The Feudal States of North America
By Diane Alden
Whatever you want to call it, the recent passage of H.R. 701 by Congress is a feudal land grab courtesy of the barons in Washington. What is appalling is that hundreds of so-called "conservative" Republicans chimed in with the Clinton administration's "Lands Legacy Program," the elitist foundations and environmental movement as the whole rotten bunch of them drive the final stake into the heart of rural America.
Worse yet it is one more federal whack at the notion of private property rights. In a 315 -- 108 vote the Congress has proven once again the dire need for term limits. Additionally, American goof-ball foundations and the international green movement (read fascist-socialist) have their greedy elitist sights set on Canada's British Columbia.
Before going into the why and wherefore, I repeat for the 100th time -- the U.S. government already owns or controls a whopping 40 per cent of the land mass of the United States while the states control around 2 per cent. In Nevada the feds own 89 per cent, in Idaho nearly 70 per cent, other states to a lesser degree but the federal land grab continues exponentially. Add that to the Clinton land grabs under the Antiquities Act and more US real estate is being locked up for no use or only that use approved by bureaucracy and the environmental movement than ever before.
An urban dweller from crowded New Jersey or New York may say, so what? They may think that their states are crowded and polluted therefore every where else must be as well. The "what" in this insanity is that it was NEVER the intent of the founders as set forth in the Constitution to acquire and maintain nearly half the landmass of the United States. It is not healthy for liberty, or for our form of government. We used to be a confederation of states where power was as much in state hands as in that of the federal government. The 10th Amendment to the Constitution -- part of the Bill of Rights -- clearly indicates that this is the case. (By the way the Bill of Rights is non-negotiable. Unlike the rest of the Constitution it sets forth "rights" which may not be changed even in a Constitutional Convention.) But all too often the states have been bribed or blackmailed into selling their sovereignty for a couple of tons of pork from the feudal warehouse in D.C.
They have found it necessary to sell out in order to get back some of the money they send to Rome -- I mean Washington. Increasingly the tax base of the various communities, especially those in rural areas, is being devastated by federal hegemony through regulation and intimidation and confiscation.
Not surprisingly the job the federal government does as a steward of the land is abominable. All one needs to do is to look at the forests across the nation to see who takes care of what. At Lake Tahoe for instance, it isn't federal forests, which are in good shape but that which is in private hands.
The same is true over the rest of the country. The guys who used to call themselves foresters have been replaced by biologist bureaucrats who insist on letting nature take its course as it did in Yellowstone in 1988. In that instance nearly half the park burned because of lack of management or mismanagement. The latest "controlled burn" of government "mismanaged and uncut forests" in New Mexico has shown just how the incompetent boobery from D.C. are expert at screwing things up.
In cahoots with the environmentalists the central government is not worried about "taking care" of the land. What has been happening throughout the West is that land is set aside in some nice sounding but idiotic "wilderness" status. At its core this movement is meant to coincide with the environmentalist wet dream known as the "Wildlands Project." This project consists of a human free corridor which will extend from the Mexico into Canada. The consequences of this program will be that most of it will be off limits to all but the most elitist pursuits. Certainly no development or multiple use will be allowed.
The nations on our borders are about to find out what many ranchers and other resource users in the U.S. have learned. The U.S. government and the environmental movement and the foundations are not concerned about compromise or fairness, they are concerned about control for their own purposes. In the case of the federal government, control of the land has resulted in a highly corrupt land exchange system where certain developers receive land in exchange for other land or money. Nevada's Del Webb scandal is a case in point. Webb gave money to the campaign of Nevada Senator Harry Reid and the Democratic Party, next thing they knew they had scarce land in Las Vegas which was exchanged for "sensitive" land (read ranchland) in northern Nevada and they got it at bargain basement prices.
The same is true in California. For instance, the various land swaps going on in San Bernardino and Lake Arrowhead area have led to multiple investigations and allegations of government corruption and even murder. Various watchdog groups in the area allege that the Catellus Corporation has been given preference in federal land exchanges. They have been aided by none other than that great environmentalist California's Senator Diane Feinstein. It never ceases to amaze me that Democrats who claim to have such great concern for the land and the environment are usually in the middle of some corrupt land deal giving away so-called "public land."
We Sold Our Soul to the Company Store
Ostensibly the coastal establishments are concerned about urban sprawl. Therefore, their fevered brains have come up with the usual one-size-fits all policy for everyone in the U.S. What is surprising is that the primary author of H.R. 701 was Republican Don Young of Alaska. Young ran in the early 70s as an advocate of private property rights. Of all the states in the Union, Alaska might as well no longer consider itself a sovereign state.
Alaska is part and parcel of the land barony of the federal government with nearly a 100 million acres in federal control. In the late 70s Democratic President Jimmy Carter took land under the Antiquities Act and put it into wilderness designation.
However, this time around the foolish Republicans led by Young were trying to out maneuver the Democrats by including something called the "willing seller" clause in the legislation. The problem is that through condemnation and out right knavery it is a very useless attempt at trying to head the Dems off at the environmental land grab pass.
The Republicans did a similar maneuver with the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. Their wheeling and dealing and trying to outdo the Dems gave us the income tax. They have an unfortunate history of tricking and out maneuvering themselves into historical blunders of staggering proportions.
The majority of the $45 billion dollars set aside under CARA for land acquisition will benefit the coastal states. Some of it will go into pork projects and some to buy out what is left of farmland in the east to deposit it into historical or wilderness preservation. It is interesting to note that the coastal states now include the Great Lakes states as well as California and Oregon and New York etc.
According to journalist Julie Foster of World Net Daily: "one observer who sat in on the congressional hearings on H.R. 701 said that, "One thing that was interesting is that these were all Republican-run hearings, yet they were like the most radical Democratic hearings because there were practically no conservatives or people from the property rights groups or think tanks in the audience. They had been filled with the staff from The Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, and the Conservation Fund -- the whole crowd of radical greens who want total land use control and total control of all private land.
"Don Young's staff and Murkowski's staff -- they were walking in the audience, talking to these leftists like they were best buddies. It was like one of those science fiction movies where you go out on a space ship and come back and find out that while you're been gone the whole world has reversed - Republicans had turned into Democrats."
Increasingly the real job of representatives from the states is to bring back pork to their respective states. In this fashion America is being bought out.
With the passage of H.R. 701 the environmental movement, the foundations and the feds can now go on a shopping spree of Homeric proportions. The end result will be less land in private hands. The bill fails to address key issues.(1) It lacks provisions for no net loss of private property. (2) No required state approval of all federal acquisitions. (3) No greater protection for private in-holdings or other lands affected by adjoining federal acquisitions. That which is in private hands will be subjected to more government oversight and regulation. It is bad enough that under the Endangered Species Act and other legislation passed by the "well-intentioned" during the last 30 years private property is going the way of the American Indian.
Every section of the bill is a buy-off of some group. Title III of the bill is a buy off of state governors, fish and game departments and the sport hunting and fishing crowd. None of the various aspects of the bill does one single thing to enforce or uphold the Bill of Rights or the Constitution. All legislation should pass the constitutional test. It should not be about pork coming back as a trophy for the folks at home as a justification for the legislation. Again -- it is returns us to the notion that most segments of society are bought and paid for by one federal program or another.
Many of the folks think that the new law will only impact those "welfare ranchers" despoiling loggers, and mean nasty miners or oil drillers in the West. They better think again. This law will not really save land for American's recreational use or for that of their "children." More likely it will save it "from" the children. It will become roadless and inaccessible to all but the hardiest hiker. As time goes on Americans will have to stand in line or pay for permits to see the wilderness and parkland they have paid for with their tax dollars. Eventually what the government and environmental movement will do is to limit permits to a certain number in a lifetime. The reason given will be to "save" the environment from too many people. Part of the "saving" will be to facilitate the UN move to internationalize areas of specific beauty or uniqueness worldwide. Americans will stand in line like the rest of the globalites. The UN Heritage sites initiative combined with the latest land grab WILL lead to this.
But that is a horror for the future. In the meantime urban areas in the US will get lots of pork from 701. There will be lots and lots of money to maintain green spaces around cities. These "representatives" and thoughtless leaders don't give a flip how H.R. 701 will effect their rural brethren. They just don't care and they never have.
Give Us A Home Where No Human Roams
The Northern Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area used to be a place where even incapacitated old folks could go fishing with a boat and a trolling motor. Not anymore, however, no motors are allowed. Presently it is only the young and fit who can access this beautiful area.
In the same vein, the locals in Elko, Nevada learned not long ago that a road they have used for a hundred years is off limits. Overnight a phony-baloney trumped up reason was invented to accomplish this feat. The high priests of green have decided shutting down that particular road will "save" the "endangered" bull trout -- a brother to the bullhead and the catfish.
Obviously the government and the greens have concluded that there has been an astounding evolutionary event and fish are now walking the roads of Nevada.
As I write this the Forest Service is digging 12 to 15 foot deep trenches in rural area roads so that anyone with a jeep or on horseback will no longer be able to access the backcountry by road. This move will also make it nearly impossible to fight fires unless it is by packing in or from the sky.
Recently, the snowmobile and off-road crowd are learning the hard way that government does not wait or want compromise when it has made up its mind to end a practice of which it or the environmental movement don't approve. Not long ago a celebrity got lost while snowmobiling in Yellowstone and wandered into a no snowmobile area. Eventually he went to court and was heavily fined.
Never mind the fact that he got lost in a blizzard. His case proved that upholding bureaucratic declarations has come to be more important then common sense.
At the moment a new land grab is happening in the mid-west. The Paragon Foundation of New Mexico uncovered an amazing story. In the state of Ohio the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for special designation have targeted selected farmland. The west-central Ohio section known as the Darby was originally part of the Northwest Territory, settled by Revolutionary War veterans who had been paid for their service with land. In that part of the state there is also a large Amish and Mennonite population. It is an area of significant beauty, temperate climate, and fertile soil. In 1994 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began "studying" the area. The local farmers banded together in an association called the Stewards of Darby. They have a document which shows that the Columbus Foundation gave a $25,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy for this study. Not surprisingly this "study" was passed on to the feds by its stalking horse The Nature Conservancy.
Eventually the farmers were told by the media and the Forest Service that their area had been renamed, "Darby Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, with an acreage of about 50,000 acres. In a letter to one of the farmers, Thomas Larson, Chief of Ascertainment and planning for the U.S. Forest Service stated plainly, "The proposed Darby Prairie National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife and habitat preservation project, not an agriculture preservation project." Those who have studied the document the official government document handed out maintain it uses false data and statistics to make it seem that the area is not all that important for farming and agriculture.
They have refused to hold public hearings and refuse to do an Environmental Impact Statement. Something they are required to do under NEPA of 1969. But when has a little old law ever stopped the federal government or the environmental movement from taking something it has set its covetous sights on.
This is another reason the whole notion of "willing seller" is ludicrous given the history of the various government agencies and such groups as the Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Fund.
An indication of the contempt government has for the peasants among us may be found on their websites. A forest service type, a kindly soul, directed me to site which contains the Forest Service's roadless area DEIS statement.
Basically it maintains that loggers and lumber mill workers are uneducated, migrant, poor non-contributors to their community infrastructures. They are people who don't really care about the forests or the forest products industry and would leave their jobs if other equivalent paying jobs were available.
State of Minnesota and the New Religion--Deep Ecology
The State of Minnesota is considering placing the Boundary Waters Canoe off limits this summer because of danger of fire. On July 4th, 1999 a 100-mile-hour straight-line wind hit the area and devastated nearly 500,000 acres. Combine the tremendous amount of blowdown with a 3-year drought and it is a recipe for disaster. However, the greens won't allow clearing and removal of the deadwood. They have stopped this by litigating in order to prevent loggers from going in and clearing the area. In the past the people of northern Minnesota have seen whole towns burn during out of control fires.
The upcoming conflagration will be totally unnecessary when it occurs.
A thirty-year veteran of the state forestry service with a degree in forest management and Silva-culture recently stated. "It is my opinion that the conflagration resulting from the blowdown of over-mature timber in the BWCA will burn effected areas right down to bedrock. The combination of heat, cinders and ash leachate will have profoundly deleterious effects upon the piscatorial residents, but hey, that's "natural." Just think of the research grants that could be made available for the next century or so to study wilderness recovery uninfluenced by humanity.
I also believe that the Canada lynx may be negatively affected by the conversion of this climax forest back to the pioneer forest vegetative type (Aspen, etc), but that is again "natural." As a result of this event, all of northern Minnesota might very well become prime habitat for the white-tailed deer and ruffed grouse; definitely bad news for the lynx and/or those contemplating re-introduction of other species of large mammals."
Most foresters and loggers know more about trees and forest health than an entire battalion of federal bureaucrats or environmentalists combined. Many are independent loggers who have been so for generations. These folks aren't corporate Georgia Pacific but small family logging operations being run out of business by a bunch of ignorant elitist snots. They love the rural life and love it even more when they are allowed to make a living at it. Their care of the area is the reason it is so desirable to the greedy elitist enviros and the federal government. These morons didn't have to come in and "save" the area it was already saved. But environmentalism like most "isms" has become mindless clueless dogma taught in the schools as the new secular religion. As is the case with most "isms" it has become another form of tyranny. It may be time for Americans and Canadians to pull this particular bunch of little Napoleons back to earth -- so to speak.
The hijacking of the environmental movement by true believers and zealots is a tragedy. These people will not compromise. Nor will they operate on scientific principles, or rely on the experience of those who deal with the environment on a day to day basis. Most assuredly the true believer "deep ecologist" runs from the truth.
These are the people who equate nature with God and God with nature. They have fooled the soccer moms and dodos in government that they want to "preserve" nature. Balderdash. In worshipping at the feet of Gaia they show themselves as dimwitted animists. They are fundamentalists in the worst sense of the word. What we are witnessing in North America and elsewhere is the missionary zeal of the Cotton Mathers and Jonathan Edwards of our day.
The elitist enviro movement is one thing but the government no-nothing attitude towards private property and land use is reminiscent of the demonization and destruction of the American Indian in the 19th century.
In the end the result of H.R. 701 will be non-use or very restricted use of land. That is the plan. Eventually Eastern states that have ignored their Western brethren for so long will begin to experience what Sovereignty International's Henry Lamb calls the "fascilists."
British Columbia, Canada -- the 51st State
In a telling article in Canada's Report magazine American foundations and the environmental movement along with the "fascilists" in Canada have undertaken to acquire another 12 per cent of British Columbia to be set aside for wilderness. Journalist Terry O'Neill writes, " Sometime before the end of the current session of the B.C. Legislature, the province's NDP government will introduce legislation creating a score of new wilderness parks. But this will not be just any park-creation bill, for its passage will mean that more than 12 per cent of the province's entire area, or 11 million hectares, will be off limits to development and wealth creation.
To ensure the New Democrats kept their 12 per cent promise, the World Wildlife Fund Canada, the Sierra Club of B.C., the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Sierra Legal Defense fund created a new pressure group, B.C. Wild.
As revealed in the book "Undue Influence" by U.S. environmental watchdog Ron Arnold, Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia gave B.C. Wild US$1.14 million.
Thus, in what critics have called a modern form of imperialism, an American foundation provided funds to ensure that Canadian land could not be exploited for the benefit of Canadians."
Another respected Canadian journalist informed me that basically it would be a cold day in hell before the Western provinces such as Alberta would fall for something like what is going on in B.C. Or for that matter that something like CARA would be thought of as a way to deal with environmental problems in Canada. He maintained, "selling out our sovereignty is not an option."
Oh that more US elected officials and media types felt this way.
The environmental movement will insist that logging was devastating B.C. As even left wing Canadian minister of B.C. Mike Harcourt now acknowledges, more than 30 per cent of the province was never threatened by logging because it is not covered by forests, and a further 30 per cent could never be logged because it is either too difficult to reach or is uneconomic. Currently, about 15 per cent of the province are categorized as "working forest," although loggers can operate on only a small fraction of this every year.
One of the preservationist movement's sharpest critics, Patrick Moore of Vancouver, fears the environmental movement and its government allies will never be satisfied. He predicts that at least 14 per cent of the province will end up frozen in the near future. "But at some point you have to quit making new parks and focus on the sustainable management of the rest of the land for the provision of timber, minerals, food and housing," Mr. Moore says. "You just can't keep making parks forever."
The leftists in B.C. want to up the land take to 20 per cent or better. That is less than the 42 per cent controlled by federal and state government in the United States. The Canadian population is small compared to the US but it is becoming obvious to many Canadians that the combination of government, American foundations and the international green movement do not have the best interests of human beings at heart. Additionally, it should be obvious by now that locking up land to "save" it is neither sensible nor good for the land let alone humanity.
U.S. Senate Bill 25 -- Abandon Hope All Who Enter Here
Private property rights advocate Chuck Cushman recently stated: "There's a very real doubt about whether our Republican friends in Congress have the will to stand up to Clinton on this. He is correct about that. Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) and company are the cowards and nincompoops who keep bowing down to the imperial executive branch and the elitists among us. It was Lott who killed the very reasonable and acceptable "Property Rights Act of 1995." Remember back when the entire Republican establishment hadn't been emasculated? Trent Lott was and still is a legislative turncoat to the cause of the private property and the Bill of Rights. Lott probably more than any individual in the Senate is responsible for the death of the so-called "Republican revolution" in congress.
The original private property rights bill had passed the House with an overwhelming majority but Lott killed it in the Senate. The bill would have provided for a "takings" clause that if the federal government regulations took more than 20 per cent of the value of property it would have to pay for land which would be affected adversely by endangered species designation.
Cushman went on to say, "This Congress in the next few days will have a chance to show to the American people whether it's a doormat for Bill Clinton or not. If they let Clinton get away with this, there is just a huge number of people out there that will say, 'What's the point? We work to send these guys to Washington, we work to have a Republican Congress, and they don't have the chutzpah to do anything more than be a doormat for Clinton -- amazing."
Cushman and the Canadians and the thousands of ranchers, loggers, and miners and even owners of desirable or scenic property in the east have come to learn that with the federal government and the environmental movement there is no such thing as a "willing seller." There are only those who have been run out through intimidation or administrative use of law to confiscate private property. The cases would fill a book.
Too late to change the fate of H.R. 701 in the House, but it isn't too late in the senate. Lott and the senators who support this bill need to hear from the people who are concerned that this country is turning into a giant feudal barony. These senators need to do right according to the Constitution or go home and let someone else do the right thing. Ask your senator to vote NAY on Senate Bill 25.
Diane Alden is a research analyst and writer. Contributing to Newsmax, Etherzone, Enter Stage Right, American Partisan, Spin Tech, Liberty Caucus, Georgia Radio Inc., as well as Range Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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