Open space in Orange protected by Texas guns

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When Texas and Vermont jump into an ostensibly local fight, you know it’s bigger than it seemed at first.

I wrote a while ago about the dumb plan to build a Wal-Mart practically on top of Orange County’s Wilderness battlefield, and my post got some readers all worked up. As it should—we’re talking here about whether we can summon the political will to set aside a place of national importance, or whether we’ll trudge like cows toward a cheaper, less meaningful future. As I pointed out before, historical preservation dovetails in this case with open-space preservation, and I see it as a measure of our ability to think holistically about our environment.

It seems, though, that Orange County officials persist in thinking about the environment as a series of parcels, as in this article, where the chairman of that county’s board of supes repeats once again the indisputable fact that the land in question is zoned commercial. Yes, it is, but that shouldn’t be the end of the discussion—and folks from two faroff states are trying to keep up the conversation. The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star has the story here. A U.S. Rep from Texas and legislators in Vermont hope to get Wal-Mart to change its plans, since both those states consider the Wilderness important to their military histories.

So let’s see: A deep-South state, a New England state, and a piece of history that’s embodied in a piece of Virginia land, but impacts the heritage of people in far corners of America. No-brainer on Aisle One.

What do y’all think, Virginians and Pennsylvanians and Floridians and…?

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