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Could Joe Miller Really Force the Federal Government to Hand Over Denali National Park to Alaska?


Denali STATE Park? Could it really happen?

Alaska's latest political upstart, Joe Miller, wants to go Wyoming Gov. David Freudenthal one better. While Governor Freudenthal had threatened to sell state lands within Grand Teton National Park to the highest bidder, Mr. Miller wants the federal government to turn over all national parks to the Alaskan government.

Of course, Mr. Miller, a favorite of the Tea Party, has a long way to go to see his dream come true. First he has to beat U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski for the Republican nomination for the seat -- something he seems en route to doing, what with a 1,600-vote lead at last check. Then he'd need to win the November general election race against Scott McAdams, which perhaps is no sure thing.

Still, he's got moxie!

In an interview with Alaska Dispatch, Miller said if elected to the Senate, he will fight for state control of vast swaths of Alaska currently under federal ownership. Promoting resource development on those lands would help Alaska pay its own way and break its dependence on federal money, he said.

On Miller's list of federal lands that the state should control is Denali National Park -- Alaska's equivalent of Yellowstone National Park. Denali, a pristine park with only one road, is home to Mount McKinley -- the nation's tallest peak -- as well as grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep and other animals.

"If there's a significant resource in that park that we could get at in a responsible way -- and the state decides it's appropriate to extract it -- let's create jobs from it," said Miller, adding that he moved to Alaska because he loves hunting and fishing and doesn't favor anything that despoils the wilderness.

Of course, talking about such a land deal and making it happen are two very different things, especially when Mr. Miller envisions either the federal government going bankrupt and voluntarily relinquishing its holdings or a change in the U.S. Constitution that would give states the upper hand over the federal government.

Perhaps Wyoming's governor should have been so bold. All Mr. Freudenthal did was suggest he would put two square-mile sections of state land that are surrounded by Grand Teton on the market if Interior officials didn't make a reasonable offer for the land. Well, apparently that offer was made last week. After meeting with Tom Strickland, assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, and Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, the governor told reporters that "we put together a transaction."


Why do 30% of the American people think these Tea Party folks are anything other than nutbags? I've so had it with these people ...

Denali is a **National** Park. So unless he's talking about Alaska leaving the Union, I doubt it.

Travel through Alaska and see how the Federal Government is all over the place there. Buildings, social programs, huge post offices in tiny communities ... in ways that are so visible. It's a tough place to live year round and Alaskans need help from the government. People say they want to be independent until they need help.

But it makes good copy and good rhetoric.




Why are Tea Partiers nutbags????? Because they value personal responsibility? States Rights? The widest degree of personal freedoms? It is easy for someone living in the continental U.S. to say what Alaskans should or shouldn't do. No one except the destitute and helpless need the government's help. It is amazing how capable people become when they have to.

Todd Palin could pull out his old secessionist paperwork and get the ball rolling really fast!

100% agree. Americans have become way too dependent on Uncle Sam to take care of them. We need to get back to our roots of personal liberties and responsibilities. It's called independence.

I wouldn't dare let Mr. Miller cross the street escorting my mother. The man is a potential hazard to Alaska's natural resources...rape, greed and pillage is in his focus.

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