Outdoor News November 10, 2017 | Explore! Outdoor News November 10, 2017 - Explore!

Outdoor News November 10, 2017

Trump Supporters Like Public Lands

A new outdoor survey shows Wisconsinites disagree with President Donald Trump's proposals to roll back federal protections on public lands.  The poll shows that while 68 percent of Wisconsin Trump voters approve of the job he's doing, 69 percent don't support selling off public lands for commercial development. 

Outdoors - Apostle IslandsThad Nation is executive director of Wisconsin for Public Lands, that commissioned the survey.  "Here in Wisconsin, we have a long bipartisan tradition of a deep connection to our public lands, the many recreational and economic benefits they bring to our state,” he states. “This poll makes it exceedingly clear that, when it comes to President Trump's intent to scale back America's cherished national monuments, even his most ardent Midwest supporters are not with him."

The poll by RABA Research showed similar sentiment among Trump supporters in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Large majorities of voters in all four states recommended instead that Trump create new national monuments, or leave the current monuments as they are today.

RABA Research co-founder David Kochel says the respondents take pride in sites and traditions that are uniquely American, and feel strongly about preserving American heritage. "It's something that they're trying to reconcile – a little bit of their personal support for President Trump, with how they feel about public lands and monuments,” Kochel states. “And I think it's kind of interesting to see a bit of a break between support for the president and support for some of the things that members of the president's administration are doing."  Kochel says the poll results point to the issue of public lands and monuments as something voters would act on, and it might spell trouble for candidates who pursue the policies Zinke has suggested.

• Tim Morrissey, Public News Service – WI •

Committee to Advise Zinke

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the establishment of the “Made in America” Recreation Advisory Committee. The Committee will advise the Secretary of the Interior on public-private partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving infrastructure on public lands and waterways.

Zinke“The spirit of American innovation and ingenuity is what built our country, and the Interior Department wants that same spirit and energy to resonate within the realm of outdoor recreation on our public lands,” said Secretary Zinke. “By forming this committee, I look forward to hearing from the best and the brightest in our private sector on how to improve the public experience on our federal lands and waters by expanding access for all Americans. We already have thousands of private partners who operate on federal lands. Whether it's the iconic Jammers in Glacier National Park, the historic El Tovar lodge at the Grand Canyon, or the kayaks that you can rent on the Potomac River, American workers are at the heart of helping American families experience our great outdoors.”

The members of the Committee will be selected for their diverse backgrounds and their experiences with the recreational industry. Prospective members will have knowledge utilizing public-private partnerships, providing recreational visitor experiences, developing and deploying infrastructure improvements, or a thorough understanding of recreational equipment.

The duties of the Committee are strictly advisory and will consist of, but not be limited to, providing recommendations including:

Policies and programs that:

  • Expand and improve visitor infrastructure developed through public-private partnerships;
  • Implement sustainable operations embracing fair, efficient and convenient fee collection and strategic use of the collected fees;
  • Improve interpretation using technology;
  • Create better tools and/or opportunities for Americans to discover their lands and waters.

You may submit comments and/or nominations by any of the following methods:

  • Mail or hand-carry nominations to Teri Austin, Associate Director for Business Services, National Park Service, Office of Business Services, 1849 C Street, NW, MS 2717, Washington, DC 20240; or email nominations to: teresa_austin@nps.gov

The Committee will meet approximately two times annually, and at such time as designated by the Designated Federal Officer. The Committee will terminate two years from the date the Charter is filed, unless, prior to that date, it is renewed in accordance with the provisions of Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

The Committee will not meet or take any action without a valid current Charter. The Committee is established by authority of the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) pursuant to 54 U.S.C. 100906, and is regulated by the FACA, as amended, 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2.

MINER Act

On Wednesday, Congressman Tom Emmer of Minnesota released the following statement after the MINER Act (Minnesota's Economic Rights in the Superior National Forest Act) passed out of the House Committee on Natural Resources:

Outdoors - Crescent Lk - Superior NF"Today, we came one-step closer to undoing the Obama Administration’s politically motivated actions in Northern Minnesota. I am proud that my bipartisan MINER Act passed the House Committee on Natural Resources. Passage of this legislation ensures Minnesotans have a say in sweeping bureaucratic decisions made in Washington. Environmentally responsible mining and exploration in Northern Minnesota will unleash our ability to tap into our abundance of natural resources, and provide for a better way of life for our children, just as those in Northern Minnesota have done for decades.

"We can preserve our beautiful state without permanently destroying any future job creation or economic development. We can utilize the largest untapped copper-nickel deposit in the world for Americans, and in an environmentally sound way. While there are still numerous environmental and safety benchmarks that must be met in the coming years before any mining can occur, passage of the MINER Act will let our federal, state, and local environmental review process to proceed. I am thankful for the leadership of Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Paul Gosar, Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, and the support of my colleagues – the future of Minnesota is brighter because of today’s vote."

The National Parks Conservation Association told the committee: "NPCA strongly opposes H.R. 3905: Minnesota’s Economic Rights in the Superior National Forest Act as it undermines two decisions made by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding harmful sulfide-ore copper mining within the watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park. The legislation also carves out a special exception for Minnesota from protective provisions of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Antiquities Act."

Last July,  Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum told the committee: "I write to express my strong opposition to the discussion draft proposed by Representative Tom Emmer considered today, July 27, in the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee.  This proposed legislation would undercut existing environmental and public lands laws to allow a Chilean mining conglomerate to conduct dangerous sulfide-ore coppering mining adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness."

The MINER Act is H.R. 3905. Click here for more information.

 

Power Canal Trail

The Hydroelectric Power Canal in Sault Ste. Marie is the only urban hydroelectric power canal in the State of Michigan and in the entire Great Lakes region. This unique and historically significant man-made waterway provides the backdrop for the Power Canal Trail Project, which consists of constructing a 10' wide path along the south border of the canal for non-motorized travel.

Power Canal Trail LogoThis project is a part of a long-range goal to develop a non-motorized route between two of the City's recreational areas; Sherman Park on the west and Rotary Island Park on the east. Such a  route would bring pedestrians and bicyclists through residential, recreational, and commercial areas on a safe and enjoyable path. 

The primary goal of the Power Canal Trail is to enhance walkability and waterfront access in Sault Ste. Marie. This new path will enhance visitors' experience, drawing attention not only to a beautiful and unusual waterfront, but also to the rich history of the Power Canal, its construction, and contribution to society through the addition of informative plaques along the trail.

This week, proponents created a Patronicity Campaign in an effort to raise $50,000 that will complete funding of the project.  As of yesterday, they had pledges totaling over $23,000 of that goal.

 

Fee-Free National Parks

Entry fees are waived at National Parks this weekend.  The fee waiver includes entrance fees, Crater Lake National Parkcommercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included.

Fee-free days make parks accessible to more people. In addition, any fourth grade student can get a free annual pass through the Every Kid in a Park program, and active duty military and citizens with a permanent disability can also get free passes. For more information about the variety of discounted passes available, please visit the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass page.
 

Special Savings for Our Readers

      Check Out These Deals for Christmas Giving: Global Creations EXPLORE! Logo

Video of the Week

Dog sledding offers a unique way to explore in winter.  This week's video features a dog sledding adventure in far northern Minnesota.  Enjoy!   . . .  If you'd like to recreate this adventure for your family,  check out the Chilly Dogs website (no, we don't get a commission).  


This newsletter is compiled by Jerry Haugen and brought to you by
Global Creations EXPLORE!  The eMagazine for Adventure and Exploration

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