Friday, October 07, 2005

No Thanks, NPS

The ASG lost $50,000 in funding from Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant program, which is administered by Department of Interior's National Park Service (NPS). According to Samoa News, the reason the NPS disapproved the appropriation is because the ASG “grant application was incomplete and there hasn't been a resolution to the McDonald's lease for portion of Utulei Beach Park.”

Togiola's administration wants to hand a part of the Utulei Beach Park, public land administered by the local government, to McDonalds, a private enterprise. The NPS opposes such action, and continually threatened to withhold funds in an attempt to prevent any privatization of the public park. A public park often neglected and polluted by a government and population that have no incentive to keep it clean. The NPS finally made good on its promise.

The only moral way to curb pollution in the territory is by giving people the right incentives to do so, instead of thumping each other over the head with bottle bills and taxes. Let McDonalds go forth and make a profit by enticing customers to clean, friendly and inviting restaurant in what was once a filthy location.

At the same time, we can tell the federal government to butt out of our affairs by not taking any more of their money. With less federal money comes more sovereignty.


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