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If land and its resources are, in fact, the source of production, America
is in a heap of trouble.

The first, defining characteristic of a socialist country is government
ownership of the sources of production. The first, defining characteristic
of a fascist country is private ownership of the sources of production,
under the control of centralized government.

More than 40 percent of the land in America is owned by governments, and
the rest of it is controlled by the government. Does that make America a
“fascilist” country?

It’s not enough to own 40 percent of the land. The Clinton/Gore
administration is pushing the George Miller-Don Young, bi-partisan
Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA), which will set aside as much as $3
billion per year so governments can buy more land.

We, the taxpayers, are being forced to finance the transformation of
America from a land in which the sources of production are owned by private
individuals, to a country where the sources of production are owned by the
government. Until the transition is complete, government is extending its
regulatory tentacles across every square inch of land that remains in
private hands.

The term “wetlands” emerged in our vocabulary, not from a land use policy
enacted by elected representatives, but from a mangled distortion of agency
rule-making, and consent decrees arising out of lawsuits filed by
environmental extremists. For years, the policy was enforced under the
authority of the 1972 Clean Water Act, a law which did not contain the word
“wetlands.”

The wetlands policy, conceived and implemented by bureaucrats, gave the
federal government jurisdiction over an estimated 200 million acres of
private property. This policy applied only to wetlands larger than three
acres.

On March 3rd, the Corps of Engineers released a new 172-page proposed
rule that reduces this exemption to one-half acre. Private property brought
under federal jurisdiction by this new rule could easily double.

On Feb. 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new proposed
rule on Watershed Resource Management. This
bureaucratic expansion of the rules has the potential to plunder private
property, although it is presented as a measure for public land.

Representative Helen Chenoweth is fighting efforts in the Senate to add
an anti-property rights amendment to the Emergency Supplemental
Appropriations Bill that would appropriate $5.5 million for a new Habitat
Conservation Plan in Idaho. This test run would let private property
owners “voluntarily” agree to restrict certain land use, in exchange for
assurances that no future regulatory enforcement action would be imposed.
In the fine print, however, we find the term “adaptive management,” which
means the government could change the rules anytime it wished, once the
property is signed on, but the property owner would have no such option.

Bruce Babbitt is running from one end of the country to the other,
looking for more land that the President can designate as national
monuments, further blocking the public from public land.

Oblivious to the guarantees lodged in the history of legislation relating
to RS2477 rights of way, the U.S. Forest service is busy closing public
roads on federal land, assuring that the public can have no use of public
property. Private land owners whose property is surrounded by federal
lands, are harassed, and even jailed, for driving on an RS2477 road
without a Forest Service permit. This harassment is called “grooming a
willing seller.”

There are literally dozens of regulations, initiatives, programs,
decrees, executive orders, and inter-agency agreements that give the
agencies of government the power to control the use of virtually any, and
every square inch of land in America.

The regulatory activity has intensified dramatically in this last year of
the Clinton/Gore reign. They want to get as much land under government
control as possible, just in case Republicans storm the Bastille in
November.

It will take a complete house cleaning and thorough fumigation at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue to reverse this march toward a fascilist nation. No
candidate should be elected to any office at any level of government, who
has not first signed the Freedom 21 Pledge
and has the backbone to live by it while in office.

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