Open Season on Open Spaces: The biggest attack in history?

When did it become open season on our open spaces? First, Congress slashed conservation and environmental programs. Then we saw a backroom deal that stopped the BLM’s new Wildlands policy in its tracks. Now, to add insult to injury, we’re facing a new bill that could end efforts to protect approximately 60 million acres.

This new House leadership bill, The Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act, introduced by House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R-Calif.), would roll back existing protections and place at risk tens of millions more acres of wilderness-quality but unprotected National Forest and BLM public lands. It also prevents Congress or future administrations from using a national policy like the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Ruleto protect these lands in the future.

Read more: Open Season on Open Spaces: The biggest attack in history?

Cogswell Reservoir, which is the source of water for the West Fork, has been drained.  Please see the draft letter from Barry Wetherby of Pasadena Bait Club

By Associated Press
Published: July 11

SEATTLE — Scientists knew ocean-going fish would eventually return to the Elwha River on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula, once two massive concrete dams were torn down. They just didn’t think it would happen so soon.

Biologists tracking fish in a tributary of the Elwha last month spotted wild steelhead that likely made it on their own past the site where the Elwha Dam stood for nearly a century — before it was dismantled in March as part of the nation’s largest dam removal project.

“We’re wildly excited,” said Mike McHenry, fish habitat manager for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. “It just confirms what we have known all along — that these fish are quite capable of recolonizing the Elwha once we get the dams out of the way.”

Read more: Fish begin return to Washington’s Elwha River

How to contact your elected representative

There may come a time that you might want to express yourself to your elected officials. I would like to pass on to you what I have learned in the last few years.

The first thing I learned is how you send correspondence to a representative is very important. I have found that mass e-mails are worthwhile because of their numbers. A typed letter gets more attention because they are read by staff for content. A well written letter may show more concern time and thought than an email or typed letter. If you don’t have the time to write a hand written letter please click on to a mass emailing for the subject you have concerns about.

Your representative’s staff is there to help their boss research the issues and are looking to learn what their constitutes feel are important. Staff members may not have been to the place you are writing about. The more information you can give on how an issue affects you the better.

To find the address of your congressional representative try the phonebook, your newspaper or go on line at

Please the following form.

To the Representative                                                   to a Senator

The Honorable (full name)                                             The Honorable (Full Name)

Room # House Office Building                                        Rm# Senate Office Building

United States House of Representatives                        United States Senate

Washington, DC 20515                                                  Washington, DC 20510

Dear Representative                                                      Dear Senator

Here are tips

Be nice, talk about how important it is and how you enjoy how you want it protected for your heirs, how it makes you fell when you are there and when you come back. Ask for their help and for an answer on their position. Keep it to one page if you can, hand written is ok to use more.