The Garden City Telegram
4/3/2014
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Your Views — Worthwhile battle for national parks

It would be hard to imagine an American landscape that did not include the national parks. Today it is as American as the World Series. Prior to President Theodore Roosevelt, there was no such thing as a parks system and today his landmark legislation of the Antiquities Act of 1906 is being threatened.

H.R. 1459 is currently being debated in the House of Representatives. The bill would limit the president's power to establish new national parks. This comes at a time when the Department of the Interior has seen its budget slashed and as documentary filmmaker Ken Burns puts it "America's best idea" is slowly going to the wayside.

The Antiquities Act is important because despite robust production, Theodore Roosevelt saw that these uniquely American sites needed to be preserved, that they could heal folks as his time spent as a cowboy in North Dakota healed him. As Americans we benefit from open access to hunting, fishing and camping along with paying respects at national memorials such as Gettysburg. These areas should not be gambled with because if we allow these parks and future parks to be taken advantage of we will not get them back. Roosevelt said it best, "Leave it as it is. You cannot improve upon it; not a bit. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, and for all who come after you."

Both Democrat and Republican presidents have used the Antiquities Act and it has come under fire before and survived.

Due to the current political climate in Washington, this fight might be harder to win.

JEREMY GILL,

Garden City

Support for sales tax appreciated

Dear Finney County citizens:

The Finney County Commission would like to thank all Finney County citizens for getting out to vote in the special sales tax election. We appreciate the passage of the extended sales tax, as it will enable us to build a facility to house Youth Services, Community Corrections and Court Services together in a location next to the Juvenile Detention Center. In addition, the commission is committed to using the sales tax revenue wisely for construction.

The Finney County Commission — Larry Jones, Cliff Mayo, Roman Halbur, Duane Drees and Dave Jones — also want to thank the city of Garden City Commission and Holcomb City Council for their support of the sales tax election.

Sincerely,

LARRY JONES,

Holcomb

Jones is chairman of the Finney County Commission.