Governor Christie Offers A Preview Of Privatization
Written By – Todd Tanner, longtime outdoor writer and former fly fishing guide
In spite of all the press and all the controversy and all the sportsmen demanding that we keep public lands in public hands, there are still an awful lot of folks who don’t really understand why anyone would want to privatize our public lands, or what privatization would look like if it ever happened.
Fortunately, New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie was kind enough to offer a preview. As NJ.com put it, “People hoping to visit Island Beach State Park this holiday weekend were not allowed in because of the state government shutdown Gov. Chris Christie ordered amid the state budget standoff in Trenton. But there was one family there: Christie’s. They are using the summer beach house provided by the state for a weekend down the Shore.” Believe it or not, a photographer actually snapped images of Governor Christie and his family kicking back on the beach at the same time the public was being turned away.
That’s right. The Governor of New Jersey made sure his constituents lost public access at a popular local beach over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Then he and his family partied while the public was locked out. Governor Christie even flew in on the state helicopter.
America’s public lands offer us incredible recreational opportunities; opportunities that are literally unmatched anywhere else in the world. We are blessed to live here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Unfortunately, though, Governor Christie’s Republican Party no longer seems to share our enthusiasm for America’s public lands. In fact, the GOP frequently aligns itself with the privatizers and land transfer advocates trying to gain control of our public treasures.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about privatization. Closed roads. Locked gates. “No Trespassing” signs. And now Governor Christie has offered us the perfect preview of privatization. What does it look like? Well, the Governor and his family sure seemed to be enjoying themselves on that gorgeous beach. As for the rest of us … turns out we’re no longer in the picture.
As we celebrate Independence Day, please keep in mind that there are still important battles to be fought and won here in the U.S. of A. If you love to fish, or hunt, or hike, or camp – or if you simply appreciate our unmatched freedoms – please contact your Senators and Congressman and tell them to defend our public lands. Thanks to Governor Christie, we’ve seen what happens when the public gets locked out – and it’s not pretty.
Photo courtesy NJ.com. See more pictures of the beached governor.