It appears that Richard Pombo has won. The selling off of our public lands, including National Parks, has been approved by the House. In a normal world, the electorate would be calling for an immediate resignation of those who are about to destroy the last vestiges of wilderness. In a normal world, Grover Norquist and Richard Pombo would be in a sanitorium instead of leading the charge of privatizing everything.
But while we sleep, the criminals crept in and robbed us of our soul:
The House agreed to reinstate sales of mining lands at cheap prices as part of its budget cut plan approved Friday, a move that could transfer into private hands up to 20 million acres of public lands on Western ranges, national forests and even national parks
Yeah, I know you don't want to hear about this. Why should you care, after all it's just wasted land. After all, it's already been blogged. Hey, you've seen one tree you've seen them all, right?
The patenting process has allowed those sales at 19th century prices of $2.50 to $5 an acre if the land contains mineral deposits.
Say what? All land contains mineral deposits, right? Well, so what, you want the Grand Tetons? They're now on sale for only $29.00 plus tax.
"With a wink and a nod, this budget proposal sells not just the minerals under these federal lands, but the pristine lands that just happen to be located near high-priced zip codes," said Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia, the senior Democrat on the House Resources Committee. "We are literally looking at the prospect of McDonald's, Wal-Marts, condos or any other type of commercial or private developments springing up smack dab within some of America's most cherished units of the national park system."
Well you still have a chance to stop this insantity:
No such provision is contained in the Senate version of the budget measure, so the issue will be one of the items to be resolved when lawmakers return in December and try to merge the two bills. Negotiators will face pressure from Republicans and Democrats alike to ensure that hunters, anglers, hikers and other outdoors enthusiasts won't be losing out.
So in preparation for your new world order, and your new park system, here are some photos that should bring a tear to your eyes. Richard Pombo is no Teddy Roosevelt:
May the spirit of Ansel Adams haunt Richard Pombo: