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LA state parks must become more self-sustaining

Another year, another set of budgetary difficulties for Louisiana’s state parks and historic sites. But, rather than depending upon taxpayers, policy-makers could help themselves out on this issue.

The Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism has braced itself for more budget cuts to parks in fiscal year 2019. This has led to shorter operational hours (and some sites open only by appointment) and deferred maintenance at the 22 parks and 19 historic sites. Already, parts of many stay closed, and some amenities that generate revenue have fallen into disrepair, creating a vicious cycle where the agency finds it harder to raise money to fix these things.

Yet, to some degree, CRT officials and lawmakers bear the blame for such problems by promoting an inefficient model. In 2012, the Legislative Auditor released a report that included suggestions on better running the operation. Five years later, at best only lukewarm implementation of these has occurred.


All well that ends well for LA, Angelle

Continually rejected by Louisiana voters, it seems Scott Angelle has hit his stride to aid the state in his post at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Tapped to lead the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the Republican has become a point person in GOP Pres. Donald Trump’s drive to disband overregulation and curb politicization of science that marked policies of the presidency of Democrat Barack Obama. Through a combination of specific strictures aimed at the energy industry and more generally draconian standards imposed in the area of the environment, perhaps no activity bore the heaviest burden from Obama’s heavy hand than energy.

Refreshingly, now that has changed. In Angelle’s bailiwick, he will monitor vastly opened acreage of exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and newly available land and seabed in the Arctic Ocean. He also will guide policy on extraction on federal lands and in implementing safety regulations.


Christmas Day, 2017

This column publishes usually every Sunday through Thursday after noon (sometimes even before; maybe even after sundown on busy days) U.S. Central Time except whenever a significant national holiday falls on the Monday through Friday associated with the otherwise-usual publication on the previous day (unless it is Independence Day or Christmas or New Year's when it is the day on which the holiday is observed by the U.S. government). In my opinion, there are six of these: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas. My column for The Advocate will run on Easter Sunday.

With Monday, Dec. 25 being Christmas Day, I invite you to explore this link.


Article misleads on LA climate change impact

The state’s journalistic source for promoting catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), the New Orleans Times-Picayune, strikes again with another push to accepting the poorly-backed hypothesis.

Earlier this month, a piece it published took note of an academic journal article commenting upon sea level rise (SLR). The article used geographic information system data to map sites of archaeological and historical importance, land areas, and the populations associated with these in the southeastern United States (excepting Mississippi for site data) that would suffer at varying degrees of SLR over the next century.

As research it appears solid, and its text displays an even hand, not launching into polemics about what may cause SLR (which could come from temperature rises or subsidence, among others things) or what to do about it. Louisiana, as expected from its geography and population, would be hit perhaps harder than any other state. Even a 100 cm rise would inundate 2,700 archeological sites and 207 historical places, displace at current levels more than 1 million people, and cover over 23,000 square km. Only isolated stretches south of the Northshore, south of north of Baton Rouge, south of Lafayette, and south of north of Lake Charles would stay above water, mainly around most rivers and select bayous.