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Four Wheeling Land Closures & Truck SUV Emissions - Low Rage

Posted in Project Vehicles on November 1, 2002
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We are under attack. Make no mistake. I'm not talking about the Taliban here, or any other Middle Eastern terrorist group. I'm talking about our own countrymen-hell, members of our own government-making a concentrated effort to take away our rights and some of the things we hold most dear.

Think I'm being an alarmist? Haven't you been paying attention to what's been going on around you?

If you live in California, you can't miss it. In a pincer-like approach that smacks of military strategy, the government is trying to take away land used for 'wheeling trucks and SUVs. No, I am not being paranoid.

Senator Barbara Boxer and Congresswoman Lois Capps have drafted the "California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act of 2002," a bill that would designate 2.5 million acres in the state as wilderness area. As if that weren't enough, the bill tacks on 66,000 acres for something called "Wilderness study" and 21,000 more acres as "possible Wilderness." Now what the hell does that mean?

The Golden State already has 14 million acres of designated wilderness. Apparently that's not enough for Madame Senator, Madame Congresswoman and the umpty-ump green groups riding on this bill's bandwagon.

Know what "wilderness" means? Yes, right off the bat it bans "mechanized transport" in the area. So you and I can no longer take our 4x4s, ATVs or snowmobiles in there. Whether or not roads already exist. And whether or not you and your club have spent the last 20 years maintaining those roads. Sorry. Closed.

But guess what? "Mechanized transport" also includes mountain bikes. So even vehicles that emit no pollution other than a rider's breath, and leave no more of a trace than a bike-tire track across the dirt, are banned.

It gets better. According to a letter I read by Congressman George Radanovich (one of the good guys), the wilderness designation also restricts the number of folks who can go into the area as a group. Hiking groups of more than 12 people are banned in the wilderness areas that have already been set aside in his district (near Yosemite). So if the 20 Boy Scouts in your troop want to visit, sorry. Closed. Guess your Scouts will have to go somewhere else.

But that's just it. As long as the government keeps trying to take away more and more land-our land that is now open to public use-there isn't going to be "somewhere else" at some point. Or that "somewhere else" is going to be so crowded you might as well be on an L.A. freeway at rush hour

The second part of this attack is a thinly disguised move to take away fullsize trucks and SUVs. In the name of "reducing greenhouse gas emissions" to help protect the "endangered ozone layer," California's on-the-ball governor, Gray Davis (the same guy who presided over the state's so-called energy crisis last year) signed a bill that would give the California Air Resources Board all the clout it needs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. Not pollution. Not carbon monoxide. Carbon dioxide. The stuff trees turn into oxygen.

The bill grants the CARB clout all right, but offers no means to actually reduce those emissions. That's left to the agency, which sees our trucks as a huge target and can tax the hell out of truck buyers, tax the hell out of gasoline to make it too expensive to drive our trucks, or simply tell Detroit, "Sorry, your trucks make too much carbon dioxide. Can't sell them here. Bring in your clean, green, subcompact hybrids instead."

Somebody please shoot me if that comes to pass. If I haven't done it myself already

This isn't just California's problem either. Sure, those who live in the state will suffer first. But then something bigger happens: Precedent is set. Other senators, members of congress and greenies get the idea and start working to grab land in their states-your states-and shut down your right to choose a vehicle.

It can happen to you. Don't let it. Read. Get your club involved. Vote

And I haven't even gotten to the Sierra Club, those pinheads.

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