After reflecting on heritage protection laws, the only thing I can see when I close my eyes are the never-ending news articles on my Facebook wall detailing which government organizations the current administration is hell-bent on defunding. Is BigCorp going to build the thing at the place you love? Is that thing going to have a negative impact on the environment there? Too bad, we got rid of the EPA and all the other regulatory organizations, there’s no one left to do the evaluations you requested! Hope you like a little toxic waste with your childhood memories and cultural significance! At least these laws are consistent. Like our tax laws, they are nigh incomprehensible to someone that does not have years to figure out how they are actually supposed to work.
I agree with the author that just because a place has significance for one person does not mean that it is significant for the whole nation. “Progress” (whatever that is) should not be completely derailed for everyone as a whole just to save a tiny patch of land that is not important to more than one person. But I cannot help but think we could do better than this. Wilderness areas are important. National Parks are important. Conservation of our disappearing species is important. The newest installment of that big-box store? That one seam of dirty fossil fuel that cannot hope to save a dying industry dead in the middle of that sacred mountain? One developer’s pocket book? I cannot call these things significant on the same level.
I know I’m too sentimental for today’s economic realities. I really thought that I had a comprehensive list of things that I should be angry at congress about. We have got to do more or there will not be much of these types of sites left to bulldoze and build over.