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RAF successful with USFS, Thanks Again to those who helped

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RAF successful with USFS, Thanks Again to those who helped

Unread postby CFII » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:39 am

Dear David,

We wanted you to be among the first to see this news release. The rest of the country will hear about it later next week.

The RAF is very proud of this accomplishment, and want to thank everyone that had a hand in getting it done. RAF volunteers spent too many hours to be counted, attended meetings all over the country, all to make sure that aviation is a viable recreational pursuit on USFS lands and that we have a place in the system.

The proposed directives are a key set of agency guidance documents that direct the implementation of the 2012 Planning Rule.

These directives will help the Forest Service achieve the vision articulated in the 2012 Planning Rule. Thru the multi-year process of coming up with these directives the RAF was there each step of the way. That proved to be successful in that aviation which had in the past been neglected, now occupies prominent space in the future of forest management.



For Immediate Release

Recreational Aviation Foundation

1711 College Street, Bozeman, MT 59715 • TheRAF.org



Contact: Carmine Mowbray, Press Liaison • cmowbray@theraf.org
406-883-4677
February 7, 2015



BOZEMAN, MT – The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF), through participation in US Forest Service (USFS) public comment sessions and attending meetings of the Federal Advisory Committee as observers, has secured the documenting of aviation within the Final Planning Directive (FSH 1909.12). The document acknowledges recreational aviation in multiple places. These aviation references clarify and solidify aviation as a legitimate mode of access, and one of the three legs of the National Forest Transportation System.

Aircraft access on National Forest lands is critical to the RAF mission of “…preserving, maintaining and creating public use recreational and backcountry airstrips nationwide.” The RAF was founded in 2003 after the closures of some stunningly scenic USFS airstrips in the west. In examining the problem, it was apparent that our public lands planners included travel plans for off-road vehicles, pack animals, bicycles, hikers and boaters, but airplanes were conspicuously missing. The RAF began by building relationships with the USFS, beginning with District Rangers and later with RAF leadership traveling to our nation’s Capital and building trust with policy-makers.

For years, the RAF has persevered. Volunteers attended specific Forest Plan meetings, wrote letters and continued to meet face-to-face from the backcountry of Arizona to marble-walled offices of Washington D.C.. On February 3, their hard work resulted in the formal inclusion of aviation, airstrips and aircraft in the USFS Final Planning Directive.

What does this mean to pilots? With responsible use of the backcountry airstrips on National Forest lands, we can be sure of continued access and enjoyment.

The Recreational Aviation Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered at 1711 W. College Street, Bozeman, MT 59715; 406-582-1723; TheRAF.org





Recreational Aviation Foundation
1711 West College Street
Bozeman, MT 59715-4913
United States
406-582-1RAF (406-582-1723)
theraf.org

Join Team RAF!

RAF Mission:
“Keeping the legacy of recreational aviation strong by preserving, maintaining and creating public use recreational and backcountry airstrips nationwide”
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Re: RAF successful with USFS, Thanks Again to those who help

Unread postby Tim McCormack » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:46 am

I got that same email, but to be honest, I don't remember the issue. I probably responded to a call for a letter, but can't remember what it was in reference to. I'm sure this is a big win, but I'm not aware of any USFS land in New York State, so I'm not familiar with the problem. I can,however, see potential value as a precedent for future fights, including seaplane access issues.
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Re: RAF successful with USFS, Thanks Again to those who help

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:58 pm

Thanks for posting Dave and all your efforts to help the RAF out.

Bob
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Re: RAF successful with USFS, Thanks Again to those who help

Unread postby CFII » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:50 pm

Tim McCormack wrote:I got that same email, but to be honest, I don't remember the issue. I probably responded to a call for a letter, but can't remember what it was in reference to. I'm sure this is a big win, but I'm not aware of any USFS land in New York State, so I'm not familiar with the problem. I can,however, see potential value as a precedent for future fights, including seaplane access issues.


With the short letters on these issues usually essentially the same wording with just the names of places and people different, it is easy to forget what was written and when but rest assured they are very valuable and really the only thing that is getting these issues won for all pilots. There is no big money from us to buy influence so we have to use the system even though it is time consuming as far as waiting, the actual letter writing takes literally only a few minutes, especially with email, and that is what has turned the tide in our favor over the last decade.

Tim, you say there may not be any USFS land in NY State and that may be true but, yours and others letters helps in keeping open huge tracts of land and hundreds of airstrips across the whole nation. We have to remember that it is bigger than one state or one small user group in Aviation. Our government has proven time and again they will close airstrips overnight if they are allowed to get away with it. Then after a closure simply by some beaurocrats stroke of a pen, it is way more difficult to get them reopened. We have done it in the Big Creek Four but, it is way more difficult and never guaranteed.

You are absolutely right about seaplane access being in the same boat on this issue and seaplane access on USFS Lands is included in the wording of this rule making.

Thanks again to the few pilots out there who have the vision to make a little effort, especially the short letters that cost no money to write in a few minutes. There will be more on this in the near future.
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Re: RAF successful with USFS, Thanks Again to those who help

Unread postby KlausNW » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:13 am

Up here in the big AK., everything is forest service land. If they draw up anti-aviation regulations they'll have to exempt Alaska or we're grounded. Although you rarely hear about the aviation groups in Alaska, they do pay big bucks for lobbyist to protect access and prevent any kind of operation fee.
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Re: RAF successful with USFS, Thanks Again to those who help

Unread postby CFII » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:43 am

KlausNW wrote:Up here in the big AK., everything is forest service land. If they draw up anti-aviation regulations they'll have to exempt Alaska or we're grounded. Although you rarely hear about the aviation groups in Alaska, they do pay big bucks for lobbyist to protect access and prevent any kind of operation fee.


Aviationwise, Alaska may as well be a different country than the lower 48 due to the necessity of aviation in maintaining their current lifestyle. Only wish we could more of that attitude down here but then again, that's what these RAF efforts are partially about!
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