Saturday, March 5, 2011


This article is also published at Pundit House

The following is a rebuttal article I have written and submitted to our local newspaper, hoping to offset the slick sales pitch being touted by the local executive of the Catawba Lands Conservancy regarding the Carolina Thread Trail. ( Due to space issues, the newspaper can only print a condensed version. Below is the entire article.)

The idea that we all love nature and do not wish to wreck the planet is a given. However, Sustainable Development NGO's and nonprofit conservancy organizations have created a lucrative and diabolical network across the entire nation by using our love of nature and the planet as a ruse to socially restructure our laws, our private property rights, and our Constitution. I am fighting this issue locally in Gastonia, North Carolina. Many others are fighting this issue in cities and towns across the country. I expect this article is not the last I will have to write on this subject. Have a read below:

The Carolina Thread Trail is but one arm of a larger group of nonprofit organizations that are systematically working with governments at all levels to gain control over private property. The "trail" of tax laws, money, anti-private property initiatives, and conspirators is long and convoluted. I hope to try to explain this tangled web of central planning and deceit as concisely as possible. However, if you are seriously interested in knowing how and why this intricate web of land grabbing has taken hold in America, you may research websites by searching terms such as: Agenda 21, history of Sustainable Development, history of the President's Council on Sustainable Development, the Wildlands Project, and many more. If you would like to know more on this, please contact me.

Briefly, Agenda 21, which debuted in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, is a United Nations action plan for worldwide environment and development. It is a comprehensive blueprint for actions to be taken globally, nationally, and locally by governments and organizations connected to the United Nations in every area where "humans affect the environment." (Funny, I can't think of a human life that does not have any affect on the environment, so that pretty much covers every living, breathing human being on the planet.) The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development created Agenda 21 with someone called Maurice Strong as the primary author. (Please research Maurice Strong, also.) Because Agenda 21 is an anti-private property rights agenda and would likely bring about resistance from Constitutional. freedom-loving Americans, the initiatives now carry lots of utopian sounding names such as: Smart Growth, Sustainable Development, Lands Conservancies, Greenways, Livable Communities, etc.

In 1992 the first President Bush signed onto the Rio Summit Environmental Treaty, incorporating Agenda 21, but our Congress never ratified that treaty. Not dissuaded by the power of Congress, the next President, Bill Clinton, decided to implement Agenda 21 by executive order, creating "The President's Council on Sustainable Development." "Sustainable Development" is the core philosophy of the Carolina Thread Trail and the Lands Conservancy, and the plethora of non-profit land taking organizations all over the country. This Presidential Council created the federal use of tax credits to implement Agenda 21 in America.

As the issue of eminent domain use for the Carolina Thread Trail came up recently, I conferred with several local people, commissioners and other interested parties, only to find out that few people are aware of the origins of "Sustainable Development" in America. The problematic issues with Sustainable Development and the Thread Trail are larger and more far reaching than just the eminent domain issue. Most have never heard of Agenda 21. Yet our daily lives are now impacted by decisions initiated by the United Nations that we, as citizens, have never voted into place. These decisions have been put into action by cooperation between levels of governments, non-governmental organizations (NGO's), non-profit organizations, and central planners. Local policy statements, such as Gastonia 2020, and local planning boards have adopted land use restrictions based on the United Nations' plan called Agenda 21. Groups such as the Carolina Thread Trail and the Lands Conservancy have been established to operate the initiatives of Agenda 21 by using tax subsidies to support them. There are now, at the latest count, over 1700 nonprofit lands conservancy groups operating within the United States. (In 1950 there were fewer than 50) At this writing, well over 4o% of all land in the United States is held by the Federal, State, and local governments, not including the restricted use lands in the conservancies and trusts.

Mr. Cable, the executive director of the Catawba Lands Conservancy, proudly points out that an area the size of Connecticut carved out of 15 counties is planned for the Carolina Thread Trail. Connecticut comprises 4,845 square miles. If you were to superimpose that amount of land onto our local area for instance, that would be an area from Charlotte across to Shelby, and from the South Carolina border north to the Virginia border vertically. North Carolina has 48,000 square miles. So, a swath of at least 10% of the entire state, as an example of size, would be "restricted use" controlled by the Carolina Thread Trail alone. The Carolina Thread Trail is planned in North and South Carolina. (This does not include the areas already controlled by federal, state, and local governments, the Lands Conservancy, the Land Trust Alliance, and all of the other non-profits who are in the business of restricting land use in our State.) I might ask the question, “ How much is enough?”

The Carolina Thread Trail organization and all of the Conservancy non-profits boast that conservation increases property values. This is a "maybe so, maybe not," argument. Conservation easements lower property values for property tax purposes. Land that is undeveloped has a lesser tax value than developed land. This means that localities will be increasing taxes on the rest of the population to make up the tax losses created by the conservation easements. This is a socialist redistribution policy where the rest of the population pays to support the tax breaks to landowners who are "contributing" their land to a "restricted use" contract in perpetuity. The opposite argument of the decrease in tax value is, as Mr. Cable states, is the idea that conservancies increase property values. The simple explanation of this is that taking land out of use, or “restricting use, by owners or future buyers, creates a scarcity of land. When you create a scarcity of any particular necessary thing, the price goes up. When land prices go up, the poor and the middle class have fewer opportunities to buy and use the land for their own needs. So Mr. Cable has a point that conservancies increase property values with regard to market prices. That can be a bad thing for future buyers and dampen the market severely. The land taken out of ownership use is, for all historical purposes, is now restricted forever by feudal landlords made up of non-profits and governments.

As for the word, "voluntary, that Mr. Cable keeps pointing out as one of the selling points of the Thread Trail, I would like to point out that the tax consequences of the taking of the lands is not voluntary on the part of the rest of the local population. As our taxes rise to support the taking of these lands, we are not voluntarily agreeing to support the landowners who are getting the tax breaks. Local government officials are making those decisions without referendum. The last referendum on the subject, in Gastonia, was rejected by the voters.

It is not surprising that some landowners want to take advantage of tax breaks. What is unconscionable is that our leadership is promoting this socialistic policy without public and press scrutiny and loud opposition. The decisions to create these policies are not in the interest of individual taxpayers or the public's knowledge of the consequences. In fact, the public generally has no knowledge of Agenda 21 or the Sustainable Development origins. Instead, the public is being fed a clever Madison Avenue sales pitch on "saving the environment," when in fact, what is happening is a transfer of property and wealth to a privileged few on a ruse of "saving the environment." In reality, citizens are being forced to support Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 without consent or knowledge.

Resources: - q=history+of+the+President%27s+Council+on+Sustainable+Development&hl=en&sa=X&tbs=tl:1,tl_num:20&prmd=ivns&ei=jGRyTaj -

ICLEI Special Report from Tom Deweese

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