- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - An Alaska Republican lawmaker has a suggestion of where President Barack should look for America’s next wilderness area.

State Sen. Cathy Giessel is urging Obama and Congress to acquire New York City’s Central Park and close it off to development.

It’s another example of Alaska political leaders pushing back against Obama’s plan to ask Congress to designate much of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, putting it and its potentially oil-rich coastal plain off-limits to drilling.

A similar resolution went nowhere in 2012.

Federal overreach is a big theme for the Republican-controlled Alaska Legislature this year. One state senator advocates ignoring an Interior Department rejection of a road through another refuge. Another warned in a Dr. Seuss-style poem read on the Senate floor that while Alaskans may look sweet, they’re likely “packin’ heat.”

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