County lobby group opposes wilderness bill

archive_import

By ERIC BURKETT

A statewide organization representing California's rural counties has taken what it describes as an "oppose unless amended" stance against proposed legislation that would greatly expand wilderness areas in the state.

The Regional Council of Rural Counties, an advocacy group representing 29 of the state's rural counties and about 2 million California residents announced the decision in its July newsletter, "RCRC Update."

RCRC lobbies on behalf of rural counties, representing the interests of county governments in Sacramento, and less often at the federal level. Each member county sends a representative a member of its Board of Supervisors to participate in RCRC's board meetings.

Calaveras and Tuolumne counties are both dues paying members of the organization.

RCRC's board voted in June to oppose U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer's proposed California Wild Heritage Act of 2002, which would designate an additional 2.5 million acres in the state as wilderness area. Boxer introduced the legislation to Congress in May.

The bill would take lands already being administered by the federal government and go a step further, putting them under permanent federal protection. Opposition to the legislation has been strong in California's rural regions, but not absolute.

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted 4-1 to send a letter to Boxer supporting the inclusion of two sites, Grass Lakes and Castle Peak, in her legislation.

The proposed legislation would seriously limit land use, RCRC leaders argue in their newsletter, "and would seriously harm rural communities if not evaluated for longterm effects."

"We are certainly in favor of protecting our natural resources ? ," RCRC Communications Director Maria Caudill told The Union Democrat, "but it needs to be done in concert with the surrounding community that live next door. We are truly seeking a balance."

11700542
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Friday August 26, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Sheriff’s Office responds to critical report

08/22/2016

The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office has responded to a grand jury report ... more

Nursed back to health, hawk flies free

08/19/2016

Sonora resident Laura Reid was driving on Tuolumne Road when she saw ... more

Woman dies of injuries in Highway 120 accident

08/24/2016

The woman who spent Monday night pinned in an SUV after an ... more

Convicted murderer Thomas Hyatt to remain in prison

08/23/2016

Convicted murderer Thomas Hyatt won’t be getting out of prison anytime soon. ... more

Three rescued from wreck near Yosemite

08/23/2016

Three German tourists were rescued Tuesday from the scene of a crash ... more