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The way I see it...


The needs of “non-human populations” were given priority.

By Henry Lamb © 1999 <>

Suppose half the land in the United States were suddenly declared “off limits” to people, and most of the remaining half were managed by government agencies to assure that the needs of “non-human populations” were given priority over the needs of humans. Grounds for another civil war? Had the transformation been declared suddenly, and publicly, there would undoubtedly have been a public uprising of civil war proportions. The transformers are far too smart for that. Instead, the transformation plan is buried in tons of boring bureaucratic bunk that rarely catches a reporter’s eye. Nevertheless, government agencies are quietly going about the task of taking control of every square inch of American soil in order to convert “at least half” of the lower 48 into wilderness, while managing most of the remaining half for “conservation objectives,” forcing the people into so-called “sustainable communities.”

This plan was first published in the United States in 1992 by Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First! and now a director of the Sierra Club. Even though the plan was written by Dr. Reed Noss, and funded by The Nature Conservancy and the Audubon Society, no one took it very seriously. After all, who could take seriously the idea of locking up half the country beyond the reach of people?

The Department of Interior took it seriously, as did the Environmental Protection Agency. Both federal agencies, under the direct instruction of Vice President Al Gore, dramatically changed their policies relating to land management. Both agencies adopted the idea that human beings were to be considered a “biological resource,” and that ecosystem protection would be elevated to the same priority level as “human health.”

The United Nations took it seriously. Foreman’s plan is named specifically, as “central” to the biodiversity protection scheme required by the Convention on Biological Diversity, in an official U.N. publication entitled Global Biodiversity Assessment. Sadly, private landowners are now taking the plan seriously, even though they have no idea that the plan even exists. In South Florida, Jared Figley is being pressured by a state agency to leave the land his family has ranched for four generations. In Pennsylvania, Bob Learzaf’s land, purchased by his great-grand-uncle in 1923, is being taken from him by the feds–without compensation. From one end of the country to the other, people are being squeezed off their land under some pretense of protecting the environment.

What we are now just beginning to see is hardly the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of federal programs have been launched to implement Foreman’s plan incrementally. The U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program (USMAB) is working to expand 47 U.N. Biosphere Reserves in the United States, each of which consists of wilderness areas, “managed” areas, and “zones of transition,” which are used to continually expand the area under government domination.

Al Gore’s Clean Water Initiative, and Clinton’s Land Legacy Initiative, are both designed to extend federal jurisdiction over private land in the name of protecting the environment. At the same time, the President’s Council on Sustainable Development is waging war on urban sprawl by promoting “visioning councils” to transform American cities into “sustainable communities.” Without any public announcement, without any congressional debate, and certainly without the consent of the governed, the federal government is transforming America to conform to the plan Foreman published in 1992.

“No,” say the feds, “we’re just trying to protect the environment.” That’s the same “feds” who for six years denied using pyrotechnics at Waco, led by the chief fed who “... did not have sex with that woman.”

Many, if not most, of the state and federal field workers have no idea that the policies they are implementing are even related to a grand plan to transform America. They are just doing as they are told, often defending the integrity of their agency, while being used by their superiors to subvert the very foundations of American liberty.

Private property rights are constantly under attack as the major obstacle to “institutional environmental management.” Property rights advocates are also attacked as “anti-environment” activists. Private owners are, by far, the best caretakers of the land. The problem is, private owners may not care for their land in the same way that the government thinks it should be cared for. By bringing the awesome power of government to bear on landowners individually, through its myriad programs, the government is succeeding in transforming America. Should private landowners wake up, and realize that what’s happening to their neighbors will soon be happening to them, there may well be an uprising.

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

From one end of
the country to the
other, people are
being squeezed
off their land
under some
pretense of
protecting the


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