Category Archives: National Parks

Amodei’s Land Grab

Amodei Privatization Land “Congressman Mark Amodei will give an update to the Elko City Council Tuesday on possible issues that might impact the City and Elko County, according to Assistant City Manager Scott Wilkinson.

Amodei’s topics have not been outlined for the City. However, past subjects have included lands issues and sage grouse.” [EDFP]

If he’s set on discussing land issues, then we might guess he’s off to thread another precarious choice between the Bundyite Bunch and the BLM.  Back in late April, 2014 Representative Amodei was praising the BLM for backing off the confrontation with the Rampant Bundys, recalling his words:

“That is a leadership-type thing where you say, ‘We are getting our butts kicked and we are taking our team off the field and getting out of the stadium,'” Amodei said, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. “It’s not a win, but probably the right thing to do under the circumstances.” [LVSun]

Two years later Amodei’s tone changed, he didn’t support the Bundys and he definitely didn’t want to be labeled anti-park:

“Amodei, however, said the (1) report attempts to use the Bundy sideshow to score political points rather than take a serious look at important issues such as (2) land access, ecosystem health and local economies.

“They don’t speak for me on anything to do with public lands,” Amodei said of Bundy and his acolytes. (3) “I want it to be about the resources, not about some guy who is or isn’t paying his grazing fees.” [RGJ] (numbering added)

Parse with us now. (1) When faced with a report bearing uncomfortable factual inclusions, such as Amodei’s opposition to funding and maintaining national parks and monuments, deflect the issue to the Bundy Bunch – who want no federal involvement in public land administration (grazing, forests, parks, monuments, …) and announce one’s inclination to talk about substantive land issues.  The 2nd District Representative had an opportunity to vote on the SHARE Act, a privatization proposal in Congress this year, but was absent for the vote.

“Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA) sponsored H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2015, which contains harmful measures undermining the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Wilderness Act, and other bedrock environmental laws. The bill includes language that could allow the use of motorized vehicles, road construction, and other forms of development within protected wilderness areas, and it blocks input from public stakeholders in National Wildlife Refuge management decisions. This legislation also includes provisions that would weaken the EPA’s ability to regulate toxic lead in ammunition, fishing equipment. Additionally, this bill would undermine international commitments to combat ivory trafficking, thwarts our ability to effectively manage marine resources, and cuts the public out of management decisions impacting hundreds of millions of acres of public lands. On February 26, the House approved H.R. 2406 by a vote of 242-161 (House roll call vote 101). NO IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE.” [LCV] (emphasis added)

(2) Representative Amodei has the big three listed — “land access, ecosystem health, and local economies.” However, in terms of access notice the underlining in the SHARE bill – when management decisions are to be made the PUBLIC is cut out of the process. This raises the question that if we are speaking of public access to public lands and the public is cut out of the management decision process, then whose access are we talking about?  Since the GOP sponsored bill passed the GOP controlled Congress, then it’s reasonable to assume the GOP doesn’t want input from PUBLIC organizations concerning management decisions – leaving the field (literally?) to the mining, logging, privatization, and other commercial interests?

And, if rivers are dredged or fouled, forests are cut down, wildlife is endangered, hunters are denied access, fishing enthusiasts are turned away, then it must be for the sake of the “local economies?” Unfortunately, Representative Amodei’s comments as reported offer no explication of his priorities.

(3) But then, there’s Representative Amodei’s infamous quote: “…we do understand their frustration with increasingly heavy handed federal agencies that continue to violate the rights of hardworking American farmers and ranchers.” [RGJ] Are heavily armed men taking over a federal wildlife refuge and threatening violence just “frustrated?”  So, perhaps it would be logical to infer that Amodei’s heart is with the “frustrated” members of those “local economies” which seek to exploit public resources?

Amodei is quick to cite his support for the National Park Service budget, and his support for the hazardous fuel mitigation efforts on public lands, but part of what got him on the Anti-Park list is explained: “Amodei landed on the list for sponsoring legislation that would give the state control of 7.2 million of the approximately 58 million acres of federally controlled land in Nevada..[RGJ]

It doesn’t take too much imagination to see that cash strapped states (like Nevada) might not eventually want to capitalize on the exploitation of public lands in the state, quite possibly at the expense of small ranching concerns, outdoor sports participants, and wildlife in particular.

A sneak peak might be on display with his bill to place BLM lands in trust with Nevada tribes:

“The House Natural Resources Committee approved the Nevada Native Nations Land Act, H.R. 2733, which Amodei introduced to provide more opportunities for economic development and protection of natural resources in the regions.

“(Wednesday’s) vote puts us one step closer to placing Nevada public lands back into local control — rather than in the hands of Washington bureaucrats,” Amodei said. “My bill carefully balances the unique needs of our Nevada tribal nations with those of local ranchers, land owners and businesses.” [RiponAdv] (emphasis added)

There he goes again, getting land out from under the “Washington Bureaucrats.”  The only salvation in this legislation is that Native Americans, who generally have a better standard of stewardship than the Koch Brothers,  are the ones holding the lands in trust.  We might also safely conclude that this “one step” is the first of many in which Representative Amodei seeks to place Nevada public lands under local control.

From local it’s one more step to private.

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Filed under Amodei, Interior Department, koch brothers, National Parks, Native Americans, Nevada politics, public lands, Reservations, Rural Nevada

Amodei Quacks Like A FLAG-waving Duck

Amodei 3

Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV2) doesn’t like being categorized as “anti-public land,” or more precisely lumped in with the Bundy Boys.  However, his sponsorship of legislation and other activities have him on the Anti-Public Land list:

“Amodei landed on the list for sponsoring legislation that would give the state control of 7.2 million of the approximately 58 million acres of federally controlled land in Nevada, opposition to the creation of the Basin and Range National Monument, membership in Federal Lands Action Group and a statement about the Malheur occupation.

The statement, attributed to Amodei and two other members of the action group, said the lawmakers didn’t condone the Oregon action but added, “we do understand their frustration with increasingly heavy handed federal agencies that continue to violate the rights of hardworking American farmers and ranchers.” [RGJ]

Duck looks The poor little Republican has been cast amongst the Bundys.  How did he end up bunched up with them?  First, he’s a “FLAG” member.

“Rep. Amodei is a FLAG member and introduced H.R. 1484, the Honor the Nevada Enabling Act of 1864—which would seize Nevada public land for state control. In 2015, Rep. Amodei also introduced H.R. 488, which would cripple the Antiquities Act by blocking the extension or creation of national monuments in Nevada, unless authorized by Congress. Rep. Amodei has also cosponsored four other bills aimed at curtailing the Antiquities Act and seizing public lands. In response to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Rep. Amodei signed on to a joint statement that condemned federal officials for law-breaking, rather than condemning the actions of the armed militants.” [CAP]

So, what is FLAG, and how does it relate to the Anti-Public Lands crowd?  The organization is the brain child of two Utah Representatives, Stewart and Bishop, who announced its creation on April 28, 2015.  And, the purpose?

Today, Representatives Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Rob Bishop (R-Utah) launched the Federal Land Action Group, a congressional team that will develop a legislative framework for transferring public lands to local ownership and control. […] This group will explore legal and historical background in order to determine the best congressional action needed to return these lands back to the rightful owners. We have assembled a strong team of lawmakers, and I look forward to formulating a plan that reminds the federal government it should leave the job of land management to those who know best.” [Stewart]

Who were among the first members of the FLAG group? “Other members of the Group include Representatives Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).” [Stewart]

We should assume the group means what it says.  It wants to transfer public land to local ownership and control.   Towards this end the FLAG group held its first “forum” in June 2015, and among the speakers was a representative of the “Independent Institute.”  Board members of this organization include a private equity manager, a person from Deloitte & Touche USA, a member of the Howley Management Group, the Botto Law Group, a managing director of Palliser Bay Investment Management, Reditus Revenue Solutions, Audubon Cellars and Winery, Berkeley Research Group LLC, and the former chair of Garvey International.  [II.org]  This isn’t a list that inspires one to ask if they are primarily interested in public land for the sake of conservation.

Prof. Elwood L. Miller (UNR) was on the initial panel, adding a touch of accounting expertise to the argument that the federal government is too bureaucratic and caught up in procedural questions to be a good steward of public lands.  Attorney Glade Hall added the usual federal control isn’t constitutional argument. “It is a patent absurdity to assert that such full powers of governance cover 87 percent of the land surface of a state of the Union and at the same time assert that such state has been admitted to the Union on an equal footing with the original states in every respect whatever,” Hall said.” [STGU] A sentiment echoed by the head of the Natural Resources Group, whose book on the “theft” of the environmental issue is available from the Heritage Foundation.

In short, there was nothing to remind anyone of a fact-finding operation in this inaugural panel sponsored by FLAG.  It was of, by, and for individuals who want to ultimately privatize federal lands.

It’s also interesting that the panel members offered these opinions based on personal experience, or “talking to people,” but nothing in the presentations was offered to demonstrably prove that the federal government has no authority (beyond the usual crackpot interpretations spouted by the Bundy-ites and allies) or is actually and provably incompetent to manage public lands.  The guiding assumption – however poorly demonstrated – was that the local agencies could do a better job. Period.

If anyone is still unsure of the ideology driving FLAG, please note that the Heritage Foundation and the Mercatus group aren’t the only players supporting the efforts.  There’s also the John Birch Society (They’re still around) touting the confab on Facebook.  Additionally, there’s the ever-present American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) imprimatur on the project.

One segment of ALEC testimony from a February 2016 FLAG meeting can serve as an illustration of their argument:

“Bureaucratic inflexibility and regulatory redundancy make it almost impossible for the federal government to handle the lands in its charge for optimal environmental health. Any change in strategy on how to manage the lands, such as harvesting trees on forest lands to reduce wildfire fuel loads and prevent pest infestation, can take years to adopt and implement. By the time the federal government is able to act, it is often too late.”

Examples? The argument is made that three factors are responsible for the severity of wildland fires – poor logging practices, overgrazing, and over aggressive fire control. At this juncture, we could well ask how, without regulatory control, can better logging practices be promoted throughout the region? Or, if the Bundy Bunch isn’t convinced by the Federal authorities to pay their grazing fees and not trespass on BLM lands, then how is a state with less in the way of resources supposed to take on the task? 

However, the most intriguing element of the ALEC position is this: Further, they have operated with budget shortfalls for over a decade calling into question whether they even have adequate funds to get the job done.”  At this juncture it’s appropriate to ask – and who is touting cutting the federal and state budgets?  Who, if not ALEC?  Thus, the federal government can’t do a better job because the funding has been cut, and because the funding has been cut it can’t do the job?  Circular Reasoning at its finest, looped in with the obvious cuts and shaving from state budgets.   The ultimate argument would be that neither the federal government nor the state governments can “do the job” and therefore the lands should be transferred to private hands.  Nothing would please the Koch Brothers more?

The second way one gets attached to the Bundy-ites is to get mealy and smushy about their activities.  As in, “we do understand their frustration with increasingly heavy handed federal agencies that continue to violate the rights of hardworking American farmers and ranchers.” [RGJ]  It’s past time to get specific.  Exactly what constitutes “heavy handed federal agencies?”  Are they agencies which are tasked to collect grazing fees?  How long is an agency expected to wait for a person to decide to pay those fees? 

Exactly what constitutes a “violation of rights of hardworking people?”  Exactly what rights have been violated?  How is it a violation of my rights to have to pay the same grazing fees, or have to move cattle from overgrazed areas, just like every other rancher in a given area under Federal management?  Freedom, rights, and independence are easy words to toss around, but without actual evidence of real violations of RIGHTS then the argument is hollow.

Bundy rally And, one lands on the anti-public lands roster by sponsoring legislation like Representative Amodei did in April 2015:

“Most recently, Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced a “large-scale” public lands bill, which would allow the state of Nevada to seize and sell off public lands. Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, also requested $50 million in the federal budget in order to facilitate immediate transfer of public lands to state control.”  [TP]

Looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then there’s no reason to list it as anything other than a duck.

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>Red, White, Blue: How they voted on H.R. 146, 548

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All but 13 members of the U.S House of Representatives, including Nevada’s Berkley, Titus, and Heller, are excused from wearing their flag lapel pins for at least one day. They each voted in favor of H.R. 146 (preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 historic sites bill), on roll call 91. By contrast, all three members of the Arizona Delegation (Franks, Flake, and Shadegg) voted against it. The bill passed 394-13. The pattern was repeated during the vote on H.R. 548 (Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act), all three members of the Nevada delegation voting to support the bill, and all three members of the Arizona contingent voting against it. H.R. 548 passed 402-13. [roll call 92]

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>A Very Patriotic Bill: H.R. 146 scheduled for House Vote

>Members of the Nevada congressional delegation will be considering H.R. 146, amending the American Battlefield Protection Act of 1996 to establish a battlefield acquisition grant program for the protection of nationally significant battlefields and associated sites of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Under the terms of the bill the Secretary of the Interior would be authorized to pay the federal share of the cost of acquiring fee-simple or lesser interests from willing sellers of battlefield sites. Voting in favor of this legislation will be a much better gauge of patriotism than the display of flag lapel pins.

Sponsor Rush Holt (D-NJ) explained the importance of the legislation: “According to a 2007 National Parks Service (NPS) report, 170 of 677 nationally significant sites associated with the two wars are in danger of being destroyed in the next 10 years, including sites in Trenton and Princeton.” Holt further explained: “Implementation of Holt’s bill would authorize the use of money in the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the preservation and protection of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields and related historical sites, in addition to the Civil War sites already covered under current law. It would allow officials at the American Battlefield Protection Program to collaborate with state and local governments and non-profit organizations to preserve and protect the most endangered historical sites and to provide up to fifty percent of the costs of purchasing battlefield land threatened by sprawl and commercial development. In addition to the 170 sites in danger of being destroyed within the next 10 years, the NPS “Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States” found that 99 have already been lost forever and 234 are in poor condition.” [Holt]

The full report from the National Park Service is available online. Among its conclusions: “Worse for wear are Revolutionary War battlefields. Only about 38 percent are in good or fair condition, with more than 60 percent in poor condition or gone completely. War of 1812 battlefields fare slightly better. Almost half, 47 percent, are in good or fair condition and just more than half, 53 percent, are in poor condition or are gone.”

The National Park Service doesn’t have a “threat” color code, but its report does indicate “high,” “medium,” and “low” threat levels as they pertain to the destruction or degradation of Revolutionary War battlefields and associated sites. Those on the “high” list include some famous names from 8th grade history – Lexington and Concord, Guilford’s Courthouse, Brandywine, and Fort Mifflin. Those sites already “fragmented or destroyed” include Bunker Hill, Dorchester Heights, White Plains, Fort Washington, Germantown, and Harlem Heights. The National Park Service administers 23 parks and sites associated with the Revolutionary War, including Boston National Historical Park (remnants of Bunker Hill), and Yorktown. The Service now preserves 8 areas associated with the War of 1812, including Fort McHenry and in the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park (Louisiana). Individual states preserve 96 sites, including Vermont’s care for Fort Ticonderoga.

Members of Congress will have an opportunity this week to demonstrate their concern for our history and heritage, before the recitation of “By the rude bridge that arched the flood, their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, here the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the world” commemorates only the shadows of the sites. We should know who’s really patriotic by the vote tomorrow evening – without checking for flag lapel pins.

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>The Sunday Punch: Smokey the Bear Gets Burned: Republicans Cut Forest Service Capital Projects and NPS funding from Stimulus Bill

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The Tinder Box

Back in 2006 the National Park Service had an annual budget of $2.2 billion which was supposed to cover construction projects as well as its annual operational costs. Worse yet, when inflation was factored into the operational budget, the Park Service had less funding during 2005 than it did in 2001. [ConAff] The Bush Administration and its Republican allies in Congress found nothing wrong with raising park fees (up to $25.00 at Glacier, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon) and shutting down visitor centers (Rocky Mountain NP).

So, Glacier National Park no longer provided potable water at three campgrounds, Yosemite NP which once had 45 seasonal rangers cut back to 8, Acadia NP didn’t fill 14 jobs for educational guides and law enforcement officers. Acadia also cut 20 ranger led interpretive programs. In a move that should have provoked some patriotic reaction in a flag lapel pin wearing Congress, the Gettysburg National Military Park cut staff tasked with maintaining more than 100 historic structures, including the Civil War cannons. [ConAff]

After all, the former President and his allies in Congress argued, the National Park Service could raise fees and auction off concessions, and the National Forest Service could raise funds by selling off “unwanted” federal lands and collecting fees from logging and other extraction operations.

This situation stood in stark contrast to the campaign pledge Mr. Bush made in a stop along the Skykomish River in Monroe, WA during his 2000 run. Bush blamed the “Clinton-Gore administration for letting the maintenance lag in the 390 unit National Park System. He told his audience that he would eliminate withing five years (by 2005) the NPS’s $4.9 billion major maintenance and resource protection backlog. [DeseretNews] The National Park Service is responsible for 22,000 campgrounds, 21,000 buildings, 17,000 miles of trails, 10,000 miles of roads, 5,000 homes, and 3,000 water treatment facilities. Maintenance actually fared better under “Clinton-Gore.”

During the second Clinton term (FY98-FY01) funding for programs addressing the backlog of park maintenance projects for facilities, construction, and demonstration programs, showed an average increase of 12.8% annually. Funding for the backlog during the Bush Administration increased only 7.4% annually for the same programs. If 12.8% didn’t make a dent in the maintenance backlog, then 7.4% certainly wasn’t going to. Although the Facility Condition Index project isn’t complete, it already indicates that approximately $3 billion will be needed to restore appropriate park facilities to their “designated conditions.” Note, that the maintenance backlog isn’t the only problem, the NPS was significantly behind the curve in terms of its operating budget, by about $600 million. [NPCA]

By 2007 the NPS had a summary available for Congressional testimony concerning its backlog. Of the 15,466 buildings under the jurisdiction of the NPS it would take about $1.3 billion to take care of their deferred maintenance. Overdue trail maintenance would cost about $469 million, and another $4.3 billion would be needed to bring NPS roads up to standard condition. [NPT] Needless to say, one doesn’t have to resort to “naming rights” for national parks and raising fees for visits, our government could be putting out requests for bids from interested construction companies to perform the building and road maintenance; and, their management could be out hiring workers.

Meanwhile back in the Forest: The House version of H.R. 1 called for spending $1.7 billion for “projects to address critical deferred maintenance needs within the National Park System, including roads, bridges, trails and for other critical infrastructure projects. Including $200 million for the preservation and repair of historical and cultural resources within the NPS. Even the $1.7 billion the GOP decried as “too wasteful” didn’t come near the $4.3 billion actually needed to repair current NPS roads and bridges.

The National Forest Service would have gotten $650 million for reconstruction, capital improvements, decommissioning, and maintenance of forest roads, bridges and trails, alternative energy technologies, energy efficiency enhancement and deferred maintenance at Federal facilities, remediation of abandoned mine sites, removal of fish passage barriers, and other critical habitat, forest improvement, and watershed enhancement on Federal lands and waters. [HR 1] The Republicans mocked these expenditures as “fishy” and “wasteful” while never actually declaring their opposition to the improvement and preservation of natural resources. To hear them tell it, they are “outdoor enthusiasts,” “gun owners who love to hunt” and “conservationists,” but ask them to actually vote in favor of specific measures to enhance those opportunities for others and they deride the proposals as “wasteful spending,” as if everyone could enjoy the so-called benefits of membership in the Safari International canned hunt club.

Fanning the Fires

As we’ve noticed previously in National Mall, National Disgrace, maintenance of National Park Service facilities in Washington D.C. hasn’t been appropriately funded. Making the matter worse is the fact that the National Mall and Washington Monument constitute only 2% of the property for which the NPS is responsible in the D.C. area. About 93% of the property managed is in the form of parks and parkways. A GAO audit of the parks in the D.C. area was generally positive, but also indicated some ongoing issues such as the closed marina at the Anacostia park, which was closed in 2000 because of lead contamination and had still not reopened. The GAO accessed facilities in East Potomac Park (Haines Point) and Theodore Roosevelt Island in “serious” condition, Those rated “poor” included Fort Bayard Park, Montrose Park, West Potomac Park athletic fields, Fort DuPont Park picnic area, Anacostia Park, and The Mall & L’Enfant Square.

In short, if a bill concerns public parks, public lands, and public properties, and doesn’t call for selling, leasing, mining, or logging them…the Republicans aren’t interested.

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>National Mall, National Disgrace: Dems roll over on Park Service funding

>One victim of the ‘negotiations’ in Washington, D.C. concerning the economic stimulus bill is still annoying me: the demise of the National Mall Revitalization funding. When the GOP sent out it’s trivialization message about “more grass than help for small business” (which was patently untrue), the Democrats buckled at both knees and removed the funding from the bill. It would be nice if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) put some capital city maintenance work funding back in. Here’s why:

1) The issue is rapidly becoming a matter of public safety.

The National Capital Planning Commission describes the maintenance needed on the Jefferson Memorial Seawall as an “emergency.” About $10 million is needed to immediately address “corrective action to prevent additional impacts. Work will include repairs to the Jefferson Memorial north plaza and seawall, north plaza lighting, transitions to other areas and survey monitoring for a period of one year after corrections are made.” The Commission isn’t kidding. The “corrective action” they are talking about is targeted at the unpleasant fact that the seawall has sunk almost a foot in places since the Jefferson Memorial construction, and the rate at which the seawall is sinking appears to be accelerating. The Memorial remains open, and visitors don’t need to be unduly alarmed, but we do need to be aware that engineering firms hired to assess the monument back in 2006 noticed cracks in the north plaza, and places where the seawall was slipping into the tidal basin. [WaPo] The Memorial seawall has sunk 9 inches in the last 18 months. [LATimes]

In one of the reflecting (?) pools close to the Capitol dozens of ducklings died during the summer of 2008 from avian botulism. [LATimes]

There is no filtration system for the small lake in Constitution Gardens, site of the Vietnam Memorial, and the area “smells so fetid in the hot months that families stay away.” In the summer of 2008 dozens of dead fish floated up near the Declaration of Independence memorial. [LATimes]

2) The issue reflects the unfortunate tendency of the Congress to take care of its own and dismiss the needs of other departments and agencies.

Congress employs 2,000 maintenance workers to tend its 300 acres, while the National Park Service has 300 workers to take care of its 700 acres which attract 25 million visitors. [LATimes] The National Park Service budget was slashed by the Bush Administration to a paltry $31 million, and a bill to add $100 million for deferred maintenance and park service operations was defeated in the last Congress. [LATimes] There is not enough money in the Park Service budget to contract for trash collection around the World War II and other memorials.

Even the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund Act (H.R. 2959) which would have established an account to accept donations to preserve national parks and monuments failed to get past a committee vote in 2007. S. 1253, its companion legislation in the Senate got no further. H.R. 3094, the National Park Centennial Fund Act, introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) would have expended less than $2 for every American over a period extending from 2009 to 2018 for our national parks. It was reported out of committee on May 7, 2008 and languished in obscurity for the remainder of the 110th Congress.

3) The lack of maintenance and repair reflects a loss of civic pride and good old fashioned patriotism.

How do we honor the veterans and casualties of World War II and the Vietnam War? By cutting the budget for trash collection in and around their memorials? By allowing standing pools of fetid water? Does inserting a flag pin in one’s lapel obviate the need to find the funds necessary to keep our war memorials in good repair, clean and presentable?

How do we greet visitors to the national Mall, on a “lawn” for which half the sprinkler system isn’t functional, their pipes punctured by various festival tent stakes, such as those used during the National Book Festival? The part that does work is inadequate to the task of providing enough water for re-seeding projects, the Park Service staff have resorted to using water cannons. [LATimes] We’d be alarmed and dismayed if a neighbor kept such a shoddy patch in our own neighborhoods, but accept such a dirt and sand lot because “the taxpayers might disapprove?”

The flower displays sponsored by Lady Bird Johnson that once adorned the venerable Washington Monument have been removed; the Park Service couldn’t even afford to keep the weeds out.

Someone, most likely those who are fond of proudly touting their patriotism before crowds of constituents during various national holidays, should surely be asked to Put Their Votes Where Their Mouths Are. And, what better time to employ people to install sprinkler systems, set up new lighting, place new signage, repair seawalls, install pipes, pour concrete, and clean up the area, than when the national unemployment rate has reached 7.2%?
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* For a full listing of all agency maintenance and construction needs see the “Federal Capital Improvements Program” issued by the National Capital Planning Commission, 2009-2014″

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>Porter’s New Interest?

>Nevada’s 3rd District Congressman Jon Porter introduced a bill to give the National Park Service more ammo to fight the nefarious Quagga Mussel. [LVRJ] The provisions of Porter’s bill would allow the NPS to partner with “a broader range of states, private contractors and local governments…” This is laudable concern for a serious problem.

This is also a “new interest” for the Congressman? Because his name is nowhere to be found on the list of co-sponsors of H.R. 1592 from the 109th Congress. [LOC]

During the 109th Congress H.R. 1592 “The Aquatic Invasive Species Research Act” introduced in April 2005, sought to coordinate and implement research on ecological damage inflicted by invasive species. The bill was sent to the Committee on Environment, Technology, and Standards from which it never emerged.

Now, if Congressman Porter could be moved to promote increased funding for the Park Service one might be even more impressed.
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Nevada State/Local at Blue Sage Views

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