Please read this very important letter. This is in response to the attached editorial by Frank Martin, editor of the West Plains Quill Newspaper. The facts are on my side. This is what we must go through to take on Big Government. The liberals attack us on every side. I say bring it on. I know what I am talking about. I know not everyone receiving this information is in the proposed Heritage region but nearly 80 Heritage Areas are either in place or in the process so this will probably concern you shortly.
May God help us save our freedoms!
Who Benefits from a National Heritage Area?
By Bob Parker March 2, 2011
While some accuse defenders of private property rights against the Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area (OHNHA) of being black helicopter conspiracy theorists, they evidently haven’t read the documents. Helicopters are not mentioned. I like facts. I like documents. I like documented facts. The best way to find out what a law or a contract really means is to read it; and those of us fighting against the OHNHA have read it.
Proponents of the Heritage plan say I am just doing this to further my political ambitions. My primary “political ambition” is, and always has been, to preserve freedom. I’m fighting this Heritage Area designation because I want to use my land without a bunch of permits and expenses that only benefit bureaucrats. My neighbors and friends want the same thing. It is true that the documents say that federal money can not be used to seize private land in a National Heritage Area. I have never said anything else. However, it does not say that no regulations on private property will ever result from being in a National Heritage Area.
Some proponents say that there are no mandatory hearings needed because no new laws are needed. The 1,600 pages of documents we received from Ozark Action in a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request say the following:
(page 2 of a letter from consultant Mike McGrew) ”A National Heritage Area isn’t just created, there is a multiple stage process and it must be acknowledged by Congress and signed into law.”
(page 14 of the National Heritage Area feasibility study proposal); Team will craft a series of materials tailored to the region to best provide quality civic engagement to meet the goals of the NPS Heritage Area designation. [end] In other words, public meetings to receive your consent are a required part of this process. To state that ”no laws are needed to implement it” is clearly wrong. All Heritage Areas literally require an act of Congress that is then entered into Public Law. Yes, law.
Some proponents of the plan have stated ”no public money is involved unless voluntary participants request it”. They have also stated that opponents are, and I quote, “are using underhanded methods and outright lies”. Yet the documents state (on page 19) that Jeffery L. Bruce & Company billed $39,795.00 to do the Feasibility study. Where did this money come from? The funding came from the American Recovery and Re-investment Act [ARRA] to the tune of $189,850 with another $15,000 taken from Ozark County Department of Family Services. Last time I checked, when the government funds something, it is done with public funds.
Additionally, the feasibility study draft states that proponents of the Heritage Area intend to build a National Heritage Area Interpretive Center with taxpayer dollars. According to the chart on page 51 of the draft, $2,650,000 [2.65 MILLION] will come from the Federal Government, and $2,552,000 [2.552 MILLION] will come from the State of Missouri. The annual budget for this Center will average $200,000 to $250,000, increasing to $500,000 per year after construction. That’s over 5.2 million dollars of (ahem) public funds just for the building. These are NOT my figures; they are taken directly from the documents obtained through the FOIA request. Ozark Action did not voluntarily hand over these documents, and the general public has not seen them. The proponents say no public funds will be used unless voluntary participants have requested it. That is true, but very misleading. Those attempting to establish this 13 county Heritage Area have volunteered to take your money and have received your public funds. To keep receiving your money, they must get an Act of Congress establishing the OHNHA passed.
As for property rights concerns, the documents state on page 22 that the National Park Service requires a management plan including ”Resource Protection”: ” The act or process of preventing, eliminating, or reducing human caused impacts to natural resources and natural processes.” Page 54 of the draft states that the OHNHA will, “Incorporate approaches employed by European nations for preserving parks and other special places without removing them from the life and culture of the nation.”
So European Land Management shouldn’t concern us? All Heritage Areas include a “private property protection clause” that states:
”Nothing in this Management Plan shall be construed to require any private property owner to permit public access [including Federal, State, or local governments access] to such private property. Nothing in this Management Plan shall be construed to modify any provisions of the Federal, State, or local law with regard to public access to or use of private lands.”
This Act will not change Federal Law; other than creating a new law. The National Park Service already has federal authority to control land use through restrictions and regulations of lands they administer.
What this will do is put us under National Park Service administration with a “Management Entity” acting as a filter for the NPS. This “Management Entity” is an un-elected board that includes a NPS member. What they do to “manage” us must meet the guidelines of the Park Service. One of the board’s first duties after the NPS designation is to develop a MANAGEMENT PLAN for our Natural Resources. [pages 22, 23, and 46]
I think the public deserves facts about this complex and expensive proposition. The issue is massive. If you want the federal government to spend more money and have more control over your decisions, then you will love Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area. They are from the government, and they are here to ”help”….Whether you asked for it or not.