Thursday, February 21, 2013

Expansion of Largely Unknown Treaty Used By Obama To Expand Power To Control Lands and Waters

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003

Expansion of Largely Unknown Treaty Used By Obama To Expand Power To Control Lands and Waters.

Approximately 600 Million Acres at issue by U.S./Canada Commission Proposing Massive Expansion of Jurisdiction over Lands & Waters in Northern States and Canada

*Problem:* Attempt by Obama Administration to use various wetlands and water jurisdiction tools to gain control over all lands and waters to achieve the goals they failed to win in the last Congress with the Clean Water Restoration Act by former Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN) and former Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI).

This was the bill that tried to remove the word *“Navigable”* from the Clean Water Act. The Obama Administration is still trying to bypass the word “Navigable” through its new EPA, Corps of Engineers “Wetlands Guidance Regulations” which Congress is trying to defund.

*Through an International Watershed Initiative*, the Obama Administration is working to expand the jurisdiction of a largely unknown *International Joint Commission (IJC)*, created by the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty between the U.S. and Canada, proposing to expand their jurisdiction beyond border waters to include entire international watersheds.

-----See map of full jurisdiction boundaries at  It is right on the home page under International Joint Commission.

-----It is estimated that these watersheds include over 600 million acres of lands and waters and possibly a lot more. For example, the International Joint Commission during the Obama Administration has added a plan to expand their jurisdiction over the entire *Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Area* that you stopped the BLM and Forest Service from taking jurisdiction over in1996.

Just the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Basin Plan area is 144 million acres including all of eastern Washington, eastern Oregon,all of Idaho, western Montana and smaller parts of California, Utah and Wyoming.

The International Joint Commission is proposing to expand its jurisdiction to include massive areas of all the border states and some other northern tier states from Washington to Maine using watershed and ecosystems management as their tools.

Their plan is to use Watershed Management to spread expanded jurisdiction across as much of the United States as possible.

*The International Joint Commission (IJC) is going far beyond anything in the original scope of the treaty.*

The three U.S. Commissioners are presidential appointees. The Chairman, Lana Pollack, was appointed by President Obama in 2010. She is the former President of the Michigan Environmental Council, comprised of 70 environmental organizations.

-----Like 13 federal agencies, the Commission subscribes to an ecosystems management policy, adopted in 1993 by former Vice President Al Gore.

-----Ecosystems management, which is just a theory, has never been approved by Congress and has been discredited by ecologists since World War II. For background, read Alston Chase’s great book, “In A Dark Wood.”

The Commission has enormous influence with Federal regulatory agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U. S. Bureau of Land Management.

A pilot project has just been approved for northern Minnesota and northwest Ontario by both the US and Canadian governments through the U.S. State Department and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs.

This pilot project is intended to be a model for governance and is likely to broaden regulatory powers and management by the US Regulatory Agencies.

The intent of this pilot project is to create a government model that can be applied to the other international watersheds and will likely lead to the expansion of regulatory powers and jurisdiction by US regulatory agencies.

*Additional pilot projects are being planned* for other areas in the border and northern states and Canada. The program represents a new and imminent threat to private property rights, state’s rights, rural America, local communities, access and use of Federal lands, outdoor recreation, small business, mining, timber harvesting, energy production, and other interests.

Here are some bullet points about the first pilot project of the IJC Minnesota/Canada pilot project for this massive initiative that the Commission intends to spread across the country:

-----The 184-page IJC report concluded that "there is broad agreement that water quality is threatened, that ecosystem health is deteriorating, that communication is not encompassing, and that current government mechanisms are fragmented." (Note: This not only appears to be blatantly false, but an insult to local people, their elected officials, and state and local agencies).

-----The report further concludes that the IJC's ongoing efforts will "most importantly, be best for the watershed itself." (Think about what this statement means!).

-----The IJC appointed a long-time National Park Service employee to a newly created 'citizen member' position on an important control board, apparently without any formal application process (Note: This is a clear conflict of interest and a mockery of the democratic process).

-----A U.S. district court judge ruled that the designation of a federal wilderness area in northern Minnesota did not conflict with the Boundary Waters Treaty because it was a latter-enacted statute
(Note: A U.S. statute cannot trump a treaty--this is taught in law school 101!)

-----The same judge ruled that the U.S. had no reason to believe that banning dozens of border lakes to motorized recreation was in error because Canada had already closed the Canadian portion of dozens of border lakes to motorized recreation. The Canadian Government, in a formal legal opinion, strongly disagreed with the opinion of the U.S.
Judge by saying that Ontario, not Canada, closed the lakes, and that Canada, not Ontario is a party to the Treaty. (Note: This is also taught in law school 101). This issue still hasn't been resolved.

-----In a lawsuit challenging National Park Service boating restrictions on border waters, the case was referred to a federal magistrate instead of going directly to District Court where it belonged (How in the world can this happen?)

-----The federal magistrate ruled in favor of the National Park Service (Surprise, surprise!).

-----A boater's association later discovered that approximately 45 minutes were missing from the hearing transcript in the above case.  Requests to review the audio tape of the hearing were refused by the court

The IJC has no business expanding their domain until existing Treaty conflicts have been resolved. 

Solution:* A grassroots organizational effort by local people and their elected officials at all levels is needed to prevent further Federal expansion and control of lands and waters by the *IJC and U.S.
Regulatory Agencies and other Obama water initiatives*.

This effort must be nationwide copying your successful nationwide defeat of CARA, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act in 2000 and the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Plan in the 90’s.

It has been demonstrated that local alternatives to top-down federal programs are better, faster, and cheaper, and more consistent with constitutional principles.

*Action Items:*

-----1. Please forward this e-mail to at least 10 other people. Your whole list if possible. You can edit out the appeal by American Land Rights for contributions if you wish. We hope you won’t but this message is so important that it needs to spread like wildfire.

-----2. Contact both your Senators by calling (202) 224-3121.
Or write: (send by fax it you can): Honorable (Your Senator), US Senate, Washington DC, 20510. Ask for the fax number when you call.

-----3. Call your Congressman at (202) 225-3121. Write (use fax if you
can) your Congressman at: Honorable (Your Representative), US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515.

Be sure to ask for the staff persons e-mail and fax when you call.

-----4. Call your county commissioners and other local elected officials, legislators. Alert them to this pending threat to your rights and property. Ask them to demand that the International Joint Commission (IJC) hold hearings in affected areas and that the House and Senate hold Congressional hearings on this issue before it gets off the ground.

Ask your Members of the House and Senate to use whatever tools they have to block the IJC until Congress gets a chance to place the IJC under control. Congress must take away funding for the IJC.

Please join American Land Rights and many other groups in stopping the International Joint Commission from taking control of a huge area of the United States.

See the complete email by going here

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