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America Outdoors Association

May 1, 2009

America Outdoors Association Bulletin

Huge New Northern Rockies Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Bill Set for Hearings in House.  Bill Not Supported by Wilderness Society.

Federal Trade Commission Delays Rule on Requirements for Identify Theft Protections for Companies Extending Credit for Goods and Services

Huge New Northern Rockies Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Bill Set for Hearings in House.  Bill Not Supported by Wilderness Society.

H.R. 980, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, is scheduled for hearings in the House Resources Committee on Tuesday, May 5th at 2:00 PM.  The hearing can be heard via a webcast by going to the committee webcast address at http://resourcescommittee.house.gov.  The bill designates 24 million acres of as wilderness in Montana, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Wyoming.  It creates a huge drainage of Wild and Scenic Rivers, designating 37 river and stream segments as Wild and Scenic.  Text of the bill can be found by clicking on H.R. 980.  The chief sponsor is Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) with 71 other cosponsors signed on to the bill.

The bill has stirred considerable opposition and resentment in many western communities, who are upset that the bill was put together without their input.  A meeting in Pinedale, WY attended by 400 citizens found almost universal opposition.  The Wilderness Society is not supporting the bill for some of the same reasons. 

The Wilderness Society’s Wyoming office released this statement about H.R. 980:
"NREPA has been introduced and re-introduced into Congress for the past 20 years and has never passed out of Congressional Committee, let alone ever been passed by the Senate or the House. The Wilderness Society is not lobbying on behalf of this legislation, and instead, we choose to work on efforts that are locally based such as the successful and highly popular Wyoming Range legislation."

An alternative bill is in the works and will likely gain more traction.

To submit a statement for the hearing record, send a file to Domenick.Carroll@mail.house.gov Put “Statement for the Hearing Record, H.R. 980” in the subject line. On your letterhead put Statement on the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, H.R. 980, by (your name, address), followed by the date.  Submit polite, diplomatic comments about your position and the impacts the bill would have on your community.

Bill Summary
Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act - Designates the following lands in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming as wilderness and components of the National Wilderness Preservation System (System): (1) Greater Glacier/Northern Continental Divide ecosystem; (2) Greater Yellowstone ecosystem; (3) Greater Salmon/Selway ecosystem; (4) Greater Cabinet/Yaak/Selkirk ecosystem; (5) Greater Hells Canyon ecosystem; (6) Islands in the Sky Wilderness; and (7) Blackfeet Wilderness.

Designates: (1) specified wild land areas as Biological Connecting Corridors to protect the life flow of the Northern Rockies Bioregion; (2) the inventoried roadless areas identified as part of the Corridors as wilderness and components of the System; and (3) certain biological connecting corridors as special corridor management areas.

Amends the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of specified rivers and creeks in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
Establishes the National Wildland Restoration and Recovery System and the National Wildland Recovery Corps.

Requires the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to assure nonexclusive access to the specified areas and corridors designated by this Act by Native Americans for traditional cultural and religious purposes.
 
Federal Trade Commission Delays Rule on Requirements for Identify Theft Protections for Companies Extending Credit for Goods and Services.

The Federal Trade Commission will delay enforcement of the new "Red Flags Rule" until August 1, 2009, to give creditors and financial institutions more time to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs. For entities that have a low risk of identity theft, such as businesses that know their customers personally, the Commission will soon release a template to help them comply with the law. Today's announcement does not affect other federal agencies' enforcement of the original November 1, 2008 compliance deadline for institutions subject to their oversight.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) directed financial regulatory agencies, including the FTC, to promulgate rules requiring "creditors" and "financial institutions" with covered accounts to implement programs to identify, detect, and respond to patterns, practices, or specific activities that could indicate identity theft. FACTA's definition of "creditor' applies to any entity that regularly extends or renews credit - or arranges for others to do so - and includes all entities that regularly permit deferred payments for goods or services. Accepting credit cards as a form of payment does not, by itself, make an entity a creditor. Some examples of creditors are finance companies; automobile dealers that provide or arrange financing; mortgage brokers; utility companies; telecommunications companies; non-profit and government entities that defer payment for goods or services; and businesses that provide services and bill later, including many lawyers, doctors, and other professionals. "Financial institutions" include entities that offer accounts that enable consumers to write checks or make payments to third parties through other means, such as other negotiable instruments or telephone transfers.

"Given the ongoing debate about whether Congress wrote this provision too broadly, delaying enforcement of the Red Flags Rule will allow industries and associations to share guidance with their members, provide low-risk entities an opportunity to use the template in developing their programs, and give Congress time to consider the issue further," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said.

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