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WLA Range Notes

The latest notes from the Western Legacy Alliance.

HR 1996 - Government Litigation Savings Act (GLSA)

Posted by: lconlin

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Dispelling misinformation is fun because it is so easily done. Please consider the following points before calling your Congressional Delegation to urge their support of passage of the GLSA, which is the bill that will bring transparency, accountability and Congressional intent- back to the Equal Access to Justice Act. The GLSA will do no harm whatsoever to veterans, social security benefit recipients, individuals or small for-profit businesses. The exact opposite is true. It will help them immeasurably if passed by Congress and enacted into law. 

The bill helps veterans, retirees, small businesses, and anyone else get their due when the government owes them money. It raises the limit for paying back legal fees when you need a lawyer. It also allows advocates for veterans, retirees, and small businesses to get legal fees paid when they sue for better benefits policies. 

The bill also requires strict accounting of tax-payer dollars, from which no harm can come to any group of citizens. 


We urge you to contact your Congressional Delegate.

Posted by: Jeff Faulkner

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Hello Everyone, 

We at WLA would like to encourage all readers of our website to contact your Congressional delegations and especially members of your delegations who serve on the House Committee on the Judiciary, to immediately call for hearings on H.R. 1996 the Government Litigation Savings Act . 

We believe that once the Judiciary committee has had a chance to look at the overwhelming evidence as to the misuse of the Equal Access to Justice Act that they will be convinced to ask Congress for the GLSA’s passage into law. But, without hearings we are dead in the water!


We urge you to contact your Congressional delegate

Posted by: lconlin

Tagged in: Untagged 

Hello Everyone, 

We at WLA would like to encourage all readers of our website to contact your Congressional delegations and especially members of your delegations who serve on the House Committee on the Judiciary, to immediately call for hearings on H.R. 1996 the Government Litigation Savings Act . 

We believe that once the Judiciary committee has had a chance to look at the overwhelming evidence as to the misuse of the Equal Access to Justice Act that they will be convinced to ask Congress for the GLSA’s passage into law. But, without hearings we are dead in the water!


A Time for Reflection While Forging Ahead

Posted by: Jeff Faulkner

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Wow!  Does time fly?  I can’t believe another year has come and gone…but with a new year comes new hope, new goals and of course, new challenges.  The WLA is poised and ready to take 2010 head on and I personally can’t wait to see what 2010 holds for us.  However, before we get too far into the New Year, I would like to take this time to reflect on some of the WLA’s key accomplishments from 2009. 

First and foremost, I would like to thank each and every member of the WLA for their support, encouragement and participation in the organization.  Without you, there wouldn’t be a WLA.  We currently have over 200 individual members and a variety of organizations! 

In 2008, we formed the Western Legacy Alliance LLC.  We formed a for-profit entity with the express interest and sole purpose of protecting donors’ privacy and anonymity should they desire and/or require that type of protection.  Since the very beginning, our members have been the driving force for everything that we do and say.  Our goal has always been and will continue to focus on how to ultimately help you and your businesses.  With that in mind, we embarked on a trail of prioritizing issues, fully knowing that we could not be all things to all people, but striving to get the most bang for our buck in all that we do.


A Tireless Effort

Posted by: Jeff Faulkner

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As many of you have seen over the past couple weeks, the recent stir and uproar over the abuse of EAJA has begun!  Check out the “What People Are Saying” and the “EAJA Abuse” tabs for the latest local and national ground-breaking news coverage.  Of course, the WLA couldn’t be happier with the buzz, but as with anything there is still more work to be done.  We’ve brought attention to the abuse, and several of our elected local and federal officials are taking notice, but until something is actually done to stop the abuse and the playing fields are leveled, the WLA will continue its fight. 

If you are interested in joining us, please do!  The WLA is a member-funded and member-directed organization that depends on members like you.  Membership is free and we have an easy online form on the “Join Us” section of the web site.  By signing up as an organization or as an individual you are not only supporting the work of the WLA, but you are committing to the goal of protecting open spaces and private property in the West while ensuring the responsible use of public lands.  Joining the WLA will keep you informed of the critical issues facing Western lands and what you can do to make a difference. 

Also, did you know that the WLA has a Facebook page?  We do, and we’d love it if you became a fan!  If you are interested in taking your membership one step further and would like to make a contribution, we have a web-based option for that as well.  Contributions are certainly not required to become a member, but are always welcome.  I encourage you to get involved in something you believe in and join the WLA today (or become fan) and help protect the lifestyles and lands of the American West!


EAJA Abuse – Front and Center

Posted by: Jeff Faulkner

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As I’m sure many of you have been reading, abuse of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) is quickly becoming a hot topic these days. And the Western Legacy Alliance (WLA) couldn’t be happier! The WLA has been working with Karen Budd Falen, an attorney and rancher, since our inception to help stop the radical environmentalists that make life difficult for ranchers and other industries in the American West. The WLA commissioned Karen to do the initial legal research to identify the true extent of the EAJA abuse problem. And let me tell you, the extent of the abuse and exploitation is far-reaching and down-right astounding. The litigation abuse that has been allowed to proceed unregulated by the Federal Government is a travesty. In fact, if Congress could investigate the extent of the abuse and put a stop to it, we might be able to find enough money to fund the President's Health Plan! Wouldn’t that be great?

Falen’s main goal was to try and find out how much money the federal government has paid out in legal fees over the past decade. Falen discovered that in just six short years non-profit environmental groups filed more than 1,500 lawsuits, and in turn the federal government paid out an astronomical $4.7 billion in taxpayer dollars in judgments, settlements and legal fees in cases against the U.S. government. That’s your money as a United States taxpayer that we’re talking about.

As you may or may not know, EAJA was passed roughly 30 years ago by Congress and was designed to protect small businesses, farmers and ranchers from the federal government that potentially could become overbearing and overreaching. Unfortunately, the act is not protecting the people it was originally designed protect, but rather lining the pockets of radical environmental groups and the attorneys that represent them. In fact, the government hasn’t tracked EAJA payments since 1995 so they don’t even who is receiving EAJA money or how much is being paid out.


This past Saturday, September 26, was National Public Lands Day; the 16th Annual to be exact. This is a day where people from all over the United States come together to help preserve and maintain the vast lands we have been so graciously given as citizens of the United States. Did you know that National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy? In 2008, 120,000 volunteers built trails and bridges, removed trash and invasive plants, and planted over 1.6 million trees. Now that’s impressive! 

You are probably wondering who I am and why I’ve decided to write a blog on behalf of the Western Legacy Alliance. My name is Jeff Faulkner, and well, there really isn’t just one reason, but rather several reasons. I’ll get into more specifics and more about me in future posts, but for now I really want you to understand why the preservation of the American West and public lands is so dear to my heart and something everyone should care about. 

First, WLA is working to preserve the American West and the lands that so many of us not only enjoy and rely on for recreational purposes, but for our livelihoods as well – this is something I agree with and can whole-heartedly support. Secondly, instead of working in a vacuum like most organizations have a tendency to do; WLA is truly bringing together like-minded organizations from a variety of backgrounds to advocate for responsible and sustainable access to public lands. And lastly, I believe this approach is the right way to address the problem; however, not all groups agree or play by the rules. The Western Watersheds Project (WWP) is one such group, which ultimately wants to strip you of your basic right to access and use public lands.