DEC appointment remains a hot topic

When the NYS Conservation Council's (NYSCC) annual March on Albany takes place next Tuesday, March 13, it should prove to be more interesting than usual. The event, which invites both individual and organized sportsmen and women to the Capitol to meet with legislators, has an added attraction this year the proposed appointment of Assemblyman Alexander Grannis (D-NYC) to the position of Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner. Grannis was one of Spitzer's choices for comptroller, but when that fell through, he switched to the DEC position.

Unfortunately, Grannis's three-decade Assembly record smacks of support for anti hunting and trapping and anti firearms ownership, and he's used these primarily urban environmental issues as his primary platforms. Of course, what would you expect from a long-term New York City politician? Now that fellow Big Apple urbanite and Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer has picked him to head DEC, while also supervising the state's management of our natural resources, who would be better qualified? Well, how about someone already in DEC?

Obviously, any appointee's qualifications and experience with the natural resource and conservation programs that fall under his or her stewardship weren't a priority in Spitzer's choice for DEC commish, because Grannis's interest and knowledge of these appear to be lacking. The conservation and wise use of our state's natural resources are equally as critical as a cleaner environment, especially in upstate.

Prior to the March on Albany, the NYSCC will host an All Conservation Organization Conference and luncheon on March 12 at which both Spitzer and Grannis have been invited to speak, the latter being asked to field questions from attendees. Both the current NYSCC president and vice-president have repeatedly said they were neither for nor against Grannis's appointment. Now, what signal does that send to both politicians? You can bet that they, especially Grannis, will tell their captive audience exactly what they want to hear, for isn't that what career politicians often do?

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