Pivotal Vote For Broadly Expanded Fee Demo Bill

The monster of all fee demo bills we told you about a few months ago, which authorizes the "America the Beautiful Pass" will go to committee to be "marked up" on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004. HR 3283 is Rep. Ralph Regula's attempt to charge multiple fees for every conceivable activity on all public lands including day parking at unimproved BLM sites. The committee's action could consist of changing the proposed law, passing it to the House of Representatives for a vote, or rejecting it entirely.

What could the passage of this bill mean to Grand Canyon river runners? Contained in the bill is a clause that allows public land managers to levy prices comparable to private sector charges for services. For Grand Canyon National Park, that means up to $4,000 per person--as concessionaires now charge for their trips--for a non-commercial river trip instead of the $100 the Park charges now.

While the 24 minority Democrat Committee members may oppose the HR 3283 amendment, there are 28 majority Republican Committee members, a number of whom might support the"new version of HR 3283."  Below are phone and fax numbers for the 28 Republican Committee members, followed by the contact info for 4 key Committee Democrats.

This could be the last opportunity to register your disapproval of this permanent recreation fee legislation for America's public lands. The Fee Demo program has been in existence for seven years despite being grossly unpopular. If the HR 3283 amendment passes as written, fees will be levied on most of America's public lands for the indefinite future; there'll be multiple layers of fees for everything from rustic campsites to site specific areas, and expanded fees for additional "services."

In a call or fax, briefly ask each legislator to oppose any amendment to HR 3283 that still has language allowing Basic or Standard fees, a National Pass for public lands and a Fee Advisory Committee during the markup session. Please state why it is important to you that the Fee Demo program must be allowed to lapse, not expanded as proposed in this bill. Reasons may include double taxation of lands we already support through our taxes, the limiting of access to recreate on our public lands by poor Americans and the escalating attempt to commercialize lands that belong to all American citizens. You might also mention that Fee Demo has been a miserable failure, with an enormous portion spent in fee collection and enforcement.

First priority would be to call Committee Chair Pombo and legislators from your home state. If you are able to call/fax a few more, choose them at random from this list for best coverage. If you contact minority chair Rahall, please thank him for his continuing support in fighting Fee Demo. The best time to fax is after 5:00 pm DC time.

For those that have no easy access to a fax machine, please go to www.aznofee.org after preparing your comments to send a fax via the Arizona No Fee Coalition website.

House Resources Committee - Republican Members:

CHAIR Pombo, Richard (CA) Ph: 225-2761 or 225-1947, Fax: 225-5929
Bishop, Rob (UT) Ph: 225-0453, Fax: 225-5857
Calvert, Ken (CA) Ph: 225-1986, Fax: 225-2004
Cannon, Chris (UT) Ph: 225- 7751, Fax: 225-5629
Cole, Tom (OK) Ph: 225-6165, Fax: 225-3512
Cubin, Barbara (WY) Ph: 225-2311, Fax: 225-3057
Duncan, Jr., John (TN) Ph: 225-5435, Fax: 225-6440
Flake, Jeff (AZ) Ph: 225-2635, Fax: 226-4386
Gallegly, Elton (CA) Ph: 225-5811, Fax: 225-1100
Gibbons, Jim (NV) Ph: 225-6155, Fax: 225-5679
Gilchrest, Wayne (MD) Ph: 225-5311, Fax: 225-0254
Hayworth, J.D. (AZ) Ph: 225-2190, Fax: 225-3263
Jones, Walter (NC) Ph: 225-3415, Fax: 225-3286
McInnis, Scott (CO) Ph: 225-4761, Fax: 226-0622
Nunes, Devin (CA) Ph: 225-2523, Fax: 225-3404
Osborne, Tom (NE) Ph: 225-6435, Fax: 226-1385
Pearce, Stevan (NM) Ph: 225-2365, Fax: 225-9599
Peterson, John (PA) Ph: 225-5121, Fax: 225-5796
Putnam, Adam (FL) Ph: 225-1252, Fax: 226-0585
Radanovich, George (CA) Ph: 225-4540, Fax: 225-3402
Rehberg, Dennis (MT) Ph: 225-3211, Fax: 225-5687
Renzi, Rick (AZ) Ph: 225-2315, Fax: 226-9739
Saxton, Jim (NJ) Ph: 225-4765, Fax: 225-0778
Souder, Mark (IN) Ph: 225-4436, Fax: 225-3479
Tancredo, Thomas (CO) Ph: 225-7882, Fax: 226-4623
Tauzin, W.J. (Billy) (LA) Ph: 225-4031, Fax: 225-0563
Walden, Greg (OR) Ph: 225-6730, Fax: 225-5774
Young, Don (AK) Ph: 225-5765, Fax: 225-0425
House Resources Committee - Key Democrat Members:
CHAIR Rahall, Nick (WV) Ph: 225-3452 or 225-6065, Fax: 225-9061
Baca, Joe (CA) Ph: 225-6161, Fax: 225-8671
Cardoza, Dennis (CA) Ph: 225-6131, Fax: 225-0819
Udall, Mark (CO) Ph: 225-2161, Fax: 226-7840

RRFW thanks the Western Slope No Fee Coalition and Arizona No Fee Coalition for this information.