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

Thursday April 27, 2017

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Beloved music teacher, actor dies at 64

04/24/2017

The local arts community is mourning the loss of Rick Restivo, a ... more

Cannabis and Calaveras County

04/21/2017

Marijuana farms are tucked away on isolated mountainsides in Calaveras County, out ... more

Several new businesses to open in downtown Sonora

01/26/2017

It’s shaping up to be a transformative year for the City of ... more

Board to provide input on state, federal issues

04/14/2017

Expanding broadband Internet access, funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, ... more