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Toward a wilderness utopia

By Henry Lamb
web posted March 18, 2002

Few people know - including most Congressmen - that the management of 73,270,583 acres of the United States, is determined by 34 non-Americans who are elected by UNESCO. This land - larger than Tennessee and Kentucky combined - is distributed in 47 U.N. Biosphere Reserves, managed according to principles and guidelines established by the Man and the Biosphere International Coordinating Council, and set forth in the "Seville Strategy", and the "Statutory Framework."

The U.S. Biosphere Reserves are a small part of a global network of 411 similar reserves, which are the starting point for the implementation of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity.

Each Biosphere Reserve consists of a "core wilderness" area, surrounded by a buffer zone, managed for conservation objectives, both of which are surrounded by an "outer" buffer zone, also called a "zone of cooperation." The function of a Biosphere Reserve is to continually expand, and to eventually "connect" with each other through "corridors" of wilderness.

The Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve was designated in 1988 as the 517,000-acre Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Today, the U.N. lists this reserve as 36,727,139 acres, with the zone of cooperation reaching from Birmingham, Alabama to Roanoke, Virginia. Neither Congress, nor the legislatures of any of the affected states, debated or approved the designation or the management plan.

At the first meeting of the delegates to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Peter Bridgewater, then-chairman of the MAB Council, offered the network of Biosphere Reserves as the beginning of implementation for the Convention. The United States has not ratified this Treaty. Nevertheless, our land is being managed as if we were a party to the treaty.

The ultimate objective is to convert as much as half of the land area of the United States to "core wilderness areas," which are off limits to humans, with government management of most of the remaining land "for conservation objectives." This leaves only "sustainable communities" for people, which are described by Science magazine as "islands of human habitat surrounded by wilderness."

This scenario is not idle speculation. The plan is well documented in the 1140-page U.N. publication Global Biodiversity Assessment, which names "The Wildlands Project" as central to the management scheme required by the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Wildlands Project, developed by Dr. Reed F. Noss, under contract with The Nature Conservancy and the Audubon Society, calls for "at least half" of the lower 48 states to be set aside as wilderness.

Through an incredibly well-orchestrated campaign, hundreds of foundation-funded so-called environmental organizations, assisted by federal and state agency personnel are working to see that land is converted to wilderness; corridors to connect the wilderness areas are developed; and regulations are put into place to control the use of "buffer zones." Still, there has been no Congressional debate or approval, of this land management regime.

Congress has looked only at small segments of the land management regime in isolation; never at the total picture as described in the Seville Strategy, The Statutory Framework, The Global Biodiversity Assessment, or the Wildlands Project. Consequently, the nation's land is being transformed into a utopian vision conceived by a handful of international socialists.

Just as the nest of environmental extremists have worked to expand the Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve, another nest is working to expand "Yellowstone to Yukon," an area that contains several Biosphere Reserves, and seeks to control all the land between Utah and Alaska.

When the New World Mine was on the brink of satisfying more than $33-million in permit requirements, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, with assistance from the Clinton administration, called upon UNESCO to declare Yellowstone to be "In Danger" and thereby triggered regulatory authority to stop the mining operation, even though it was on private property.

The Mexico border area is also a hot spot of expansion for U.N. Biosphere Reserves, including a border region that reaches 62-miles on either side of the border. A major goal here is to eventually eliminate the border altogether. Development activity in the region that utilizes federal or international funds, must be approved by a committee of un-elected environmentalists and agency bureaucrats.

Environmental extremists think this situation is wonderful. They have been working for years to achieve this result. Far too few people - including Congressmen - are even aware of the transformation, and don't want to be bothered by the evidence. Therefore, day-by-day, our land of the free is being transformed into the land of government control.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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