Saturday, October 22, 2005

Some Creep Stole the Arctic Refuge Map Belonging to Congress


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

In 1978, when a Democratic Congress passed the Alaskan Wildlife Act and Jimmy Carter signed it, they also had a detailed map created to delineate the boundries of this natural refuge. The map for this was stolen and the GOP doesn't want to know who stole it or even if it was stolen.

From the New York Times:
Maps matter. They chronicle the struggles of empires and zoning boards. They chart political compromise. So it was natural for Republican Congressional aides, doing due diligence for what may be the last battle in the fight over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to ask for the legally binding 1978 map of the refuge and its coastal plain.

It was gone. No map, no copies, no digitized version.
Evidently, it was kept behind a filing cabinet inside a foam board sandwich. When staff seeking this map found it, the original map was missing. But what turns this into a theft is the fact that a NEW foam board sandwich was put in place of the old one, only it was empty!

The GOP likes to laugh this off as "the cleaning lady threw it away," only this doesn't explain the new foam board left there in place of the old map. And as always, the GOP dudes love to blame lower staff for any problems. It is always the cleaning lady's fault.

To go on, the map is important because it is legal. All other maps are not legal so the GOP has rushed into the breach and declared their new map outlines to be the original and of course, all that oil is outside the domain of the park, not inside. What a shock.
The implications of the contours on the new map, at least for the native lands, are in dispute. Some people argue that the native owners, the Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation, which controls much of the surface rights to the land, and the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, which controls the mineral rights, would be able to offer energy leases no matter where the lines are drawn, as soon as Congress opens the plain.

The legislative counsel of the Interior Department, Jane M. Lyder, did not go quite that far, but did say the new map might make the question moot.

"It's a very circular kind of thing," Ms. Lyder said. "Changing the line on the map makes it a lot easier."

In addition, she said, the inclusion of the native lands within the coastal plain ensures that they will be covered by the bill's requirement that no more than 2,000 acres of the plain be used for drilling platforms, airstrips, roads and other surface disturbances. By including the native lands in the plain, any work there would count to the 2,000-acre limit, she said.
In history, redrawing lines on maps causes millions of people to die hideous deaths. This is called "wars".

Then there are map redrawings like the border between India and Pakistan back in 1948. Millions died when those lines were inked in. To be realistic, one should draw all map lines in blood. Keep our mind on what they really mean.

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