In a purely political and moderately funny stunt a state legislator has suggested that New York City's Central Park be declared a federal wilderness so that the city couldn't do anything with the land without an act of Congress. The lawmaker, Republican Rep. Kyle Johansen, is annoyed that oil companies cannot drill on federally protected Alaskan land. And yeah, it is a little funny to imagine Congress lining up a vote on improvements at Sheep Meadow or the lease at Tavern on the Green. Johansen's argument is that if New York City can replace the bountiful nature Henry Hudson discovered over 400 years ago with a man-made borg of concrete and steel, why can't Alaska do the same to its protected land? But, as City Room points out, the comparison falls apart when you start talking about the legislator's goals of putting up oil derricks along the Boathouse: "extractive industries are not allowed to operate in Central Park (unless you count the overpriced organic hot-dog vendor near the skating rink)."
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