Wilderness, Wal-Mart, and the WaPo

Published:August 3, 2009 by Brendan Wolfe

The Washington Post weighs in on Wal-Mart and the Wilderness this morning. It’s one of those staff editorials obsessed with balance and being fair—not that there’s anything wrong with that!—but not particularly interested in actually making an argument or having an opinion.

Preservationists are right to want to protect some of the battlefield. However, if we decided to preserve every piece of land on which American blood was shed in the Civil War, a huge portion of Virginia would be untouchable. Critics also argue that building a Wal-Mart so near the park would ruin the historic ambiance of the place, because the store would be visible from the field. But the proposed store would be on a hill behind a buffer of trees, and the building would be colored in subtle earth tones so that the portion of the building that rises above the tree line would not clash with the landscape that surrounds it.

In the end, the Post goes out on a limb, calling for more time to look at more options.