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Klamath Falls' invisible foe

By Henry Lamb
web posted July 23, 2001

Is there any connection between Klamath Falls, Oregon and the town of LaVerkin, Utah? Very definitely - but few people realize it.

The LaVerkin City Council adopted a "U.N.-Free Zone" on July 4th. The media and other vociferous liberals have had a field day ridiculing the town officials for their "black-helicopter" paranoia. But had Klamath Falls adopted such an ordinance some years ago, the farmers in the Klamath basin might not be battling for their very existence today.

U.S. Marshal Reggie Madsen, left, and Klamath Falls Sheriff Tim Evinger leave after inspecting the headgate to upper Klamath Lake in Klamath Falls, Oregon on July 13
U.S. Marshal Reggie Madsen, left, and Klamath Falls Sheriff Tim Evinger leave after inspecting the headgate to upper Klamath Lake in Klamath Falls, Oregon on July 13

Yes, there is a connection between the two towns, and other towns and cities across the country. That connection also includes Vancouver, BC, Rio de Janeiro, and other cities around the world. The connection is the public policy which now places a higher value on a sucker fish than on human beings. LaVerkin, Utah has good reason to try to protect its citizens from the intrusion of similar policies that can disrupt and destroy their way of life.

Let's back up a moment. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is the legal authority by which the federal government must withhold water from the farmers - to protect the bottom-feeding sucker fish, which is said to be endangered or threatened.

There is a vigorous debate about the validity of the listing, since the listing came as an "emergency," which avoided any scientific review of the evidence, or any deliberate input from those who are directly affected. But that's another battle.

The fish are listed. The farmers are denied water. And their land and their livelihoods are literally twisting in the wind.

Why?

Section 2, paragraph (4) of the Endangered Species Act provides the answer. It says the law is enacted "pursuant to: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora," and five other international treaties.

Most of the treaties were actually drafted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in Gland, Switzerland. This IUCN's membership consists mostly of environmental organizations, and government agencies. Six U.S. federal Departments maintain independent membership in the IUCN, at an annual membership fee in excess of $50,000 each.

The same NGOs (non-government organizations) which, as members of the IUCN, helped draft the international treaties, are on the ground in the United States, lobbying Congress to ratify the treaties and enact laws such as the Endangered Species Act, to implement the treaties.

Klamath farmers are victims of public policy that originated in the international community. Citizens of LaVerkin, Utah are directly in the path of public policy which threatens their land and livelihoods. These policies, too, originated in the international community.

LaVerkin is in Washington County, Utah. So is Zion National Park, less than 10 miles from the small town. LaVerkin is within 100 miles of four other properties inventoried for future nomination as U.N. World Heritage Sites, according to a Federal Register notice of January 8, 1982 (Vol. 47, No. 5).

What does this have to do with anything? Ask the people who live within 100 miles of Yellowstone National Park - a World Heritage Site. Throughout the early 1990s, a gold mine near the park spent more than $30 million trying to satisfy federal permit requirements. Months before the process would have been completed, environmental organizations, many of which are members of the IUCN, petitioned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which is also a member of the IUCN, to declare Yellowstone to be a World Heritage Site "in danger."

The World Heritage Committee, at the request of the Fish & Wildlife Service, sent a team of international "experts," one of which represented the IUCN, which has a consultative advisory contract with UNESCO, to evaluate the park.

Surprise, surprise! When the team reported to UNESCO, the park was declared to be "in danger." The treaty, which the U.S. has ratified, requires that when a site is declared to be "in danger," the host nation must take "protective" measures, even beyond the boundary of the site.

One proposal advanced by the environmental organizations called for protecting 18-million acres around the 2.9-million acre park, much of which was private property. The gold mine was not allowed to mine the gold.

It is more than a coincidence that many of the environmental organizations which signed the letter urging UNESCO intervention in Yellowstone, also signed a similar letter to U.S. and Mexican government agencies, urging that "international" standards be established to govern water rights in the Colorado river. The Sierra Club, and the National Audubon Society are among the several organizations which signed the Colorado River letter and the Yellowstone letter. Two Audubon Society affiliates, along with the Glen Canyon Institute, are headquartered in Utah, and have an interest in the five sites near LaVerkin, as well as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, all of which are subject to land management policies that originate in the international community.

The letter calling for international standards to govern water rights on the Colorado River, cites as authority: the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands; Agenda 21; the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Rio Declaration - all products of the United Nations.

It is especially significant that the Audubon Society is among the NGOs clamoring for more international control. The Audubon Society, along with The Nature Conservancy, funded the work of Dr. Reed Noss, known as "The Wildlands Project."

This is the land management scheme that starts with core wilderness areas - off limits to humans - connected by corridors of wilderness, surrounded by government-managed "buffer zones," which are surrounded by "zones of cooperation." Each of these zones is designed to continually expand as the result of "restoration and rehabilitation," projects. Restoration means returning the land to the same condition as it was before Columbus arrived. There are 47 such U.N. Biosphere Reserves in the United States, and more than 380 around the world.

The Wildlands Project is described as "central" to the effective implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, according to the U.N.'s Global Biodiversity Assessment (page 993).

The LaVerkin City Council is not afraid of black helicopters, or blue-helmets, or white tanks - as shallow-minded media masters would like people to believe. LaVerkin officials have a genuine concern about the silent, sinister expansion of U.N. influence over domestic land use policies, especially as they relate to land in Washington County Utah.

The farmers in the Klamath basin do not know that the U.N.'s policy on land, adopted in 1976 in Vancouver, BC. says explicitly that:

"Land...cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; Public control of land use is therefore indispensable...."

The Klamath basin is an area that environmental elitists want to "restore" to its pre-Columbian condition. The sucker fish, like the spotted owl, and the red-legged frog, is simply a surrogate, an excuse to invoke the Endangered Species Act, to force people off the land.

Virtually every area of the United States is under siege, from policies that originate in the international community, which are incorporated into law or rule, and imposed upon unsuspecting citizens.

Hold your heads high, LaVerkin, you may prove to be among the wisest.

Hold on as long as you can, Klamath farmers, your courage is helping to reveal the sinister, ulterior motives of the environmental extremists who think they know best how everyone else should live.

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

Other related articles: (open in a new window)

  • Yes to suckerfish. No to humans by Tom DeWeese (July 23, 2001)
    The decision to shut off the water in Klamath Falls, Oregon is nothing less than an attack on the people who have lived and worked there for decades, writes Tom DeWeese
  • Tightening the screws by Henry Lamb (May 7, 2001)
    Although the Clinton administration is only but a bad memory, the drive to displace humans from their land continues in earnest, reports Henry Lamb
  • The sanction of the victim by Tom DeWeese (April 16, 2001)
    Why do environmentalists get away with the evil that they do? Tom DeWeese says it's because you let them
  • Environmental slavery by Tom DeWeese (April 9, 2001)
    Americans are being choked to death with environmentalist measures...except that those measures aren't designed to save the environment. Tom DeWeese says they are designed to kill off something else




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