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America Outdoors E-Bulletin
June 15, 2006

Be on the Alert for a Clever Money Order Scam President Bush Creates World's Largest Ocean Preserve
BLM Responds to Petition to Stay Transfer of Permit in Oregon   Confluence Agenda Posted on the Website

Be on the Alert for a Clever Money Order Scam
  Sawtooth Adventure Company in Stanley, ID spent nearly 3 months corresponding with prospective clients from the United Kingdom only to find out they were running a money order scam. Fortunately, the owners did not fall for it and alerted authorities before sending money to the scammers to cover their airfare.

The company received an email reservation for a Main Salmon trip from a couple in the United Kingdom. The couple was very pleasant and professional, and preferred to pay by Cashiers Check or Postal Money Order. They sent a combination of $8250 in the form of a cashiers check and US Postal Money Orders for a $2600 trip. They claimed it was from their travel agent in Beaumont, Texas. The couple asked Sawtooth Adventure to send them the remaining balance so they could secure airplane reservations. Another clue to the scam was the urgency in which they wanted to receive the remaining balance via Western Union.

With an uneasy feeling about the situation the owners researched the transaction by contacting their bank and the U.S. Post office. The money orders were declared counterfeits and confiscated. Many thanks to Sawtooth Adventure Company for sharing this information helping fellow business owners become aware of the different types of rip-offs they might experience out in cyberspace.
President Bush Creates World's Largest Ocean Preserve
Creating the world's largest ocean preserve around a group of Hawaiian islands about the size of California will be as historic as the preservation of Yellowstone and Grand Canyon, according to Roger Rufe, president of the Ocean Conservancy who was joined by other environmental groups in praising the President's move. 139,000 square miles of largely uninhabited islands, atolls, and coral reefs with be managed by state and federal agencies as a National Monument which provides nearly permanent protection to the area.

The region starts 160 miles west of Kauai and extends for 1,400 miles in an area called by some as the American Galapagos. Midway Atoll, one of the outermost points, will retain its airstrips as an emergency landing area for commercial and military aircraft. But the rest will be off limits to development and commercial fishing.
BLM Responds to Petition to
Stay Transfer of Permit in Oregon
BLM has filed its response to Michael Greenbaum's appeal of the agency's decision to transfer two special recreation permits to authorize use of the wild segment of the Rogue Wild and Scenic River. BLM asks the Interior Board of Land Appeals to dismiss the Appellant's appeal because he lacks standing. Greenbaum appealed the transfer of the permit when Rogue Wilderness sold earlier this year. BLM says the Appellant fails to meet the "adversely affected" prong of the standing requirement and fails to identify how the action adversely affects his interest.

BLM responded to Appellant's arguments even though they asked for dismissal of the appeal.

Factor 1. The relative harm to the parties if the stay is granted or denied

The Appellant, Mr. Greenbaum, describes his harm as follows: "By allowing the entire special use permit process to be conducted in secrecy, myself, and other members of the public are deprived of being allowed the opportunity to obtain one of the two permits in question". BLM responded that the Appellant has not shown in any way that he is qualified to be a commercial outfitter, where as the person to whom the permit was granted has met the qualifications. Nor has Appellant shown how he would be harmed as a private boater, according to the agency. BLM further cites cases upholding the transfer of permits when the assets are transferred with the sale of the business.

Factor 2. The likelihood of the Appellant's success on the merits.

a. The Appellant claims that the permit was part of the sale of the business and that the permit had monetary value during the sale of the business. The sale of the business was not adequately documented and the sale of the business conceals the sale and value of the special use permit.

BLM says the appeal is without merit. Transfer of permits is consistent with 43 CFR 2932.54, which authorizes BLM to transfer permits only in the case of an actual sale of the business. In their response BLM cited instances where the agency had denied permit transfer when the sale of the business was a "pretext to sell the permit".

BLM cites the extensive documentation that was submitted including the qualifications of the new owner, the Business Plan, the Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Business Assets, and the Request for Change in the Commercial Special Recreation Permit.

b. The Appellant claims that the transfer of the permit requires review and input from the public and asks that the transfer documentation be opened for public review and comments. (This would create serious cost recovery issues and increase the administrative cost of permit transfers). BLM says there are no rules requiring public review of permit transfers and cites court cases where mere disagreement with the agency's decision does not merit a stay because the Appellant has not shown that the agency made any errors in its actions or violated its regulations.

Factor 3. The likelihood of immediate and irreparable harm if the stay is not granted.

BLM says that the Appellant does not identify any specific harm or injury, immediate or irreparable, to any group or individual if the stay is not granted. The Appellant argues that the transfer denies him the opportunity to obtain a commercial permit, which BLM denies since the regulations authorize permit transfer with the sale of a business and there is no change in the Appellant's access to non commercial permits.

Factor 4. Whether the public interest favors granting the stay

BLM says the Appellant does not identify how the public interest would be served by granting the stay for a single individual. On the other hand a stay would delay business operations of the permittee and deny recreation opportunities to the outfitted public.
For a copy of BLM's response to the appeal send an email with your fax number to dbrown@americaoutdoors.org
Confluence Agenda Posted on the Website
The agenda for America Outdoors' International Marketing and Management Conference, November 29 - December 1, is available online at Confluence Agenda. Sponsors include ABN AMRO Merchant Services and Morrison Printing Company. A registration form will be on the site by the end of June. Two thirds of the trade show booths are already sold and based on inquiries we are looking forward to a strong attendance this year in Salt Lake. The conference is at the Hilton City Center. You can make reservations online at Hilton Reservations. Please plan to stay at the Hilton to help AO avoid costly penalties for not utilizing the reserved room block.

As many of you know AO is using americaoutdoors.org as the association trade site. Adventurevacation.com is the consumer focused site. While some information on trade association benefits are overlapping, we are revising the americaoutdoors.org site to make it more user friendly.
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David L. Brown Executive Director dbrown@americaoutdoors.org
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