Who Really Owns Our National Parks? PDF Print E-mail
Our Blue Earth - Our Blue Earth
Written by Susan DeVan   
Saturday, 18 April 2009 10:58

      Americans may think we have complete sovereignty over National
Parks, Monuments, and other places of historical or geographical value
within our own borders.  The truth is shocking.  In 1972 the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) drew up a treaty
called The Convention Concerning Protection of the World Cultural and
Natural Heritage.  UNESCO's official website says, "World Heritage
sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory
on which they are located."  Under Carter, Reagan, the first Bush, and
Clinton, the following U.S. National and State Parks were put on the World
Heritage list: Mesa Verde; Yellowstone; Everglades; Grand Canyon; Redwood;
Mammoth Cave; Olympic; Great Smoky Mountains; Yosemite; Hawaii Volcanoes;
Carlsbad Caverns; and Kluane/Wrangell-St.Elias/Glacier Bay/
Tatshenshini-Alsek.  Also listed were these historic sites: Independence
Hall; Statue of Liberty; Native American culture sites; Monticello and University of

Virginia; Waterton Glacier International Peace Park.

      By signing onto UNESCO's Convention in 1973 under Nixon, the
U.S. agreed to manage our parks according to standards set by UNESCO,
giving up sovereignty over our territory and submitting to the U.N.'s
agenda.  We agreed to regulate private lands surrounding the sites; receive
U.N. technical and professional training; accept emergency assistance for
sites deemed to be in immediate danger (by whose definition?); and
propagandize other countries to designate  their own sites for the list. In
1994 the Clinton administration published the Strategic Plan for the U.S.
Biosphere Reserve Program adapted from a U.N. treaty which this country
never ratified. 

     By deliberate U.N. design, local or regional involvement in designation of
World Heritage sites is actively discouraged.  The Federal Government's
Executive Branch uses the U.N. treaty to expand Sustainable Development
land-control programs, taking vast chunks of  land out of private use and
limiting public access to it.  In one case, UNESCO delegates and the U.S.
Park Service attempted to stop development of a commercial enterprise on
private property outside the boundaries of Yellowstone Park; their proposed
solution: create a buffer zone of 150 miles in diameter around the whole
park.  This would mean the displacement of many thousands of ranchers,
residents and businesses within the buffer zone so that the flora and fauna
of the park might thrive.  When animals and vegetation expand to fill the
buffer zone, then what?  Will Yellowstone be extended into Nebraska?  The
implications of this policy are absurd, but private citizens will have no
recourse under law because the Federal Government can claim they cannot
break a treaty with the U.N. 

     The U.N. decided that too many World Heritage sites were of
European and Christian origin or interest, and by declaration made it a
priority to list places in tropical, desert, arctic and non-Christian
locations.   This year the U.S. Secretary of the Interior submitted his
tentative list to UNESCO for more U.S. sites: Civil Rights Movement
locations; Aviation sites, Dayton, OH; Thomas Jefferson Buildings; Mount
Vernon; Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings; Okefenokee; Petrified Forest, and
many other points of historical and natural interest.  Will the U.N. seek
to create a no-man's-land around each place because we are incapable of
managing our own American treasures?

(First published in The Hampshire Review.)

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 April 2009 15:57
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