Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal has turned to a novel approach to secure more federal money: threatening to destroy one of the nation’s most treasured wilderness areas if the Obama Administration doesn’t give him more educational funds.
Freudenthal is threatening to sell off land valued at $125m (£80m) in the Grand Teton National Park. Notably, this is land donated by John Rockefeller Jr. to be preserved but that state appears to control some portions of the areas. It currently leases the land to a cattle rancher. Freudenthal has tried persuasion so he is now turning to extortion: “If the federal government won’t dance with us, we will go look for another partner. The purpose is to force the federal government to come to the table.”
What is amazing is that the Administration has already offered a swap of a huge 800,000 acres of federal land for the pristine area, but the state declared it “trash land” and insisted that they would prefer to sell the “prime, in-park real estate” to some developer to bulldoze. Freudenthal scoffed “this ain’t our first county fair.”