Hiram Perry: The Federal Government Wants All Our Land?

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Hiram Perry: The Federal Government Wants All Our Land?

1/22/99Science Matters! (So Does Truth And Common Sense)
by Hiram Perry
The Federal Government Wants All Our Land?
When it comes to 'land grabs' this latest news out of Washington tops everything we've written so far - read on.It seems that Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK) is planning this coming Tuesday to file a bill which will increase funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), giving the federal government unprecedented power to transfer private lands into federal ownership.Murkowski's bill could place up to 1.5 billion dollars into the fund each year, off budget, which means that this money will not be subjected to annual congressional appropriation or review. And this bill has the support of the Republican leadership.And we find that Representative Don Young (R-AK) will file a companion bill in the House next week. Young is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.All this is somewhat surprising because in the past Young and Murkowski have opposed increasing funds to purchase private lands. This time, however, they have made a deal to get their hands on the revenue derived from offshore oil and gas activities. They want this money shared with the states instead of going into the deficit reduction fund where it is currently spent. To get that through, they had to make a deal with environmentalists. They decided to threaten our private property so they can have more federal funding.At $250 per acre. 1.5 billion dollars will buy half again as much acreage as exists in all of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. 1.5 billion dollars, at $250 per acre, equals about six million acres. We don't know where, but I'll bet you can not purchase that large an acreage without wiping out a town, villages, countless homes and schools. OUR JOB IS NOT TO LET THIS HAPPEN!!!Since 1965, the LWCF has been used to buy up lands sought by the radical environmental agenda by moving valuable resources out of private control and into the hands of environmental groups and local and federal governments. By 1995 over 4.2 million acres of land had been transferred directly to federal ownership. It is not known how many acres have been added under the aggressive Clinton-Gore agenda.Over one-third of this nation's land is currently owned by the federal government; the figure exceeds 40% if state and local government lands are included. The land acquisition proposals by this Congress and the Clinton-Gore agenda make a mockery of the concept of limited government. They will expand the power of government over private property far beyond the limits set by our Constitution.Quite typically, supporters of this land acquisition have told callers that this plan, their bills, are not for land acquisition. Do you really believe them? I don't.Tied to all this is the urban sprawl program announced by Clinton and Gore last week. They too want the offshore oil and gas revenues, but not for the states - to fund more land acquisitions. We do not need our friends working against us! Young and Murkowski should drop their land acquisition program and get back to protecting our property rights from federal control, federal harassment and federal acquisition.At a press conference on January 12th, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, told us what to expect as national parks are shut down. He said there will be no roads, no trails, no hunting, no RVs and no snowmobiles. When Babbitt and his environmental friends say they want our forests to be 'forever wild', they mean just that. The national parks will simply be closed to people. That you can bet on! Let these proposed bills and initiatives pass and much of Maine will be a national park.You are urged to contact your congressional delegates:
Senator Murkowski (202) 224-3121
Rep. Don Young (202) 225-3121
Senator Snowe (202) 224-8683
Senator Collins (202) 224-2523
Rep. Baldacci (207) 942-6935Hiram Perry writes on environmental, agricultural and other scientific topics for various Maine publications. Contact Hiram Perry by phone (234-2790) or email perry@uninets.net