by Henry Lamb
Only a handful of the people who gathered at the Birmingham Hilton on April 8, 2003 knew that the objective of the meeting was to implement U.N. policy in Alabama. Most people in attendance thought the meeting was to solicit comments about a forest management plan being developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The comment period is open until July, at which time, the plan will go into effect to standardize "ecosystem management" in all National Forests in Alabama.
"Yes," answered Rick Morgan, spokesman for the government, when asked if the plan provided for core wilderness areas, surrounded by buffer zones. The plan fulfills the criteria of Article 4 of UNESCOs Statutory Framework for U.N. Biosphere Reserves. Most of Alabama has already been gobbled up by the Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve, one of 47 U.N. Biosphere Reserves designated in the U.S., with no debate, discussion, or vote by any state legislature, or the U.S. Congress.
A major function of all U.N. Biosphere Reserves is to continually expand the core wilderness areas and connecting corridors of wilderness, pushing ever-outward the buffer zones, and surrounding the entire area with an ever-expanding "zone of cooperation." The Southern Appalachian Reserve began with the designation of the 517,000-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a U.N. Biosphere Reserve. State Department maps now show the Reserve to include an area that stretches from Birmingham to Roanoke, and from Nashville to Asheville.
Who wants all this land managed according to policies decided by UNESCO?
Morgan was asked, if all the comments received from the people were negative, opposing the management plan, would the plan be abandoned? His answer: "No, the comments will be taken and duly noted."
This management plan is required by the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity. Why is this plan being implemented in Alabama, and throughout the United States, when the U.S. Senate did not ratify the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity?
The Clinton/Gore administration expected the treaty to be ratified, with little or no opposition. They were shocked when it failed, and decided to implement its provisions anyway, through its administrative policy of "Ecosystem Management."
The people who insist that the U.N. has no control over our land use policies, including those in Congress, either dont know, or dont want others to know, how the system works.
The Convention on Biological Diversity was first proposed in 1981 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The IUCN is an NGO (non-government organization) in Switzerland whose membership includes more than 60 major U.S. environmental organizations, and seven departments of the federal government.
The bureaucrats from these seven federal agencies, and the leaders of the environmental organizations, worked together through the IUCN to develop the draft treaty, which was then presented to the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, where it was adopted in 1992. Once adopted by the U.N., these same environmental organizations, and federal agencies, lobby for ratification. The federal agencies then implement the treaties which they helped draft. And these same agencies award federal grants to the NGOs, to help implement the treaties. Almost all U.S. environmental policy since the early 1970s has followed this same route.
The Nature Conservancy has been an initiator of at least the last four U.N. Biosphere Reserves nominated in the U.S., and a primary promoter of Biosphere expansion everywhere. At the Birmingham meeting, Rick Morgan was asked if his agency was in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. His reply: "We are mutually supportive, we attend their meetings and they attend ours."
The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are members of the IUCN. Both organizations worked on the development of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and both organizations are working together to implement the management provisions required by the treaty, even though the treaty was not ratified.
The long-term aim of the Convention on Biological Diversity is to convert at least half of the land area to "core wilderness" areas, connected by corridors of wilderness, all of which is off limits to human activity. Wilderness areas are to be surrounded by buffer zones, in which human activity is strictly limited by government, and managed for "conservation objectives." People are gradually being moved into "sustainable communities," which are designed to achieve economic and environmental equity.
The meeting in Birmingham was to satisfy the requirement to provide for public input to a plan, the outcome of which was decided years ago. The people were told that the plan affected only the National Forests in Alabama. The truth is that the plan affects all land in, and near, the National Forests. The federal government uses the Endangered Species Act, the Invasive Species Initiative, wetland policies, viewsheds, smart growth, and a host of other policies, to restrict land use on private property to the point that the land will ultimately fall into the hands of the government, or an environmental organization such as The Nature Conservancy.
Alabama is not alone. Virtually every state and community has been targeted to undergo a similar transformation into what Science magazine described in 1993 as "the transformation of America to an archipelago of human inhabited islands surrounded by natural areas (p.1868)."
The transformation of America was designed by the IUCN in Switzerland, adopted by the United Nations, and is being systematically implemented in Alabama, and in every state, by bureaucrats and environmentalists who have no accountability at the ballot box. Elected officials, who are accountable at the ballot box, are allowing the transformation to go forward. They should be held accountable.
Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International .