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gregbillingsly
(Unregistered)
4/10/03 03:44 PM
Sell the boat or get busy!! We must unite!! [Post#: 1134 ] Reply to this post

THE LATEST SCHEME: LEASING OF OUR PUBLIC LANDS

If you have been to a Corp of Engineer Lake or Forest Service lands recently you most likely were asked to pay higher fees to enter than previously. FEE DEMO PROJECTS have met with widespread dissent among a broad-based coalition of Americans. Now a more immediate and problematic threat is the leasing out, commercializing, and privatizing of these lands.

In devious move, the Corp of Engineers is leasing out of a majority of your access points to these public lands and waterways. Leasing out of public property on a small scale, for the development of marinas and similar services has been done for many years, but until now none of these leases really limited your access to these public lands and waters. Your Parks and lakes are not just “OPEN”, “THEY ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS”.

Your government has targeted these public lands and waterways as “Reservoirs of Opportunity”, which ultimately employ commercialization and privatization schemes aimed at setting up profit centers that implement a new “pay for play” philosophy. In the first year of these leases we have seen access fee increases of more than 333% of the previous year.

In addition to this scheme being implemented at Corp of Engineer Lakes, there is actually legislation being considered to make over 70% of the National Park Service into these privately managed enterprises, and hence, Commercialized Operations. This not only limits equal access, and raises fees, but will also displace many of the NPS employees.

This “LEASING LOOPHOLE” ultimately circumvents our Public Law that dictates that these lands are open to all Americans equally. The Corp of Engineers is using a 1993 Policy Letter 93-06 to justify the DISCRIMINATORY pricing, which they call “differential pricing”. These leases also allow the leasing entity to disregard the Golden Access Passport (disabled), Golden Age Passport (retired), Golden Eagle Passport and Federal annual park/boat ramp programs.

These lease arrangements allow entities to charge whatever they feel is reasonable without any formal approval process. The lease arrangements allow for commercial development of our wilderness and shorelines. These developments include clearing away the natural habitat to replace it with hotels, concessions, ball - parks, and other urban activities - And all with a price tag.

THESE LEASING POLICIES:

 Allow discriminatory pricing (unequal access).
 Allow only the more affluent in our society to enjoy public lands.
 Allow commercial development outside of the normal Corp
policy directives.
 Allow fee increases without prior Public or Public Service review.
 Allow "market pricing" rather than a true cost pricing.
 Have no objective measures to monitor or adjudge whether fees are
fair or reasonable.
 Do not honor the long honored annual access benefits to
the veterans, disabled, or senior citizens, or annual pass purchasers.

We must all unite to stop this for happening! Please contact your local, state and national representatives and tell them that you do not want your children’s public lands taken away and privatized. These are already our lands, and now they are trying to give them away so they can be rented back to each of us!

For more information, or to join the necessary fight please feel free to contact us and pass the word on to everyone you know. Citizens Against Recreation Privatization, Greg Billingsly, 1217 Woodsey Court, Southlake, TX 76092, (817) 808-8970, (817) 418-9900, gbillingsly@netzero.net





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