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Nov 29,2007
Row erupts over LBJ's ranch
by UPI

STONEWALL, Texas -- A debate over the accessibility to the estate of former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson has set the National Park Service in opposition to Johnson's daughters.

Former Park Service Director George Hartzog met with LBJ's widow to develop a plan to donate the ranch for a Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park but the plan limited access to guided bus tours.

Following the death of Lady Bird Johnson on July 11, the National Park Service stated its intention to open LBJ's ranch and office to public vehicles, USA Today said Thursday.

Citing declines in the number of visitors, the Park Service said it would like to allow more access to the park to, in the words of Johnson's daughter Luci Baines Johnson, "find ways for people to experience the ranch in a different way."

Hartzog called the new proposal "an abomination," telling the newspaper, "That was not the wish that the president and Mrs. Johnson had."

Luci Baines Johnson, however, said it was "most lamentable" that some voiced concern over the proposals.

Lynda Johnson Robb echoed her younger sister's sentiments saying to USA Today, "You're always going to have people who feel the best way to preserve things is not to let anybody come."

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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