Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Today's Quote: Salazar & Commercial Use of Parks

Over in California, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has decided that "commercial operations are incompatible with wilderness, and Congress wanted this to be a wilderness", according to the NYtimes when making a decision about allowing the renewal of an oyster farming permit in Point Reyes National Seashore, part of the National Park Service. Here in New York City though according to the testimony of the high-level National Park Service representatives who work under Salazar the opposite is said in support of the introduction of industrial infrastructure, natural gas facilities that will support a new pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area. In that case, according to Stephanie Toothman's testimony before the Senate Subcomittee on National Parks, a metering and regulating station is a "boon" for Floyd Bennett Field and Gateway NRA.

Of course if you want to believe in fairy tales, I guess there is always the chance that a pipeline through the park and a new metering and regulating station fits in with Salazar and Bloomberg's plans to create a seamless park that will contribute to the goals of President Obama's Great Outdoors Iniative, but I'm not seeing it. And I'm pretty sure that the enabling legislation that created this park, one of the most visited of all national park units in the country had nothing at all to do with commercial use or industrial use of the area. Quite the opposite in fact. I think it preserved the area for recreational and natural uses.

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