Picture of bear at Eielson visitor center
Map of UN World Heritage and Bioshpere Programs in the US
Simulated map of Reserve and Corridor System
Picture of sign at Mammoth Cave "Biosphere Reserve"
by Michael S. Coffman, PHD
On June 17th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) conducted a public hearing in Bozeman, Montana regarding the proposed Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan. That plan would create 32 million acres of "protected recovery zones" in at least six regions, which would be connected by migratory corridors ¾ one of which is 240 miles long. It also called for the recovery of all grizzly bear populations in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, and possibly Colorado, and the eventual connection of "island" bear populations with other grizzly populations across the affected areas.
Obviously, such an ambitious plan is fraught with implications for private property rights, economic development, the security of livestock, and even the physical safety of residents in the affected areas. Curiously, however, the FWS did not bother to inform any of the affected parties. Representatives of natural resource industries and local landowners were not notified of the hearing at all and were denied information about the meeting until they found out about it from independent sources.
However, six weeks before the scheduled meeting, the FWS solicited testimony from self-described environmental groups about the proposed recovery plan. Among those invited to create public policy were the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, and Wild Forever.
The FWS tapped Louisa Willcox, a founder of the eco-terrorist group Earth First! and project coordinator for Wild Forever, to preside over the meeting's speaker agenda. In a coordinated fashion, environmental groups asked that roadless areas be kept roadless, that roaded public lands be reduced below one mile of road per square mile, that grizzly bear recovery zones be doubled in size to over 50,000 square miles, that grizzly bear habitat be connected with corridors, and that grizzly bear food sources and habitat be protected from human disturbance.
While eco-terrorists and their allies were treated with respectful attention by the FWS, the original agenda of the meeting was intended to prevent property owners and resource industry spokesmen from testifying. It was only through the persistence of Joe Beardsley, a private citizen, that the FWS was shamed into giving him and a few other local citizens about 30 minutes for spontaneous testimony ¾ a token concession at best, given the well-orchestrated five-hour tag-team effort by the radical environmentalists.
The June 17th meeting typifies the method of "governance" being devised to implement radical environmental policies across the United States, and the demands presented by the federally approved eco-radicals are in harmony with a long-term design to eradicate private property and industrial civilization from at least half of the continental U.S. That design entails the systematic subversion of the U.S. Constitution and the surrender of our sovereignty to the United Nations in the name of protecting "biodiversity."
From Rumor to Reality
During a March 7th White House press conference, journalist Sara McClendon asked the President to rebuke the "rumor mongerers" who were irresponsibly subverting public serenity by spreading stories that the Administration is surrendering U.S. sovereignty to the United Nations. "Large segments of our citizens believe that the United Nations is taking over whole blocks of counties in Kentucky and Tennessee," McClendon pointed out. Amid snickers from the assembled reporters ¾ which he had abetted with his theatrical display of incredulity ¾ Mr. Clinton responded, "We're all laughing about it, but there is not an insubstantial number of people who believe that there is a plan out there for world domination and I'm trying to give American sovereignty over to the UN." Having invited the press to ridicule such apprehensions, Mr. Clinton promptly proceeded to vindicate them: "For people that are worried about it, I would say there is a serious issue here that every American has to come to grips with ... and that is, how can we be an independent, sovereign nation leading the world in a world that is increasingly interdependent, that requires us to cooperate with other people and then to deal with very difficult circumstances in trying to determine how best to cooperate?"
Mr. Clinton's response might well have been adapted from Our Global Neighborhood, the 1995 report from the UN-funded Commission on Global Governance, which asserts that a "thickening web of interdependence requires that countries work together .... In an increasingly interdependent world ... the notions of territoriality, independence, and non-intervention have lost some of their meaning. In certain areas, sovereignty must be exercised collectively, particularly in respect to the global commons" ¾ that is, the global environment. The UN and the Clinton Administration share the assumption that the management of the "commons" requires the incremental surrender of U.S. sovereignty and the restructuring of the American way of life.
It was that assumption that led to the Administration's decision to ask the UN to designate Yellowstone National Park and Everglades National Park as "World Heritage Sites in Danger" ¾ thus imposing new restrictions on human use of those sites. The same vision of collective management of the "global commons" informs the deliberations of the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD), which is weaving UN guidelines into U.S. policies on land use, resource development, and population. And, notwithstanding Mr. Clinton's evasions, there is indeed a master plan behind the Administration's environmental agenda ¾ if not a plan for "world domination," then at least a plan to eradicate modern industrial civilization.
Back to 1492
The master plan is called the "Wildlands Project," a grandiose design to transform at least half the land area of the continental United States into an immense "eco-park" cleansed of modern industry and private property. The Wildlands concept is largely the work of Dave Foreman, the principal founder of the eco-terrorist group Earth First! Foreman describes the Wildlands Project as an effort to "tie the North American continent into a single Biodiversity Preserve"; the Project's official publication, Wild Earth, refers to a "long-term master plan" to connect ecosystems throughout the continent "until the matrix, not just the nexus, is wild." Foreman summarizes Wildlands as "a bold attempt to grope our way back to 1492" ¾ that is, to repeal a half-millennium of biblical civilization, with its unique blessings of material prosperity, technological progress, private property, and individual rights.
According to Foreman, Wildlands activists would "identify existing protected areas" such as federal and state wilderness areas, parks, refuges, and other designated sites; such tracts would serve as "core areas" completely off-limits to human activity. Then the agitators would demand the creation of "buffer zones" to protect the core areas. Wildlands architect Reed Noss explains that in both the core and buffer areas, "the collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans."
The next step is to create "wildlife corridors" connecting the protected areas. Once this is accomplished, according to Foreman, Wildlands activists would "look for gaps between wild lands or public lands" for future acquisition "by public agencies or by private groups like the Nature Conservancy." In this way, private lands would be steadily absorbed into the Wildlands scheme "until the matrix, not just the nexus, is wild."
John Davis, editor of Wild Earth, acknowledges that the Wildlands Project seeks nothing less than "the end of industrial civilization .... Everything civilized must go...." In this bizarre scheme, human civilization must be radically reconfigured, roads must be torn from the landscape, and human populations must be relocated. All of this is to be done, according to Wildlands board member Michael Soule, in harmony with a prophetic vision: "The oracles are the fishes of the river, the fishers of the forest, and articulate toads. Our naturalists and conservation biologists can help us translate their utterances. Our spokespersons, fund-raisers, and grass-roots organizers will show us how to implement their sage advice." All of this could be dismissed as flatly ridiculous, were it not for three ominous facts:
· First, the Wildlands Project can boast scores of affiliates who are (in Foreman's words) developing "Wilderness Recovery Networks on the regional and ecosystem level using the [Wildlands] model ... so that such plans can dovetail into similar plans for adjacent regions until the continent-wide plan is assembled." In other words, Wildlands isn't just a malignant daydream, but an unfolding campaign that is speeding across America like a cancer.
· Second, the UN Convention on Biodiversity, which was signed by Bill Clinton in 1993 but has yet to be ratified by the Senate, effectively mandates implementation of the Wildlands Project.
· Third, despite the refusal of the Senate to ratify the Biodiversity Treaty, the Clinton Administration is eagerly implementing its provisions through executive action and bureaucratic fiat.
Nature Knows Best?!
On January 19, 1996, President Clinton issued Executive Order (EO) 12986, which stated, in part: "I hereby extend to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources [IUCN] the privileges and immunities that provide or pertain to immunity from suit .... This designation is not intended to abridge in any respect privileges, exemptions, or immunities that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources may have acquired or may acquire by international agreements or by congressional action." Few Americans have ever heard of EO 12986; fewer still could identify the IUCN or explain why it merited such privileged treatment by the President. Simply put, the IUCN is one of the UN's major instruments in creating and implementing global environmental policy ¾ and Mr. Clinton's executive order was intended to insulate it from legal accountability.
The IUCN is an accredited scientific advisory body to the United Nations, and has more than 880 state and federal governmental agency and non-governmental organization (NGO) members in 133 countries. As of fiscal year 1993, the IUCN was receiving over $1.2 million annually in taxpayer subsidies by way of the U.S. State Department. The body's official mission is "to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable."
Of course, the IUCN promotes a very peculiar vision of "equity," "sustainability," and natural "diversity." The Spring 1996 issue of the IUCN's Ethics Working Group's publication, Earth Ethics, candidly admits that the IUCN "promotes alternative models for sustainable communities and lifestyles, based in ecospiritual practice and principles ... to accelerate our transition to a just and sustainable future ... humanity must undergo a radical change in its attitudes, values, and behavior .... In response to this situation, a new global ethics is taking form, and it is finding expression in international law."
Despite its pretensions to being a scientific body, the IUCN eschews the scientific method when doing so is convenient. The organization's Commission on Environmental Strategy and Planning (CESP), for example, claims a mandate to "change human behavior" by using a strategy "based less on the facts ... than on the values they hold." Indeed, the IUCN's entire approach to conserving the "integrity and diversity of nature" is based not on facts, but on essentially religious theories of conservation biology and "island biogeography." Those theories are themselves rooted in a version of pantheism ¾ the belief that nature is God and therefore knows best, and that all human activity leads to "fragmentation" of ecosystems, which in turn leads to a depletion of biodiversity. Fragmentation leaves "islands" of undisturbed ecosystems that supposedly are too small to maintain biodiversity. Protecting and expanding those "islands" of biodiversity thus becomes imperative, as does connecting those "islands" by "wildlife corridors"; thus the basic template of the Wildlands Project is directly derived from the 1UCN's "ecospiritual" assumptions.
From Myth to Public Policy
The idea that the continent was an unspoiled, verdant paradise teeming with biodiversity before the advent of the Europeans has a certain romance, and it is easy to sell that fantasy to the ill-informed urban and suburban populations who provide much of the political support for radical environmentalism. But fantasy makes a poor foundation for public policy, and top peer-reviewed scientists have dispelled the myths behind the IUCN's "ecospiritual" science. In 1986, B.L. Zimmerman and R.O. Bierregaard published a highly critical analysis of this approach in the Journal of Biogeography. "The equilibrium theory of island biogeography and associated species area relations have been promoted as theoretical bases for design of nature [wilderness] reserves," note the well-respected authors. "However, the theory has not been properly validated and the practical value of biogeographic principles for conservation remains unknown." In simpler terms, the assumption that human activity has "fragmented" vast, connected ecosystems has never been scientifically corroborated.
Similar admissions have come from noted conservation biologists who are sympathetic to the IUCN's basic assumptions. In 1992, conservation biologists Daniel Simberloff, James Farr, James Cox, and David Mehlman acknowledged in the Journal of Conservation Biology that even while the IUCN was popularizing island biogeography and the need for reserves and corridors, "the theory was increasingly heavily criticized ... as inapplicable to most of nature, largely because local population extinction was not demonstrated .... No unified theory combines genetic, demographic, and other forces threatening small populations, nor is there accord on the relative importance of these threats .... There are still few data, and many widely cited reports are unconvincing." A similar finding was published by Richard Hobbs in Tree magazine. According to Hobbs, "natural corridors, along with other principles of reserve design, have been quoted in policy documents and textbooks, despite being supported by few empirical [real] data at the time, and being subject to considerable debate since."
In other words, there is simply no reliable scientific evidence to support the IUCN's basic assumptions. In fact, over the past half-dozen years, abundant research has clearly shown that in most cases, creating wilderness core reserves and corridors causes critical biological diversity to plummet. In spite of all this, the IUCN has developed and heavily promoted both its own unreliable theories of conservation biology since the 1970s, and played a key role in the development of the Wildlands Project as a means of implementing those theories.
The Wildlands Project requires the designation of "core areas" around which can be constructed the network of "buffer zones" and "wildlife corridors" that will reprimitivize the land. This is why the IUCN, acting upon its own discredited scientific theories, helped develop and promote the UNESCO-sponsored Man and Biosphere Program (MAB) and the UN's World Heritage Convention, Convention on Biological Diversity, and Convention on Desertification ¾ all of which are intended to be vehicles for transforming the IUCN/UN "ecospiritual" view into law.
The IUCN is obviously less interested in "facts" than in "values," and the organization and its allies perceive themselves to be a priestly elite. In the very first issue of the IUCN journal Conservation Biology, this elitist arrogance is on full display: "By joining together those who are [wise], the worst biological disaster in the last 65 million years can be averted. We assume that environmental wounds inflicted by ignorant humans and destructive technologies can be treated by wiser humans."
The IUCN-inspired college textbook Conservation Biology reveals that these "wiser humans" are literally at war with "ignorant humans": "Conservation biology is a crisis discipline. Warfare is the epitome of a crisis discipline. On a battlefield you are justified in firing on the advancing enemy."
Of particular concern is the fact that the IUCN has conscripted various federal agencies and NGOs as allies into its war against "ignorant humans," and the IUCN's coalition is developing joint strategies to implement the "ecospiritual" theology through international law. Through the IUCN, government agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Park Service, the Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can huddle in private with the Society of Conservation Biology, the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, the National Wildlife Federation, the National Audubon Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Environmental Defense Fund to develop strategies for the implementation of their shared religious beliefs. And through EO 12986, the IUCN was immunized from legal accountability for any injuries it inflicts on private property owners in the course of its war against "ignorant humans."
The World Heritage Treaty
As noted above, IUCN has been instrumental in creating and promoting the U.S. government's Man and Biosphere Program (MAB) and the World Heritage Convention, and both of those international agreements have proven quite useful in implementing the Wildlands agenda. Areas that are inscribed as MAB or World Heritage Sites are prime candidates to become "core areas" for the Wildlands Project. This is especially true of Heritage sites. As was pointed out in the October 6, 1992 issue of Environment magazine, designation of Heritage sites "constitutes a unique precedent [as it] implies what might be called a voluntary limitation of sovereignty" and a recognition that "other countries have, through the [World Heritage] convention, an obligation ¾ and therefore a right ¾ toward these sites."
The World Heritage Convention was ratified by the Senate in 1973; the MAB program was unilaterally implemented by the State Department through "memoranda of understandings" without input or oversight by Congress. Both programs have been secretly implemented by federal and state bureaucrats in collusion with NGOs and with little or no input from local citizenry ¾ and such secrecy is actually mandated by policy guidelines. Paragraph 14 of the 1994 Operational Guidelines for the World Heritage Convention states, "To avoid possible embarrassment to those concerned, state parties [to the convention] should refrain from giving undue publicity to the fact that a property has been nominated for inscription pending the final decision of the committee on the nomination in question. "In other words, the UN insists that sites be nominated for international control without public notice ¾ meaning that U.S. citizens can wake up one morning to discover that their back yard has been designated a UN Heritage site.
Even more ominous is the fact that the UN claims the right of circumventing elected representatives altogether in designating Biosphere Reserves. UNESCO's 1995 Seville Agreement for Biosphere Reserves states that "national or local NGOs could be appropriate substitutes" for national or local governments in identifying and designating such sites. In practice, this would empower unaccountable eco-socialist lobbies such as the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, and others to actually substitute for elected federal and local governments in designating and administering Biosphere Reserves. Through such secretive machinations, an archipelago of 47 Biosphere Reserves and 20 World Heritage Sites occupying over 50 million acres of U.S. soil has already been established without local participation or congressional oversight.
In the mid-1980s, as a result of this covert campaign, entrance signs to national parks and monuments suddenly announced that those areas had been designated as UN Biosphere Reserves or World Heritage Sites. Given that these designations had ¾ in compliance with UN guidelines ¾ been arranged in secret without public input, they alarmed the public, and rumors began to spread that our Parks and Monuments had been surrendered to UN control. This is not entirely true: The relevant documents concerning these programs specify that the U.S. maintains sovereignty within the designated areas.
However, this begs the question: How is "sovereignty" defined in this context? While there is no evidence that the United Nations has ever made a direct management decision for any U.S. sites, it is clear that the federal government bound itself to international agreements stipulating that the United States would manage these lands according to international dictates in order to achieve certain international goals and objectives. In other words, the United States has agreed to limit its right of sovereignty over these lands by deferring to international mandates. In effect, the federal government is implementing mandates from the UN, just as state governments are compelled to implement unconstitutional mandates from the federal government.
Trumping U.S. Law
An example of this process in action unfolded in 1995, when George Frampton, Under Secretary of Interior and past president of the Wilderness Society, invited a delegation from the United Nations into Yellowstone National Park for the specific purpose of declaring Yellowstone a World Heritage Site "in danger." The declaration was intended to stop the development of a gold mine located about five miles from the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. Providing "pressure from below" on behalf of the UN/Clinton Administration initiative was a group of more than a dozen environmental groups that called itself the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, which "petitioned" for the site to be recognized by the UN as "in danger."
This effort was undertaken, as environmental analyst Alston Chase observed, because the Clinton Administration feared that "U.S. law would not prevent a planned gold mine near Yellowstone National Park...." The company seeking to build the mine was in compliance with both state and federal guidelines, and was nearing completion of the torturous, two-year process of filing state and federal environmental impact statements. Accordingly, the Clintonites and their eco-extremist allies simply threw out U.S. law and enlisted the UN to shut down the mine in the name of enforcing global law.
"As ratified by Congress, the provisions of the World Heritage Treaty have the force and statutory authority of federal law," insisted Yellowstone Park Superintendent Mike Finley. "By inviting the committee to visit the park and assess the mine's potential impacts, the Interior Department acted as it was legally required to do." Finley failed to explain why the Park Service automatically assumes that the provisions of the World Heritage Treaty, which lacks federal implementing legislation, nonetheless have the force and statutory authority of federal law. He also declined to enlighten the public as to why the Park Service waited two years before requesting a review of the mine by the World Heritage Committee ¾ then did so only after it became apparent that the state and federal environmental studies would likely find no environmental problems with the mine development.
Property Rights Peril
UNESCO's December 1995 designation of Yellowstone as a World Heritage Site "in danger" did much more than merely shut down a gold mine; it also opened the door for the federal government to redefine land-use policy for all private property in what was called the "Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem." The area originally affected by the planned designation was a mere 4,400 acres of federal land near the park. In August 1995, a presidential decree materialized in the Federal Register more than quadrupling the affected acreage: 19,000 acres were to be declared off limits to mining permits. However, as environmental attorney William Perry Pendley points out, UNESCO sought to review all policies dealing with mining, timber, wildlife, and tourism within the newly designated "core area" ¾ "which takes in about 75 percent of the economy" ¾ and also the impact of human activity in the "Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem" which includes the two million acres of the park and the 18 million acres surrounding it. "If the UN is given the power to set policy in Yellowstone and the region," Pendley warned, "property rights will be in peril throughout the Western United States...."
The same strategy has been used elsewhere. In 1993, Everglades National Park was recognized by the World Heritage Committee as a Heritage Site "in danger." Since that time, farmers north of the Everglades have been besieged by an onslaught of regulations and restrictions that have shut down scientifically sound agricultural conservation practices. In keeping with the disdain for hard science displayed by the IUCN, the Park Service, Vice President Gore, and radical environmental organizations have indulged in high-octane rhetoric about the threats to an "international heritage site belonging to all people" that have supposedly resulted from irresponsible use of surrounding private property.
In a fashion reminiscent of the Soviet Union, the eco-bureaucracy punished a scientist whose findings were at odds with public policy regarding the Everglades. Dr. Curtis Richardson of Duke University, who had been given a federal contract to study the magnitude of the pollution problem in the Everglades, was suddenly terminated in 1991 after his study concluded that the "Everglades have been, and are now, receiving excellent quality water." Upstream farming, in other words, was not significantly contributing to the problem. Had the Park Service accepted Dr. Richardson's findings, it would not have been able to justify the "in danger" status for the park. Accordingly, it dismissed the study, fired Dr. Richardson, and ¾ in a gesture worthy of Stalin ¾ barred the researcher from entering the park.
Not surprisingly, both Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites are strategically linked to the Wildlands Project. The MAB Strategic Plan specifies: "Each biosphere reserve includes three types of areas: one or more securely 'Protected Areas,' [Core Reserves] such as wilderness areas or nature reserves, for conservation and monitoring of minimally disturbed ecosystems; 'Managed Use Areas,' [Buffer Zones] usually surrounding or adjoining the protected areas, where experimental research, educational activities, public recreation, and various economic activities occur according to ecological principles; and 'Zones of Cooperation,' [Transition Areas] which are open-ended areas of cooperation .... Connected by corridors judiciously linking different ecological units within the urban-rural and terrestrial/marine landscape, biosphere reserves could provide the most viable means for the long-term protection of biodiversity." It is difficult to find a plainer reiteration of the basic Wildlands design.
Similarly, paragraphs 17 and 44 from the "Operating Guidelines" for the World Heritage program stipulate, "An adequate 'buffer zone' around a property should be provided and should be afforded the necessary protection .... [Buffer zones] should include sufficient areas immediately adjacent to the area of outstanding universal value in order to protect the site ... from direct human encroachment and impacts of resource use outside of the nominated area. The boundaries of the nominated site may coincide with one or more existing or proposed protected areas, such as national parks or biosphere reserves."
Although proponents of the Wildlands Project are willing to pursue their designs incrementally, they obviously would prefer the power to implement the entire program immediately. This was the design behind the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity, which was signed by President Clinton in 1993. It is therefore highly revealing that the first goal of the UNESCO Seville Strategy for Biosphere Reserves is to "promote biosphere reserves as a means of implementing the goals of the [UN] Convention on Biological Diversity." Similarly, the U.S. Man and the Biosphere Strategy claims that "U.S. Biosphere Reserves are important areas for developing the data, technology, and experience needed to implement the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development that relate to global issues, such as biodiversity, climate change, desertification, forest management, and sustainable new development."
The Biodiversity Treaty, which was essentially written for the UN by the IUCN, would permit an undefined and unaccountable global bureaucracy to regulate all human activity that presents potential harm to biological diversity. In principle, this mandate would cover all human activity, given that almost anything that humans do is deemed by the IUCN as harmful to biological diversity. The text of the treaty itself was merely a skimpy framework, or what Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) correctly called "a preamble falsely described as a treaty." The Senate was asked to authorize the creation of implementing "protocols" which would be written later and be binding upon the signatories. The specific terms of the treaty were to be explained in detail in a 1,140-page Global Biodiversity Assessment (GBA) produced by the IUCN in collaboration with the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP).
The Senate was poised to ratify the Biodiversity Treaty in September 1994 when the American Sheep Industry obtained a draft of the GBA from the IUCN. Section 10.4.2.2.3 of the draft GBA (Section 22.214.171.124.3 in the final document) provided the "smoking gun": It proved the Wildlands Project to be the template for protecting biodiversity. To carry out the terms of the Treaty, according to the GBA, "Representative areas of all major ecosystems in a region need to be reserved," and such "[reserved] blocks should be as large as possible ... buffer zones should be established around core areas and ... corridors should connect these areas. This basic design is central to the Wildlands Project in the United States ... a controversial ... strategy ... to expand natural habitats and corridors to cover as much as 30% of the US land area." In fact, Wildlands would reprimitivize no less than 50 percent of the U.S. land area.
Hostility to Western Values
In addition, the GBA documented that the Biodiversity Treaty is a testament to the pantheistic worldview championed by the IUCN and its allies ¾ and that it is militantly hostile to any monotheistic tradition, and to the Bible-based Western worldview in particular. The biblical worldview, according to the GBA, "is characterized by the denial of sacred attributes of nature ... [which] became firmly established about 2000 years [ago] with the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious traditions .... Societies dominated by Islam, and especially Christianity, have gone farthest in setting humans apart from nature."
By way of contrast, the UN study continues, "the worldview of traditional societies tends to be strikingly different from the modem worldview. They [IUCN proponents] tend to view themselves as members of a community that not only includes other humans, but also plants and animals as well as rocks, springs and pools. People are then members of a community of beings ¾ living and non-living. Thus rivers may be viewed as mothers. Animals may be treated as kin." Like the Wildlands Project, which seeks to turn the clock back to the pre-Columbian era, the Biodiversity Treaty is intended to eradicate Western culture and exalt a pagan worldview in which humans enjoy no special status in nature.
Hours before the scheduled vote, three groups ¾ the American Sheep Industry, Environmental Perspectives, Inc., and the Maine Conservation Rights Institute ¾ provided the U.S. Senate with a draft copy of the GBA, along with maps depicting the impact that implementation of the Wildlands Project would have on the U.S. The documentation was introduced on the Senate floor by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) on September 30, 1994, one hour before the scheduled cloture vote that would have cut off all debate on the treaty. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME) responded by quietly removing the treaty from floor consideration. This was particularly dramatic in light of the fact that the UN had consistently lied about the GBA, repeatedly telling the Senate that no draft of the document existed and that there were no plans to create one.
Ignoring the law
But the Clinton Administration, the UN, and its radical eco-allies are not about to be deterred by their defeat in the Senate. In August 1993, the EPA published a Working Document outlining the Administration's environmental strategy: "Natural resource and environmental agencies ... should ... develop a joint strategy to help the United States fulfill its existing international obligations (e.g. Convention on Biological Diversity, Agenda 21) .... The executive branch should direct federal agencies to evaluate national policies ... in light of international policies and obligations, and to amend national policies to achieve international objectives.
"The "Agenda 21" document referred to is the mammoth blueprint for global eco-socialism unveiled at the 1992 UN "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro. It sets forth (in the words of Daniel Sitarz, who edited the mass-marketed edition of the document) "an array of actions which are intended to be implemented by every person on earth," a plan which "will require a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced." Thus, by its own admission, the Clinton Administration clearly recognizes an "international obligation" to carry out a UN-mandated "profound reorientation" of American society. Furthermore, notwithstanding the Senate's refusal to ratify the Biodiversity Treaty, elements of that treaty have simply been written into administrative policies governing the Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the EPA, and the Bureau of Land Management. The Clinton Administration has also arranged public subsidies for radical environmental groups that are agitating for implementation of local and regional versions of the Wildlands design. And as documented above, both the MAB and World Heritage programs are explicitly carrying out the elements of the Wildlands Project.
However, resistance to those designs has been steadily growing. As Americans have learned of the dangers presented by Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserves, they have organized to block any new designations. In the last several years, grassroots activists prevented the designations of a Catskills Biosphere Reserve in New York and an Ozarks Highlands Biosphere Reserve in Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas. The most potent weapon in these campaigns was the text of the actual U.S. and UNESCO documents which boldly presented the true agenda behind the proposed designations. Also of tremendous value were maps depicting how such sites can be used in implementing the Wildlands scheme.
Citizen groups in Kentucky, where three Biosphere Reserves have been created, used the same documentation to convince their state Senate to pass a unanimous Resolution in June 1997 condemning MAB: "The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is unalterably opposed to the inclusion of any land within the borders of the Commonwealth within the purview of the Biodiversity Treaty or any biodiversity program without the express consent of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as provided by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Kentucky."
The Clinton Administration's blatant effort to subvert the rule of law concerning land-use policy in Yellowstone angered conservative members of Congress. Earlier this year, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) introduced H.R. 901, the American Lands Sovereignty Protection Act, a bill intended to preserve the sovereignty of the United States over public lands and acquired lands owned by the United States, and to preserve state sovereignty and private property rights in non-federal lands surrounding those public and acquired lands. The bill has 168 co-sponsors and specifically mandates that:
· Any nominated World Heritage Site get congressional approval before it is so designated.
· Designation of a given site be prohibited if the Department of the Interior finds that any viable commercial activity will be harmed within the site or a ten-mile buffer zone around the proposed site.
· The impact of such a designation on any natural resource utilization be defined.
· Federal officials refrain from nominating any new Biosphere Reserves as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
· Protection be extended to cover non-federal lands intermixed or surrounding a designated World Heritage Site.
Buffeted by public outcry, UNESCO and the U.S. Park Service have furiously back-pedaled. Paragraph 14 of the World Heritage Operational Guidelines ¾ which mandates the use of secrecy in nominating sites and excludes local participation in deliberations ¾ was mysteriously excised from UNESCO's January 1997 revision of the Operational Guidelines. The U.S. Park Service also conducted a literal whitewash of the whole operation: It quietly painted over and reversed all the Park Service entrance signs which had included Word Heritage Site or Biosphere Reserve designations.
Tools for Tyranny
The means that have been used in pursuit of the UN/IUCN Wildlands Project have been unconstitutional and conspiratorial. The secrecy is understandable: Each time local citizens have been informed of the full extent of the Biosphere Reserve, World Heritage, and related programs, they have been able to effectively stop their implementation. The role of informed citizens in throwing obstacles in the path of the march to global governance has repeatedly vindicated Thomas Jefferson's belief that there is "no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but by the people themselves. And if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education."
But stopping the march to global governance won't happen unless principled Americans unite, get the facts straight, and expose the Wildlands Project, Agenda 21, the World Heritage Convention, the Biosphere Reserve program, and related endeavors as lethal threats to our independence and constitutional order.
¾ MICHAEL S. COFFMAN, PHD
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