From the Adventure Journal today, The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, sponsored by Utah’s Congressman Rob Bishop and approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources 26 to 17, waives the power of 36 environmental and other laws within 100 miles of U.S. borders nationwide (angering environmentalists, since that territory includes Olympic National Park, Big Bend National Park, Allegheny National Forest, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and Glacier National Park), and cuts the knees out from under the Department of Agriculture as well, which means all rights to timber claims, grazing, and farming would go by the wayside.
It’s hard to imagine Bishop’s motivation besides pandering to ignorant fear and his being owned by Big Oil. A law that would make the Department of Homeland Security the most powerful of government agencies is gut twisting scary. On the “left” environmentalists say, ” if the bill were to be enacted it would “…threaten air and water quality, national parks and sensitive lands, not only in the Southwestern states where illegal immigrant crossings were once common, but also in such states as Florida, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Michigan and Washington — 30 states in all.” On the right a libertarian response in Bozeman Daily Chronicle tabs up the fears:
[DHS could] shut down any recreational activities, grazing, hunting, fishing, logging projects — you name it…Bureaucrats could build roads, fences, and even buildings wherever and whenever they want — without public input or due process — and even if it impacts your private land…The federal government would have incredible power to stop timber sales on Forest Service land. DHS could prevent us from snowmobiling or fishing or hunting in our forests.The department could prevent grazing on the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. Bureaucrats could kick all the cattle off of BLM land. It would be able to shut down Glacier National Park indefinitely.
Reassuringly, if the bill passes out of the House, “Montana Senator John Tester will be waiting to argue vehemently against it. Tester, quoted in Whitefish’s Hungry Horse News, said the law “runs roughshod over the rights of law-abiding Americans and seizes vast swaths of land we all own and use – like Glacier National Park – with no public accountability. This nation is very capable of fighting terrorism without turning into a government police state. But that’s exactly what this unpopular plan would do.” Rob Bishop may not be your best friend. . . . more>>