Infiltration of LittleTown, U.S.A., Part 3: the Wildlands Project and Agenda 21 in Idaho

Update: If you have recently tried to view the PowerPoint referenced in this article but saw only scrambled code, I have fixed that problem, and you may now view the PowerPoint from the Benewah County Natural Resource Team below this article.

Our Private Lands Vulnerable to Attack

It appears that Idaho Governor Butch Otter has dovetailed Idaho land and wildlife management with the Wildlands Project and Agenda 21 through the Western Governor’s Association’s Wildlife Corridors Initiative.  The Western Governors’ Association  (WGA) represents the Governors of 19 Western states and 3 U.S.-flag islands.

By adopting the Wildlife Corridors Initiative, these governors have placed private lands in Idaho, and throughout the West, in danger of being targeted for habitat acquisition.

According to a PowerPoint presentation sent to me by the Benewah County Natural Resource Team (BCNRT), The future of the west under the WCI , Idaho Governor Butch Otter, as a member of the WGA, “participated in the adoption of the Wildlife Corridors Initiative Report when passed on June 9, 2008.”  Not just Idaho, but almost all of the entire Western United States and Canada is currently under this developing initiative.  Much of what I describe as the nuts and bolts of the Wildlife Corridors Initiative comes from the BCNRT PowerPoint presentation, which resulted from their analysis.

To review what I showed in the last installment of this series on Agenda 21 in Boundary County and Idaho, the Wildlands Project is the central mechanism whereby the writers of Agenda 21 plan to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity, which was unveiled at the same Rio Earth Summit that trotted out Agenda 21 itself.  The Wildlands project seeks to remove humans from at least one half of the American land mass and lock it up as wilderness and habitat for wildlife.  Added to other United Nation programs, many more American lands are slated to be removed from human use.  The following quote is from one of the Wildlands Project architects, Dave Foreman:

“The only hope of the Earth is to withdraw huge areas as inviolate natural sanctuaries from the depredations of modern industry and technology.
Move out the people and cars. Reclaim the roads and the plowed lands.”

And just to underscore the point again, this issue is not a matter of Democrats against Republicans: note that the WGA is bi-partisan, with Republicans and Democrats merrily hatching out this plan for us ordinary citizens.

Ugly Duckling

So let’s take a look at this baby, shall we?  According to the Benewah County Natural Resource Team, in February of 2007 the Western Governors’ Wildlife Council was formed and this resolution was issued: Policy Resolution 07-01: Protecting Wildlife Migration Corridors and Crucial Wildlife Habitat in the West.

“This resolution… asks the Western states, in partnership with important stakeholders, to identify key wildlife corridors and crucial wildlife habitats in the West and make recommendations on needed policy options and tools for preserving those landscapes.

The implementation of this resolution began for Westerners when WGA launched the WGA Wildlife Corridors Initiative, which describes itself as, ‘a multi-state and collaborative effort to coordinate stewardship of wildlife corridors and crucial habitat. The main objective of the initiative is to develop a tool for policy makers that integrates important wildlife corridor and crucial habitat values proactively into planning decisions, and promotes best practices for development, and thereby reduces harmful impacts on wildlife.’”

The tool referred to in the above passage is the Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT). In the WGA CHAT FAQ document, CHAT is described in the following way:

“When complete, CHAT will be an easily accessible online system of maps displaying crucial wildlife habitat and corridors. The system will provide information West-wide, but will also include CHATs for individual states as they are available. The regional CHAT will provide an informed and continually updated picture of crucial wildlife habitat across the West.”

The idea is to use the assessment tool to identify wildlife corridors that consist of vast stretches of connected lands which enable wildlife to roam freely without encountering roads, fences or any impediment.  The plan to identify and establish these corridors is based on conservation biology, which posits that habitats fragmented by roads and other development are thereby impaired; development causes species loss, and human activity is harmful to the environment.

Throughout the west, except in Texas and North Dakota, all development policies, including energy, transportation, and wildlife and land management policies, are to be developed and coordinated using CHAT and massive databases created through a variety of means.

According to the Benewah County Natural Resource Team, the Wildlife Corridors Initiative is

“now the policy and direction given to Idaho Fish & Game (IFG). The current funding is provided by the federal Government and environmental groups via contracts with Idaho Fish & Game. The final data reports are being done by a company called Natureserve.  Natureserve’s parent organization is none other than The Nature Conservancy.”

The BCNRT presentation goes on to say,

“Governor Butch Otter and the Western Governors Association have married Idaho policy with the policies of Wildlands Project, Y2Y, and other extremist visions for the state and region with specific noted goals in the Initiative including:

• coercive pressure on local government to comply with unpopular provisions of this Initiative and indeed to assist in funding it,
• provision of corridors and connectivity data obtained by IFG to Federal agencies and environmental organizations,
• reduction of energy use by 30% to be achieved by “compact development” {a would-be euphemism for depopulation of rural areas resulting in forced urbanization},
• expansion of IFG power and authority even over local government, etc.“

Is the Benewah Natural Resource Team Correct?

Is this really the Wildlands Project, Y2Y and other extremist visions under another name?  The Wildlife Corridors Initiative (WCI) is not currently available for review (please see update below article), nevertheless, scads of its supporting documents are, and I have taken a look at many of them.  They include maps, memorandums of understanding and implementation guidelines from the Federal Government found in the digital archives and the WGA Initiatives page.  And yes, when one looks at these documents, one sees actual references to the notorious Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) plan as being a central component of this initiative.  And when one compares a map of the original Wildlands Project to the planned corridors of the WCI, the similarity is eerie.

See the Wildlands Project Map  (scroll down; it’s the second map at the bottom of the page).

See maps from the Wildlife Corridors Initiative showing best habitat either by looking at the PowerPoint presentation, which you can see at the end of this article, or the  WCWG White Paper.  There is a link to this document in the right hand margin of the Western Governor’s Association Wildlife Corridors Initiative page.

In addition, the WCI contains this reference to the Wildlands Project regarding mapping the corridors:

“The Wildlands Project and other entities also have developed network designs that depict important movement areas at low to intermediate resolution.”

Here is the Y2Y map from the supporting document, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (p. 8):   Federal Panel: Doug Austen, National Coordinator, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, US FWS  Scroll down until you see the document with the file name in my link.

In the Idaho-Montana Pilot Proposal letter, a supporting document from the Idaho Fish and Game and the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks agencies, we read a description of some of the stakeholders that are included in the planning of this WCI-related project:

“This list [of stakeholders] will include but not be limited to: Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Spine of the Continent Initiative, Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, American Wildlands, and universities.”

Another interesting map related the Idaho-Montana Proposal is found in the archives.  Scroll down until you see the file labeled ID-MT-DEC 10

Funders

And when we take a look at who is funding this initiative, we see that all of them are foundations and organization having affiliations with members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), who helped write Agenda 21 or the Wildlands Project, and/or who support the Wildlands Project.

The Benewah County Natural Resource Team lists the following funders of the Wildlife Corridors Initiative policy: the Wilburforce Foundation, the Wilderness Society, the William Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Idaho Conservation League, Advocates for the West, U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Doing some research we see that we are dealing with the usual suspects.  I will just brush the surface, but I will include links to sites where you can get a good look for yourselves.

WilburForce Foundation

• Funds The Nature Conservancy, one of the stakeholders who help plan these projects, and who developed much of the database for the CHAT Assessment Tool used by States to identify these corridors and crucial habitat.
• Funds Defenders of Wildlife, which supports the Wildlands Project.  Past members of the science board advisory group to the Defenders of Wildlife helped write the Wildlands Project and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
• Also funds Center for Biological Diversity, Lands Council, Idaho Conservation League, all who cooperated with Defenders of Wildlife to sue for Caribou Habitat in my neck of the woods.
• Funds Advocates for the West, which also funds this Wildlife Corridors Initiative.
• Funds many members who are also on the IUCN science advisory group to the United Nations.

The Wilderness Society

Follow the link and click on the Visual Maps icon in the right hand margin and you will see the following:

• They have ties to the Defenders of Wildlife
• They are affiliated with many environmental funders who fund IUCN members
• They are affiliated with IUCN members themselves
• They are affiliated with the Foundation for Deep Ecology.  Deep Ecology is another term for the philosophy that calls for locking humans out of the natural world.

 William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Follow the link and click on the Visual Maps icon in the right hand margin and you will see:

• Funds the Wilderness Society
• Funds Many IUCN members
• Funds the Defenders of Wildlife

The U.S. BLM, the DOE and the USFS are all members of the IUCN.  So, what we are looking at is a tight little network of funders that supports Agenda 21 and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Lest we forget, the Wildlands Project is a central mechanism whereby the prior two shall be implemented.

Does it seem likely that all of these funders are going to dish out money for a wildlife management plan that doesn’t comply with their own philosophies?  I hardly think so.

 

Reasonable Doubts

There are two reasonable questions the reader may have about this initiative and our objections to it: 1) what is wrong with designating unfragmented corridors so that wildlife may move about freely? and 2) Isn’t the development of the Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) and the cooperative database, to be maintained by the states, just an example of using modern technology to form best practices needed to care for the environment?

The short answer to question number one is that there is a lot of private property, and even whole towns, in these corridors.

It appears that these private properties are being targeted for habitat acquisition.  Back in the 1990’s President Clinton conducted a study known as the Gap Analysis.  This study identified private lands that lie in these corridors and other areas slated for habitat designation.  Idaho, as part of the Northern Rockies, lies within this area as illustrated and described in this section of the video, Taking Liberty.

The Wilderness Society, one of the funders of the Wildlife Corridors Initiative, applauds this study.  Discover the Networks says this about Wilderness Society President, William Meadows:

“Meadows has praised the conservation efforts of former President Bill Clinton, whose administration created the Gap Analysis Program which targeted vast tracts of private properties for “preservation” (by government agencies and land trusts) through conservation easements and purchase. At the end of Clinton’s second term, Meadows said, ‘From Florida to Alaska, Americans can celebrate one of the nation’s greatest environmental achievements as President Clinton and the Forest Service today protected nearly 60 million acres of the nation’s wild forests from logging and other development.”

Regarding question number two, remember what I wrote above about the Nature Conservancy’s brain-child, Natureserve, being in charge of the final reports that integrate CHAT and the massive databases used to identify and manage these corridors?  Let’s take a closer look at how Natureserve has functioned in the past, and to what uses it has been put.

Elizabeth Nickson, in her book, Eco-Fascists: How Radical Conservationists are Destroying Our Natural Heritage, tells us that, back in 1974, The Nature Conservancy began “a tally of the world’s biological wealth.”  Using monies from environmental grant making foundations and the Federal government, they eventually developed Natureserve.org, which has mapped over one-third of the planet.  Nickson goes on to say the following:

“The Wall Street Journal reported that the database [Natureserve] is so fine-grained that it records the precise location of individual eagle nests and clumps of endangered plants, which I suspect is a threat nicely disguised as propaganda.  But if a private tract with valuable assets is listed by Natureserve, government attention is focused on the property and it is generally accepted as being on the list for acquisition, or greenlining, thus destroying its market value, crashing its tax value, and distorting its price.  If you own property in the Western Hemisphere, the Nature Conservancy knows what’s on it, or thinks it does.  And if it’s a nice older-growth forest with a magnificent ravine, for instance, you can be sure that someone associated with the TNC has her eye on it.” (p. 62)

The Benewah County Natural Resource Team points out that the Wildlife Corridors Initiative contains language that suggests that we residents of Idaho are to be monitored for compliance, and that there appears to be a law enforcement component of the initiative.  Is that why drones were dispatched to Idaho in 2011 to “track environmental threats to Idaho wildlife,” as described in the March 25, 2012 National News article, “Drones Take Off in Idaho” by Michael Fitzgerald?

Nudging Us into the Cities

The Benewah County Natural Resources Team’s PowerPoint presentation quotes a  WCI recommendation that all development policies be coordinated to encourage compact development:

“A key dimension of sustainable growth includes compact development. At all levels, more compact forms of development reduce natural resource use (i.e. water, land, energy) and greenhouse gas emissions. Promoting compact development should be a major driver of federal, state and local land use policy decisions.”

The presentation goes on to comment that, according to the Cato Institute,

“Proponents of compact development argue that rebuilding American urban areas to higher densities is vital for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Compact city policies call for reducing driving, by housing a higher percentage of people in multi-family and mixed-use developments, reducing the average lot sizes of single-family homes, redesigning streets and neighborhoods to be more pedestrian friendly, concentrating jobs in selected areas, and spending more on mass transit and less on highways.”

This push to pressure people into the cities is amplified by the fact that the initiative also recommends that the governors levy a carbon tax on residents and raise other streams of revenue to fund this initiative.  The idea is to make it too expensive for people to live in the country.

I don’t know about you, but I think this thing is quacking like Duckenstein.

 

But, Could This Really Happen?

Not only could it happen, but it has happened.  Michael Barker, in his essay When Environmentalists Legitimize Plunder, points out that people all over the world are being closed out of their lands with the full knowledge of the Big Ten green organizations, which are part of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.  These displaced people are often in refugee camps, and sometimes they are taught gardening skills in lieu of being allowed to use their traditional lands.  In other cases, Nickson says some evicted people are not even allowed to grow greens to supplement their diet.

But won’t there be an outcry in the United States if this starts happening?  Maybe, maybe not.  Alston Chase, in his book, In a Dark Wood: The Fight over the Forests and the Myths of Nature, describes how, in the 1980’s and the ‘90’s, environmentalists conducted a media blitz to vilify loggers as destroyers of the forest and, therefore, not worthy of our pity and consideration.  In fact, the Wilderness Society trumped up woefully inadequate statistics and data to give the impression that not many jobs would be lost due to loss of logging and closure of the woods.  The actual loss of jobs was probably fifty times greater, or more, than they estimated to the public.  Some of these loggers and woodsmen ended up camping in the woods because they were unable to pay their mortgages or rent.  By reading Chase’s book, I began to see that these green groups are masters at media exploitation.

This fall-out of human casualties in the eco-war is casually downplayed.  On the site, Wildlands Project: Explaining the North American Wilderness Recovery Strategy, run by those who write from the eco-warrior’s perspective, we read this passage (bolding mine):

Based upon the work of freelance conservation biologist, Reed Noss, the cornerstone of the project consist[s] of creating “reserve networks” across North America to provide vast areas of wildlife habitat. The goal is to maximize biological diversity across the landscape, unfortunately often at the expense of the human occupants.”

That may turn out to be the gross understatement of the 21st century.

The Benewah County Natural Resource Team writes that, if you would like to join them in fighting the Wildlife Corridors Initiative, you may send an email to:

4defendthewest@gmail.com

Next Time

In the next installment of this multiple-part series, I will talk about conservation easements, a habitat acquisition technique that is being widely used in Boundary County, and elsewhere in Idaho and the West.

Works Cited and Consulted

Chase, Alston.  In a Dark Wood: The Fight over the Forests and the Myths of Nature. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey: 2007, 3rd ed.

Nickson, Elizabeth. Eco-Fascists: How Radical Conservationists are Destroying Our Natural Heritage. Broadside Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, New York: 2012.

Update: Since publishing this, a friend has sent me a link to another site where the Wildlife Corridors Initiative can be viewed:  http://www.channelingreality.com/environment/wga_wildlife08.pdf [1]

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