by Vin Suprynowicz
Once you’ve passed through the entrance gate to one of America’s magnificent national parks or monuments, what do you see?
In most cases, mile upon mile of nothin’.
The sweeping grandeur of the Grand Canyon is not visible from any common entrance point to the national park of that name. Expect to drive several miles before you see the first signs directing you to various hotels and overlooks. (Entering from the north, LOTS of miles.)
Florida’s Everglades area the same way. Yes, the historic wetlands have been shrunken by unwise water projects further north, but many a child has gazed out upon the sweep of mostly dry grasslands after passing the “now entering” sign, asking, “Where’s the swamp? Where’s the gators?”
The traveler does not come upon these scenic wonders immediately, because those who planned these vast impoundments understood the concept of a “buffer zone.” With few exceptions, the scenic vistas are surrounded by five to 10 miles – or more – of empty space. This was done so that those enjoying the scenery would not have to gaze upon carnivals and trailer parks and used car graveyards teetering at the edge of Bryce Canyon or Yosemite Falls.
Outside the parks and monuments, the federal government may control even vaster acreage. But those lands are turned over to the U.S. Bureau of land Management, which has a different mission, seeing that those less sensitive lands are used in ways that benefit the nation.
Yet listen now to the green extremists, complaining that mining or tree-cutting or grazing is “allowed, only one valley away” or “once ridge line away” from a national park or monument.
On Nov. 4, the BLM announced that on Dec. 19 they will auction off the rights to drill for oil or gas on more than 50,000 acres of BLM land close to or adjoining three national parks in Utah: Arches, Dinosaur, and Canyonlands.
“This is a fire sale,” shrills Stephen Bloch, staff attorney for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, “the Bush administration’s last great gift to the oil and gas industry.”
“We find it shocking and disturbing,” says Cordell Troy, chief National Park Service administrator in Utah. “That’s 40 tracts within four miles of these parks.”
Read it again. Four miles outside the parks’ existing buffer zones.
Read the rest: http://www.lewrockwell.com/suprynowicz/suprynowicz108.html
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