Last Friday, September 29th, a proposal by Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) that will keep the public off Santa Rosa Island for nearly half the year was passed as part of the 2007 Defense Authorization bill.  Specifically, the provision allows an unusual, lucrative private trophy hunting operation on the island that was set to end in 2011 to continue indefinitely.

It was a sad day for those of us who love and treasure Santa Rosa Island and all of our National Parks.  It is simply outrageous that this ridiculous "earmark" was included in the defense bill.  Kicking the public off a National Park it paid more than $30 million for to continue indefinitely a private hunting operation is a clear violation of the public trust and sets a terrible precedent for the use of our National treasures. It is an insult to the taxpayers who rightfully expect to be able to visit the island it they paid for. It's also an insult to our troops, whose service to this country is being used as a cover for this special interest boondoggle.

I will soon be introducing legislation to reverse this terrible provision and return this beautiful national park to its rightful owners, the American people.