ANGRY ALASKAN CONSERVATIVES WANT CENTRAL PARK TAKEN OVER BY FEDS

You don’t want to get Alaskans angry. No one can live that close to grizzly bears and Sarah Palin and stay calm and collected for long.

Just recently a few Alaskan politicians got angry, and they did something kind of…crazy! Pissed that the federal government isn’t letting them drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a group of state legislators got together this week and proposed a resolution asking the federal government to declare New York’s own Central Park as a wilderness area. I read about this in an Alaskan newspaper, but it sounded so ridiculous that I had to look up the bill itself.

And there it was:

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 31 by Representatives Johansen,
Fairclough, Olson, Millett, Feige, and Chenault:

Urging the President of the United States and the United States
Congress to acquire the area commonly known as Central Park on
Manhattan in New York City on behalf of the federal government;
urging the United States Congress to declare Central Park to be a
wilderness area and to prohibit any further improvement or
development of Central Park unless authorized by an Act of
Congress.

Update: After we ran this story, the New York Times picked it up, and linked to the full text of the resolution, which is a pretty good read. The resolution gives a history of Manhattan and some of the plant and animal species that were here before Henry Hudson touched down in 1609 (their point is that if the Alaskan refuge is so precious and needs to be preserved, why isn’t Manhattan’s animal habitat also similarly precious and in need of preservation). Basically, the resolution’s authors use the language of environmentalism to make a case for oil drilling. Here are a couple of the lines about why Manhattan should have been “preserved.”

Photo by nunocalvin via flickr.

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    1. Miki Fiegel says:

      Someone ought to tell those folks up in the North that Central Park is a National Historic Landmark and is therefor ruled by Landmark rules which will keep it basically in the same shape it is now, forever. Had they bothered to look it up, they would have seen the Landmark protections in place and not made themselves look so foolish.

    2. Howard Freeman says:

      Hmmm…

      Let those Alaskans come live on West 84th Street with the indigenous mosquito population.

    3. Ivan Farkas says:

      They may have made the argument for the isle of Manhattan, but they’re 400 years too late for that. Central Park was a marshland before Olmsted and Vaux made it into an artificial “wilderness” which, as Miki pointed, out IS a protected area.

    4. Ronnie Ellen Raymond says:

      The Central Park Conservancy is probably the best thing that has happened to Central Park in recent times. Somehow, I cannot imagine that the Federal Government could do a better job maintaining anything, no less a local park.