Saturday, December 25, 2010

United Nations Oversees Over 830 World Heritage Sites

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This video by Dr. Michael Coffman, from Taking Liberty, exposes how The Wildlands Project is a tool used to destroy private property rights.
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Wildlands
Private property rights are the basis of liberty and wealth creation
Karl Marx defined Communism as the abolition of private property.
Currently, the federal government "owns" upwards of 29% of America's landmass. Mostly in the Western States.
•Only 6% of American land is developed (buildings, roads, etc)
•Only 3% of American land is urban
•77% of Americans live in urban areas
•Private property is targeted for governmental control
•Private property rights are the basis of liberty & wealth
•Unfortunately, the majority of Urbanites have been fooled into believing environmental propaganda.
•Urbanites comprise a large voting block
•Most Americans don't understand the Constitution
•Most Americans are unaware of the limited powers of the federal government, so a monumental power grab has resulted
Solutions:
We all want a healthy planet with plenty of vegetation and animals. When these organisms become threatened or endangered, and it is a result of human interaction, then it is caused by society, not one landowner. Therefore, it is society's responsibility to make amends, the liability does not fall on the shoulders of independent landowners. If an area is needed to rehabilitate a species, the landowner should be justly compensated. This solution also benefits society, in that the protection of the species is more secure.
Property ownership is important, not only for landowners, but because property ownership extends to all of your possessions, your intellectual property and all the way to your very body. If private property ownership is abolished, imagine the eventual impact on property rights.
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Wilderness rules restored for public lands
Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press
Thu Dec 23, 2010
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101223/ap_on_re_us/us_wilderness_rules
DENVER – The Obama administration plans to reverse a Bush-era policy and make millions of undeveloped
acres of land once again eligible for federal wilderness protection, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday.
The agency will replace the 2003 policy adopted under former Interior Secretary Gale Norton. That policy — derided by some as the "No More Wilderness" policy — stated that new areas could not be recommended for wilderness protection by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and it opened millions of acres to potential commercial development.
That policy "frankly never should have happened and was wrong in the first place," Salazar said Thursday.
Environmental activists have been pushing for the Obama administration to restore protections for potential wilderness areas.
Salazar said the agency will review some 220 million acres of BLM land that's not currently under wilderness protection to see which should be given a new "Wild Lands" designation — a new first step for land awaiting a wilderness decision. Congress would decide whether those lands should be permanently protected, Salazar said.
Congressional Republicans pounced on the "Wild Lands" announcement as an attempt by the Obama administration to close land to development without congressional approval.
"This backdoor approach is intended to circumvent both the people who will be directly affected and Congress," said Washington Rep. Doc Hastings, a Republican tapped to lead the House Natural Resources Committee when the GOP takes control of the House in January.
The Congressional Western Caucus, an all-Republican group, also blasted the decision. "This is little more than an early Christmas present to the far left extremists who oppose the multiple use of our nation's public lands," Utah Rep. Rob Bishop said in a statement.
BLM Director Bob Abbey said it hasn't been decided how many acres are expected to be designated as "Wild Lands" and whether those acres will be off-limits to motorized recreation or commercial development while under congressional review. It's also unclear whether there will be a time limit on how long acres can be managed as "Wild Lands" before a decision is made on their future.
The BLM has six months to submit a plan for those new wilderness evaluations.
These "Wild Lands" would be separate from Wilderness Study Areas that must be authorized by Congress. Wild Lands can be designated by the BLM after a public planning process and would be managed with protective measures detailed in a land use plan.
Ranchers, oil men and others have been suspicious of federal plans to lock up land in the West, worrying that taking the BLM land out of production would kill rural economies that rely on ranchers and the oil and gas business.
Their suspicions have been heightened since memos leaked in February revealed the Obama administration was considering 14 sites in nine states for possible presidential monument declarations.
That included 2.5 million acres of northeastern Montana prairie land proposed as a possible bison range, along with sites in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Washington.
The 2003 policy was an out-of-court deal struck between Norton and then-Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt to remove protections for some 2.6 million acres of public land in that state.
The policy allowed drilling, mining and other commercial uses on land under consideration as wilderness areas.
Salazar's reversal doesn't affect about 8.7 million acres already designated as wilderness areas.
Conservationists praised the reversal, though there has been grumbling that it took the Obama administration nearly two years to overturn the Bush-era policy.
"Washington D.C. always takes longer than you want, but we're glad we've gotten here," said Suzanne Jones, regional director for The Wilderness Society.
Associated Press Writer Matt Volz in Helena, Mont., contributed to this report.
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UN’s World Heritage Sites Infringe on US National Sovereignty
UNESCO, UN infringement on sovereign American territory
By Tom Deweese
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Many Americans have been disturbed to find that there are 22 areas in this nation that have been designated as United Nations’ World Heritage Sites. These sights are natural places such as parks or cultural monuments like Tom Jefferson’s home, Monticello.
As a result of a UN treaty called “The Convention Concerning Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage,” these sites come under the jurisdiction of the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Such designations have been the source of major debate as to whether the UN has infringed on sovereign American territory.
However, the debate may be about to rage even hotter. Because Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne
has just announced his selections of 14 more sites to be considered for nomination by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
Today, of the original 22 UN Heritage Sites that are located on American soil, fully 68 percent of American national parks, preserves and monuments are included in the UN designations.
The new sites will include Dayton, Ohio Wright Brothers-related aviation sites; Civil Rights Movement sites in Alabama; George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon in Virginia; Hopewell Indian Ceremonial Sites in my home town of Newark Ohio; and the Virginia State Capitol building in Richmond, to name just a few of the selected sites. These will be added to the existing list that includes Independence Hall, Yellowstone Park and the Statue of Liberty.
Proponents of the UN Heritage Sites say such designations are nothing more than a great “honor” to the nation. They assure us that there is no threat to American sovereignty and that all designated sites remain firmly under control of the United States government.
If true, then the question must be asked, why is an international treaty with the United Nations necessary? The United States has already designated most of the UN Heritage Sites as United States parks or preserved historic sites. The land is already being preserved and protected for AMERICAN heritage purposes. These lands are valuable for their historical significance to this nation. Repeat: Why do we need an International Treaty to do what the United States has already done for itself?
Who Owns World Heritage Sites?
It is true that you will not find any UN documents clearly stating that the world body controls or owns American soil through the World Heritage Site Treaty. It is also true that you will not find blue-helmeted UN soldiers standing guard over any of the sites.
To fully understand the threat to American sovereignty posed by the UN designation of World Heritage Sites, one must first link this program to a series of other treaties and policies, and how they impact American sovereignty. Above all, one must understand that many in our government see such programs as another tool to build massive federal land-control programs.
There is strong evidence of close collaboration between the U.S. Park Service and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee. There is also strong evidence that the designation of UN World Heritage Sites goes hand in hand with the Administration’s Sustainable Development program. That program is nothing less than a massive federal zoning program that dictates property development on the local level, in the name of protecting the environment. The goal of is to lock up vast areas of American land, and shield it from private use.
The designation of United Nations’ World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves can and does result in the centralization of policy-making authority at the federal level, particularly by the Executive Branch. Once a UN designation is made and accepted by the Federal Government there is literally no opportunity for private American land owners to dispute it or undo the designation.
Private property rights literally disappear, not only in the officially designated area, but worse, in buffer zones OUTSIDE the designated area. Not only has the federal government been using these treaties and agreements to limit access to, and use of these lands to all Americans, but they also have used the UN designations to limit use of private property OUTSIDE the boundaries of the site.
That is exactly what happened outside of Yellowstone National Park (a World Heritage Site) when UNESCO delegates were called in by the Park Service in an attempt to stop the development of a gold mine - located OUTSIDE the park. The UNESCO delegates declared Yellowstone to be the first “endangered” World Heritage Site and called for a protective buffer zone of 150-MILES IN DIAMETER AROUND THE ENTIRE PARK. The buffer zone would stop development and access to millions of acres of private property. Such is the purpose of the World Heritage Sites.
Moreover, in becoming party to these international land-use designations through Executive Branch action,
the United States is indirectly agreeing to terms of international treaties, such as the Biodiversity Treaty - a UN treaty that has never been ratified by the United States Senate.
Nevertheless, in 1994, the U.S. State Department published the “Strategic Plan for the U.S. Biosphere Reserve Program.” Taken straight from the unratified Biodiversity Treaty, the State Department program is to “create a national network of biosphere reserves that represents the biogeographical diversity of the United States and fulfills the internationally established roles and functions of biosphere reserves.”
A chief tactic used by the UN and the Federal Government when designating a biosphere reserve or a World Heritage Site is to rarely involve or consult with the public and local governments. In fact, UNESCO policy actually discourages an open nomination for World Heritage Sites. The “Operational Guidelines for the Implementations of the World Heritage Convention” states:
“In all cases, as to maintain the objectivity of the evaluation process and to avoid possible embarrassment to those concerned, State (national) parties should refrain from giving undue publicity to the fact that a property has been nominated inscription pending the final decision of the Committee of the nomination in question. Participation of the local people in the nomination process is essential to make them feel a shared responsibility with the State party in the maintenance of the site, but should not prejudice future decision-making by the committee.”
In other words, the nominating committee is to hide the fact that a massive land grab is about to take place. Then, at the appropriate moment, the committee is to involve some local yokels to make them think they have something to say about the grab, then send them away, so that the committee can move ahead, unhindered. They aren’t suppose to worry about the fact that private landowners have just lost control of their property.
This is not the way the U.S. Constitution says things should be done. This is how despots at the United Nations run things. The Administration is allowing them to do it for the sake of more Federal power.
By allowing these international land use designations, the United States promises to protect the sites and REGULATE surrounding lands if necessary to protect the UN-designated area. Honoring these agreements forces the Federal Government to PROHIBIT or limit some uses of private lands outside the international designated area UNLESS OUR COUNTRY WANTS TO BREAK A PLEDGE TO OTHER NATIONS.
In a nutshell, here is the real game being played. Through such policies, the Federal Government is binding our nation to international treaties and agreements that stipulate that the United States will manage these lands in a prescribed manner in order to achieve certain international goals and objectives. In other words, we have agreed to limit our right of sovereignty over these lands.
That is why it is charged that World Heritage Sites are an infringement on United States sovereignty. You won’t find the smoking gun by reading the treaties. It can only be found in understanding the “intent” and the “implementation” of the policies.
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Our National Parks Now Belong to United Nations
Hello friends,
Here is the first installment of our June 1997 FLASHPOINT NEWSLETTER from Texe Marrs! Because of the size I am going to send you the articles one at a time. Over the next few days you will be getting the articles from Flashpoint. Thanks for your support and interest!
God bless you,
James Lundeen
Ministry Assistant
Living Truth Ministries
Across this great land, our national parks, wildlands, forests, and lakes are being turned over to UN control. Joseph Urso, Jr., a friend of the ministry who hails from Knoxville, Tennessee, recently sent me a photograph of the entrance sign of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Notice the telling phrase on the sign: "AN INTERNATIONAL BIOSPHERE RESERVE."
This means that, under the United Nations Biodiversity Treaty, a precious resource_owned by American citizens for over 200 years_has been turned over to the UN's bureaucrats for control. Yes, you and I will continue to pay taxes for the maintenance and upkeep of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But we no longer own it. Now, the UN has ultimate jurisdiction. This alone is startling evidence that the once independent nation-state known as the United States of America is going out with a whimper and not a bang. Our sovereignty is coming to an end.
As a consequence, across the U.S.A., our parks and wilderness areas are slowly being closed to the public.
Roads inside the parks are being grazed over. Mountain passes and hiking paths are being blockaded. "No fishing," "No hunting," "No trespassing" signs are being erected everywhere on public lands. Entrance fees are being jacked up 100%, even 500% higher, to keep American families out of their own lands.
The UN and its elitist masters don't want you on their property! And in case you do "trespass" and enter forbidden areas of these pristine UN lands, you might just be shot. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents and park personnel are now taught to love nature's Mother Earth and to despise and loathe human beings. They are being given firearms and instructed to use them. Meanwhile, foreign immigrants from India, China, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Russia and other nations are being recruited for this national park service police duty because, unlike U.S. nationals, non-English speaking foreigners will not hesitate to carry out orders and shoot American citizen= "intruders."
But even if you are not shot or arrested, there is still a possibility of being bitten_or eaten! As my friend, Joseph Urso, Jr., points out, the feds have been reintroducing vicious wolves into Yellowstone National Park and into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The idea is to put the lives of park visitors in jeopardy and to frighten tourists away.
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Environmental groups, of course, are overjoyed that the UN is taking over our parks and forests and putting the screws to the people. Such organizations as the Nature Conservancy and the National Wildlife Federation are funded and controlled by Rockefeller monied interests. The leaders of these organizations hate human beings and believe that the takeover of our parklands and heritage sites by the UN is the paying of homage to their pagan nature goddess, "Mother Earth."
In protest, I have registered a complaint with U.S. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina. Helms, a Republican, is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As Chairman, he has the power to put a stop to all this nonsense. What's more, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies partly inside Helm's home state, North Caro-lina, as well as in neighboring= Tennessee.
My answer from Senator Helms came in March when he and his committee warmly embraced and voted for President Clinton's choice, Madeleine Albright, to be-come Secretary of State. Albright, a Marxist, is an avid supporter of the UN's Biodiversity Treaty. She endorses the unconstitutional giving away of American sovereignty over its lands and natural resources.
Some may be surprised that Jesse Helms would commit this act of high treason. They are puzzled that the Senator, who is so warmly supported by the Christian Coalition and other conservative groups, would conspire with Bill Clinton, the UN, and the Illuminati elite to give away our birthright and heritage to New World Order forces.
Ever since Jesse Helms was elevated to the 33=F8 of Freemasonry, bowing his knee before the black stone altar of the false gods Jahbulon, Mahabone, and Abaddon, he has digressed in his strong support of American sovereignty. As happens with all Masons, the cultic, ritual brings on possession of the celebrant by devils.
In fact, Jesse Helms can't help himself. Like Judas Iscariot, he is taken captive by alien forces. Helms has been neutral-ized, and our historic, great nation is laid low before vile, global forces intent on America's unconditional surrender to the Illuminati's antichrist, United Nations establishment.
Texe Marrs and Living Truth Ministries oppose violence. But when the American populace or at least the few who still care and are not dumbed-down_realize that this country's national treasures and heritage have been given away for a mess of globalist porridge, intense anger will result.
No doubt, the elite are preparing for just such an eventuality. If Joe and Jane American discover that
Yellowstone, Big Bend, Sequoia, Rocky Mountain, Great Smoky, Yosemite, and the other national parks and monuments are under UN jurisdiction and control, the government fully expects a counter-revolutionary explosion.
That's why the UN is bringing in foreign troops and training them at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and other military bases to assault U.S.A. cities and towns. That's why the Universal Beast 666 Computer Control System, Project L.U.C.I.D., is being implemented. It is why the White House is making a priority the passage by Congress of totalitarian, gun control legislation and supposed "anti-terrorist" acts. It is why our Armed Forces are now earnestly training to quell a domestic insurrection by militias and patriots. The elite know what's just ahead. They are preparing to deal with the resisters and dissidents in other words, the old-fashioned, solid American patriots and Christians who still refuse to bow to the gods of the New World Order.
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America's Parks Belong to the United Nations
by Amy Ridenour
When you go to a bank to get a loan, most the time you have to put up something worth about the same.
I was up flipping channels last night, for some reason I stopped on a public TV show, that a radio broad caster in Texas made, Like I said it was late so I cant remember his name. It was about the US being sold out by the government. To the United nations, and China.
He want to talk to National parks around the the US, to see if the park rangers knew of the parks being Given to the UN as backing for our money. If we go in to default, the Parks belong to the UN. Including the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone..... He said this is the reason that parts of the parks where closing.
It was a pre Bush show. I Did some searching here's what I found on the subject.
Our National Parks Now Belong to United Nations
Across this great land, our national parks, woodlands, forests, and lakes are being turned over to UN control. Joseph Urso, Jr., a friend of the ministry who hails from Knoxville, Tennessee, recently sent me a photograph of the entrance sign of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Notice the telling phrase on the sign: "AN INTERNATIONAL BIOSPHERE RESERVE."
This means that, under the United Nations Biodiversity Treaty, a precious resource owned by American citizens for over 200 years has been turned over to the UN's bureaucrats for control. Yes, you and I will continue to pay taxes for the maintenance and upkeep of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But we no longer own it. Now, the UN has ultimate jurisdiction. This alone is startling evidence that the once independent nation-state known as the United States of America is going out with a whimper and not a bang. Our sovereignty is coming to an end.
As a consequence, across the U.S.A., our parks and wilderness areas are slowly being closed to the public. Roads inside the parks are being grazed over. Mountain passes and hiking paths are being blockaded. "No fishing," "No hunting," "No trespassing" signs are being erected everywhere on public lands. Entrance fees are being jacked up 100%, even 500% higher, to keep American families out of their own lands.
World Heritage Sites are designated under a treaty to which the United States is a party, entitled the “Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage,” which was adopted at the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris on November 16, 1972. Although the United States no longer participates in UNESCO(1), the U.S. Department of State in conjunction with the National Park Service and other agencies, administers the program. Sites continue to be added to the 22 already-designated parks, buildings and other sites in the United States.
Both “cultural” and “natural” Heritage are protected under the treaty. Although national sovereignty is an issue of concern in all designations, the experience of private property owners indicates that it is the resource designations which pose the potentially serious detriment to their private property rights.
Under Article 2 of the Convention, “natural heritage” is defined
Here is a list of all Properties.
UNESCO's WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE ACTIONS: Yellowstone National Park has now been
designated as a "World Heritage Site in Danger." Adul Wichiencharoen of Thailand, head of the World Heritage Committee said, "certainly the forest areas around Yellowstone belong to the same ecosystem. All these lands must have protection so their integrity is not threatened."
Wichiencharoen stressed that he respected U.S. sovereignty, however as a signatory to the 1972 World Heritage Convention treaty, the U.S. has a duty to preserve the Yellowstone ecosystem across administrative boundaries. Similarly designated were Glacier National Park and Carlsbad Caverns and its minerals.
In a "Bozeman Chronicle" report, Senator Conrad Burns of Montana is reported as stating; "It is astonishing that a group of extreme environmentalists can invite a few folks from the United Nations to circumvent laws that Americans and Montanans have worked hard for and lent their voices to." Burns expressed fears the committee "would also seek to put a halt to activities in the park such as travel by motor vehicles as well as to create a buffer zone around the park that would run roughshod over private property rights.
1972 Treaty Grants the United Nations Control Over American Historical Landmarks
The Founding Fathers would be shocked to learn that some of their successors have given control of key American sovereign territory to other nations.
Through an international treaty, the United States is allowing the United Nations and its member countries access to and control of American soil - in particular, our historic buildings and treasured wilderness.
LAND GRAB here.
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Undeterred by the will of the people, the Clinton administration continues to work closely with the UN to implement its secretive, pantheistic agenda of global governance through a host of additional programs—all designed to strip private property rights from landowners and revert much of the American landscape back to its natural wilderness condition. Only through prayer, factual documentation and direct action by citizens can this agenda be exposed, then stopped.
Looks like the UN is a major player.
Millions of Americans will flock to the country's national parks this summer. Dazzled by nature and history, will they notice the missing signs, crumbling roads, or disappearance of park rangers? Facing what some people warn is a "crippling" budget shortfall, many national park superintendents are being asked to consider cutting their ranger staffs, services, and visitor center hours—and possibly even closing down completely on certain days.
The following info comes from the website of the Concerned Women for America (www.cwfa.org)
Fact: The Clinton administration is implementing United Nations treaties without congressional or voter approval. Already 68% of our national parks and preserves are under U.N. administration.
Fact: U.N. committees are empowered to visit "World Heritage Sites" within the U.S. to judge whether human activity poses an environmental risk and if it need to be curtailed.
Fact: The Clinton administration is transferring tens of millions of acres of land to the federal government to be placed under U.N. control.
Fact: Towns in the Cuyahoga River Valley near Akron, Ohio, have lost much of their population as the National Park Service under U.N. provisions, has condemned and torn down homes, farms, forcing people to leave their land.
Fact: The U.N. Biodiversity Treaty supports the Wildlands Project, which calls for turning 50% of the U.S. into "wildlands" where humans would not be allowed, but animals could roam free.
"The United States currently owes China over $650 BILLION in debt. That number is expected to grow to over $1 Trillion during the next 2 years. How is this possible? In order to pay for its two recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush administration has been forced to loan money from, you guessed it, China." —SOURCE
The average American citizen is woefully ignorant of such evils which are being committed against the
American family.
"It is obviously good and proper to respect the U.S. flag, perpetuated with the blood of American heroes. On the other hand, it can be a fatal mistake, a nuking of the Bill of Rights, not to recognize scoundrels who wrap themselves in the same flag to cover up their crimes against the American common people." -Sherman Skolnick
We are foolish not to follow the wisdom of our founding fathers who warned us about government tyranny.
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." -James Madison
"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from his government." -Thomas Paine
"When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will ... become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated." -Thomas Jefferson
"Evil triumphs when good men do nothing." -Thomas Jefferson
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. -Ben Franklin
They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety. -Ben Franklin
'It would be a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their income. -Ben Franklin
If the people of America continue to take their freedom for granted, then they are assured to eventually lose it.
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New World Heritage Sites in Alberta & British Columbia?
Canada press
EDMONTON — Alberta and British Columbia are looking to add more international sparkle to Canada's Rocky Mountain parks.
Seven parks in the Rockies are already collectively designated as a United Nations World Heritage site because of their spectacular peaks, glaciers, pristine lakes, wildlife and geology.
Now the two provinces and Parks Canada are talking about asking the UN to add nearby provincial parks and other protected lands to the heritage site. If approved, the expanded area could cover up to 3.5 million hectares of wilderness.
"There is political and bureaucratic support for pursuing the idea, so we have been working on it," said Mike Murtha, a Parks Canada planner.
"It is really a stamp of exceptional recognition. This is on that list of places you must see before you die. It is seen by the tourism industry as a great marketing hook."
Parks Canada would make the application to the UN, but only after Alberta and B.C. decide which areas to nominate. The United Nations has been encouraging Canada to make the application for three years.
The UN made Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay national parks a heritage site in 1984. Six years later, B.C. successfully applied to have nearby Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber provincial parks included in the rare designation - there are only 200 such sites in the world.
Alberta is considering including some or all provincial parks and wild lands along the eastern slopes of the Rockies from the Kananaskis area southwest of Calgary all the way up to the Kakwa area northwest of Jasper.
The areas include Peter Lougheed, Elbow-Sheep, Spray Valley, Bow Valley and Wilmore Wilderness provincial parks as well as the Ghost, Siffleur, and White Goat wilderness areas.
Camille Weleschuk, a spokeswoman for Alberta Parks, cautioned the process will take time and that no decision will be made until Albertans are consulted.
The idea is in the assessment stage, she said. The next step would be to draft a proposal that would put out
for public comment.
"We have been working with Parks Canada and B.C. Parks to examine the potential of adding additional parks and protected areas to what is the currently the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. We haven't decided which sites will be considered," she said. "They are all possibilities in that we are examining their potential as a whole right now."
British Columbia is looking at including Height of the Rockies, Kakwa, Elk Lakes, Cummins Lakes, Mount Terry Fox and Top of the World provincial parks as well as the Swiftcurrent (protected area) addition to Mount Robson Park, said Suntanu Dalal, a B.C. Environment spokesman.
"The international designation is having an increasing influence in world travellers' choice of destinations," Dalal wrote in an email.
"Expansion of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage site will likely enhance the international profile of any additional B.C. parks added to the World Heritage Site. Expansion of the site will also add significant conservation values."
Tourism and environmental groups say they support the idea.
Don Boynton of Travel Alberta, a Crown corporation, said the UN heritage designation has helped the province market the mountain parks as a tourism destination around the world and mention it prominently in vacation guides, maps and brochures.
Boynton said including more parks and wilderness areas to the heritage site would make the parks even more prestigious and help boost Alberta's $5 billion tourism industry.
"It lends credibility to the destination - that the United Nations recognizes this as one of the best places in the world to visit," he said. "It would add to the awareness and to the appeal."
Nigel Douglas of the Alberta Wilderness Association said "the idea has fantastic potential" and suggested the province should try to win public support for the plan.
The designation wouldn't change the legal status of the parks or give the UN any formal clout in their management, he said. But placing more areas under the international spotlight would put indirect pressure on the federal and provincial governments to maintain their ecological integrity.
"On the Alberta side these are the water catchment areas for the whole of Western Canada, incredibly important areas for wildlife," he said.
"International recognition of that can only help to ensure that in the future we do a better job of protecting them."
The process of making the application takes time and involves much paper work and a visit by a UN team to tour the nominated areas, Murtha said. The earliest a decision could be made would be 2012.
"The key is to demonstrate that you have outstanding universal value, and you can maintain it," he said.
~Edited from Canadian Press
October 22, 2009
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Canada's natural wonders under threat, UNESCO says
The world's top cultural agency has raised alarms about possible threats to the ecological "integrity" of two of Canada's natural wonders, the Nahanni and Rocky Mountain national parks.
By The Gazette (Montreal)
August 29, 2006
The world's top cultural agency has raised alarms about possible threats to the ecological "integrity" of two of Canada's natural wonders, the Nahanni and Rocky Mountain national parks.
UNESCO, the United Nations organization that oversees 830 World Heritage sites - including 13 of this country's most significant historic attractions and wild spaces - has red-flagged its concerns about mining and other potentially disruptive activities near the two western parks.
In a newly released summary of decisions made during its summer congress in Vilnius, Lithuania, the World Heritage Committee "notes with concern" that "various mining, mineral, oil and gas explorations activities" around Nahanni National Park, located in the southwest corner of the Northwest Territories, "could have major adverse cumulative impacts on the integrity of the property."
The committee also pointedly "encourages" Canada to press ahead with a controversial plan to expand the park "to protect the entire South Nahanni watershed and the karstlands of the Ram Plateau," and requested regular updates on the park's status.
Currently covering about 4,800 square kilometres, Nahanni's possible expansion to 38,000 square kilometres would encompass a planned zinc mine and other potential industrial sites.
The UN agency has also asked Canada to monitor carefully the "state of conservation" in the Rocky Mountain Parks, which straddle the Alberta-B.C. border and include the Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho national parks as well as several provincial reserves.
Canada was specifically directed "to ensure that adverse impacts of the operation of the Cheviot mine on the
integrity of the property are minimized and mitigated."
The proposed Cheviot coal mine, to be located in Alberta about three kilometres from the boundary of Jasper National Park, has been the focus of a campaign by environmentalists and court battles aimed at stopping the development. Critics contend that the mine and a new road would affect the habitats of grizzly bears and migratory birds.
Elizabeth May, the newly elected head of the Green party, has been one of the leading critics of the project for years. She told CanWest News Service on Monday that UNESCO's alert is a "disturbing" sign of Canada failing to appreciate its "ecological gems."
The Sierra Legal Defence Fund has said the mine threatens "a wildland and biological hotspot determined to be nationally significant by the federal and provincial governments."
In fact, the Rocky Mountain Parks' UNESCO designation makes Jasper part of "the heritage of the global community," says John Pinkerton, an official with Parks Canada's history branch and the country's top representative at the World Heritage Committee.
Only sites that are of "outstanding universal value" are chosen for a UNESCO designation. The pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and historic Quebec City are among the global landmarks with World Heritage Site status.
Pinkerton said he wouldn't call the UN agency's comments about Nahanni and the Rocky Mountain parks "a rap on the knuckles," but "an added international voice" advocating protection of the sites.
Earlier this summer, NDP Leader Jack Layton used a canoe trip to the Nahanni to highlight threats to the region and urge a moratorium on development in the area pending the outcome of a federal review of the park's boundaries.
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