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Oregon legislature calls for repeal of new federal Recreation Access Tax



June 5, 2005

Bend, Oregon - Senate Joint Memorial No.4 cleared its final hurdle thus making Oregon the third State to declare its opposition to the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), formerly know as 'Fee-Demo' and now disparagingly called the 'Recreation Access Tax', or RAT for short. The resolution was introduced on February 21 by Senators Ringo (D) and George (R) and was passed in the Senate by unanimous consent on March 21. The resolution was carried in the House by Congressman Roblan (D) where it passed on June 2 by a vote of 58 to 1. Montana and Colorado have passed similar resolutions.

SJM4 states that "these public lands access fees have been highly controversial and are opposed by hundreds of organizations and county governments." SJM4 criticizes FLREA stating that it "fundamentally changes the way America's public lands are funded and managed" and makes special note how FLREA "includes harsh criminal penalties out of proportion to the harm caused by failing to comply with its provisions."  SJM4 concludes by calling upon the Congress of the United States to repeal this unpopular program.

Long time recreation fee opponent Scott Silver, Executive Director of Wild Wilderness, could not be more delighted. According to Silver, "Fee-Demo had proved itself to be an unworkable failure. Recreation user fees would have ended, had the RAT not been sneaked onto the Omnibus Appropriations bill last November. SJM4 made note of the unorthodox way in which the RAT was enacted and calls upon Senators Wyden and Smith to end this onerous recreation access tax." Silver says, "Wild Wilderness will continue to work with the widest range of recreation, hunting, fishing and conservation organizations throughout the nation in an effort to kill the RAT or, at a
minimum, to make this program less onerous to the millions of Americans who enjoy their public lands."

Read the text of SJM4:

Read Legislative History of SJM4:


Contributed to by our friend:
Scott Silver, Wild Wilderness

Webmeister's note:  Scott Silver was one of the first activists to recognize the real threat of Fee Demo. Please take the time to read our Fee Demo postings below. Congress must restore traditional funding to our land management agencies, not sell them off to private enterprise!  --Webmeister Speik





Read more . . .
Western Slope No Fee Coalition
Arizona No Fee Coalition

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