U.N. land grab in the works

By Henry Lamb

For reasons that defy common sense, some congressional Democrats insist that the United States rejoin UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. The State Department appropriations bill has $60-million included for this purpose.

President Ronald Reagan withdrew from this U.N. organization in 1984 because of its “gross financial mismanagement, anti-American bias, and anti-freedom policies.” If there has been any change at all in UNESCO, the situation is worse now than it was then.

Congressman Ron Paul has introduced a concurrent resolution, HCON 489, urging the United States not to rejoin UNESCO. So far, the measure has only four cosponsors. Every congressman should support this resolution.

Among the reasons cited by the resolution for not rejoining, is the fact the UNESCO is promoting a global tax on the Internet, among other global taxes; the organization continues to actively influence school curriculum in the United States, and other, equally valid reasons.

One reason cited by the resolution is of particular interest: ” UNESCO, through a memorandum of agreement with the Department of State, has designated 47 United Nations biosphere reserves in the United States covering more than 70 million acres, without congressional consultation or approval.”

This agreement, reached in the late 1970s, is the basis for the Wildlands Project that is spreading across America like a plague, gobbling up private property and restricting the use of public land, as well as the private land the government cannot yet afford to buy.

The Everglades is one of the 47 biosphere reserves designated by UNESCO without congressional approval. The Everglades is also a U.N. World Heritage Site – “In Danger” – and a U.N. Ramsar “Wetland.” All of these designations impose land management policies, established by UNESCO, with which the United States is bound to comply, either through treaty requirements, or by executive agreement.

The U.S. Constitution clearly designates the U.S. Congress as the manager of federal lands. The U.S. Constitution clearly specifies what lands, and the purposes for which the federal government may purchase land. Private land was never considered to be the responsibility of the federal government.

The U.S. Constitution, however, seems to be a lost document, as far as Congress is concerned. In recent years, there has been a mad rush to use your tax money to buy up private property for open space, wilderness corridors, wildlife refuges, scenic viewsheds, heritage sites, and other purposes never anticipated by our founders. Rarely, if ever, are state legislatures asked for permission as is specified in the U.S. Constitution.

The 47 biospheres reserves in the United States, part of an international network of 411 such reserves, serve as the nucleus of the rewilding of America as envisioned by the Wildlands Project. The function of each biosphere reserve, as specified in the management documents prepared by UNESCO, and amplified by the U.S. State Department’s Man and the Biosphere Program, is to continually expand the core wilderness areas, and connecting corridors, as well as the buffer zones surrounding the reserves.

In 1993, Science magazine described the Wildlands Project vision, as “nothing less than the transformation of America to an archipelago of human-inhabited islands surrounded by natural areas.”

This vision ignores the constitutional principle of private property rights. Environmental extremist organizations are pushing this agenda, and fully support the U.N. policy that declares “public control of land use is, therefore, indispensable.”

UNESCO exerts enormous influence over U.S. policy, even though we are no longer members of this organization, simply because past presidents, and certain members of Congress agree with the UNESCO philosophy and objectives.

Ron Paul’s resolution should be adopted with an overwhelming majority, and the United States should stop yielding to UNESCO and the U.N.’s policy directives.

The United States is a sovereign nation. No foreign power – including the U.N. – can dictate U.S. policy. But then, they don’t have to, so long as we keep electing people to Congress who are willing to surrender our national sovereignty through membership in U.N. organizations such as UNESCO.

UNESCO should be a litmus test for every candidate in November. Candidates whose backbone is not strong enough to stand up and say “no,” should be retired for a new crop of representatives who have the gumption to put America first.