U.N.'s global land grab
Posted: March 4, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Henry Lamb
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
The Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve, or
SAMAB, began in the 1970s when UNESCO recognized the
571,000-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park as
a site worthy to be included in its growing global
network of Biosphere Reserves. Neither Congress, nor
the legislatures of either affected state, reviewed,
debated or approved the designation.
Today, SAMAB encompasses nearly 37 million acres.
Still, neither Congress, nor any of the affected
states' legislatures have reviewed, debated or
approved the designation or the expansion.
How can this happen? SAMAB is an "interagency"
organization of representatives of several federal
and state agencies that have some jurisdiction
within the area. SAMAB provides the mechanism for
these agencies to coordinate their work to advance a
Since neither Congress, nor the state
legislatures review the work of the SAMAB, who sets
The Department of Interior and the Department of
Agriculture, where many of the SAMAB agencies
reside, are members of the International Union for
the Conservation of Nature. The IUCN is accredited
by, and consultant to, both UNESCO and the United
Nations. The IUCN was, and continues to be,
instrumental in the development and implementation
of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Program.
The agenda for U.N. Biosphere Reserves is set in
UNESCO documents known as the
Statutory Framework and the
Seville Strategy, both of which were developed
with "consultation" from the IUCN.
Biosphere Reserves, by definition, include "core
wilderness areas" protected from human use, which
are surrounded by "buffer zones," which are managed
for conservation objectives. Those are surrounded by
"zones of cooperation," which are "laboratories for
Through "restoration" and "rehabilitation,"
wilderness areas and buffer zones are to expand,
pushing the zone of cooperation ever outward.
The Bowater Corporation has offered to sell
100,000 non-contiguous acres of land, scattered
across 14 counties of East Tennessee, most of which
is within, or adjacent to, the SAMAB. The Natural
Resources Defense Council, a New York-based
environmental organization, is leading an effort to
get the state of Tennessee to purchase the land for
an estimated price of $300 million.
The Natural Resources Defense Council is also a
member of the IUCN. Bureaucrats from these agencies
and representatives from member NGOs meet regularly
through the IUCN to shape policies that are adopted
by the U.N. and UNESCO. At home, working through
"interagency" groups such as SAMAB, they implement
the policies they helped to develop.
A spokesman for the NRDC told the Nashville
Tennessean that the area is a "biogem," one of the
"most endangered wildernesses in America." The
Tennessee Environmental Council, and the Dogwood
Alliance are both long-time supporters of the
Biosphere Reserve agenda and are actively promoting
the state's purchase of the land.
Aside from the initial price tag of about $300
million that will have to be paid by Tennessee
taxpayers, the loss of property tax to the 14
affected counties would be about $700,000 – each and
every year. The remaining taxpayers would have to
make up the loss through higher tax rates – each and
While the environmental organizations claim that
the land will produce new revenues from
"eco-tourism," the truth is that much of the land
will be shut down and "restored" or "rehabilitated"
into wilderness or buffer zones. The private lands
that remain between the non-contiguous segments of
Bowater land will be targeted for acquisition by
environmental groups and government. In short order,
the people will be forced off the land altogether,
and SAMAB will expand even further.
The SAMAB "interagency" management structure is
an excellent example of how professional bureaucrats
have been able to bypass elected policy-making
bodies of government to implement their own vision
of how land use should be managed. Policy by
professionals, rather than policy by elected
officials, is one of the first principles of
There is a growing movement across America to
shut down all the U.N. Biosphere Reserves in the
United States. Biosphere Reserve proponents contend
that this would be throwing out the baby with the
bathwater since, the proponents claim, there are
many benefits provided by the Biosphere Reserves.
Biosphere Reserves will be among the hottest
topics discussed at a
national conference this summer. The discussion
will identify reasons to retain and reasons to end
the Biosphere Reserve program. The outcome is
expected to produce legislation that will either
retain, end or modify the Biosphere Reserve program
in the United States.
is the executive vice president of the
Environmental Conservation Organization and