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Congress placates U.N. with heritage sites

The National Park Service is quite proud of the World Heritage Sites that it manages (http://mirror us.unesco.org/whc/toc/toc_index.htm) e.g., Independence Hall, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Redwood National Park, Glacier Bay, etc. Under the terms of the World Heritage Convention of 1972, UNESCO created the World Heritage Committee to implement the treaty (http://eelink.net/~asilwildlife/WorldHeritage.html).

If the Park Service decides that a Heritage Site is threatened, it petitions the World Heritage Committee. The committee then can declare the heritage site to be “in danger,” which exerts great pressure on the U.S. to honor the treaty.



The World Heritage Committee determined that the New World Mine Project located three miles north of Yellowstone (but within the 50-mile buffer zone) placed the park “in danger,” even though the project had obtained all required permits.

Congress eventually authorized a buyout (http://www.nature.nps.gov/facts/ftadjace.htm) to placate the U.N.




As a youngster, I was dazzled by Yellowstone’s wonderland. Today it’s hard to imagine that such a wonderland ever existed because of the devastating 750,000-acre 1988 Big Burn (since it was a lightning caused fire, it was not suppressed). Then there is the brucellosis carrying bison, which are a threat to neighboring cows, which the Park Service has done nothing about (http://bigskyview.blogspot.com/2002_05_01_bigskyview_archive.html).

To me, the Park Service is like the neighbor from hell, who keeps his garage full of combustible junk, does not vaccinate his dogs, and dictates what you can or cannot do with your property!

Next time you visit a National Park-World Heritage Site, remember the sacrifices made in the name of freedom, which are now being betrayed!

Bill Thomas

Grass Valley


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