June 30, 2022
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
The American Policy Center (https://americanpolicy.org/), a grassroots non-profit dedicated to fighting for American Property Rights and Sovereignty, is sounding the alarm about a bipartisan bill that has been introduced in the U.S. Congress that would eliminate citizen input on the establishment of National Heritage Areas. The entire state of Tennessee appears to have been targeted should this bill be allowed to pass.
National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are promoted simply as a means to honor historic or cultural events around the nation. Promoters promise that this will preserve our culture and honor our past as they preserve battlefields where our forefathers fought and died for freedom. And that they will preserve the birthplaces, home, buildings, and hallowed grounds for posterity.
In addition, proponents of NHAs promise that it will help to build a flourishing tourist industry to help local economies.
However, the President of the American Policy Center, Tom DeWeese says that none of that is true.
“My years of dealing with NHAs have shown me that they are simply a ruse to get conservatives to support federal land grabs,” DeWeese said.
DeWeese states that conservatives would never support efforts by radical environmental groups or national organizations like the American Planning Association to enforce policies that would lock away land or dictate how it’s used.
When an NHA is put into place, major tax dollars are distributed through the National Park Service. These funds are supposed to be used for the establishment of the Heritage Area but DeWeese claims that the funds are not all used for that purpose.
“The Park Service gives much of that funding to private, non-governmental groups (NGOs) to use for their private agendas. Many of these groups are the same radical environmental groups that you and I fight every day. And there is no accounting on how these groups spend that NHA money!,” DeWeese said.
DeWeese alleges that the NHA money goes into non-governmental agency’s pockets, but it is not spent for historic preservation.
“These groups use the funds to promote and pressure local city councils to impose Sustainable Development policies, lock away use of land and water, create conservation easements, build wind and solar farms, and all of the usual government dictates taking over every community,” DeWeese said.
A new bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate called the National Heritage Area Act (S.1942)( https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/1942) that will drastically change how a National Heritage Area is created.
Until now, the establishment of a NHA required action by a member of Congress to propose a new NHA but S.1942 will eliminate that, and instead, give that power to the Secretary of the Interior that can then simply designate new NHAs.
“If this is allowed to happen, then the entire process would basically take place in the back rooms of government,” DeWeese said.
The Secretary of the Interior is an appointed position, with the person holding the position not being elected by voters. Therefore, decisions made by the individual are those of a non-elected official.
DeWeese reports that The American Policy Center has successfully stopped three NHAs and they are one of the only organizations to ever testify against them in congressional hearings.
The American Policy Center is asking that all concerned Americans sign their petition against the National Heritage Act (S.1942) to help “end the stealth threat of NHAs once and for all.”
The petition reads as follows:
SIGN THE PETITION
PETITION TO STOP THE NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA ACT S.1942
National Heritage Areas (NHA) are NOT programs to honor our history or cultural events.
*Almost ALL historic birth places, buildings, and hallowed ground have already been preserved.
*There is NO evidence that NHAs have ever successfully promoted tourism.
*NHAs do NOT protect private property.
Instead – NHAs place a federal boundary around entire counties, towns and private homes, leaving them vulnerable to Park Service rules. It is not possible to “opt out” of a federal boundary!
In addition, NHAs provide federal tax dollars to powerful environmental groups, planning associations, and other private, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to promote their private agendas without federal oversight and accountability. This is why they are so dangerous.
NOW – the National Heritage Area Act (S.1942) will drastically change how an NHA is created. Rather than being introduced and approved by Congress, NHAs will now be decided by the Secretary of Interior, with powerful influence from the very NGOs which stand to benefit most from the designation.
THIS MAJOR CHANGE ELIMINATES CITIZEN INPUT!
Therefore, S.1942 is a DIRECT THREAT to property owners, local governments, and state sovereignty.
For these reasons, I, the undersigned American Citizen urge you to vote NO on the National Heritage Areas Act (S.1942).
The petition to stop the Act can be signed here.