One More Name to Know

Capitol Building, Washington D.C.The House Committee on Natural Resources today announced its subcommittee chairs. "These are the people who will lead the committee toward restoring integrity in the stewardship of our Nation's natural, cultural and wildlife resources", says Committee Chairman Nick Rahall. Heading up the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands is Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona. It looks like Grijalva has three NPS units in his district, located in the southwest corner of the state; Tumacacuri National Historical Park, Hohokam Pima National Monument (not open to the public), and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. As quoted in the release, Grijalva says:
I am humbled and honored to be selected to chair the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. This subcommittee oversees important issues affecting the Nation's lands. In the subcommittee, we plan to hold oversight hearings to examine how the Bush Administration's management has affected these lands, and determine the best way to fix the damage that has been done. I am committed to ensuring that our public lands retain their natural glory and are protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.
You can add Raul Grijalva to the list of "Names to Know in the 110th Congress". I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more from Raul's office in the next couple years with regards to parks.

Grijalva is the son of a migrant worker from Mexico, and as such, I wonder how concerned he is about the underrepresented face of minorities among all park visitors. It's an issue Julie Cart touched on awhile ago in an LA Times piece. And this week at the WildeBeat, producer Steve Sergeant has an excellent audiocast exploring the issue of race in the backcountry (and don't miss the follow-up interview as well). I do hope Grijala addresses the issue at some point in the next two years, I would be curious to hear his opinions on the issue.