WASHINGTON — A new ploy by some Democrats to claim property for a national park is out of this world. Literally.
Reps. Donna Edwards of Maryland and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas are claiming lunar landing sites on the moon in legislation introduced this week to create a new historical park featuring all of the artifacts left behind from Apollo missions 11 through 17.
Without legislation creating the lunar park, the lawmakers contend that future commercial moon vacation threaten to disrupt or damage the sites.
“As commercial enterprises and foreign nations acquire the ability to land on the Moon, it is necessary to protect the Apollo lunar landing sites for posterity,” the bill said.
Before claiming the moon as it’s own, the bill requires the U.S. government to submit the out-of-this-world site to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization for designation as a World Heritage Site.
The moon playground would add to the National Park system’s holdings of 400 parks on 84 million acres of land and 4.5 million acres of oceans and lakes.
If acquired, the moon artifacts would join more than 121,000 museum objects already preserved by the National Park Service.
“With half or more of some states already owned by the federal government, Washington’s insatiable appetite has expanded to the moon,” said Robert Gordon, senior advisor for strategic outreach for the Heritage Foundation.
Overall, the federal government controls an estimated 640 million acres of land on planet Earth.