Federal land closures trample social fabric - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Federal land closures trample social fabric

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Posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 4:27 pm | Updated: 2:39 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Linda Turley-Hansen: Those fighting the “Travel Management Plan” implementation say more than two-thirds of America’s back country roads are registered for closure. Vacationing families will be funneled into confined camp spaces, manned by toll gates, just like in Yosemite National Park.  When the campgrounds are full, the overflow will be sent on their way.

It’s the jewel of Arizona: A spot of Switzerland on the eastern border. At 8,000 feet, Alpine is a hamlet, surrounded by U.S. forest land in the Apache/Sitgreaves district. Lush, beckoning and priceless.

High, along the southeast rim which frames the valley, is a country road providing the young, old and disabled opportunity to commune with raw nature. Few can walk it. Motors are needed to get us in and out.

My family escapes to that paradise from the hot Valley weather. We cherish every blue spruce, aspen and wildflower; downed logs litter the landscape, serving as hotels for critters on a heavenly floor of rich fern.

On both ends of this stretch of rough road are gates, installed by the U.S. Forest Service and poised to block out motorized vehicles. Hundreds of thousands of roads, such as this one, are targeted across the state and the nation. If you’re young and can afford good hiking shoes, you can access some of the closed areas. Otherwise folks, too bad. And you should see the fine print in regards to hunting and fishing.

You think America is in danger from outside enemies? You fear the so-called One World Order; the end of the American dollar? It gets worse from here.

American human species are threatened, and attacks against our habitats of survival, which historically have supported American families, are at crisis level, in this “land of the free.” Astoundingly, our tax dollars fund much of the war against our cultures and our families.

In a time of deep recession, a time in which millions of jobless Americans frantically seek ways to feed their families, this land grab will force Americans into confined spaces — all in the name of environmentalism. It matters not that billions of dollars, generated by the outdoor industry, will disappear.

The Arizona Fish and Game Department reports fishing and hunting is a “powerful part of Arizona’s economic fabric,” offering thousands of jobs, millions in tax revenues and billions in retail sales. Arizona State University researchers tell us the economic impact of back-country driving, alone, provides Arizona $4 billion annually — including more than a billion dollars in household income with 37,000 jobs.

Yeah. Let’s close these forests and desert areas. This is really a good time in our history to be brainless.

Those fighting the “Travel Management Plan” implementation say more than two-thirds of America’s back country roads are registered for closure. Vacationing families will be funneled into confined camp spaces, manned by toll gates, just like in Yosemite National Park.  When the campgrounds are full, the overflow will be sent on their way.

Despite the fact that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has twice stopped this directive, (latest ruling in June), the plan is still targeted to be fulfilled. Several eastern states have already completed the process.

For decades, the “green” movement, once with good intentions, now hell bent on economic destruction, has successfully blocked opposition. Deception is common among the extreme factions. Believe it. They launch one lawsuit after another, often funded by U.S. grants. The treasury is bottomless for them, and private citizen resistance funds are a pittance, equal to David and Goliath. Remember that analogy.

Watch this group. Citizens for Multiple Land Use and Access (www.cmlua.com) was formed three years ago to take on Goliath. Its web site gives important background and maps. Note the roads to be closed that are in black ink, samples of the nationwide plan.

CMLUA founders say they’ve committed their lifetimes to educate the public. So far, they’ve been amazingly successful in shining light on the illegality of many schemes. One of the founders, Doyel Shamley of Eagar, is up to his neck in research. And thanks to the web, he’s joined by thousands of independent researchers, tracking those who are intent on cutting us out of our country.

Shamley says: “Recreation is not just a matter of some sick individual slaughtering Bambi. It’s important to the very fabric of society; it’s how we recreate and generate revenue through trickle-down economics.”

He points out a minute number of outdoor people have stigmatized the view of the industry and given it a bad name. Then, there is the issue of discrimination:  without wheels to access the spaciousness, children, seniors and the disabled will forever be blocked from much of America’s beauty; i.e. mule trips ending their descent into the Grand Canyon.

There’s something else. Shamley said research shows that crime, divorce, suicide and other social ills decrease when communities thrive. Strip our cities of their economic base and the social decline of America continues.

Shamley believes that everyday citizens can stop the power grabs. He reminds us less than 7 percent of patriots fought in the Revolutionary War, “taking on the greatest empire ever set on earth (Goliath) — and they won.”

He’s certain people will hold onto the glory of this state, and right now, ladies and gentlemen, Arizonans are hungry enough to do just that.

Linda Turley-Hansen is a syndicated columnist and former veteran Phoenix television news anchor who lives in the East Valley. She can be reached by e-mail at turleyhansen@gmail.com.

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