THE AMERICAN HERITAGE AREAS PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
I urge you to defend property rights and strongly oppose the American Heritage Area Participation Program when it comes before the House on the Suspension Calendar this Tuesday!!! The environmentalists advocating this bill have FEDERAL LAND USE CONTROL as their primary objective.
The bill wastes tax dollars that could be more appropriately spent on maintaining our national parks. Funding under the bill has increased 350% since the bill was originally introduced. It contains no mechanism for holding accountable the non-profit organizations which will receive the money and make decisions affecting the heritage areas.
Property rights defenders have legitimate concerns about the provision in the bill requiring localities to obtain approval by the Secretary of the Interior for land use plans. Secretary Babbitt has made it clear that funding for heritage areas will be conditioned on adoption of land use regulations acceptable to the federal government!!! The bill also gives the Department of the Interior oversight over all activities of other Federal agencies within heritage areas, including Defense Department installations.
Again, I ask you to defend property rights and oppose this bill.