Property Rights Foundation of America®
Founded 1994

For Immediate Release
March 26, 2004

Contact: Property Rights Foundation of America
Telephone: (518) 696-5748
E-mail: prfa@prfamerica.org

 

CAROL LAGRASSE TO TESTIFY ON NATIONAL HERITAGE AREAS
BEFORE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON MARCH 30

The Senate Energy and Resources Committee has invited Carol W. LaGrasse to testify at their Oversight Hearing on National Heritage Areas on Tuesday, March 30. The Hearing will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the main Energy and Resources Committee Hearing Room, Dirksen 366. The Subcommittee on Forests and Public Lands is the sponsor of the hearing.

Ms. LaGrasse, who is the president of the Property Rights Foundation of America, has been raising concerns about the threat of National Park Service Heritage Areas to private property rights for over ten years, beginning with the Mississippi River Corridor and the Hudson River National Heritage Area, when they were proposed, and most recently with the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area proposed for New Jersey and the Erie Canal National Heritage Area being implemented in New York.

Printed publications and recent web postings by the Property Rights Foundation point out that National Heritage Areas are a surreptitious National Park Service scheme to institute federal land use planning while avoiding the attempt to pass unpopular direct legislation to that effect.

The stealthy techniques, using pork barrel, confusingly worded “management plans,” not-profit organizations, landscape consultants, local and regional government, and trailways, are circuitous and take place over time. However, the result of using Heritage Areas, or “greenways” is to effectively carry out landscape control on a grand scale, particularly in the East, where the federal government has historically owned relatively little land.

The predictable effect is that indigenous people will gradually be replaced by open space landscapes and wealthier people who can afford the higher taxes and higher prices for the remaining, strictly regulated land, while extremely poor people service the limited tourism resulting from the much-touted “economic development.”

Other witnesses at the hearing will represent the National Park Service, General Accounting Office, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, and the National Conference of Historians. In addition, two professors, of urban planning from MIT and geography from Washington University, will also testify.

The Property Rights Foundation of America is an upstate New York-based not-profit national organization dedicated to the defense of private property rights as guaranteed in the United States Constitution and to the perpetuation of private land ownership. More information on National Heritage Areas can be found on the PRFA web site prfamerica.org.

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