Get To Know Congressman Pombo

Congresman Richard Pombo : Unattributed PhotoToday, the Subcommittee on National Parks will hold an oversight hearing on 'Visitation Trends in the National Park System - Part II'. This subcommittee belongs to the House Resources Committee, which is chaired by Richard Pombo, Republican from California's 11th District. Because of his position, Pombo is in a very key position to make decisions about what happens in our National Parks. If you don't already know this person, it is worth reading a little to see who he is and what he thinks our parks should be.

Committee on Resources, Snowmobile Central
quoting from the website: Chairman Richard W. Pombo has been actively involved in oversight of the National Park Service's winter use plans for snowmobiling. He believes, as President Roosevelt did, that the original intent for our National Parks is the "benefit and enjoyment of the people...(and that) it is the property of Uncle Sam and therefore of us all.' Snowmobiles have their rightful place in our National Park System, just as birdwatching, hiking and other recreational opportunites do.

House Resources Committee Welcome Message
"... it is my hope that this website will become a resource for the people of this country active in fighting for common-sense and science based policies that will positively influence our environment."

Pombo Press Release, Dec 2003
In response to a judge siding with scientists to ban snowmobiles in Yellowstone "This judge in particular seems to have a penchant for locking out the public and refuses to apply common sense in interpreting the spirit and intent of the law. It appears that a shrill, vocal minority need only get the ear of a single judge in Washington and our representative government goes out the window. This trend must change. If environmental extremists continue to have their way, people will be looking at Yellowstone through a plate glass window," said Pombo. "What the extremists were not able to accomplish by changing the law, they are attempting to accomplish by using the courts via a handpicked judge in Washington."

Vietnam Memorial Underground Museum Criticized:
LA Times: The continued mauling of the National Mall
Richard W. Pombo (R-Tracy), chairman of the powerful House Resources Committee, introduced legislation authorizing construction of the Vietnam War museum. Similar proposals had failed three times before. ... The museum's original legislation required "compliance with standards applicable to commemorative works," but those federal rules posed potentially insurmountable hurdles. So Pombo's new bill simply ordered construction at the controversial Lincoln Memorial site, "notwithstanding any other law."

Vietnam Memorial Addition to Put the "Fun" Back in "Fundamental Failure of the American Experiment"
The Vietnam Memorial, ... will be getting a much-needed facelift! Ground will be broken soon on a ... 'visitor center' that'll bring some much-needed family entertainment to the dour ol' granite wall. ... [It will include] a 3D 'battle scene' ' that'll be a blast For a quarter, you can put on 'Ride of the Valkyries' and napalm a miniature village ' animatronic Robert [Duvall] will show you how! Yes, if there's one criticism to be made about the memorial ' currently the most visited on the mall ' as it currently exists, it's that visitors just don't know how to visit it correctly.

Pombo Rents an RV with $5000 of Your Money for Vacation with Family
Pombo in 2003:"This August, my family and I rented an RV and set out to explore the West. We spent two weeks on vacation, stopping along the way to enjoy the splendor of many of our national parks." Legal experts said the test of whether the expense was appropriate was whether Pombo's 5,000-mile driving tour -- which included stops in the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, Sequoia-Kings Canyon and Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and other parks -- was primarily a vacation or a work trip. ** Pombo's visit to the Badlands National Park is in dispute: the secretary to the superintendent said he did not show. Officials from Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks did not return calls seeking comment (to the LA Times).

Beyond Delay, The 13 Most Corrupt Members of Congress
In 2004, Rep. Pombo's office sent a letter to Secretary of the Department of Interior Gail Norton, urging the Department of the Interior to suspend environmental guidelines opposed by the wind-power industry. The letter failed to disclose, however, that Rep. Pombo's parents have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties from wind-power turbines on their 300-acre ranch. Moreover, Rep. Pombo himself stood to gain financially from his parents' wind-power contracts, as he owns an interest in his parents' ranch and maintains substantial monetary ties with his family. The wind-farm regulation falls under the jurisdiction of the Resources Committee, chaired by Rep. Pombo.

Pombo's in their Pocket
A website with video created by the Defenders of Wildlife

And, if that were not enough, he is associated with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, a fact that his staff even tried to erase from his Wikipedia entry. Oh yeah, and he wants to radically overhaul the Endangered Species Act. Gives you a warm fuzzy feeling that this guy holds such a position of power concerning our National Parks, doesn't it?