Quote Of The Day: Keep The UN Out Edition
-- John Martini, California Independent (Oil) Producers
The Carrizo Plain, hidden in the foothills between California's Central Valley and coast, is one of the most hauntingly beautiful empty places in the state. Pity that the U.N. wants to get its grubby hands on it.
The Wilderness Society is proposing that the land, much of it already a national monument, be designated a protected preserve under the U.N.'s World Heritage Program. The proposal is facing tough going among the fiercely conservative folks around Taft, the nearest town.
Ranchers, off-road enthusiasts, private landowenrs, hunters and others are all concerned about the UN vision for land conservation.
The Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall and Yellowstone National Park are already World Heritage sites, so what's the big fuss? It's the connection between World Heritage, operated by UNESCO, and UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere program.
I've read books that take the Man and the Biosphere program into the realm peopled only with deep conspiracy theorists, but even without the odd convictions of these folks, it's a pretty eye-opening program. Here's a bit of a write-up from Free Republic:
The Man and the Biosphere program. This UNESCO program hopes to solve "management problems arising from the interactions between human activities and natural systems." Participating countries identify areas called "biosphere reserves" within their borders, and organize specific activities to meet the program's objectives. In the innermost core of a biosphere reserve, only scientific study is allowed. The two surrounding rings--the Managed Use Area (surrounding the core) and the Zone of Cooperation (the outlying ring)--are subject to environmental regulations and supervision, even though they often include private land. Often, the program acts despite the protests of local residents and local governments. ....
[...]Although the World Heritage sites in the United States technically remain under U.S. control, designation of these sites is an opportunity for foreign intervention in domestic affairs, since international bureaucrats are encouraged to inspect and judge how well America is caring for its parks and monuments. The World Heritage and Man and the Biosphere programs directly affect U.S. policy and federal government programs. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), for example, has declared that it would no longer support "projects in or impacting United Nations World Heritage Sites."...
[...]Protecting U.S. Sovereignty and Private Property. Both the Man and the Biosphere and the World Heritage programs raised deep concerns in Congress over the impact these classifications would have on private property in or adjacent to designated areas and on U.S. sovereignty.
That's not the sort of stuff folks with hard-calloused hands and sun-baked necks take kindly to. Nor, for that matter, slightly pudgy middle-aged guys who spend their days at keyboards in AC'd offices.
The ranchers and oil men won't have a lot of say on this matter -- it's in the fed's hands -- but I say we keep the U.N. out of the Carrizo Plain.