In my last blog, “Infiltration of LittleTown U.S.A. Part 1,” I explained how the Boundary County Comprehensive Land Use Plan was infiltrated with language that essentially redefined the basis of Boundary County’s economy and the relationship of Boundary County citizens with their lands, labor and natural resources. I explained that this is consistent with a strategy pursued by proponents of Regionalism in order to justify redistributing rural tax monies to metropolitan urban areas, and to control where people live. I also told you that this strategy amounts to one flank of a pincer movement, to borrow a military term. I will explain the other flank in this blog, but it’s necessary to provide some background knowledge on who wrote Agenda 21.
You may recall that I began to learn about Agenda 21 in Bonners Ferry by investigating the Horizon Program to Reduce Poverty, the origins of a visioning session used to generate the language introduced into our comprehensive land use plan, and how this process is typical of that used to introduce Agenda 21 into towns across the nation.
In order to understand how the two flanks of the pincer movement relate to one another, I also need to tell you just a little more about the visioning meeting held in Bonners Ferry.
Hard Times in the Backwoods
The reason the Horizon Program to Reduce Poverty was well-received in Bonners Ferry in the first place is that in the 1990’s our woods were shut down to logging. Mills were closing due to lack of logs, and blue-collar families were leaving the area in droves to find work. Things were tight for many of those left.
The first night Horizon came to town, families filed into the Middle School cafeteria until there was standing room only; I imagine they were hoping for some answers.
I, myself, had gone away to get a teaching credential and was now employed by the county school district. I was concerned for my students’ families and our community. I dreamed of helping to rebuild our local economy in a way that was consistent with our rural lifestyle, so when the facilitator asked the people what was the main need for reducing poverty in our county, I was in full agreement when these hardworking people replied unequivocally, Jobs–we need jobs. We need to rebuild our local economy, others added.
We were then put into study circles, where many of us generated ideas such as encourage small-business agriculture, provide a state-certified kitchen where we could manufacture value-added agricultural products such as jams and herb teas, and bring in light industrial companies. All of these ideas are completely reasonable for a rural community.
I don’t actually remember what our group leaders reported back when we gathered again as a community, but I do remember clearly that the facilitator began to ask questions such as “What about open spaces? What about green spaces, wildlife habitat, affordable housing and transportation?”
Most of us just shrugged our shoulders as if to say, Okay, if you say so. We’re not hard to get along with. After all, over 80% of our county is already open, green or wild spaces, so whatever…. What harm can it do to go along with the lady? We pretty much figured that as soon as we got the jobs people could afford housing and the transportation to get to work.
So much for common sense. As I described in the last blog, by the time the Horizon Program took us through ensuing segments, they introduced language into our Comprehensive Land Use Plan that was 180 degrees off from our first responses. According to them Boundary County residents are no longer dependent on the lands, natural resources or even their own labor to make a living. We were headed right down the Agenda 21 highway.
The Second Flank
Later I found out that these manipulative tactics are pretty much typical of these so-called visioning meetings. As I was reeling from the discovery that we’d been had, I started thinking about other community issues. At the time the community was in an uproar over a proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to designate over 395,000 acres in Northern Idaho, N.W. Montana and N.E. Washington as habitat for between 2 and 6 woodland caribou. That’s almost 600 square miles. After logging had been shut down in the ’90’s, some few businesses still catered to tourists and snowmobile riders. Now, in addition to the miles and miles of roads that had already been shut down to residents for hunting, firewood gathering and berry picking (all very much part of our economy and traditional lifestyle), the USFWS wanted to shut down what local people thought of as a massive amount of land for caribou habitat. Little by little, we were being closed out of our public lands.
I started to wonder if this proposal had anything to do with this Agenda 21 I had been reading about. I didn’t know how to set about proving it, but I thought that, since Agenda 21 was a United Nations initiative, if I could prove that the conservation groups who had sued the USFWS for caribou habitat had ties to international groups and connections to the United Nations I would be off to a good start.
Some of you are realizing by now just how naïve I was, aren’t you? Let’s just say that those connections were far easier to establish than I could’ve ever dreamed at the time.
Here is a list of the groups whose lawsuit resulted in a court order requiring the USFWS to designate caribou habitat:
Idaho Conservation League
Advocates for the West
Defenders of Wildlife
Center for Biological Diversity
Selkirk Conservation Alliance
Who Wrote Agenda 21/Sustainable Development?
To trace these connections we need to go back to 1992, the year that the United Nations adopted Agenda 21 at the Rio Earth Summit. In attendance at the Rio Earth Summit was the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a science advisory group to the United Nations. According to Dr. Michael Coffman, who has a doctorate in ecosystems analysis and climatology, the IUCN wrote, or helped to write, Agenda 21/sustainable development. Members of the IUCN include many environmental nongovernmental organizations (ngo‘s) including the Audubon Society, The Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and many more. In addition, IUCN members include the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and many other U.S. Federal agencies.
Agenda 21/sustainable development was formally introduced to the world in 1992, but is really part of a continuum of international treaties and agreements that began years before 1992, and which has taken on the name Agenda 21. As such, Agenda 21/sustainable development seeks to control all human habitation, lands and natural resources. It seeks to control where everyone lives, how they heat their homes and how warm they can be, how much water they can use, what they eat and what access to the land every person will have. Ron Taylor likens it to eating a roll of salami one slice at a time. While many writers describe the participation of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama in this process, Brian Sussman traces this continuum back to Richard Nixon and 1972 when the United Nations held its first environmental conference in Stockholm, Sweden and Maurice Strong called for a new era of international cooperation (p. 246). Coffman traces the influence of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) back to the year after the United Nations was formed in 1945, and marks 1972 as the year that environmental ngo’s, such as those described above, were admitted into the IUCN.
Wait a minute, let’s go back. You mean agencies of our own government helped to write the Agenda 21 Initiative? Yep, that’s what I’m saying. And notice something else, the USFWS and the Big Green nongovernmental organizations, such as the Sierra Club, are not opposed to one another at all, as we are led to believe when newspapers report that conservation groups sue for wildlife habitat, though this chumminess was not always the case. According to Coffman, not only do they collaborate on the international level as members of a science advisory group to the United Nations, but, when President Bill Clinton created the President’s Sustainable Development Council by Executive Order #12852 in 1993 with the mission of implementing the precepts of Agenda 21/sustainable development through regulatory policy, many of the same ngo’s and federal agencies were members of the President’s Council and continued to collaborate on the national level.
In addition, there is a revolving door between personnel of federal agencies, such as the Forest Service, EPA and US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the conservation groups. Oftentimes staff members of the national conservation groups end up in federal land management agencies and vice versa. This revolving door is documented in a book by Congressman Richard Pombo and Joseph Farah called This Land is Our Land: How to End the War on Private Property. Incidentally, private property is one of those nasty, little things that Agenda 21 claims are unsustainable.
So when the USFWS maintains in public meetings that they can’t help it if those big, mean conservation groups make them do bad things and write bad checks, we should bear these affiliations in mind. These days, federal land management agencies and radical environmental groups are more like codependent lovers than opponents.
The IUCN Flexes its Muscle
Not only did the IUCN write or help to write Agenda 21, but it has generated many of the treaties and agreements which are the implementing/enabling documents for Agenda 21/sustainable development in the United States and worldwide. According to Coffman, the IUCN created the Society for Conservation Biology, and even the science of conservation biology itself. This society then created the Wildlands Project, which calls for up to ½ of all the American land mass to be removed from human habitation or use and put into wilderness preserves, wildlife corridors and buffer zones. The IUCN also introduced the Convention on Biological Diversity at the same Rio Earth Summit as the Agenda 21 Initiative was trotted out, as well as the President Council on Sustainable Development Report, in which supporting documents such as the UN Global Biodiversity Assessment name the Wildlands Project as the template for protecting biodiversity. Coffman writes, “what seem to be totally independent programs are in reality an orchestrated masterpiece of the IUCN.”
You can see the cumulative effects of these documents and agreements on America by watching this important video
In 1995 the Biodiversity Treaty was brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate for ratification. The Biodiversity Treaty was based on the Convention on Biological Diversity, which, again, was introduced in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. The treaty would have bound us to this madness by law, but Dr. Coffman read all of the supporting documents and generated a map showing the vast American lands that would be depopulated under this treaty and other U.N. agreements, and the treaty never came to a vote. It is important to note that the Biodiversity Treaty is not law, but is being implemented via regulatory policy and executive order. Again, for a look at Coffman’s map and an explanation of how these agreements and initiatives are being implemented I refer you back to the video I posted above, if you haven’t yet taken a look.
Where Do the Green Groups Involved in the Caribou Habitat Lawsuit Fit Into the Big Picture?
As you may recall, I set out to show that the conservation groups that brought suit against the USFWS had ties to international groups and to the United Nations. I tried to do this as part of an inquiry as to whether the caribou habitat proposal was part of Agenda 21 in Boundary County. I took a look at the two big names on the list of conservation groups involved. These were the Defenders of Wildlife and The Center for Biological Diversity. I figured these two national groups would be the easiest to find information on. What I discovered, led me to prepare comments for a public meeting with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the Caribou Habitat Proposal. Much of the following information is from those public comments and was current when presented.
Defenders of Wildlife
• A former member on the Science Advisory Board for Defenders of Wildlife, Michael Soule, co-authored the original draft of the Convention on Biodiversity. Michael Soule did so presumably through the Society for Conservation Biology, another IUCN member, which he co-founded.
• Defenders of Wildlife is a member of the Save Our Environment Action Center (SOEAC). Fellow SOEAC members include, among others, The World Wildlife Fund, National Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, all IUCN members.
• Reed Noss, present member of Defenders of Wildlife Science Advisory Panel, co-authored the Wildlands Project, along with Michael Soule and Dave Foreman. The Wildlands Project seeks to remove humans from up to ½ of the American land mass for the purpose of returning it to the wild, through immense roadless areas, connecting corridors and buffer zones. When added to other programs currently underway in our nation, the removal of humans from the American land mass could be much higher. Importantly, the Defenders of Wildlife supports the Wildlands Project.
• Noss estimates that these core reserves and their areas should be such that there are 2.5 to 25 million acres for every 1000 large carnivores or ungulates (such as caribou). Noss goes on to propose over 200 million acres core reserves for grizzly bears and 100 million acres core reserves for wolves, two other species our area is under pressure to recover. 100 million acres is greater than the total land mass of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut altogether (71 million acres). Imagine what those numbers would mean for Idaho. Where would there be a place for humans?
Though we were staggered by the size of the caribou habitat designation, it was small Idaho potatoes by the standards of those who subscribe to this philosophy of Conservation Biology.
• Commenting on the implications of such a plan, the June 25, 1993 issue of Science said it “is nothing less than the transformation of America to an archipelago of human-inhabited islands surrounded by natural areas.” This is exactly what the proponents of the Wildlands Project have envisioned. Remember the group, Defenders of Wildlife, supports this agenda.
The Center for Biological Diversity
• A quick online search shows that The Center for Biological Diversity often acts in conjunction with the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society, both IUCN members
• The Center for Biodiversity and the Sierra Club often act together to petition the EPA, also an IUCN member
• The Center for Biological Diversity has a co-founder and director, Dr. Robin Silver, who is also a director of the Maricopa Audubon Society. Again, the Audubon Society is an IUCN member.
• In their own words, the Center for Biological Diversity makes use of International and US laws to implement its vision, and is rapidly expanding its alliance with international groups: “We also work through the United Nations process to establish safeguards for international wildlands and the animals and plants that depend on them. The scope of our international program is rapidly expanding.”
• They also “Secured the adoption by the Global Convention on Biological Diversity of a historic “Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.” Again this is the United Nations international treaty for environmental policy that is being implemented in the U.S. under “soft law.” http://www.un-documents.net/cbd.htm
• In 2006, the Center for Biological Diversity led a dozen conservation organizations from the United States and Canada in petitioning the World Heritage Committee to add Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park to the List of World Heritage sites as “in danger” due to impacts from climate change.” World Heritage sites are listed as part of a United Nations program that places sites in countries under UN control and protection, due to their cultural importance to “world culture.” Sites in the United States include the Yellowstone Park, the Grand Canyon, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Statue of Liberty and Monticello (Jefferson’s Home).
Need I say more? As to the rest of the conservation groups on the list, I will simply say it is my understanding that it is not uncommon in the world of environmental nonprofits for activists to start in small groups and collaborate with the large national/international groups. Perhaps this is in order to gives the appearance of grassroots activism. As individual activists “make their bones,” so to speak, they move up and obtain more prestigious positions. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that many of these people are sincere and believe they are doing the right thing. I have my personal doubts about others.
The Onward March
Since the caribou proposal we have a Revised Forest Plan that calls for 2.2 million acres in Northern Idaho and Montana to be shut down as habitat for grizzly bears. A proposal has been presented to place the wolverine on the endangered species list based on a supposedly shrinking habitat caused by global warming and ensuing loss of biodiversity. Habitat is being set aside for Canadian lynx. The Center for Biological Diversity and others are front and center in all of this. The Endangered Species Act and roadless areas are two of the main instruments by which the proponents of Agenda 21 hope to depopulate the Northern Rockies area, of which Idaho is a part. This effort is now progressing at a dizzying rate.
The Pincer Closes
So you see, my friends. We are outflanked on both sides. Not only are our comprehensive land use plans being infiltrated with regulatory and philosophical obstacles to using our private lands to rebuild our economy, but our public lands and natural resources are being closed off to us as well.
In my last blog I quoted Stanley Kurtz’ question to those who wish to redefine rural areas as being economically dependent on metropolitan areas so that they can justify diverting tax monies from rural areas to the inner city, and nudge people to move into urban areas. Kurtz asks, “What about the ultimate dependence of our cities on the food, lumber and oil drawn from the countryside?”
It’s pretty darn hard to contribute to our national economy when we aren’t allowed access to our natural resources.
It’s not just in rural America that these strategies are being applied. Almost everywhere you live, your towns and cities are being burdened with regulations that threaten your ability to use your private property to enrich yourselves and your communities. And I believe that much of our country’s economic recession is due to the fact that we are not allowed to use our natural resources to make sure our country can maintain economic viability.
The Horizon Program for Reducing Poverty that was used to infiltrate our Comprehensive Land Use Plan was developed by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change. To slightly correct what I said in the last blog, it was funded by the Northwest Area Foundation, and presumably offered in partnership with Pew.
The Pew Partnership for Civic Change is part of the Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation. Pew Charitable Trusts grants money to the EarthJustice Legal Defense Fund, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Nature Conservancy, the Rainforest Action Network, the Rainforest Alliance, the Ruckus Society, the Sierra Club, Trust for Public Land, the Wilderness Society, the World Resources Institute, the World Wildlife Fund, and a host of other environmentalist groups many of whom are IUCN members of the United Nations.
They also fund the Center for Biological Diversity which has had so much a part in what is happening in my region and others.
Dr. Coffman describes how environmental grant makers, such as Pew Charitable Trusts and other tax-exempt foundations, are part of what he calls the Iron Triangle that is being used to implement this global agenda. U.S. federal agencies and environmental non-governmental organizations make up the other two legs of the triangle.
Pew Charitable trusts has extensive affiliations and seeks to influence policy and social attitudes through its grants to international environmentalists and community organizing groups who offer programs such as the Horizon Program for Reducing Poverty and its LeadershipPlenty curriculum.
The official Agenda 21 document introduced at the Rio Earth Summit describes the role that nongovernmental organizations have in implementing Agenda 21/sustainable development. These activities are taking place throughout our country, and on a global scale.
Yes, folks, they’ve got us coming and going.
Is Agenda 21 Just a Conspiracy Theory?
Many Idahoans still ask themselves this question, but many more people are waking up. The web site, Idahoans Against Agenda 21, regularly posts information and articles to help Idaho citizens fight Agenda 21. More county commissioners and public officials across Idaho, Washington State, Montana and the rest of the West are realizing how relentless and real this movement is. In 1999 the late Idaho Representative, Helen Chenoweth-Hage, tried to warn American citizens of this threat to property rights in her article “The United Nations’ Big Green Machine.”
In 2012 the Republican Party Platform came out against Sustainable Development and Agenda 21, much to the chagrin and outrage of those who wish to maintain the fiction that it’s just a conspiracy theory (p. 45).
Really, Agenda 21/sustainable development is based on a worldview. Those who advocate for the regulatory policies making up this political outlook believe that these strictures on humans are necessary to save the earth. Many of them really think that these methods will ensure social, economic and environmental justice. Those who oppose these policies do not think they are viable solutions. Instead, we believe that these policies will result in immense human suffering, and that they will do nothing to benefit the environment. We believe they are based on bad science, bad philosophy and bad politics. It’s as simple as that.
We do not have the space or time in this post to discuss this aspect of the matter thoroughly, as it is the subject of extensive research and debate. Nevertheless, the first step is to understand that Agenda 21 actually exists and what the true consequences of it will be if implemented.
Three years ago, I would have had major doubts as to the reality of Agenda 21, but now I realize that we in Bonners Ferry, Idaho have a front row seat to the show.
Heck, we’re down in the orchestra pit watching the Theater of the Absurd strut across the stage.
In the next post, “Infiltration of LittleTown, U.S.A. Part 3”, I will examine in more detail how, in my county and elsewhere, people’s private property rights are in danger.
Works Cited and Consulted
Discover the Networks. Electronic document retrieved April 28, 2014 at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/funderProfile.asp?fndid=5213. For an extensive view of Pew’s intricate web of affiliations click on the visual maps in the upper right hand margin.
Koire, Rosa and Barry K. Nathan. Behind the Green Mask: UN Agenda 21
Sussman, Brian. Eco-Tyranny: How the Left’s Green Agenda Will Dismantle America
Taylor, Ron. Agenda 21: An Expose of the United Nations and the Forfeiture of American Sovereignty and Liberties