In my February 3, 2017 blog post titled “Public outcry foils another attempt at grabbing public lands by politicians” I wrote,
“It’s not often these days when you read good news for a small group, one that is often overlooked and disregarded when laws are passed and politicians’ agendas are enacted with no regard for public opinion or resistance from niche groups. I am referring to us boondockers, a small but passionate group of RVers.
This week Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) withdrew legislation that would have transferred three million acres of land from federal to state ownership, citing objections from constituents who complained that the move would limit access to public hunting and fishing grounds.”
This week a surprising headline showed up on my news feed, “Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz stepping down after 2018, will not run for ‘any office.'” He had posted this decision on his Facebook page.
I was only a small cog in the wheel of posting online Chavez’ attempt to steal Utah’s public lands from, hunters, hikers, anglers, wildflower watchers, and us RVers that use Federal public lands for boondocking and other recreational uses. And it is not known for sure whether the public outcry in town hall meetings, on social media, and in letters to him, had anything to do with his decision to not seek office again. His statement alluded to a list of other reasons. But read between the lines.
I think what is important here is that we recognize the collective power of ordinary people speaking up, whether online or in letters, or in town hall meetings (remember Chavez’ raucous recent meeting when he was shouted down?), and letting our legislators and politicians know how we feel, and to ask hard questions and demand answers – not rhetoric. Social media as well has become a huge outlet for being heard, and various websites provide easy access to our legislators so that our voices will be heard.
Two points I would like to make. Regardless of your political position, (1) Be aware of, and look at the fine print, of legislation and statements from your local, state, and national legislators. If you have questions, ask. And (2) make your voice heard. If we, as RVers, without many strong advocates, don’t make noise, sooner or later that lack of noise could result in losses affecting our RV Lifestyle that I don’t even want to contemplate.
Read more of Bob Difley’s posts on the Good Sam Blog, and on his Gizmos & Gadgets blog on the RV Travel network of blogs, and Ask BoondockBob in the RVTravel Saturday newsletter. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.