Not Forever Wild - proposed Constitutional Amendment #1
Posted in the Opelika Forum
#1 Oct 29, 2012
1. There are 2,053,371 state acres, including 227,000 owned or leased Forever Wild acreage, for conservation and recreation of all sorts on water and land currently in Alabama.
2. The federal government has given the program over $40 million.
3. Inasmuch as the Board can sell and trade lands there is no guarantee property held today will remain forever wild. In fact, a huge tract of land is leased from a private landowner for 94 years while the owner is extracting gas from many wells.
4. One of the written purposes of FW is to "Promote a proper balance among population growth, economic development..." I gather you are very knowledgeable of Agenda 21 and therefore see the connection with FW promoting controlled population growth and economic development. Ref: 1992 CA 543, section 1 (c)
5. Since 1992, when man Alabamians proudly voted for FW, our household dollar value has decline so that what a dollar would buy in 1992 now takes a $1.65.
6. The royalties from the Gulf oil companies have been declining since 2006 with a high of $373.1 million with a projection of $71.9 million in 2016.
7. The state borrowed $99 million to meet unemployment obligations to which cost the state $1 million in finance charges.
8. The state borrowed $250 to $300 million against a federal pledged loan for a road program. What may happen if someone in the fed realizes the federal government is broke?
9. Sep. 18, Alabamians voted to remove $420 million over three years from the ATF, the same account that funds Forever Wild.
10. Not all FW properties permit hunting. For example, some FW properties only permit rifle deer hunting on only two days throughout the whole season.
11. The Nature Conservancy has contributed $430,057.00 collectively in cash and in-kind donations since the conception of the AlabamiansForForeverWild PAC in December. I must wonder how many hunters and even human foot prints are desired on their properties. The NC will be able to flex their muscles in the state house whenever they so choose "encouraging" the purchase of more pad locks. Is this really what you want?
12. Privately held forest lands contribute to the cleansing of our air and water and provide habitat for wildlife, no different than publicly held lands.
13. Where has FW been for 18 years? Ask friends and neighbors if they have enjoyed any FW land or for that matter saw a billboard, newspaper ad, or a retired football coach speaking of FW during 1-18 years of the program.
14. There are many mom and pop both small and large forested lands available for hunting leases. The government should not be encouraged to be in direct competition with private business opportunities.
15. State parks are not being maintained, repaired following the April 2011 storms, and some are closed due to reduced funding.
16. Most state departments are being forced to lay off employees, including the forestry division responsible for responding to wild fires.
17. The 2012 FW ballot language contains 25 unless and undefined words. The ballot in 1992 contained about 150 informative words. Many 2012 voters were in diapers in 1992 or residents elsewhere. Why not provide them the same explanation as I had in 1992? Also noteworthy is the fact the actual CA we will be voting on in a matter of weeks will provide for the continuation of the nearly 8000 word Constitutional Amendment, 1992 CA 543.
18. As conservatives we demand smaller and more fiscally responsible governments yet enabling a governmental entity to possibly grow 400% is not small government. The checkbook must be closed sooner than later as more drastic cuts may be required during the 20 years of giving the capped $15 million per year to Forever Wild.
If you do FACEBOOK, visit Keep Our Forestland Free - Not Forever Government (Forever Wild) for a more open sharing of facts, concerns, and suggestions surrounding this ballot issue.
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