Op-Ed by Marlene Motley
Thesis: Agenda 21 and the environmental movement.
Most of the people in the truth, patriot and freedom movements are well aware of the UN’s Agenda 21, the agenda for the 21st century. Most see it as a wacko environmentalist agenda to steal land and set it aside for the happy little creatures giving them precedence over human life.
Well, the agenda is real but it has little to do with happy little creatures as much as it does with multinational corporations wanting to take over your land and controlling your use of it. To keep the environmentalists on board, they wrap it in these wonderful phrases like “Sustainable Development.” They speak of wonderful green spaces and sustainable energy. Small enclaves of people in sustainable cities surrounded by vast open wilderness where they are “rewilding” to protect the happy little creatures. They use federal agencies like the EPA, The Department of the Interior and, of course, that truly nasty BLM. And most agree this must be stopped. But how and by who?
Antithesis: Enter the anti-government overreach crowd. Sounds good but is it?
“Too much government over reach,” is the hue and cry of the crowd. While this is a true statement and I am as much against the over reach of government as anyone, I have to look at the direction this movement is now taking everyone in. The latest is this push to take back federal lands and turn it over to the states. There is even legislation out there being pushed that would do exactly that. But who is behind it? And why? What is the result they are aiming for?
Synthesis: Model States legislation and ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)
For those who are unaware, ALEC is comprised of legislators, corporations and other non-governmental organizations who come together to write what they call “model state legislation.” In other words, legislation tailored to your state. They make these bills sound like a conservative’s dream come true. But take a good look at their members.
If you have ever been to your state’s capitol when Congress is in session, you have seen the sea of lobbyists you have to wade through to talk to your congressional representatives. And, for the most part, these lobbyists are not there on the people’s behalf. ALEC is, in a sense, a group of these lobbyists writing laws to benefit corporations and other NGOs with your state representatives right there in the mix. The legislators then bring these laws home and, with the help of ALEC, get them passed.
Not only are the states pushing for this land transfer but also some elements in the federal government as well. In a memo entitled “Views and Estimates for Fiscal Year 2016” from the chair of the Committee on Natural Resources, Bob Bishop (R-UT), and sent to the House Budget Committee, Rep. Bishop states, “The solution is to convey land without strings to state, local, and tribal governments.” He also asks for $50 million in taxpayer dollars to cover the transfers. This all may sound good until you look at what will now become of these lands.
The populations of most western states is relatively small, and the people of these states would either face a tax increase that most can’t afford or the states would have to sell off these lands to the highest bidder. Or, worse yet, the local governments will take federal grants to offset the cost.
The cost of fire prevention and control alone would put a major burden on these states, as pointed out in a pdf by westernpriorities.org. Wildfire suppression in these states cost US taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Ranchers would have to pay higher grazing fees in most of these states if they were even allowed to continue using the land. State agencies would be forced to grow to compensate for the federal agencies that were vacating. States could also follow the Economic Development route and industrial parks could pop up everywhere.
If forced to sell the land, the most likely buyers would be those who can afford vast amounts of acreage, namely multi-nationals and UN-based environmental groups like the WWF. The same people who want to use Agenda 21 to take the property in the first place.
If the local counties are told they must maintain the property in their areas, the best funding is usually federal grants, generally brought to you by your local COG, with many strings attached. The land has greater federal restrictions, usually involving some public/private partnership due to the fact these federal grants stipulate the federal government will cover only part of the cost and the state must supply the remainder.
The only other option would again be higher taxes. Then there are the “buffer zones,” privately owned land adjacent to the public land where land use is restricted because of its effect on the public land it abuts, thereby reducing the value of the private land but not the property taxes. Again you have Agenda 21 in play.
I have covered some of these grants in an earlier article. Take a look at this article that appeared on the copblock.org website. Turning federal lands over to states will bring in more regulations, not less. There are many of these horror stories all over the Web.
And who benefits? Take another look at the private companies aligned with ALEC and you won’t have far to go.
Marlene Motley is a writer, activist, and anarchist from South Carolina. She writes on a variety of subjects including those that affect her state, Agenda 21, government, and many others. Her website is marlenemotley.wordpress.com
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