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May 23, 2006

CEQ's James Connaughton Talks Up "Privatization"

In a recent talk [PDF] to a group called the Recreation Exchange, CEQ Chairman James Connaughton pitched the Bush Administration's approach to balanced use of the public land. "For too long," said Connaughton, "the federal lands management model has been to acquire natural resource assets and then to 'lock them up.' Huh? Then Connaughton got to the "privatization" heart of the matter:

Asked about the possibility that federal lands could be self-sustaining through a combination of income-producing strategies and activities, Mr. Connaughton said his vision is that the federal government would retain its ecologically significant lands, and return the land with high economic value to the private sector. He illustrated this with the example of Aspen and Vail, where these two types of lands are contiguous and the developed high-value economic land supports the conservation of the high-value ecological land. "It's time to begin this huge conversation and recreation interests are right in the middle of it, straddling both worlds. People expect change to be for the better," he noted, "and we have to show them there's a better way."

Recreation Exchanges are hosted in Washington, D.C., by the American Recreation Coalition ten times annually. Sponsors include:

American Association for Nude Recreation {Note: I didn't make this up!}
American Horse Council
American Motorcyclist Association
Association of Marina Industries
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
Kampgrounds of America
Motorcycle Industry Council
National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds
National Park Service
National Recreation and Park Association
Personal Watercraft Industry Association
Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association
Recreation Vehicle Industry Association
Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association
USDA Forest Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Posted by Dave on May 23, 2006 at 09:36 AM | Permalink


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Posted by: Mike Dechter

Based on Connaughton's comments and the administrative's earlier attempt to sell off small 'unimportant' parcels of public lands, I'd say that someone's a little out of touch with the hearts and minds of the American public.

Mike Dechter | May 30, 2006 4:42:04 PM

Posted by: Mike Dechter

A recent Denver Post article:
West's new tune: Hands off our lands
The idea of selling off federal lands is now about as popular as a hawk in a prairie dog colony.

Mike Dechter | May 31, 2006 12:06:01 PM

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