National System of Public Lands Announced

Secretary Formally Designates Bureau of Land Management Lands as the National System of Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has signed a Secretarial Order to officially designate the 258 million acres of lands managed for multiple-use by the Department’s Bureau of Land Management as the National System of Public Lands.

“These lands constitute an invaluable recreational, cultural, economic, and environmental legacy for the nation,” Kempthorne said. “And yet, those who own these lands – the American people – remain largely unaware of their critical importance to our quality of life, their value to present and future generations, or even the purpose for which these lands are preserved in public ownership.”

As the principal steward of the public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is directed by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to manage the public lands for multiple-use, including recreation, conservation, wildlife habitat and economic activities, such as livestock grazing, energy and mineral production and the development of timber and forest products.

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Visitor Report Studies Diversity

Recreation Visitor Report Details Uses of Forests by Hispanics

By Roland Giller, Pacific Southwest Research Station

Hispanics often do not visit undeveloped natural areas like national forests because of a lack of information about recreation opportunities, according to a recent Forest Service report.

The report also showed Hispanics think there are few on-site employees of their ethnicity, and few family and friends interested in recreating in these places. In addition, it suggested most Hispanics who do visit national forests do not often participate in multiple-day activities like camping.

Instead, Hispanics prefer developed day-use sites for activities such as picnicking. They also visit these sites in larger family groups than non-Hispanics, tend to stay longer on the day of their visit and prepare foods on site. This suggests day-use sites such as picnic areas with grouped tables and barbecue pits suited for large groups can better serve these visitors, according to the report.

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AC Direct Drive powertrain technology advances

REV announces 92% efficient AC Direct Drive powertrain for its zero emission FORD Ranger and Escape electric vehicle conversions

VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA, December 06, 2008 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The new technology replaces the gas engine and eliminates the use of the original transmission. The result is that 92% of energy used reaches the wheels, a key requirement for fleet managers who want to eliminate tailpipe emissions and reduce fuel costs. REV's new AC Direct Drive powertrain is available for all new vehicle conversion orders.

On November 26, the province of British Columbia announced a program to support the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles with an initial test of 6 vehicles which will later be increased to 34 vehicles. "By expanding the range of clean energy vehicle technologies available to consumers, we can help achieve our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020," stated Richard Neufeld, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources for the province of British Columbia.

"This is a strong commitment towards a sustainable transportation system," states Jay Giraud, Founder and CEO of REV Technologies. "REV is responding with electric vehicle conversion technology that meets the needs of BC fleets and is being deployed now."

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BLM Announces Final Rule for Land Withdrawals

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published, on December 5, 2008, in the Federal Register a Final Rule eliminating the portion of existing regulations providing for committee-directed emergency withdrawal of lands from the operation of various public land laws. 

Under Section 204(e) of the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and current BLM regulations providing for emergency withdrawals, 43 CFR 2310.5, the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) must withdraw lands immediately upon determining that an emergency exists and that extraordinary measures need to be taken to protect natural resources or resource values that otherwise would be lost.  The statute and regulations also provide that the Secretary must follow the same course if a similar determination is made by either of two congressional committees specified in Section 204(e) and appropriate notification is made by that committee to the Secretary. 

Since at least 1981, questions have been raised concerning the constitutionality of the congressional committee notification provision of Section 204(e).

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Tahoe National Forest Releases DEIS For Motorized Travel Plan

The Tahoe National Forest, located in northeastern California, has just released their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Motorized Travel Management. The Forest Service (FS) will be accepting comments for the next 60 days and there are some open house/orientation meetings scheduled for early October (see schedule below).

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