The Great Sell-Off
Here on the North Carolina slope of the Great Smoky Mountains, folks are up in arms about the Bush Administration's proposal to sell off 200,000 acres of US Forest Service land, 6,500 acres of it in the nearby Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. Democrats and Republicans, environmentalists and hunters are angry about seeing these beautiful vistas put on the auction block solely to benefit the President's campaign contributors and to make the voodoo math of his budget work out. The issue is starting to dominate the local congressional race, with incumbent Republican Charles Taylor hemming and hawing and his Democratic challenger Heath Shuler hammering away at him on the issue. I'm particularly glad to see fellow hunters beginning to realize that, at least on some issues, they have much more in common with "tree huggers" than they do with a Republic Party wholly beholden to big business.