Thompson's Wilderness Bill Changes
I've made my sentiments known on a couple of the other local blogs that I'm not in favor of anymore wilderness bills, unless there's some compelling need for one. I feel that just means fewer places for people to live, work and play in. So, unlike my friends on the Left, I was opposed to Congressman Mike Thompson's bill that would add wilderness designation to hundreds of thousands of acres in Northern California.
That said, it looks like some changes for the good have been made to Thompson's bill. One, would allow the 27 smelt fishing permits issued for commercial surf fishing to be continued indefinitely.
You might remember that, since Redood National Park was created, increasing restrictions on land uses have been applied to areas within RNP. One was limiting commercial beach fishing access to those that currently held permits. Once the permit holder died, or gave up his permit, the permit would no longer be issued thus phasing off beach fishing through attrition.
Looks like now they're going to let permit holders sell their permits or pass them on to someone else. It's a small improvement, but a welcome one.
Looks like the Blue Ribbon Coalition managed to get some forest roads kept open for use, as well. Whether anyone can do anything but drive down the roads in those areas is what I'd like to know.
So, something's been saved in this bill, but not all that much.
I often wonder why there's such a push for more wilderness areas? With the increasing restrictions being constantly made to state, national and even local parks, they'll all be de facto wilderness areas anyway, given a few more years. Hopefully, that won't happen in my lifetime.