An Alaskan official-- irritated at pesky, state's-rights-hating lower-48ers attempting to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge -- proposed a brilliant piece of satirical legislation this week.
Republican state representative Kyle Johansen submitted this hilarious resolution Monday to the state legislature asking the federal government to, "declare Central Park to be a wilderness area and to prohibit any further improvement or development of Central Park unless authorized by an act of Congress."
City Room got a hold of the congressman:
"What I'm trying to accomplish," [Johansen] said, is to basically make a point of the hypocrisy of - and don't take offense - those East Coast folks who write a lot of checks to shut down Alaska, while in their own backyard, Manhattan has been turned from a pristine wild island supporting an amazing Muir web of life to having only Central Park left as a green belt. And even Central Park has been radically changed."
The resolution notes that before Henry Hudson arrived in 1609, Manhattan was "a remarkably diverse and natural landscape of hills, valleys, forests, fields," marshes, beaches, ponds and streams that supported populations of gray wolf, elk, black bear and mountain lion.
City Room then asked New York Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe for a response. "We're gonna pass on this one," the commissioner said.
For another taste of just how hotly contested the ANWR issue can get in Alaska-- namely when non-Alaskans wade into the debate-- look no further than this epic exchange between Vanity Fair contributor and Rice professor Douglas Brinkley and Representative Don Young: