Manhattan Knows Best?


How BAD do you want your LAND? - UTVUnderground Ap
I know this has been talked about before but here is a different perspective...

I grew up in a small farming community in Ohio. In my town, the Saturday morning traffic jams on Main Street were caused by farmers waiting in line to deliver their crops to the local grain elevator. Being from a small town, we were somewhat intimidated by the big city folks because they always acted as though they knew best. When I went to a big city (Washington) to go to college, I found out that this wasn't the case. My fellow students from the Big Apple acted as though they owned the world, but I soon realized their attitude was merely a defense mechanism to ward off the unknowns of attending college. In other words, they were just as scared about attending college as I was, but they were better at pretending that they knew what was best for the rest of us.
So, from experience, I am a natural skeptic when it comes to big city solutions. This is especially the case when I think about the far reaching ramifications of H. R. 980, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, introduced in the 111th Congress by Representative Carolyn B. Maloney. Rep. Maloney represents Manhattan in the U. S. Congress, and I don't mean Manhattan, Kansas. I mean Manhattan, as in New York City.
Rep. Maloney's legislation would create massive "biological connecting corridors" throughout five western states (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming), requiring approximately 23 million acres of land to be placed into new wilderness designated areas. The scope of this bill is so overwhelming that it is impossible to comprehend. Rep. Maloney's legislation has 71 cosponsors, and most reside east of the Mississippi. There is nothing in this bill that has anything to do with Manhattan, including Central Park, but somehow, the Congresswoman from New York seems to think she knows what is best for those five western states.
On May 5th, the House Resources Committee's Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will hold a public hearing on this legislation. I testified against a similar measure back in 2007. It was bad legislation then, and nothing has changed. To a certain degree, it is a waste of taxpayer's money to hold another hearing on the bill, but in light of more pressing matters, such as a declining economy and the threat of swine flu, I am half amused by the audacity of the proponents of this measure.
So, the hearing will be held. Testimony will be given. Members will listen intently, and I hope little else will happen. And that, my friends, would be a good thing. But, first we will need to oppose this legislation and with your help, we will succeed. If you are interested in lending a hand, visit our action campaign page at

Larry E. Smith
Executive Director
Americans for Responsible Recreational Access

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