When a Dem is up to the same sort of mischief that the Republicans have been doing for years, it’s only fair that it be called out.
Nancy Pelosi is up to the exact tricks that gets everybody’s pants in a twist when they see a Republican introduce legislation that benefits only one of their fat cat cronies.
Here’s what she’s doing.
Nancy Pelosi is proposing, so-called, “technical” changes to the Presidio Trust Act.
The Golden Gate National Park, the former Presidio of San Francisco, is run by in “partnership” with the Presidio Trust and the National Park Service.
Pelosi was instrumental in setting up this disaster in 1993. She created the only National Park in the United States that has to be self-sufficient. A really dumb idea at the time, and still a really dumb idea today.
A revision clause says that if the park was not self-supporting by 2013, the entire park would be turned back to the GSA for sale.
The mainstream press has picked up on the trivial parts of her proposed changes, such as renaming the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Golden Gate National Park.
One thing that wasn’t noticed is that Pelosi proposes to eliminate the revision clause in the Presidio Trust Act.
That’s a positive and significant change.
However, it comes at a huge cost.
And one of the costs is that Pelosi wants to eliminate the authority of the National Park Service to prevent the construction of the Fisher museum in the heart of the historic Presidio.
The National Park Service’s mission, as defined in the Organic Act of 1916 is to:
“To conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife there, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
While the National Park Service is all about protection of the resources in the Presidio, the Trust is all about generating revenue, but, in theory, the Trust is constrained by the oversight of the National Park Service and the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for maintaining historic properties.
So, although the Presidio is not endanger of falling into the hands of totally uncontrolled development, (Some would say the Presidio is already too developed) the Presidio Trust does have to create enough
revenue to maintain and operate what is probably one of the most expensive National Parks in the country.
However, what has happened is that the political power of the Trust has overwhelmed the rangers and cultural resources experts who work for the Park Service and making money has become the all important goal – often at the expense of preserving the historical landscape and resources.
Basically, if the Trust can’t see a way to make money from a structure in the Presidio, that building is left to rot.
Pelosi wants to further weaken the National Park Service’s oversight role and replace it with the Trust. This is similar to what the Bush administration tried to do by changing the National Park Service’s mission to emphasize “enjoyment” over conservation.
And, to that end, the Trust is proposing to build a hotel complex, a theater complex, and most objectionable of all, a huge contemporary art museum in the historic heart of the Presidio.
This misconceived plan has the potential of getting the area delisted as a National Landmark, because, on at least several levels, it is at odds with the Secretary of Interior’s guidelines for historic properties.
Perhaps that is what Pelosi has in mind.
To the extent that it can, the Park Service has been fighting these proposals, but they are extremely vulnerable to political pressure and ethically cannot take actions that appear to be “political” or look to
be insubordinate to their political appointee masters.
Pelosi’s actions will not only put in danger the historic status of the entire area but will also eliminate the “General Management Plan for the Presidio”, which was prepared by the NPS after exhaustive public input, and replace it with a “Presidio Trust General Management Plan.”
There is overwhelming opposition to the art museum in the Presidio, and for Pelosi to tinker with the Presidio Trust Act simply to allow the billionaire founder of the GAP to ruin the setting, the integrity and
the feel of a National Landmark is politics at it’s worst.
If anything, Pelosi should be introducing legislation that will *increase* the authority of the National Park Service and reduce the influence of the Trust.
One person’s obsession shouldn’t be allowed to ruin an entire National Park just because he has politician such as Nancy Pelosi in his pocket.
Pelosi’s bill can be found here