UN Agenda 21: Land Conservation is Trojan Horse for Big Government

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Land Trusts
By Diana George Chapin

On Feb. 23 the Bangor Daily News and Lewiston Sun ran an article, “The good, bad and pricey parts of using public money for land conservation.” This piece started an important public dialogue about conservation in Maine, but the article only opened a small window into a topic that desperately requires in-depth discussion in communities and across the state. Why? Because Maine people have been systematically propagandized by the message “conservation is good” without having a meaningful public discussion about some of the collateral damage the land preservation movement is generating in rural towns.

On Tuesday, March 5 the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on LD 220, “An Act to Ban United Nations Agenda 21 in Maine,” a bill aimed to protect private property rights and Maine communities from the international soft law that has been shaping land use planning, public policy, public education and local sovereignty for decades.

Americans are largely unaware of United Nations (UN) Agenda 21 which dates back to the 1970’s, but got its real start in 1992 with the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, when President Bush signed onto it.  President Clinton took office the following year and created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, a collaborative of federal agencies, corporations, and non-profit groups, who directed all levels of government to change their policies to comply with UN Agenda 21.

UN Agenda 21 is a worldwide action plan to implement “sustainable development.” Rosa Koire, author of “Behind the Green Mask” and founder of Democrats Against Agenda 21, describes it well:

“Agenda 21 is a global plan to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all energy, all education, all information, and all human beings in the world. Inventory and control.”

Maine people should know that wittingly or unwittingly, the land trust movement in Maine is implementing UN Agenda 21’s land use goals by creating and controlling through conservation easements a vast, interconnected network of minimally human-inhabited and limitedly accessed land.  While some leaders in the land trust movement are well aware that they are implementing Agenda 21 ideals through their work, many local land trust members are completely unacquainted with the UN’s vision.

While the land conservation movement in Maine has a local face — the community-based land trust — the efforts of land trusts around the state are highly coordinated, and they harmonize with regional and national conservation agendas. Local trusts collaborate and strategize with multiple organizations in their region to collectively acquire conservation easements over tens of thousands of acres. These regional undertakings tie into a wider plan for New England and the Northeast, called the Wildlands and Woodland project — one of many large-scale plans currently influencing property and easement acquisition across the U.S.

Nearly 90 land trusts in Maine affect political, economic, social and cultural change. The conservation movement acts politically as one unified force to impact public policy: using an extensive communications network it effectively mobilizes a grassroots movement on hot-button issues at the local level and in Augusta.

The conservation easement — the legal tool used to conserve land in perpetuity — transfers a controlling interest in the land (and reallocates property rights) to a second party. In some cases, the state or federal government is the easement holder. Very often, the easement transfers control to a local or statewide land trust. Land trusts are corporations that have private memberships and are controlled by a board of directors.

Currently, land trusts across Maine and the nation are experiencing a decrease in funding, which has resulted in a shift from buying land outright to purchasing easements or soliciting donations of easements over land that is privately held. This arrangement allows the trust to control the land without assuming financial responsibility for maintenance and ownership for the land.

And as time goes on, the land trust movement predicts that community land trusts will not be able to raise funds to meet stewardship and administrative responsibilities associated with the land they control. “We’re seeing a lot of land trusts that are merging with each other,” says Rob Aldrich, communications director for Washington, D.C.-based Land Trust Alliance. These mergers will effectively implement an inventory and control over massive tracts of land — realizing Agenda 21.

This dangerous agenda is bound to change who accesses land in the future, who derives financial benefits and security from owning land, and the succession of land from owner to owner. It also threatens to negatively impact the private natural resource infrastructure in Maine. Unchecked and unquestioned, it threatens to subjugate rural landowners to perpetual subordination to the state, a non-representative corporation or an international entity.

Agenda 21 promises to create a social order that resembles the medieval feudal system.

Those who wish to defend their right to self-determination, private property and their state and municipal sovereignty should carefully consider the activities of their local land trust, monitor the movement in Maine and support LD 220.

 

Diana George Chapin is a farmer and free-lance writer from Montville, Maine, who authored a series on land conservation for The Maine Wire last year.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Thank God this is all coming to the public’s attention! A terrific website is democratsagainstunagenda21.com. Think of it! Democrats who are against this UN “takeover”.It’s really scarey.This all began in CA, surprise, surprise. Another source: freedomadvocates.org.

  2. While there are a number of statements in Ms. Chapin’s article that I disagree with, I’ll focus on a few points that I believe every conservative thinker should consider when discussing conservation easements.

    1. A conservation easement is a freely arrived at agreement between a property owner and a land trust/government agency that in some cases limits or removes the real estate development potential of a piece of property in exchange for money, a tax incentive, or both. These easements follow the chain of title (i.e., they are attached to the property, not the owner). In some cases these easements expand public access to a piece of property. As an advocate for conservative beliefs, I tend to view these options and the ability to enter into them as free choice and actually an expression of one’s private property rights. Moreover, when a second party purchases a piece of land with a conservation easement attached to it, often it is at a lower price than it would be if the development potential still existed. Buying a piece of land with an easement attached to it is again, free choice.

    2. From a residential taxpayers perspective, undeveloped land always requires less municipal infrastructure and fewer services. Subdividing a piece of property will almost always increase the overall collective tax burden in a municipality except for in the rare instances of senior housing and vacation homes. In both of these cases, these two types of development do not add to the numbers of children in school and require fewer services. Conservation easements may be used as a tool to keep the municipal tax levy in check.

    3. In some cases, land trusts purchase a piece of property, remove the development potential through a conservation easement, and resell the piece of property to an agricultural interest (e.g., farmer). In these cases farmers are able to purchase land for the agricultural value (less) rather than the development value (more) of parcel of property. This could result in in a larger contiguous tract making farming more economically feasible or result in a less expensive piece of property for a first time farmer. Again, people enter into these agreements through free choice.

    Just my two cents.

  3. While I recognize that there may be groups with goals that are parallel to Agenda 21, the reality is that most land trust groups do what Patrick Corey is saying. My family hasn’t done any of these agreements but it is something we have looked into for our farmland. We’d be more interested in an Agricultural Easement which is technically a type of conservation easement. It focuses on the trust purchasing the development rights rather then trying to preserve the farm as it is today. An Ag Easement allows the flexibility to build new buildings or make changes as the farm changes.
    Down here in Cumberland County, there is no way a farmer can pay the full value of land at this time due to the competition of development. Unfortunately the characteristics that make land the most efficient to farm also make it the easiest to develop. Farmland can be classified as Prime Farmland, Farmland of Statewide Importance and Non-Prime Farmland. I have watched the top two tiers of these classifications continue to be developed, now only a small fraction of what is left is Prime. You eventually hit a point where you might as well develop it all because all that is let is less productive land. Personally, I think it is foolish of our society to become more and more dependent on all of our food coming in from far away.
    I farm land that has been in the family for a long time and I lease additional land, but there is absolutely no way I could purchase (and pay for it with farming income) land in this area due to development competition. Properly written Ag Easements can provide the opportunity to a person like myself to expand their business, or begin one by purchasing the development rights so I could purchase it at farmland value. I here lots of talk how this is so bad, but I have yet to hear a better alternative.

  4. Here’s how you could begin your testimony:

    March 4, 2013

    Susan Pinette, Clerk 287-1327
    Committee on Judiciary
    Room 438 State House Building

    Testimony for the 126″ Legislature in support of
    LD 220 An Act To Ban the United Nations Agenda 21 in Maine

    Senator Valentino, Representative Priest, and other members of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary. My name is xxxxxxxx from Monmouth.

    I support LD 220 because…..

  5. Janet Jamison I believe his father was Prescott Bush who exiled Chiang Kai Check to Formosa and tuned China over to Mao. (I know that the President of Free China’s name may be misspelled.)

  6. Mr. Chairman, legislators, I wish to provide some history of the abuses of property rights in Maine and to support Rep. Rick Long’s Bill. It is difficult to be brief.

    Shortly after the Russian Revolution a whole boatload of progressives went to Moscow to receive instructions on how to implement Communist theory and practice in America. They made good progress in the 1930s.

    After the 1947 Bar Harbor fire, the very wealthy property owners got together in the fall to decide how to rebuild the town, their mansions and grow Acadia National Park. They invited Gov. Horace Hildreth up to one of their sessions. There they explained how Mt. Desert Island would be in the future, but they didn’t stop there.

    They set forth a plan of how they wanted Maine to be in a hundred years, in 2047. These were the foundation owners who were funding progressive causes. They said that by 2047 there should be no paper company land in Maine. Gov. Hildreth was important enough to be elected as head of the National Governor’s Association.

    Gov. Hildreth’s son was also named Horace, but was always called Hoddy. He was one of the first environmental lawyers in Maine. He managed to get onto the Natural Resource committee and pushed through the first shore-land act in Maine which abolished the right to build boathouses in our lakes. The legislature tried several times to enact a Maine land use law. It failed every time until 1970. Then it passed by ONE VOTE. Thus began planning boards in Maine towns and LURC in Northern Maine.

    LURC and the DEP ran wild with a dizzying variety of rules of all kinds. Economic opportunity in Northern Maine began to be choked off. They pushed Maine people back from the shorefront property they owned. I am old enough to remember watching men build a boathouse in the lake. It didn’t hurt the lake and the fishing was better. Now the DEP wants to push people 250 feet back from the shores they own.

    The progressives that came back from Moscow reproduced. They had “red diaper babies”. These children were raised as socialists. Because they associated in small communities of socialists they developed their own vocabularies of terms with meanings only they share. The next generation became professors and they took over many universities.

    The next generation has wormed its way into all Maine government apartments. As I said, they have their own language, their own culture and their own religion; Yes, religion and this is their Bible. It is full of their language because they wrote it. This is what we want to remove from Maine communities and from the state most of us love. We know it isn’t law, but it is just as dangerous as practice.

    Angus King arrived, greatly expanded the Maine State Planning office and crushed Northern Maine’s economy. He brought out the COMPACT. Acronyms have meanings. Angus’ was Citizens Owning Maine Property Are Considered Trespassing. It was defeated at the polls. Angus came back We defeated it again. Then his Director of the Maine Forest Service went to New Brunswick for two weeks and came back with a proposed law. A back bencher sponsored it. I testified that if this passed, within 25 years there would be no more paper company land in Maine. We called it Son of Compact. It passed at 10:30 PM on the last night of the session. By the way, J. D. Irving had his own personal forestry law in Maine. It didn’t take 25 years for all the paper company land to be gone. It took 8 years. Guess who funded this? Donald Sussman. Yes, that Donald Sussman.

    Amity Schlaes has an excellent book called “The Forgotten Man”. She is writing about us. She documents the progressive movement from Moscow to Maine.

    Rep, Long has brought forth an excellent bill and it deserves bipartisan support. It is the only way we can bring prosperity back to Maine.

  7. I have a copy of the UN Biodiversity book within arms reach. It has a whole lot of Post-Its sticking out of it. The quotes are direct from the UN book. and from accredited scholars.

  8. Some 40 years ago, a lady had her wood lot harvested. Local people had referred to it as “the grove”. A college journalism student went to the house, and not realizing that the elderly lady owned the property asked; “Don’t you think it’s terrible that they cut down the grove?” This was around 1970 when journalism students no longer did investigative reporting and instead were sent out to push agendas.

    The lady answered, “When I was a little girl I had to weed the garden where that grove was and this is the first time in forty years that I have been able to see the mountain from this porch. I think it’s wonderful. The money from those trees will allow my granddaughter to stay in college.”

    I own some old growth forest. I don’t intend to cut it, but I am not so selfish that I would contaminate the title to my land with a conservation easement and prevent another granddaughter some day from doing what she needs to do with the land.

  9. There are problems with the land easement system and other conservation efforts that need to be addressed. Mcarthy era anti-communist twaddle like this just gets in the way and gives people an excuse to ignore important things that are actually happening, because they can just assume the concerns are all connected to to this crazy 50’s throwback garbage.

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