[CQ-Contest] USFWL NWR Denials To Amateur Radio
dx35 at hilding.com
Sat Sep 18 04:40:00 EDT 2004
*NOTE: This is of critical importance to CONTEST-Peditioners,
DX-Peditioners & IOTA-Xpeditioners *** (All others may wish to hit the
delete key now) ***
There has been an alarming number of "denials" by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
(USFWL a/k/a FWS) Agency via their National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Managers
for access permission requests from Amateur Radio operators for
CONTEST-Peditions, DX-Peditions and IOTA-Xpeditions. One generic reason
stated appears to be for alleged "incompatible use", but without factual
substantiating evidence by the NWR Managers.
NWR areas include not only Navassa & Desecho Islands, but Islands in the
Pacific desirable for similar Amateur Radio CONTEST-Pedition, DX-Pedition &
IOTA-Xpedition purposes. My specific battle-in-process involves access
permission for The Farallon Islands (IOTA NA-178) which is less than 2
hours from where I live.
I've had numerous discussion with the Staff Director of the Sub-Committee
within the U.S. House of Representatives' "Committee On Resources"
regarding this general problem, and believe an opportunity exists to help
see some desperately needed changes result to the benefit of the Amateur
Radio Community. The Committee on Resources oversees activities of the
Department of Interior (DOI) and the USFWL, and they are aware of the
unacceptable "problem" with USFWL denials for access in various NWRs.
A major meeting took place in Washington, D.C. on 9/14/04 between
bi-partisan sub-committee personnel and high ranking officials from the
USFWL. The USFWL has clearly been making decisions out-of-harmony with the
intent of both the National Wildlife Refuge Administration Act of 1966 and
the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997. IMHO, the
USFWL is finally going to (deservingly) get "hammered". But more factual
documentation from the Amateur Radio community will be of critical
importance as the plot thickens. A second follow-up meeting will take
place in a week or two.
Further, I just filed "Comments" in a USFWL matter involving "Special Use
Permit Applications for Wildlife Areas Outside Alaska". This information
will also go to the OMB, and both the House and Senate Sub-Committees have
received copies, additionally highlighting the problem.
PLEASE...if you have ever been denied access permission for a
CONTEST-Pedition (or any other Ham Radio purposes) by ANY Manager of an
NWR, I need this info ASAP to include as supplementary facts for the
sub-committee. Hopefully, our efforts will inure to the benefit of the
Amateur Radio community as a whole.
"Time is of the Essence" in gathering and consolidating these additional
facts prior to the next high-level meeting, as well as for additional
comments to the USFWL Division of Policy and Directives Management and any
other venue which may help effecutate a resolution of the access blockage
to Amateur Radio.
If you haven't experienced this problem personally, but know anyone
(individual or group) who has, PLEASE pass this info along to them ASAP
with a request for immediate action (Contest Clubs, DX Clubs,
For specific information on what is needed and were to send it, please see:
Tnx very much for your QRQ assistance.
73 & "Good luck in the contest, OM!"
Rick ("Locust") Hilding, K6VVA
* Co-Founder, Northern California Contest Club
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