Is there anyone else out there actively working on saving these camps? If so, please shout. Loudly. I can’t hear you.
If you’re not. Don’t worry. I’m not giving up. I know many of you have been shot down by the Forest Service and received cookie cutter responses from lawmakers in the past. I just listened to it in the documentary interviews. Like this leaseholder said in his interview:
"Back when the leases first came up we held meetings, several meetings. They had all 125 leases, at the time there were 125 hunting camp leases in this basic watershed which included parts of Marinesco and Gogebic County. They held a big ol’ meeting in the Ewen School to see what we could do about to keep our leases and the forest service guy says ‘you’re lucky to get what you got.’ “You’re lucky we didn’t shut you down now.”
and this one:
"I wrote a letter to Stupak and I got a response from him and it was just a general, typical government reply and he basically just highlighted the points of the lease and he would look into it a little bit more and you know we never heard anything back."
and this one:
"Yeah I wrote a letter to Benishek and again a paper cutter, cookie cutter response from him and it’s what we expected and hopefully a lot more people start making a lot more noise because January 1, 2017 we, our lease is done. It’s coming up fast. And we’re hoping something gets done. …We are here, we’re taking care of the area, we’re not hurting or destroying anything. If anything, we’re making it more beautiful."
I think they are ready to help now. Maybe it's all timing?
I just meant to make a documentary and let the documentary do the talking. Not me. I didn’t think I would be talking to politicians and lawmakers when I set forth to produce this film. Unless it was for an interview for the film. And didn’t actually expect any of them to talk to me.
I just talked to Congressman Benishek’s D.C. office again today. It’s been since last October or so since I’ve spoken with his staff. In the past year Benishek has talked to the USFS about this issue. They are currently waiting on something in writing from the USFS about their plans for the UPPCO lease camps. I’m not sure what that is but it’s something.
We are also trying to arrange a meeting with Benishek, Casperson and Federal Forest Officials. I would like leaseholders to be there as well. I will keep you posted if and when and where.
Also I was informed to have leaseholders call Benishek’s Iron Mountain office to set up individual casework on the behalf of each camp to do something about the individual camps. If you call the office they will get you set up with everything you need to do. Phone number is 906-828-2114. You will speak to either Danielle or Tracy.
I was told 5 leaseholders have done this with Benishek’s Iron Mountain office. 5. Out of over 100. Let’s get all 100+ camp cases filed!
I’m guessing they want the individuals to contact (although the USFS has all your names, cabin locations, etc.) because one of the three ways to approach keeping the camps in their eyes is: 1) Special use permit. 2) Land exchange which is the most difficult and why it would have to be done individually. 3) Small tracts…the USFS has the ability to sell small pieces of land under very unique circumstances such as in if you own land adjacent to the national forest and somehow or another before the land was the national forest’s you have buildings or a fence on it…
Number 3 I think could work for some leaseholders that do own land near their camps. I can name 3.
Number 1 is the only one I think that is feasible and what we are writing up in our State Resolution.
Now I had a thought. Do I include all this in my documentary too?? By the way the first rough edit of the film is almost 3 hours. I think I’ll focus on my first mission. Tell the stories of these camps. Make everyone want them to stay out there. Leave the politics to after. I still need to shrink it down to 90 minutes. Unless everyone wants to watch 2 hours of awesome camp video?!