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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:

Originally posted to Calee4nia on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 08:43 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Story Link (4.00)
    Forgot the story link:

    http://www.townhall.com/...

    We hold these truths to be self evident... All men are created equal...

    by Calee4nia on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 08:42:27 PM PST

    •  RUN WITH THIS: (none)
      Privatization is what happens when someone steals what you already own and then makes you rent it back forever.

      Frame it just that way and it will stick in the minds of even the most ignorant resident of the flyover states otherwise known as American Inner Mongoloidia.

      Sorceress Sarah

      It is no accident that Liberty and Liberal are the same word.

      by Sorceress Sarah on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 11:45:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  American Inner Mongolia? (none)
        Still going on about that?  Sarah, I know you're not impressed with Nebraska - but I can guarantee there's at least four liberals in this state.  It's a start, and there's probably more here than in Texas.

        "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

        by The Peanut Gallery on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 04:07:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Actual text (none)
    My understanding is that the actual bill bars patenting national parks (but allows a whole lot of land) and costs $1000/acre. The language is still subject to revision, in large part because the Pombo provisions didn't appear in the Senate version.

    I'm somewhat disappointed. It would have been interesting to "patent" the White House, and turn it into a brimstone quarry.

    •  Nick Rahall has an interesting take (none)
      Congressman Rahall has this take:

      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."

      We hold these truths to be self evident... All men are created equal...

      by Calee4nia on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 08:49:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think he's wrong (none)
        From section 6207 of H.R. 4241:
        Subject to valid existing rights, nothing in sections 6202, 6203, 6204, 6205, and 6206 of this subtitle shall be construed as affecting any lands within the boundary of any unit of the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge System, National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, or National Trails System, or any National Conservation Area, any National Recreation Area, any National Monument, or any unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System as of the date of the enactment of this Act.
        It is still possible that just section 6207 will be removed during the conference committee, but unlike earlier versions of Pombo's bill, which explicitly called for selling off national parks, there are some limitations.

        Selling off the King Range and the Lost Coast Trail is bad enough. We don't need to exaggerate what they're doing to make the case agains this amendment.

        •  I Hope you're right (none)
          But it scares the crap out of me, not to mention infuriates me, when a sitting congressman is quoted in this article saying that National Parks are on the table.

          Pombo must be stopped from getting anything.

          We hold these truths to be self evident... All men are created equal...

          by Calee4nia on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 09:04:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are million more (none)
            acres of public lands in the west besides the National Parks.  
            •  Yes, of course... (none)
              but they're not wilderness.

              Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

              by oldpro on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 12:34:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not wilderness! (none)
                Tell that to the wildlife that live there. I know your referring to Wilderness with a cap but my point being it hardly matters whether it is under the WPS or not. If you hunt, fish, or play in our national forests, it feels like Wilderness whether it is or not. The loss of these lands will challenge the "hook and bullet club" to reassess their political orientation.

                Some of the most glorious land north of Yellowstone is not Wilderness yet is wilderness in the truest sense of the word.

                Question:  What does 20 million acres look like? One third the size of Wyoming.

                Definition - Liberal (author unknown): A long extinct group of people that could think for themselves and were a danger to the collective.

                by exconservative on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 02:41:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  There's some more information (4.00)
    Pombo's Wonderful Land Rush in my diary from this afternoon--which rolled off the charts. Thanks for keeping this issue on the list.

    While National Parks may not be directly threatened, vast acreage in National Forests and other public lands are subject to Mr. Pombo's Land Rush.

    The diary mentioned above has information in the comments about the specific provisions of the House version that should be removed. It's also important that neither Mr. Gibbons nor Mr. Pombo should participate in the conference committee on the budget reconciliation bill.

  •  Please take a look at these two diaries (4.00)
    Land of Enchantment and

    Dcookie

    for more information and links to sources of information. Both are well laid out and have excellent source links included in the commentary.

  •  Thanks-this is important-recommended (none)
    •  Thanks (none)
      I read the same article about an hour earlier, and it had a quote from some scum Republican congressidiot calling people who don't want these lands sold "eco-wackos" (but the quote was excised from the article by the time I got my post done.  Hmmm).  Anyway, that pisses me off.  The real eco-wackos are the soul-lacking GOP party appartchiks.

      And on top of that, Pombo is a disease.

      We hold these truths to be self evident... All men are created equal...

      by Calee4nia on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 09:45:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pombo's Anti-Endangered Species Bill (none)
    also passed the House and the battle over endangered species will be taken up by the Senate next year.  Pombo is currently one of the greatest threats to our Natural Heritage.

    Let's keep the pressure on the Senate to squash both of these ill-advised bills.

    Thanks for posting this diary and keeping this issue front and center a DKos.

  •  let's try to keep action links in these diaries (4.00)
    Westerners for Responsible Mining.. info.
    Action page

    and the bill numbers...

    From Lab Rat: The sections of the bill that you can reference when talking to Congressional reps are: sections 6201-6207 of HR4241

    From Tinuviel: Please tell Senate conferees for S1932/HR4241, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, to strip the mining provisions inserted by Rep. Pombo (R-CA).

    -7.13 -6.51 Hang in there with us World. We are all Wombat.

    by emmasnacker on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 10:00:36 PM PST

    •  very good idea (none)
      Because of the sneaky nature of the attack, the more specific information we have the better.  The E&P Crowd (Exploiters and Polluters) are very good at couching their messages in small and seemingly innocous phrases.  

      And, one doesn't need to be an "EcoWacko-Tree Hugging, Whatever Name Calling They're Into These Days" to spot a taxpayer rip off when it rears its head out of the toxic sludge.

      •  I am quite amazed (none)
        at the lack of specific action links to this issue on the major enviro sites.
        Had not seen the Westerner's site befor reading these diaries. It's a good one.

        -7.13 -6.51 Hang in there with us World. We are all Wombat.

        by emmasnacker on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 10:13:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know why (none)
          but this seemed to be secondary to preventing drilling in ANWR.  While I don't like the drilling I think this is more immediately important.  Remember, decisions won't be made on this until congress reconvenes so we need to star loading their offices with calls and emails now and continue well into December.  If Pombo gets assigned to the rconciliation bill committee this is virtually a DONE DEAL !!  Any one know who decides who is on what committee?  We need to add that to our list
  •  So say this stays in the final version... (none)
    ... is there anything we can do to save at least some of the land threatened? Is there a way ecobenevolent organizations can put in claims to patent land under this wacky scheme?

    Nobody lends money to a man with a sense of humor -- Peter Tork, "Head"

    by Field Marshall Stack on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 10:05:46 PM PST

  •  Do you think the average American (4.00)
    has ANY freaking IDEA what is going on here?

    Of course they don't.  

    We're a tiny minority who knows, and it's up to us to scream our freaking heads off about it.

    Hey all you so-called "journalists" out there!  Do your fucking jobs and tell people what's going on!

    Goddamnit!

  •  There are a couple (4.00)
    other diaries up about this with info on the name of the bill and how to go about finding more info and START MAKING PHONE CALLS
  •  CA (none)
    I hate that he is from my state, I doubt he will be re-elected but we can say the same for the republican administration.  Too late to cry after the damage is done.  I've already notified my representatives on this issue.  I beg that no matter what state you are from or if you have ever been inside a National Park, contact your representatives to oppose this bill!

    I beg you leave me restless, I live with the impossible ocean and silence bleeds me dry!

    by dangangry on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 01:18:23 AM PST

    •  MSM (none)
      Does anyone have any idea how to get the MSM on board on this story?

      I beg you leave me restless, I live with the impossible ocean and silence bleeds me dry!

      by dangangry on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 01:21:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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