[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

If Bush is elected expect more of this?

> >>Luxury " Nature Lodges" Slated for 24 Parks
> >>
> >>(Austin) In a quiet move to convert the state park and wildlife system
> into
> >>a for-profit operation, Governor George W. Bush has sent out requests
> for
> >>proposal for the construction of 24 privately-managed "nature lodging"
> >>projects to hoteliers and resort developers, according to documents
> released
> >>today by Texas PEER.  Targeted parks include the crown jewels of the
> state
> >>system, such as Davis Mountains, Big Bend Ranch, Guadalupe River,
> Pedernales
> >>Falls, the newly acquired Chinati Mountain lands of West Texas as well
> as
> >>wildlife management areas containing habitat for threatened and
> endangered
> >>species.
> >>
> >>Project configuration will be up to developers, but other "nature
> lodgings"
> >>built by the solicited companies feature hotels with rooms renting for
> $200
> >>a night, conference centers, restaurants and shops.  Besides the primary
> >>purpose of revenue production, nature lodging is supposed to combine
> contact
> >>with nature and comfortable accommodations.
> >>
> >>In a recent University of Texas survey of state wildlife managers, six
> out
> >>of seven opposed the nature lodging concept because it detracted from
> >>wildlife conservation and research.  Several of the targeted parks are
> >>already struggling to reduce human impacts upon threatened resident
> species.
> >>
> >>Noting that Texas has less than three percent of its lands set aside in
> >>public parks and reserves, Texas PEER Staff Scientist Dean Keddy-Hector,
> a
> >>former zoologist with the Texas Department of Parks & Wildlife,
> commented:
> >>"Putting hotels in critical wildlife habitats evidences a leadership
> >>profoundly unclear on the concept of conservation.  This is an
> irresponsible
> >>plan to 'Disney-fy' the few remaining patches of Texas wild lands."
> >>
> >>The Bush plan to transform public parks into privately managed revenue
> >>centers follows the prescriptions of conservative think tanks such as
> the
> >>Cato Institute.