What happens when states feel ganged up on by the federal government? Lately, they seem to be taking out their anger on Central Park. Last month, state legislators in Alaska urged feds to “declare Central Park to be a wilderness area" in response to the government trying to stop them from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Now, Wyoming has proposed a similar measure, calling on Congress to reintroduce wolves and other endangered species there. Hasn't Central Park done enough for the nation by giving the majestic Black Eyed Peas plenty of free roaming space?
A JOINT RESOLUTION requesting Congress to acquire the area commonly known as Central Park on Manhattan in New York City on behalf of the federal government; urging the United States Congress 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.
Jaggi sits on the Wyoming legislative committee that handles wildlife issues—they're still steamed, it seems, that the federal government has been meddling in their parks, reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s. Jaggi admits the bill is modeled after Alaska's and is meant to be humorous, but adds that it is also a push back at people from other states who want to tell Wyoming how to manage its affairs.
Alaskan Representative Kyle Johansen explained to the Times why many western states were focusing their anger on NYC: “What I’m trying to accomplish 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.”
As Alaska noted in their resolution (which Wyoming ended up copying word-for-word), Manhattan was ”a remarkably diverse and natural landscape of hills, valleys, forests, fields” before Henry Hudson arrived in 1609, filled with marshes, beaches, ponds and streams that supported populations of gray wolf, elk, black bear and mountain lion. Of course these days, New Yorkers have a serious connipshit when a lone cobra goes on the loose, so we really don't think we're mentally prepared to see elk strolling down 5th Avenue.