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Bomar Confirmation Hearing Set for Thursday


Bomar_copy_1     Well, Mary Bomar will have her confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this Thursday morning. Expect a slam dunk. While Senator Max Baucus from Montana has expressed some concerns that Mary has little, if any, experience with big, sprawling Western parks like Glacier and Yellowstone, don't expect that to get in the way.
    And it'll be good to move beyond the formalities of dubbing Mary the Park Service's next director, as there's much for her to do. For instance, Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming continues to circulate a letter among his colleagues to muster support for a significant investment in the national parks en route to the park system's centennial in 2016, there's the "Centennial Challenge" that President Bush has asked Interior to get cracking on, and there's the chronic funding shortfall that needs to be addressed.
    In short, there's a lot of lobbying to do...both in Congress, and in the White House. What will be interesting is whether Mary hits the ground running, or whether she is content to serve out the remaining two years of the Bush administration without ruffling any feathers.



My wife and I are unconditional US Nat Park-lovers. the recent moves by the Bush High Command to open the Park system to the corporate wallahs was extremely alarming. It seems the main danger has been averted, perhaps only temporarily. It is bad enough to have the Parks managed by the loathsome Xanterra company, which rings so hollow in its ecological and save-the-planet pronouncements, and hires cheap east and central European labour, inter alia, just under the 6-month employer contribition ceiling, in all the parks we have visited (these employees have absolutely NO commitment to the parks, and it shows--bless them, not their fault, they're there for the $$$, I know.) Let us hope that my erstwhile compatriot Mary Bomar will toe no Bush-lines, and actively restore hope to the park system.

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