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Old 01-08-2016, 09:05 PM
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Grumpy Grumpy is offline
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Location: Kennewick, WA
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Default Congressman Dan Newhouse-Video meeting

Been getting the local Congressional staff to attend meetings with us, but no direct contact thus far. Then yesterday morning I have an e-mail from Rachel in the Yakima office asking if I can make a video conference at 2:00 today. You bet I can, and I'm bringing reinforcements. Following are my comments from our talk:

The video meeting that I got dropped on me yesterday morning was good. Earl and Sande Nettnin joined me at the Congressman's office in Richland at 2:00, and we pretty much dived right in.

Earl covered what's going on in our area, which is pretty much all in Newhouse's district. The one item that I was most interested in was having a collaborative group agree on how to handle a management project consisting of existing trails, get ready to implement the plan, and then get sued to stop. Won't go into boring details here, but Earl did cover that. Earl hit on Sustainable Northwest, while I threw CBD and WEG in the brew.

We stressed that we, as a user group, are being pretty much ignored at the federal level, while other groups seem to be getting more than their share of the pie. Us being all volunteer as opposed to having to deal with paid staff was pointed out as a major issue. The fact is that all recreation users deserve equal say in these planning efforts, and that is woefully not the case.

Lack of accountability and cooperation are particular hot button items for me, and I leaned on them pretty hard. I stressed that all government agencies that may be affected by the planning process have to have an equal voice, and that is not what is happening. The FS in particular is trying to use cooperating agreements with counties instead of coordinating agreements. This is important. Cooperating can leave you screwed, coordinating, they have to give you equal rights in the conversation.

We hit briefly on how the eco groups are working the EAJA to earn a living, and getting stonewalled on recent FOIA requests in Oregon. We'll see how that goes.

At the end of things, when asked what we would like to see, we said to get familiar with TMP, Sub part A, and FS/BLM in general.

Also participating by contributing comments I solicited were BRC, WOHVA, And FAFA, thanks to Don Amador, Tod Peterson, John George, and Tork Ballard. Thank you for your time on such short notice, and especially to Earl and Sande.
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Tri-Cities Peak Putters
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