attack On Private Property


Urgent Action Alert: 

Invasive Species in the Transportation (SAFETEA) Bill

SAFETEA - Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003. Also known as S.1072.

This is an impassioned plea to send a FAX immediately to the Honorable Richard Pombo, Chairman, House Resources Committee with the message that you are alarmed by Sections 1501,1505,1601 and 1608,and any other references to Invasive  Species in the above bill. 

These sections must be removed to allow full, open debate about Invasive Species.

This bill has passed the Senate with the number S. 1072.  The House is using the same number.  Be sure to remember that the House is using the Senate number S. 1072.

Alerts have been sent out with the wrong bill number.  It is S. 1072.

It is now before the House Resources Committee. 

No phone calls. No snail mail. No form letters. FAX only. It must be short, in your own words, but express alarm that Invasive Species will become codified if Sections 166,  1501, 1505,1601 and 1608 are allowed to remain in the bill. The fundamental problems are explained in the synopsis below, but I leave it to you to word it your own way.

Address your FAX to:

The Honorable Richard W. Pombo, Chairman
House Resources Committee
FAX: (202) 225-5929

Then FAX the same document to your Congressman 
His/her FAX number can be retrieved at
http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Or just call your Congressman at (202) 225-3121 to get his or her fax number.  That number will get you to any Congressman.

This is not a drill. This is serious. This is of immediate importance. 

Please act on this as soon as possible; today if at all possible.

Talking Points include:

  a.. Transportation Bill (SAFETEA) (S. 1072) not a proper vehicle for major environmental legislation. 

  b.. Codifying Invasive Species would affect all public and private land use even more than the Endangered Species Act.   It is critical to debate the issue on its own merits. 

  c.. If these sections 166, 1501, 1505,1601 and 1608, and all other references to invasive species are not struck from the Act, NEPA will apply to federally funded highway construction with  mitigation required for disturbance of native plants.  

  d.. Native plants will have to be used in erosion control and vegetative seeding, even if non-native crownvetch does a better job. Costs will escalate and erosion control suffer. More sediment will enter the waterways.

  e.. There is no scientific, universal or generally accepted definition of invasive species.  They are defined in the Act as non-native (meaning to the USA or to an eco-system), and those which could cause harm. 

  f.. Officials of the Department of the Interior will decide what species could cause harm and publish them to a proscribed list. There is no peer review or science required. Once codified, the list will apply to interstate commerce, to federal lands, and eventually by court order to private lands. 

  g.. The term invasive species confuses noxious weeds and pests with anything desirable that happens to be non-native to a particular eco-system. 

  h.. Do people really want to ban rice, Japanese maples, pheasants, and German Shepherd guide dogs for the blind? 

  i.. A haphazard definition of invasive species, with the resulting regulation of  every commercial plant or animal, will destroy private property rights. 

  j.. It will also backfire on care of the environment, because land managers will no longer be able to choose the best product for the job. 



FAX today, or over the weekend if you read this too late. 
Fax to (202) 225-5929.


Please forward this message as widely as possible.


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