JUNEAU -- Some Alaska lawmakers, hoping to make a point about federal encroachment on state rights, are urging the federal government take over New York City's Central Park and designate it as a wilderness area.
Rep. Kyle Johansen, the lead sponsor of HJR31, says such a takeover would never happen. But he wanted an extreme example to make a point about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and its being off limits to development. State leaders, including a Democratic member of Alaska's congressional delegation, have pushed for opening ANWR's coastal plain to oil and gas development. Legislation is currently pending in Congress to open ANWR to drilling as a way to spur domestic energy production.
According to the resolution, the plain takes up about 8 percent of ANWR and Central Park about 6 percent of Manhattan.