Property Rights Foundation of America®

Carol W. LaGrasse, from Positions on Property, Vol. 3, No. 1, Jan. 1996

The Juggernaut of Private Not-for-Profit Interest Groups

In relation to their task of promoting regional zoning and preservationist controls on land-use, the wealth and resources of the non-profit interest groups is not the controlling factor. For that task, their resources are limitless.

Their challenge is to effectively use these resources to mold minds and influence legislation. The non-profit interest groups work through an array of studies, conferences, organizations, publications, legislation, media influence, federal and state funding, federal, state and regional agencies and their own dispersal of grants of every nature to individuals, groups and local and state government to achieve their objectives. They pay government officials' salaries, bring lawsuits so that enforcement settlements go to others of their ilk, buy and sell land on the basis of insider deals with government agencies, contract with every state in the nation to secretly analyze biodiversity on government and private land, and so much more. For instance, in the case of Heritage Areas, the American Heritage Area Coalition to lobby for over 100 Heritage Areas sought around the country (as of 1994) was created with funding from National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) and the Countryside Institute. The funding for the newsletter and annual conference on Heritage areas planned by personnel at the NTHP were made possible with a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service.

A Selective List of National Organizations Involved in and/or
Promoting National Heritage Areas

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
American Association for State and Local History
American Association of Museums
American Conservation Association (Rockefellers)
American Cultural Resources Association
American Farmland Trust (includes Rockefeller, Mellon, and The Conservation Fund interests)
American Folklore Center
American Rivers
American Society of Landscape Architects
Archeologists Unlimited
Canal Corridor Association
The Conservation Fund (and Richard King Mellon Foundation)
The Countryside Institute
Historic America Engineering Record
Historic American Building Survey
International Institute for Peace through Tourism
International Institute of Tourism Studies,  George Washington University
Jackson Hole Preserve (Rockefellers)
Land Trust Alliance
The Meadows Foundation
National Association of Development Organizations
National Coalition of Heritage Areas
National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices
National Council for Urban Economic Development
National Main Street Center (NTHP)
National Parks and Conservation Association
National Rivers Coalition
National Trust for Historic Preservation
The Nature Conservancy
Open Space Institute
Preservation Action
Protect Historic America
Rails-To-Trails Conservancy
Scenic America, Inc.
Scenic Hudson and Scenic Hudson Land Trust
Trust for Public Land

Regional, State, Local Not-for-Profit Participants

Regional, state and local historical and cultural preservation associations such as Maryland Historical Trust and the Center for Rural Pennsylvania
Specialized and geographical museums and restorations, such as the B&O Railroad Museum and Historic Hudson Valley (Rockefellers)
Regional canal and river preservation organizations such as Canal Corridor Association (Upper Illinois Valley Association)
American Indian groups such as Oneida Indian Nation (NY)

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