Rep. Gosar Introduces TRAILS Act to Ensure Community Access for Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing the Travel and Resource Access Including Local Stakeholders (TRAILS) Act:

For Immediate Release
Date: Sept. 18, 2014

 

Contact: Steven D. Smith
Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing the Travel and Resource Access Including Local Stakeholders (TRAILS) Act:

“This legislation puts local communities and stakeholders in the driver seat for developing travel management plans that affect their livelihoods on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acreage. The country’s vast and unique outdoor landscapes are a fundamental component of our national identity. Whether it is for fishing, hunting, off-highway vehicle recreation, mining, hiking, or any of a myriad of other uses, public lands are an integral part of the life and livelihood of millions of Americans.

“Unfortunately, access to public lands has been hampered by decisions from bureaucrats within the BLM and has a detrimental impact to local communities across the country. I heard about this issue first hand from my constituents when the BLM Yuma office proposed to close nearly 50% of the trails in the area with the release of the draft La Posa Travel Management Plan.

“OHV recreation contributes nearly $4 billion annually to Arizona’s economy, supports 40,000 jobs and generates nearly $200 million in sales taxes. Local communities are the first to be affected by changes in travel and access management decisions, yet, are routinely left out of the development discussion. The BLM shouldn’t be harming local communities and limiting access to public lands all in the name of pursuing a misguided agenda. I will continue to fight this overreach.”

After hearing of introduction of the bill, D.L. Wilson, Chairman of the La Paz County Board of Supervisors stated, “Local development and agreement on federal land management plans is critical for La Paz County to protect our tourism economy and its extensive reliance on access to public lands.”


Background:

The TRAILS Act would require the BLM to incorporate the needs, uses and input of affected communities when developing travel management plans. The TRAILS Act would further strengthen local input by requiring the BLM to obtain the concurrence of affected communities before taking any travel management action affecting access to public lands. This legislation provides Congressional oversight to a mismanaged process that was initiated by bureaucrats within the executive branch.


The full text of the TRAILS Act can be found HERE.

The letter from Congressman Gosar to the BLM Arizona Director, Raymond Suazo can be found HERE.

An article from the Parker Pioneer about the town hall Rep. Gosar held on this issue back in April can be found HERE.

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