Time: Fri Jun 13 07:59:31 1997
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	Fri, 13 Jun 1997 07:52:03 -0700 (MST)
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 07:50:57 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Group claims U.N. is quietly seizing land in U.S. (fwd)
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<snip>
>
>> Group claims U.N. is quietly seizing land in U.S.
>> 
>> 
>> By Lori Becker
>> Herald-Leader Staff Writer
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> A Central Kentucky citizens group says the United Nations is trying to
>> take away land from Kentuckians.
>> And tonight, the group says, it's bringing in the man with the proof.
>> 
>> Citizens for a Constitutional Kentucky is sponsoring a visit from Henry
>> Lamb, founder of the Environmental Conservation Organization of
>> Tennessee. His talk is at 8 p.m. in northern Garrard County.
>> 
>> Lamb, CEO for a Tennessee construction company, is one of the leading
>> proponents of a theory that is spreading across the country primarily
>> via the Internet and grass roots groups fighting what they perceive as
>> excessive government control.
>> 
>> The theory goes something like this:
>> 
>> The United Nations has designated hundreds of "biosphere reserves"
>> around the world, including 47 in the United States and two in Kentucky
>> -- Mammoth Cave and Land Between the Lakes. These reserves are areas of
>> environmental significance and are usually part of national parks.
>> 
>> So far so good, but what comes next is what local and national citizens
>> and politicians are in an uproar about.
>> 
>> As the story goes, the biosphere program is a tool for the United
>> Nations to claim land as its own.
>> 
>> But the agencies and organizations involved in the program say the story
>> is completely untrue.
>> 
>> "All the rhetoric about the U.N. takeover is all bogus," said David
>> Barna, a spokesman for the National Parks Service. "We would never
>> relinquish control of any part of the United States to the U.N. or any
>> other body."
>> 
>> Real or not, this theory has created distrust and fear in communities
>> across the state. It has even found support through a Kentucky Senate
>> resolution and a proposed federal act by a U.S. representative.
>> 
>> Others, such as Charlie Puckett of Nicholasville -- one of the leaders
>> of the citizens group -- believe a more extreme version of the story.
>> They say U.N. troops are guarding these reserves with machine guns to
>> keep the public out, while U.N. vans are infiltrating surrounding areas.
>> Counties will be wiped out, roads will be dug up, people will be kicked
>> out of their homes.
>> 
>> "The U.N. and the Clinton administration have just overstepped their
>> bounds," Puckett said.
>> 
>> Officials from Mammoth Cave and Land Between the Lakes say the United
>> Nations does not have any control over their parks or the surrounding
>> areas.
>> 
>> "The designation changes nothing in terms of land ownership," said Jeff
>> Bradybaugh, the chief of science and resources management for Mammoth
>> Cave National Park. "We don't even talk to U.N. people. Nobody from the
>> U.N. comes out and checks on us."
>> 
>> But still, the state Senate passed a resolution May 29 opposing these
>> biosphere reserves, describing them as the "virtual ceding of these
>> lands to the United Nations."
>> 
>> "I don't believe in giving any foreign (organization) any control over
>> here in the U.S.," said Sen. Richard Roeding, R-Fort Mitchell, a
>> co-sponsor of the resolution.
>> 
>> And U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, introduced the American Land
>> Sovereignty Protection Act in late February, which would require
>> Congressional approval of all proposed international land reserves.
>> 
>> Tonight's speaker testified Tuesday at a hearing before the House
>> Resources Committee on behalf of this act.
>> 
>> Lamb said he formed the Environmental Conservation Organization in 1988
>> to combat excessive federal environmental regulations, which he says
>> stem from the influence of the United Nations.
>> 
>> Lamb speaks to groups across the country on the subject. Last week, he
>> said he spoke in Wyoming, Nevada, Louisiana and Florida.
>> 
>> "We provide local communities with the actual data so that rumors and
>> exaggerations can be minimized," he said.
>> 
>> His data: U.N. literature.
>> 
>> He claims U.N. publications, which he plans to share at tonight's
>> meeting, explicitly state the group's intentions to take land.
>> 
>> But according to T.J. BeMent, a spokesman for the biosphere program, a
>> biosphere reserve is simply an area that has been recognized for its
>> conservation efforts, which means it promotes wise use of land and
>> resources.
>> 
>> "It's like an Emmy," said Jim Carroll, chief of external programs for
>> Mammoth Cave.
>> 
>> These locations apply for this status; it is not U.N. appointed. Mammoth
>> Cave applied in conjunction with the Barren River Area Development
>> District.
>> 
>> Under the reserve designation, these two organizations work together to
>> find solutions to environmental problems such as underground water
>> pollution.
>> 
>> All policy decisions must be approved by the BRADD board of directors,
>> which includes mayors, judge-executives and residents from the
>> participating counties.
>> 
>> "It doesn't have anything to do with the U.N.," said Jeff Eversole, the
>> executive director of BRADD.
>> 
>> But Roeding said there are several ways of looking at this
>> "recognition."
>> 
>> "I believe we are going ahead and giving it away," he said.
>> 
>> Roeding said he wants to make it illegal in Kentucky to designate areas
>> as biosphere reserves.
>> 
>> And Kentucky isn't the first state where these reserves have sparked
>> controversy.
>> 
>> Earlier this year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the
>> Missouri conservation department dropped its plans to designate the
>> Ozarks as a biosphere reserve because nearly every government agency in
>> the area was under attack by suspicious landowners.
>> 
>> The biosphere reserve program has been designating these reserves since
>> the 1970s. But Barna of the National Park Service said the controversy
>> began last year when two U.N. officials got involved in a debate whether
>> or not to let a Canadian gold company build a mine next to Yellowstone
>> National Park.
>> 
>> It was the environmentalists vs. manufacturers, and the
>> environmentalists won because of the park's added prestige of being an
>> international biosphere reserve, Barna said.
>> 
>> "So people started saying the U.N. is affecting American land use
>> decisions," he said, which is ultimately what many of the opponents of
>> the reserves are afraid of.
>> 
>> But their theories, Carroll says, are a little far-fetched: "I like the
>> 
>> Puckett said state senators and representatives, area county
>> judge-executives and even U.S. legislators have been invited to
>> tonight's meeting so they can "get the facts."
>> 
>> "We're staying on top of it," he said. "It's a never-ending job."
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> All Contents  Copyright 1997 Lexington Herald-Leader. All Rights
>> Reserved
>> 
>
>
>

========================================================================
Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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