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
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.”
- “[S]ince the arrival of Henry Hudson, the unrestrained development of buildings, highways, and urban sprawl on Manhattan has destroyed habitat, displaced indigenous peoples, and disrupted what had been the delicate Muir Web.”
- “Manhattan’s Upper West Side and Tribeca were once a coastal oak-pine 23 forest with red maple swamps.”
Photo by nunocalvin via flickr.