Sunday, July 8, 2012

Coconino Forest

< Let me say this has nothing to do with books however it may be the most important thing you read and I am very passionate about it and you should be to if you at all love your freedom or this country. I am extremely upset about a recent camping trip I went on and here is why;

Along with all the other crap they are shoving down our throats, they are closing off many of the roads available and restricting camping(from a vehicle, and only on a very small percentage of the roads that remain open) to a very limited percentage of the Coconino national forest. That makes it very difficult to use the land. ALL Atv riders, hunters, campers, picnickers, target shooters ect, or even people who just like driving down secluded two track roads should be concerned. The new restrictions make it dang near impossible for a responsible law abiding person to do any of that effectively, much less away from crowded areas, which should have significant meaning to target shooters.

Here is a link for the newly enacted travel management rule and info on the project; Outdoors-men like myself are very upset about it. I won't post links to other blogs and forums I have found, but suffice it to say that I have yet to find any public support of it.

I have written an email/ letter that will be sent to any and all email and mailing address's I can find in the national forest service, game and fish dept., bureau of land management ect... I urge anyone who cares at all about being able to utilize our forests in the future to do the same. Flood them with angry mail and perhaps we can make a difference. I am so tired of our rights and freedoms being trodden on in this country. Bit by bit they are trying to put us farther under their thumb, and our freedoms will continue to be frittered away unless we do something as a people. Here is my letter;

"To whom it may concern, Before I delve into this email, let me state that I am an avid sports and outdoors-man, and conservationist. I have been using the Arizona Mogollon rim area my entire life. I respect the forest and all it has to offer and always have a policy of leaving no trace, and in fact have made a point of it to pick up any trash I find where ever I happen to be. I have always loved traveling up the small two track roads to get away from others, and enjoy the forest, camping in quiet solitude with my family.

This last weekend of July 6-8 2012, I was doing just that with my father and brother. A Forest Service Ranger came into our camp and informed us of all the new laws and policies about the road travel and camping restrictions. We were approximately 200 feet past where we are now "allowed" to camp, and were given a warning. This was my first time hearing about it, and I am disgusted. How dare you. There are many problems with what you have done. For starters, it is prejudice against anyone who is handicapped to restrict camping areas to everyone except backpackers. Second, not everyone likes so called "improved campgrounds" and it upsets me that my tax dollars are going to pay for them. I believe they make the forest ugly, smelly and is totally contradictory to your "preserve the forest" campaign. Third, by closing unmarked two track roads you are denying people of what is rightfully theirs. Yes, as a US citizen, and legal resident of Arizona those forests are MINE. They belong to the people, not the Forest Service, or the government or any agency thereof, and you have NO RIGHT to tell me or anyone else where I can and can't camp, park or drive. People have been using those roads for decades, and camping off of them, and it hasn't hurt the forest one bit. It is still a beautiful healthy habitat. Fourth, you have created a very real problem for hunters such as me. You have effectively closed most of the forest to hunting and here is why. When any one shoots big game, able bodied or not, there is only so far you can carry or drag a carcass. You need a vehicle to move it very far. If we are no longer allowed to drive more than a car length away from marked roads, you have made it so all we can do is road hunt. THAT IS NOT SPORTING. ANY limitation on this is unfair to sportsmen.

With what I have said in consideration I would like you to know that I am formally with drawing any and all future support, both politically and financially to conservationism, the forest service, and any other agency or politician that has anything to do with public land management. YOU WILL NOT SEE ANOTHER RED CENT FROM ME until these policies and laws are removed and the public is allowed to use our national forests freely. That is how it was originally intended when the federal government initially assigned the land to be national forest land. I would also like you to know, that I will be making it my personal goal from now on to inform as many people as possible about my boycott, and convincing any one and every one I can to join me in this quest. I strongly urge you and anyone else involved to reverse the damage you have caused as quickly as possible if you value the position you are in. Even the forest ranger who I came in contact with agreed that these new restrictions are unwarranted, and undesired by 95% of the people she talks to every day. I am sure any elected official or person with a government job understands the significance of the term 95%. In the words of my father, “what is the point of preserving the forest if no one can use it.” Thank you for your time,
-Preston Miller"

I know this kind of thing is nothing new, but them telling me where I can and can't drive to camp and shoot on land that is partially mine that I have been using my whole life was the final straw. Please get involved, or it will only get worse from here.