9/07 Coalition Letter Detailing Risks Of National Heritage Area Designation (pdf)

Coalition Letter Detailing Risks of National Heritage Area Designation
The following letter — signed by a diverse group of more than 110 organizations, elected
officials and citizens — was delivered on September 4 to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader John
Boehner, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, Senate Energy
and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Pete V. Domenici, House Committee on Natural
Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking
Member Don Young as well as all the members of the House and Senate Natural Resources
Dear [Elected Official]:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London ignited a national outcry against
government abuse of property rights. The “bridge to nowhere” and other wasteful programs triggered
angry protests against the practice of earmarking.
National heritage areas are the Kelo decision and earmarks rolled into one.
National heritage areas are preservation zones where land use and property rights can be
restricted. They give the National Park Service and preservation interest groups (many with histories
of hostility toward property rights) substantial influence by giving them the authority to create land use
“management plans” and then the authority to disburse federal money to local governments to promote
their plans.
As a March 2004 General Accountability Office report on heritage areas states: “[National
heritage areas] encourage local governments to implement land use policies that are consistent with the
heritage areas’ plans, which may allow the heritage areas to indirectly influence zoning and land use
planning in ways that could restrict owners’ use of their property.”
The proposed “Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Act” provides a
good case study on how heritage areas can be self-perpetuating federal pork and influence projects.
The chief lobbying organization for this heritage area, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground
Partnership, received a one million-dollar earmark in the 2005 federal transportation bill at the behest
of Members of Congress sponsoring legislation to establish this heritage area – an earmark that was
granted before the organization was even incorporated. A million-dollar earmark thus was issued to
help create a steady stream of future pork, at the expense of the rights of local landowners.
We believe zoning and land use policies are best left to local officials, who are directly
accountable to the citizens they represent. National Heritage Areas corrupt the principle of
representative government and this inherently local function by giving unelected, unaccountable
special interests the authority to develop land management plans and federal money with which to
finance their efforts.
page 2
Once established, National heritage areas become permanent units of the National Park Service,
and as such, permanent drains on an agency that currently suffers a multibillion-dollar maintenance
crisis. According to the GAO, “sunset provisions have not been effective in limiting federal funding
[for National Heritage Areas]: since 1984, five areas that reached their sunset dates received funding
reauthorization from the Congress.”
Supporters of new heritage areas have the public will precisely backward: Americans want
stronger property rights protections and less pork-barrel spending – not more earmarks to programs
that harm property rights.
Please do not support the creation of additional national heritage areas or federal funding for
heritage area management entities, support groups, or groups that lobby for or advocate the creation of
new heritage areas.
David Ridenour
Vice President
National Center for Public Policy Research
J. William Lauderback
Executive Vice President
The American Conservative Union
John Berthoud
National Taxpayers Union
Paul Poister
Executive Director
Partnership for the West
Larry Pratt
Executive Director
Gun Owners of America
William Niemeyer
City of West Alton, MO
Ryan Ellis
Executive Director
American Shareholders Association
Peter Flaherty
National Legal and Policy Center
Steve Snow
Loudoun County, VA
Carol W. LaGrasse
Property Rights Foundation of America
Paul M. Weyrich
National Chairman
Coalitions for America
Tom McClusky
Vice President of Government Affairs
Family Research Council
Jay Lehr
Science Director
The Heartland Institute
Jim Martin
60 Plus Association
Bill Moshofsky
Vice President
Oregonians In Action
Niger Innis
National Spokesman
Congress of Racial Equality
Gregory Cohen
President and CEO
American Highway Users Alliance
Richard Falknor
Executive Vice President
Maryland Taxpayers Association, Inc.
Linda C. Runbeck
American Property Coalition
Thomas K. Remington
Managing Editor
U.S. Hunting Today
Fred L. Smith
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Matt Kibbe
Mychal Massie
Advisory Council Chairman
Project 21
Steve Baldwin
Executive Director
Council for National Policy Action, Inc.
Caren Cowen
Executive Director
New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association
Randy T. Simmons
Mayor, Providence City, UT
Professor, Utah State University
Donald E. Wildmon
Founder and Chairman
American Family Association
Leroy Watson
Legislative Director
National Grange
Kelly Zahourek
Executive Director
Property Rights Alliance
Roy Cordato, Ph.D.
VP for Research and Resident Scholar
John Locke Foundation
page 3
Tom DeWeese
American Policy Center
Rachel Thomas
Property Rights Advocate
Huachuca City, AZ
Rose Ellen Ray
Treasurer, Citizens for Property Rights
Loudoun County, VA
Paul Driessen
Senior Policy Advisor
Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise
Maxine Korman
Korman Ranch
Hinsdale, Montana
Gerald Hobbs
Public Lands for the People
John Grigsby
Vice President
Taxpayers for Accountable Government
Don Parmeter
Executive Director
American Property Coalition
Leo Schwartz
Virginia Land Rights Coalition
Pat King
Anvil Ranch
Tucson, AZ
Tom Borelli, Ph.D.
Portfolio Manager
Free Enterprise Action Fund
John and Connie Morris
Members, Tongue River Watershed Alliance,
and MT and WY Farm Bureaus
Brad VanDyke
Rural Utahns for Local Solutions
Jerry Hamilton
Environmental Coordinator
Formation Capital Corporation
F. Patricia Callahan
Lew Uhler
National Tax Limitation Committee
Jon Caldara
Independence Institute
Dan Byfield
American Land Foundation
John Taylor
Tertium Quids
Susan Carlson
Chairman and CEO
American Civil Rights Union
Gary Palmer
Alabama Policy Institute
Lenore Hardy Barrett
State Representative
Jonathan DuHamel
People for the West-Tucson
Jack and Patricia Shockey
President and Director
Citizens for Property Rights
Fred Grau
Executive Director
Take Back Pennsylvania
Mike Dail
American Land Foundation
Chuck Cushman
American Land Rights Association
James Stergios
Executive Director
Pioneer Institute
Deneen Borelli
Project 21
Marilyn Hayman
C.J. Hadley
Range Magazine
Elizabeth Arnold
Grassroots Consultant, Environmental
Community Outreach Services, Juneau, AK
Greg Blankenship
Illinois Policy Institute
Bill Wilson
Americans for Limited Government
Jane Hogan
Ontario Hardwood Company, Inc.
Katherine Lehman
People for the USA Grange #835
Howard Hutchinson
Executive Director
Coalition of Arizona/New Mexico Counties
Amy Ridenour
Americans for the Preservation of Liberty
Dr. William Greene
Leo T. Bergeron
Upper Mid-Klamath Watershed Council
Eugene Delgaudio
Public Advocate of the U.S., Inc.
Leri M. Thomas, Ph.D.
Charter Member
Virginians for Property Rights
John McClaughry
Ethan Allen Institute
Richard O. Rowland
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Harold L. Stephens
page 4
President and General Counsel
American Assoc. of Small Property Owners
Erich Veyhl
Maine Property Rights News
Dane vonBreichenruchardt
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation
Mark Williamson
Founder and President
Federal Intercessors
New Mexico Federal Lands Council
New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc.
Beth Machens
Board of Aldermen
City of West Alton, MO
Janet M. Neustadt
Board of Aldermen
City of West Alton, MO
William J. Richter
Board of Aldermen
City of West Alton, MO
Deborah Anderson
City of West Alton, MO
Susan Silk
City Clerk
City of West Alton, MO
Charlotte Meyers
Assistant Administrator
City of West Alton, MO
Ora B. Anderson, Jr.
Planning and Zoning Commission
City of West Alton, MO
Ray Ponciroli
Board of Aldermen
City of Portage, MO
Chairman, Citizens for Responsible Zoning
and Landowner Rights
Bruce Colbert
Executive Director, Property Owners
Association of Riverside County, CA
Randall and Ruth Lillard
Farmers and Landowners
Madison County, VA
Joyce Morrison
Farmer and Agricultural Environmentalist
Fieldon, IL
Donald Castellucci, Jr.
Councilman, Town of Owego
Tioga County, NY
Milari Madison
Property Owner
Loudoun County, VA
Robert L. Sansom
Farmer and Landowner
Madison County, VA
Mary E. Darling
Sonoita, AZ
James Vadnais
Port Angeles, WA
Floyd Rathbun
Fallon, Nevada
Steven and Peggy Breen
Boise, Idaho
Peggy Bogart
Access Advocate
Dan Goulet
Portland, OR
Susan Freis Falknor
Bluemont, VA
Citizens to Protect the Confluence
Jerry Fennell
Jicarilla Mining District
Bonner R. Cohen, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow
National Center for Public Policy Research
Judy Keeler
Bootheel Heritage Assoc. (Animas, NM)
Alexandra H. Mulkern
Mechanicsville, MD
Lee Riddle
Brookings, OR
Stephen L. Ralston
Columbia, PA
Mark Pollot
Boise, ID
Billy Jean Redemeyer-Roney
D.J. McCarthy
Civil Engineer
Clifton McDonald
Needles, CA
Kirk and Jeri Hansen
Clayton, ID
Suzanne Volpe
Sterling, VA
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