CALLING SENATOR PROXMIRE, who used to issue something called the "Golden Fleece Award." Taxpayers for Common Sense have taken up the cause, at Senator Proxmire's urging, and the linked site provides a great deal of history of the awards, which often made the academy angry (and which inspired parallels here.) Over the summer, I learned of a project that is almost certainly worthy of a Golden Fleece Award. I received a lengthy survey from something called the Human Dimensions in Natural Resources Unit at Colorado State Unit seeking my comments on the aesthetic effects of allowing elk to browse in Rocky Mountain National Park. The last time I visited that park was nearly 40 years ago, and at the time bears would roam the camp grounds. The survey did not include "reintroducing wolves" or "extending elk season" as options. Your tax dollars are at work measuring Public Preferences for Elk and Vegetation Management in Rocky Mountain National Park. (Are there any gold-bearing streams in the area? One could skin a mountain goat, leave it in the stream for a while, and get some real golden fleece to present to Colorado State.)

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