The Passage of Time
Larry E. Smith
Americans for Responsible Recreational Access
I prepared this newsletter between the Christmas and New Year holidays. I like this time of year because the rush of Christmas is over. There are fewer people in town thereby making it easier to get into work, and there is just a general sense of quiet in the Nation's Capital. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the President and the Congress are out of town, who knows? This window of quiet also gives me an opportunity to reflect upon the concluding year and look forward to the New Year. Even though the exact timing of the beginning and the end of a year is an arbitrary demarcation determined by Pope Gregory more than 400 years ago, it does serve as a defining moment whereby we segment our lives into a finite time capsule. With each passing year, I become more reluctant about giving out my date of birth. This reluctance has nothing to do with the fear of becoming a victim of financial fraud, but rather, the simple tick of the clock. It's the passage of time that most of us hate to accept, especially since we are so powerless to do anything about it.
Looking Back in 2007
2007 was a year of change especially in Washington. A newly elected Congress took office in January and for the first time in many years, both the House and the Senate were controlled by the Democrats and the Republicans were no longer in the legislative driver's seat. We witnessed the exodus of a series of key federal land managers as the Bush Administration entered its final two years in office. We saw the resignations of the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, the Secretary of Agriculture and the retirement of the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. A new Forest Service Chief was appointed to the post, a new Director of BLM was confirmed by the Senate, and we still await the confirmation of a new Secretary of Agriculture.