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Kansas City Region

Potential Political Opposition against the MetroGreen

The MetroGreen is a project aimed to connect 1,144 miles of green spaces and trails across seven counties in Kansas and Missouri: Platte, Leavenworth, Johnson, Wyandotte, Clay, Jackson, and Cass. Despite the work they have done so far of protecting 91,000 acres of riparian areas, I imagine there may be challenges up ahead in terms of politics.

I suspect they may eventually face, if they haven’t already, some political challenges along the way. Out of all the congressional people representing these counties, I believe there are three that may cause problems in terms of the vision of this project: Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Representative Sam Graves (R-MO), and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS). The reason why these congressional people may prove an adversary to the MetroGreen Project is because of their voting record on environmental education grants for outdoor experiences, deauthorizing critical habitat for endangered species, and speeding up approval of forest thinning projects.

H.R.3036 No Child Left Inside Act of 2008 (text) is an environmental education grants for outdoor experiences which will be able to ”ensure that environmental education programs and curricula advance the teaching of interdisciplinary courses that include strong field components.” This coincides with one of the MetroGreen’s objectives to “provide opportunities for the area’s residents to learn about the region’s natural landscapes…” which can be threatened if this grant was shot down. This grant could potentially benefit the MetroGreen project by being a potential source of funding as their goals and objectives overlap. Both Senator Blunt and Senator Moran voted against this bill.

H.R.3824 Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 (text) is an amendment that would deauthorize ‘critical habitat’ for endangered species as well as many other things thus weakening the Endangered Species Act of 1973. This blatantly contradicts one of the MetroGreen’s objectives to “protect the native habitat of plants and animals throughout the Metro region.” There are about 15 endangered species found in the seven counties that make up the MetroGreen Project all which are being disregarded for their own political agenda. Senator Blunt, Representative Grave, and Senator Moran all voted in support of this bill.

H.R.1904 Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 (text) is a bill that would speed up approval for forest thinning projects. This also goes against the MetroGreen’s objectives to “protect the native habitat of plants and animals throughout the Metro region.” This is related to H.R.3824 as many endangered species are endangered because of habitat loss and increasing forest thinning projects may only exacerbate the problem even more. Senator Blunt, Representative Grave, and Senator Moran all voted in support of this bill.

Summary of Voting Record

 

H.R.3036

H.R.3824

H.R.1904

Sen. Blunt

Against

For

For

Rep. Graves

For

For

For

Sen. Moran

Against

For

For

This table provides a summary of the voting record of the three Congressional persons for the three bills in question. The red font represents a vote that goes against the objectives of the MetroGreen project while the green font represents a vote that is in support with one of the MetroGreen Project objectives.

In conclusion, I fear that these congressional people, as well as a few others with influence in the area, may someday work to hinder this MetroGreen project. Their voting record seems to suggest that they already disagree or don’t support some of the main goals and objectives of the MetroGreen project so there’s no reason to expect them to be in favor of the project. If it comes down to it, they may work to have the project stopped.

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