Taking Aim At November

Jul 19, 2012
Our friend Bill Karr at Western Outdoor News tells us the battle between the United States Forest Service and motor sports enthusiasts is officially "on". The Eldorado National Forest is the battleground, and Karr says the Forest Service has already closed off more than 800 miles of "public lands". "Old camping sites used for decades blocked by tons of rock; roads closed with gates and downed trees and draconian enforcement by the Forest Service rangers" is how Karr described the situation.

Apparently a group of seven motor sports groups have had enough of these closures. The Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit on Tuesday on behalf of six organizations and two individuals over the whole closure idea.

The U.S. Forest Service, US Department of Agriculture, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and Pacific Southwest Regional Forester Randy Moore and Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn are all named in the suit.

The lawsuit is seeking to have the conclusions of the Forest Service's 2005 Tahoe National Forest Motorized Travel Management Project struck down on grounds that it violates both the National Environmental Policy and the Administrative Policy Acts.

That project was ostensibly designed to be a collaborative effort between officials and riding enthusiasts wanting to help with the selection of trails to remain open for riders.

Instead, the suit alleges, there are now only about 50 miles of trails open and more than 800 miles scheduled to be blocked for riders. The lawsuit asks that the Forest Service be required to restart the process of implementing the Tahoe National Forest Motorized Travel Management Project and all trails remain open in the meantime.

As of this morning's edition, the Forest Service has not responded.

The NRA's running a new election campaign called "All In" - and it's very direct in making the point that pro-gun voters have to go "all in" to stop subtle, but intentional, attempts to erode Second Amendment rights. Their campaign isn't subtle, it comes right out and tells viewers President Obama wants to take your guns. If you don't work to defeat anti-gun candidates, including Mr. Obama, it says, all our rights will be at peril.

Yesterday, we received word that the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released their latest call to action for November. It's similar in message, but very different in presentation. Their video http://youtu.be/U6a3LdjojVs )uses a very effective production technique- simple words in white over a black background to deliver a pretty sobering message. And it's a thirty-second spot rather than the long-form pieces in the NRA's campaign.

The NSSF message? The last pair of critical pro-gun decisions by the United States Supreme Court have each been decided by a single vote. The President, we're reminded, appoints the justices to the high court. And then the warning: This November Take No Chances. One vote stands between you and your rights.

But this time, it's not the SCOTUS vote- it's each of our individual votes. We're supporting the #gunvote initiative, and agree wholeheartedly with the NSSF's warning.

If we don't vote in November, we can't complain in January.

If you're not registered to vote, get registered. Make certain all your friends are registered as well.

--Jim Shepherd