Letter

Big Concerns Regarding Proposed Big Cypress Backcountry Access Plan and Wilderness Study

Recent management plans at Big Cypress have mischaracterized the Preserve’s legislative mandate and shortchanged the amount of eligible wilderness in the 1988 Addition to the Preserve. A proposed new backcountry access plan and wilderness study (plan/study) for the original Preserve appears to be headed toward the same shortcomings. Click “Read More” to see the Coalition’s comments on the preliminary alternatives newsletter for the plan/study.

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Coalition Supports Proposed Changes to Virginia’s Powerline Approval Process

The Coalition has joined forces with conservation and historic preservation groups to support legislation in the Virginia House of Delegates that would better protect historic resources by strengthening the State’s requirements related to approval of new high voltage transmission lines. Click “Read More” to see our joint letter to the Chair of the Special Subcommittee on Energy.

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Say “No” to Pipelines Through Parks

Current law requires specific Congressional approval before an oil or gas pipeline can be built through any unit of the National Park System. However, a proposed amendment to an energy bill being considered in the U.S. Senate would eliminate this requirement and promote the construction of natural gas pipelines through parks. The Coalition and other conservation groups strongly oppose the pipelines-through-parks amendment. Click “Read More” to see our joint letter to members of the U.S. Senate.

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Coalition Opposes James River Transmission Line Project

The Coalition has joined the fight in opposing Dominion Virginia Power’s proposed new high-voltage transmission line across the James River near historic Jamestown. The proposal includes 17 huge transmission towers, as tall as the Statue of Liberty and topped with flashing red lights, that would cross the river within view of various historic properties. Click “Read More” to see our letter urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny the power company’s permit request.

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Tennessee Lands Unsuitable for Mining

The State of Tennessee has petitioned the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Regulation and Enforcement (OSMRE) to designate as “unsuitable for mining” over 67,000 acres of state-designated conservation lands in northeastern Tennessee. The proposal would provide a variety of conservation benefits, including improved water quality and protection of riparian habitats in two NPS-managed parks that lie downstream of the petition area. The Coalition strongly supports the State’s petition. Click “Read More” to see our letter to OSMRE.

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Big Cypress Planning Document Has Unexpected Reference to Disputed Court Statement

The most recent NPS planning document at Big Cypress National Preserve, an environmental assessment for a proposed oil and gas survey, surprisingly relies upon a disputed district court statement regarding the appropriate management of the Preserve. The court statement was challenged by the Coalition in a September 2015 amicus curiae brief and subsequently disavowed in a federal brief filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of NPS. Click “Read More” to see our letter about this issue to NPS Director Jon Jarvis.

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Pro Bike Race at Colorado National Monument a Bad Idea

In 2010-2011, the National Park Service (NPS) denied a permit request to hold a professional bicycle race on the main road into Colorado National Monument, citing conflicts with NPS management policies and impacts to access for park visitors. Recent news reports suggest that the new park superintendent may be reconsidering allowing the race after all. Click “Read More” to see our letter to the superintendent.

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Proposed Big Cypress Seismic Survey: A Better NEPA Analysis Needed

Big Cypress National Preserve is renowned for its expansive wetlands. A proposed oil and gas survey using massive “vibroseis” trucks would create over 500 miles of new off-road vehicle tracks, including in some areas deemed eligible as wilderness. The Coalition is calling on NPS to prepare a better analysis of the proposal. Click “Read More” to read our full comments.

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NPS Is Revising Its “9B” Oil and Gas Regulations

Did you know that there are currently over 530 oil and gas drilling operations occurring in 12 parks whose enabling legislation authorizes such activities to occur? NPS is updating its 1978 regulations governing such drilling operations and the Coalition has spoken out in support of much needed changes. Click “Read More” to read our full comments.

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Comments on the Draft Moose-Wilson Corridor Comprehensive Management Plan

On December 7, 2015, and crowning over a year’s worth of advocacy, the Coalition submitted comprehensive comments on this plan, outlining criteria by which a successful plan should be measured and expressing strong support for the NPS’s Preferred Alternative. Read our full comments by clicking “Read More”.

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