World Heritage Sites

February 17, 2000

One of the rumors making is way around the Internet is that the U.N. is taking over land in the United States. During a March 7, 1997 White House press conference, Sara McClendon asked President Clinton to rebuke the "rumor mongers" who were irresponsibly spreading stories of the Administration surrendering sovereignty to the United Nations. Amid the snickers from the White House press corps, the president then proceeded to say that there was a "serious issue here that every American has to come to grips with . . . that is, how we can be an independent, sovereign nation leading the world in a world that is increasingly interdependent, that requires us to cooperate with other people."

The U.N. is not taking over land, but this administration is using U.N. designations to manage our national resources and supercede federal laws. Already there are 20 designated "World Heritage Sites" in this country, including Yellowstone National Park and Everglades National Park. There are also 47 "Biosphere Reserves," most of which are located in the western states and Alaska. These two categories of U.N. sites occupy about 50 million acres of U.S. soil.

The Senate ratified the World Heritage Convention in 1973. But over the last few decades the treaty has been secretly implemented and applied to the growing list of Heritage Sites.

Consider the case of Yellowstone Park. In 1995, the development of a gold mine located five miles from the northeast corner of the park was stopped. According to a park superintendent: "the provisions of the World Heritage Treaty have the force and statutory authority of federal law." Principles in the decision agreed that U.S. law would not have prevented the gold mine, but the international treaty did prevent the mine until a review of the decision was ordered a few years later.

While the rumor that U.N. is taking over land in the U.S. is not true, the reality is still pretty scary. U.N. designations are sometimes being used to supercede federal law.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.