My Federal Woes

Thomas King let the heritage laws really have it in his book. The sad thing is that at the end of May I am going to attend Section 106 training in Seattle. Now I’m left with the question: what is the point? How will I be any different than the rest of the people that King rails against? Will I just be a client’s advocate for their projects, even if they will destroy significant historic buildings? I think I will be one of the well meaning ones, but will my actions just perpetuate the uselessness of the laws? Can new trainees introduced to Section 106 begin to change the status quo? I do think that if we can appeal to all conservatives and liberals alike, perhaps this is the time that the laws can be reformed to better protect our environment and our cultural landscapes. An appeal to private property rights and traditional ways of life might work to build support for this reform. And if it proves to save money, there would be more support. I was expecting that King would leave me with more enthusiasm and that change could happen to the laws, but I am about as discouraged as I was from the first chapter. My only comfort is to try and define how I will operate within the system, and to keep in mind what King has written. But isn’t that how we got where we are?

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