Sunday, June 10, 2007

URGENT! Contact Senator Feinstein to Save Trestles (And Our State Parks)

Remember when Susan Davis' amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill passed the House Armed Services Committee? Remember that this is the amendment that ensures that the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), Orange County's toll road authority, complies with state environmental laws, which means that a toll road can't be built through San Onofre State Beach to Trestles? Remember that the bill moved on to the US Senate after it passed the House?

Well, we have a new problem. One of our own Senators, Dianne Feinstein, is undecided on adding something like Davis Amendment to the Senate's Defense Authorization Bill. I guess she's not sure yet whether California state environmental law is important enough to be enforced.

Follow me down below to find out what YOU can do to ensure that Senator Feinstein votes to enforce the law, protect our coast, and respect the integrity of our parks...

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

So what can YOU do to convince Senator Dianne Feinstein to save Trestles and urge TCA to extend the 241 toll road legally? Why not send the Senator an email? Why not send a fax to the Washington, DC, office at (202) 228-3954?
Why not contact one of Feinstein's state offices? Let Senator Feinstein know how you feel about preserving the integrity of our parks, and how important saving this unique coastal park truly is.

So what can you say if you send an email or fax? How about saying something like this...

Dear Senator Feinstein:

Please join us in supporting the addition of language to the Senate Defense Authorization Bill that repeals riders designed to exempt the Foothill-South toll road extension through San Onofre State Beach from state and federal law.

In addition, we urge you to repeal the additional rider that authorizes the Marine Corps to grant an easement for the Foothill South Toll Road that permanently encroaches into Camp Pendleton and compromises their mission.

The proposed Foothill South Toll Road is one of the most environmentally destructive projects in California and sets a dangerous precedent for the intrusion into state park lands well beyond Orange County.

At minimum, this project should have to comply with all the same laws as any other similar project – just like those reviewed at the local level every week. Allowing the federal government to override the Coastal Act sets a disastrous precedent, the Marine Corps should use its own professional judgment in how best to safeguard Camp Pendleton from encroachment, without pressure from Congress one way or the other.

Please support Representatives Davis and Sanchez in their efforts to ensure that the Foothill-South Toll Road complies with all laws of the United States and the State of California. In addition, we hope you will go a step further and remove the riders that currently create unprecedented legal exemptions for the construction of the Toll Road through Camp Pendleton.

Thank you for your past support for California’s unparalleled natural resources, and for your willingness to carefully consider the impacts of the Foothill-South Toll Road on our Southern California coastline.

Your Name Here

Or this, if you'd rather not be so loquacious...

Dear Senator Feinstein:

I am a supporter of the Susan Davis amendment to the Senate Defense Authorization Bill, which repeals the legal exemptions for the 241 toll road extension through San Onofre State Park. I’m writing to ask you to vote in favor of this amendment, and also to vote to remove the riders that give the Transportation Corridors Agency so many legal exemptions for construction of this road.

I believe the builders of the toll roads should follow the same laws that everyone else follows and should not be granted special rights or privileges.

Thank you very much for considering this issue, and for your outstanding and long service to our state and nation.

Your Name Here

Now you don't have to write something like this or the longer letter. Just use these as ideas for whatever you'd like to say to Senator Feinstein about supporting the Davis Amendment. Just allow these to inspire you to make her heartfelt sentiments about Trestles and our state parks known to the Senator.

Susan Davis and Loretta Sanchez did what needed to be done in the House to save Trestles and our state parks. So now, it's up to the Senate. And right now, Dianne Feinstein can make the difference between preserving one of our most popular state parks for generations to come and setting a dangerous precedent for state and federal environmental laws to be ignored if they get in the way of a new highway and/or toll road and/or residential development. Dianne Feinstein can make a difference in the Senate this week, and she needs to know that we want her to make that difference.

But first, we need to make a difference. I need to make this difference, and so do YOU. I plan to write to Senator Feinstein about including the Davis Amendment in the Senate's Defense Authorization Bill. Would you like to do the same? Do you care about keeping our parks open for us to enjoy for many years to come? If so, then please ask Senator Feinstein to support including the Davis Amendment in the Senate's bill.

Senator Feinstein can make a difference for the better this week, but first we need to make that difference to urge her to do the same. : )

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