Issue #43 * June 20,1996 * David A. Ridenour, Editor
Legislation to create a massive new federal program of National Heritage Areas remains alive despite opposition from property rights groups and the Chairman of the House Resources Committee, Rep. Don Young (R-AK). The bill, H.R. 3305 (formerly H.R. 1280), would involve the National Park Service in local land use planning decisions all over the nation. Over 110 heritage areas or corridors are planned, some covering millions of acres. Rep. Jim Hansen (R-UT) is trying to force opponents of H.R. 3305 to support it by attaching it to the Public Rangeland Management Act (S. 1459) now before the House, or an omnibus parks and public lands bill (H.R. 1296), which is now before a House-Senate conference committee. Opponents of the bill are urging calls to the Hill in opposition to H.R. 3305 and in support of S. 1459. For more information, call Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom Institute @ 703/527-8282.
Don't show your compassion for the environment and wildlife by visiting city zoos. You don't find wildlife behind the bars of a zoo -- or so environmentalists would say. A visit to a zoo would be dismissed as mere election-year politicking. Worse, you risk linking your reputation to the zoo's reputation. A just released, highly-publicized report found appalling conditions at many of the nation's zoos. If you want to show compassion for wildlife, go to their habitat.
Attorney General Janet Reno and U.S. Attorneys announced on June 18 the indictment of Theodore John Kaczynski -- the alleged Unabomber -- with four separate bombings, including the bombing that killed California Forestry Association (CFA) President Gil Murray. In response to the announcement, the CFA's new President, David Bischel, said: "The fact that Theodore Kaczynski has been officially charged with Gil's murder today is particularly poignant for us because today is also the day we should have been celebrating Gil's life... his 48th birthday. As each new legal hurdle is passed and the evidence continues to unfold, we hope the public remembers to focus on the individuals whose lives were ended so violently and prematurely..." Kaczynski was also charged for bombings that killed Hugh Scrutton (Sacramento, CA) and injured Dr. Charles Epstein (Tiburan, CA) and Dr. David Gelernter (New Haven, CT), but not for the bombing that killed Burson Marsteller executive Thomas Mosser, which is still under investigation. Kaczynski -- whose repudiation of technology and obsession with the environment are believed to the motives for the bombings -- may have been influenced by the writings of such radical environmental groups as Earth First!, according to some press reports. He may have also been influenced by Vice President Albert Gore: According to the American Spectator, a copy the Vice President's book, Earth in the Balance, was found in Kaczynski's cabin with copious notes in the margins. For more information, call the CFA @ 916/444-6592.
Property rights and wise use activists from all over the nation visiting Washington as part of the Alliance for America's "Fly-in for Freedom" held a "March of Crimes" protest outside the White House on June 18. The protest featured demonstrators donning Clinton masks and prison uniforms and carrying signs specifying Clinton Administration crimes against the public. Among the crimes featured at the "March of Crimes" protest: The President's ongoing "War on the West," the FBI "Filegate" scandal, the Administration's attack on private property rights and the Whitewater affair, among others. One of the chants at the rally was "no timber, no trees, no files to steal." One protester carried a file cabinet labelled "Filegate," while another wore a duck costume to protest the Administration's "ducking" of responsibility for its "crimes." Co-organized by The National Center for Public Policy Research and the American Land Rights Association, the protest was a great success, drawing 100-150 participants, five television cameras and numerous newspaper reporters. For more information, contact Chuck Cushman of the American Land Rights Association at or David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research @ 202/543-4110 or [email protected]
Late last year, House Speaker Newt Gingrich established a House Republican Task Force on the Environment to serve as a Rules Committee of sorts for all environmental legislation. No environmental legislation will move in the House without the approval of the new Task Force. And who has authority over this Task Force? The Speaker chose Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), the leader of the opposition to the Clean Water Act Amendments of 1995, to co-chair the group. Boehlert received a 92% in the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) National Environmental Scorecard, making him one of the most rabid environmentalists in the House -- Republican or Democrat. His LCV rating was higher than more than 50% of the Democrats in the House, including such private property rights opponents as Vic Fazio (D-CA), George Miller (D-CA) and Louis Stokes (D-OH). The cause of environmental common-sense would have been better served if the Speaker had chosen House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) to serve as co-chairman of the Task Force rather than Boehlert, as Gephardt's LCV rating is a mere 77%.
The Speaker has stated repeatedly that the Task Force is needed to build a larger base of support for needed change in environmental laws. But the way to achieve this is by reaching out to moderate Members of Congress -- including Democrats -- not to the most fringe Members.
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©1996, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in The Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research.
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