4/21/2006

From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Communities For A Great Northwest Needs Your Help!

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
Battle Ground, Washington
(360) 687-3087




Communities For A Great Northwest Needs Your Help!  

The Canada Lynx Critical Habitat proposal deadline for comment is April 30th.

18,000 square miles of mostly private ground is at risk - and hundreds of millions of acres are in the proponentsí long term plan for this effort.  

This could include parts of Oregon, Washington, Maine, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Minnesota, Colorado, Wisconsin, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Michigan. Even if you do not live in one of these states, your comments are critical.

I've traveled the country for nearly twenty years asking that folks use one hour a week of their time to fight for our way of life.  I'm asking you to use three of those minutes to comment on this issue.

The Canada Lynx is the spotted owl on steroids - and is a threat to our jobs, our recreation and our private property.

We've made it easy to comment.  It takes literally a minute if you visit our website at www.lynxnothijinks.com.

From the site you can quickly build a comment, send your comment to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and send your comment to your congressional delegation.  We also encourage you to send your comment to your local media - and send the link to your e-mail list of family and friends.

The Defenders of Wildlife and the Predator Project are determined to add an area the size of Europe to the critical habitat proposal - and only our comments are going to pressure the USFWS to drop or minimize this unneeded, unnecessary and unfair land grab.

What is being proposed?  

In its current version, the proposal calls for some 18,000 square miles of mostly private territory to be designated as Critical Habitat.  

Why is it being proposed?  

While the USFWS freely admits that designating this critical habitat has no real effective conservation benefit, the Agency is being forced to comply with a Ninth Circuit judicial opinion issued due to an environmental conflict industry lawsuit.

What does this mean?  

The Agency is being forced into a process that provides no real conservation benefit and is being driven by litigation and the courts rather than by biology.  The product of this process is crippling the ability to evaluate the science involved, is consuming enormous human and monetary resources, and imposes huge social and economic costs.

How does this proposal affect me?  

The USFWS is downplaying the designation by claiming that it will have little impact on the designated areas.  We've heard this before.  The Agency is stressing that it will only affect properties that require federal permits or receive federal funding.  Unfortunately, that's only half the story.  Actually, this is the latest way to implement the Roadless Initiative under another name.

It should be noted that the results of economic impact analysis of the proposal won't be available until after this comment period closes.  It's rather tough to comment on an issue when the impact is unstudied - but contrary to the claims of the Agency, we know from history that the impact will not be insignificant.

In reality, we know this will affect you if you snowmobile or use ORVs, or if you might ever want to do any mining, logging, thinning, or development on your land.

Furthermore, while the Agency attempts to downplay the impact of the Critical Habitat Designation, maps displaying lynx habitat present a different reality.  While this 18,000-square mile designation is proposed today, the final proposal - when forced by the courts on behalf of the environmental groups - will include all lynx habitat and potential habitat (an area approaching the size of Europe....).

What stage is the proposal currently in?  

USFWS is asking for public comment on the Critical Habitat Designation.  It should also be noted that the boundaries identified by the USFWS are very muddy - there are maps, but the USFWS readily admits it's not certain where all the boundaries are.  The agency is also asking for comments on areas for potential expansion of critical habitat not in the proposal, suggesting that it is ultimately confused in its own internal diagnosis of what is efficient species recovery.

The USFWS Lynx Critical Habitat Website is at: http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/species/mammals/lynx

How to Comment:

Submit a comment to the USFWS and to your congressional delegation via the Lynx Not Hijinks Website at http://www.lynxnothijinks.com.

OR

Write your comment and snail mail it to: 
Lynx
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Montana Field Office
585 Shepard Way 
Helena, MT 59601

OR

E-mail your comments to: FW6_lynx@fws.gov.

OR

You can also fax your comments to: (406) 449-5339.

Whatever you do, take a minute to let your voice be heard.

The USFWS admits that the lynx will not be positively impacted by this designation, but from past experience, we know we will be negatively impacted.

For more information contact:
Communities For A Great Northwest
5957 Champion Road
Libby, Montana  59923
cgnw@libby.org
www.lynxnothijinks.com 


Please forward this message as widely as possible.



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