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U.N. says Yellowstone no longer "in danger"

By Henry Lamb
web posted December 8, 2003

The World Heritage Committee has decided to remove its "in danger" designation from Yellowstone National Park. In a lengthy report, the committee "Urges the State Party (the United States) to continue to report on Yellowstone's snowmobile phase-out and other efforts to ensure that winter travel facilities respect the protection of the Park, its visitors, and its wildlife," and "invites" the United States "to provide to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004, existing recovery plans setting out targets and indicators for the 6 remaining long-term management issues (mining activities outside the park, threats to bison, threats to cutthroat trout, water quality issues, road impacts, visitor use impacts)."

"Urges," and "invites" is the language used by the U.N. to support its claim that it has no authority to dictate land use policy in the United States. Nevertheless, ratification of the World Heritage Treaty obligates the United States to comply with the " urgings and invitations" of the U.N.

It was this same committee that in 1995, placed Yellowstone on its "in danger" list, at the urging of a group of environmental organizations, and George Frampton, then-head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The action came after the New World Mine had spent more than $30 million trying to comply with all the requirements of the federal government so it could pursue an estimated $300 million mining venture, several miles outside the park's boundaries. The mining company spent years, and a small fortune, and had overcome all the obstacles thrown in its path by the Clinton/Gore administration. A detailed analysis of just how the environmental organizations conspired with the administration and the U.N. committee is available here.

Without waiting to review the mining company's final Environmental Impact Statement, the federal government imposed a moratorium on mining in a 19,000-acre area around the park. The federal government stopped the mining project, and paid $65 million to acquire most of the land.

For years, many of these same environmental organizations have been working to implement what is called the Yellowstone to Yukon program, an effort to link wilderness areas together from Wyoming to Alaska. This adventure has now become the Mexico to Yukon program.

Yellowstone is one of 20 World Heritage Sites in the United States, and also, one of 47 U.N. Biosphere Reserves.

Throughout the Clinton years, environmental organizations essentially ran the administration: Bruce Babbitt came from the League of Conservation voters; George Frampton came from the Wilderness Society, and more than a dozen other executives of radical green groups filled top management positions. Yellowstone is just one example of how environmental organizations, working through their colleagues in the administration, worked with the United Nations to implement the global environmental agenda.

Even when the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity was defeated in the Senate, the Clinton administration continued to implement its provisions through what it called its Ecosystem Management Policy. The objective is to eventually get all land use under the control of government, and to get all national governments under the control of the United Nations.

Many people find this idea too bizarre to take seriously. Still, the U.N. is exercising its influence in the United States, through specific projects such as the Yellowstone situation. Environmental organizations continue to work through their friends in the Bush administration, and in Congress, to advance their land use control ambitions.

New Jersey Congressman Robert Andrews has introduced a bill (HR625) to advance the global agenda; the U.S. Forest Service has developed an extensive study to identify corridors to connect the wilderness areas; and in 2003 alone, 99 ballot initiatives in 23 states resulted in $1.3 billion in new tax money to buy more private property "open space" for the government.

The U.N. may have lifted its "in danger" designation from Yellowstone, but it has not lessened its drive to eventually eliminate private property, in order to "restore" the land to wilderness, while forcing people to live in "sustainable communities," with strict, no-sprawl urban limits.

This is how society should be organized, according to the U.N., and the radical environmental organizations that claim to be "saving" biodiversity. Much to the chagrin of both of these institutions, the Bush administration has not been a willing accomplice to this "wrenching" transformation of American society.

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

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