Sunday, September 26, 2004


UN Threatens to Trump US Land Policy

It’s a clash of the titans. On one side there are well-funded environmental groups and eco-lobbyists; on the other, free-market advocates and strict constitutional constructionists. But these are just the internal forces at play. At the global level, the United Nations is proposing a new treaty that holds potential to render moot US congressional decisions.

The outcome of this battle will determine whether the Roadless Area Conservation Rule (passed Jan. 12, 2001) should be amended to open the doors to timber harvesting on our nation’s federally protected lands. The Dept. of Agriculture’s Forest Service just extended the comment period on these suggested changes, from Sept. 14 to Nov. 15, but tying into the issue is an almost simultaneous proposal from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. This body wants to develop a “successor agreement” to its U.S.-backed International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA). If enacted, this agreement would require participating nations to abide by restrictive land management policies that will likely include blanket prohibitions on timber harvests. In effect, it could usurp conclusions reached at the congressional level regarding America’s forests....

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