Fees keeping people off their lands-

The RAT Drives the Public Away-

Fees Keeping People Off Their Land: When the public stops using public lands, who will be there to protect them? By Bill Schneider. New West.

Even many western Republicans hate these fees — the RAT (Recreation Access Tax). The new Congress should eliminate them quickly. The amount of revenue could be made up with an hour’s worth of spending in Iraq.

Bush Administration trying to charge fees to photo and film on the public lands.

Now the Bush Administration wants to charge fees and require permits for people who commercially take photos or film in the national parks, national forests, BLM lands and wildlife refuges.

This is another attempt to steal your rights to use your public land right out from under you, and also to prevent coverage of what is going on on the public lands. It is also a clear violation of your First Amendment Rights.

I can see a ranger asking you for your permit to photograph the pollution running out of oil well on the national forest.

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Closely related to this new attempt to take away your natural rights as an American is the growing citizen movement to fight back against the RAT (Recreation Access Tax). Story: Turning Back the Clock to the Good Old Days. What the Baucus-Crapo Bill Does. New West by Bill Schneider.

Breaking story: Fees proposed by Bush Administration for filming and photography on public lands. By Les Blumenthal.

Senators Baucus and Crapo trying to repeal the R.A.T.

Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act (FLREA) was passed in the dark of night in 2004. It has become known to its opponents as the Recreation Access [to public lands] tax, or “the RAT,” for helping us remember it.

By “dark of the night,” I mean it was added to the omnibus appropriations bill with no debate, by Republican US Representative Ralph Regula of Ohio. This came on the heels of the 2-year Recreation Demonstration Fee Program which had proven unpopular, but limited in extent. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in public lands, public lands management. Tags: , . Comments Off on Senators Baucus and Crapo trying to repeal the R.A.T.