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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Opposition to the Administration's Proposed National Park Management Policy

I've posted editorials critical of proposed national park policy, so I feel I should post this too. Though still critical of the Bush administration proposal, a sentiment I share, the editorial does point out Republican opposition:

A Thought for Interior, Editorial, NY Times: We would like to note ... some ... bipartisan common sense ... on the misguided draft of a new management policy for the national parks. Last week, six Republican senators told Interior Secretary Gale Norton that they were unhappy with the way the proposed changes de-emphasized the fundamental goal of preserving the parks. ... The Bush administration's arguments for revising the management policy left some committee members skeptical. "Frankly," said Ken Salazar, a Colorado Democrat, "we don't understand what the true motivation was." But the motivation isn't all that hard to find ... when you consider that one of the four witnesses was William Horn, a former assistant secretary at the Interior Department for fish, wildlife and parks in the Reagan era. Mr. Horn is also a lead attorney for the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association... He was there, ostensibly, to interpret the Organic Act of 1916 - the founding legislation for the National Park Service - and show that "enjoyment" had suffered because of the emphasis on preservation. ... But there is no need to force snowmobiles or other motorized vehicles into the parks, and there is no need to rewrite management policy. Another witness, Denis Galvin, a retired deputy director of the National Park Service, said, "The national parks do not have to sustain all recreation; that is why we have various other federal, state, local and private recreation providers." The Interior Department would do well to try to keep that in mind.

There is quite a bit of privately held forest land suitable for snowmobiles. Shouldn't the administration's position be that the market rather than the government will solve this and other problems like it?

    Posted by on Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 12:09 AM in Economics, Environment | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (9)

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