The Snowmobile Alliance of Western States (SAWS) is now a participant with the Citizens for Balanced Use (CBU) litigation against the Forest Service (FS) over its Forest Plan Revision of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest (BDNF).
SAWS stands by its commitment to engage in retention and expansion of snowmobile access on national forest land. SAWS is strongly convinced there is sufficient Wilderness acreage existing today to meet the needs of those who wish to access and recreate in current Wilderness areas.
Some of you may recall and were possibly involved with a protest rally in Missoula, MT, on March 3, 2006, against the FS proposed new closure policies.
People from across Montana and the western United States, including the SAWS chairman, Montana SAWS reps and other snowmobile and multiple use advocates throughout Region 1 gathered to protest the planned Region 1 policy to eliminate motorized and mechanized activity in Recommended Wilderness Areas (RWA).
The message was heard loud and clear at that time that you opposed de-facto Wilderness implementation. That message is being carried a step further with SAWS involvement with the filing of the lawsuit by CBU.
Please use this SAWS web link to read the legal document filed by CBU.
SAWS is well aware that the decision of "whether or not to create Wilderness" is required to be determined by Congress at the wish of the American people who elected these individuals to Congress and not for the FS and/or the pro-Wilderness collaborative coalitions to decide.
The BDNF Record Of Decision has eliminated uses on specific sites without the necessary analysis that is resulting in hundreds of thousands of acres becoming RWA and closed to snowmobile use.
SAWS is concerned such irresponsible action could lead to further actions across Region 1 and throughout the U.S. that could close lands without Congressional involvement.
SAWS believes the BDNF is illegally creating de-facto Wilderness by eliminating motorized and mechanized travel in these areas without any act from Congress.
Link to de-facto Wilderness protest information: http://news.snowmobilealliance.org/2006/12/management-policy-for-region-1-recommended-wilderness-areas/
For more information, visit http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org.