People for the West -Tucson
Newsletter, May, 2019
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Real environmentalism can go hand in hand with natural resource production, private property rights, and access to public lands
Comments on the new Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area
by Jonathan DuHamel
In March, 2019, President Trump signed legislation creating the 3,600 square mile Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area in parts of Pima and Santa Cruz Counties, Arizona. This has long been a pet project of Congressman Raul Grijalva. The proposed boundaries of the heritage area encompass major copper mines, sources of construction aggregate, and many ranches. Do you recall any recent opportunity to offer comments?
The heritage area will be managed through the National Park Service which will contract management to a “local coordinating entity” which in this case is the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance. The Alliance will receive $1 million per year up to a maximum of $15 million for its services.
According to the House version of the legislation:
The purposes of this Act include:
(1) to establish the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area in the State of Arizona;
(2) to implement the recommendations of the Alternative Concepts for Commemorating Spanish Colonization study completed by the National Park Service in 1991, and the Feasibility Study for the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area prepared by the Center for Desert Archaeology in July 2005;
(3) to provide a management framework to foster a close working relationship with all levels of government, the private sector, and the local communities in the region and to conserve the region’s heritage while continuing to pursue compatible economic opportunities;
(4) to assist communities, organizations, and citizens in the State of Arizona in identifying, preserving, interpreting, and developing the historical, cultural, scenic, and natural resources of the region for the educational and inspirational benefit of current and future generations; and
(5) to provide appropriate linkages between units of the National Park System and communities, governments, and organizations within the National Heritage Area.
The Act also gives these reassurances:
Nothing in this Act:
(1) abridges the rights of any property owner (whether public or private), including the right to refrain from participating in any plan, project, program, or activity conducted within the National Heritage Area;
(2) requires any property owner to permit public access (including access by Federal, State, Tribal, or local agencies) to the property of the property owner, or to modify public access or use of property of the property owner under any other Federal, State, Tribal, or local law;
(3) alters any duly adopted land use regulation, approved land use plan, or other regulatory authority of any Federal, State, Tribal, or local agency, or conveys any land use or other regulatory authority to any local coordinating entity, including but not necessarily limited to development and management of energy, water, or water-related infrastructure;
(4) authorizes or implies the reservation or appropriation of water or water rights;
(5) diminishes the authority of the State to manage fish and wildlife, including the regulation of fishing and hunting within the National Heritage Area; or
(6) creates any liability, or affects any liability under any other law, of any private property owner with respect to any person injured on the private property.
That sounds good in theory, but experience with other National Heritage Areas is not so good.
The Heritage Foundation opines:
There are three key reasons why Congress should not create any new NHAs and why existing NHAs should become financially independent of the federal government, as their enabling legislation requires.
1) NHAs divert NPS resources from core responsibilities. NPS advocates and staff have long complained about the limited resources that Congress provides in comparison to its extensive responsibilities. Both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Research Service estimate that the cost of NPS’s maintenance back-log exceeds several billion dollars and is rising despite increased annual appropriations.
2) Federal costs for NHAs are increasing at a rapid rate.
3) NHAs threaten private property rights. On the surface, most of the legislation designating an NHA, and the subsequent management plans that guide them, include explicit provisions prohibiting the NPS or the management entity from using eminent domain to acquire property. They also prohibit the use of federal funds to acquire private property by way of a voluntary transaction with a willing seller.
Nonetheless, NHAs pose a threat to private property rights through the exercise of restrictive zoning that may severely limit the extent to which property owners can develop or use their property. Termed “regulatory takings,” such zoning abuses are the most common form of property rights abuse today. They are also the most pernicious because they do not require any compensation to owners whose property values are reduced by the new zoning. (Read full article for details.)
The American Policy Center opines:
Specifically, what is a National Heritage Area? To put it bluntly, it is a pork barrel earmark that harms property rights and local governance. Let me explain why that is. Heritage Areas have boundaries. These are very definite boundaries, and they have very definite consequences for folks who reside within them. National historic significance, obviously, is a very arbitrary term; so anyone’s property can end up falling under those guidelines.
The managing entity sets up non-elected boards, councils and regional governments to oversee policy inside the Heritage Area.
In the mix of special interest groups you’re going to find all of the usual suspects: Environmental groups; planning groups; historic preservation groups; all with their own private agendas – all working behind the scenes, creating policy, hovering over the members of the non-elected boards (perhaps even assuring their own people make up the boards), and all collecting the Park Service funds to pressure local governments to install their agenda. In many cases, these groups actually form a compact with the Interior Department to determine the guidelines that make up the land use management plan and the boundaries of the Heritage Area itself.
Now, after the boundaries are drawn and after the management plan has been approved by the Park Service, the management entity and its special interest groups, are given the federal funds, typically a million dollars a year, or more, and told to spend that money getting the management plan enacted at the local level.
Here’s how they operate with those funds. They go to local boards and local legislators and they say, Congress just passed this Heritage Area. “You are within the boundaries. We have identified these properties as those we deem significant. We have identified these businesses that we deem insignificant and a harm to these properties and a harm to the Heritage Area. We don’t have the power to make laws but you do. And here is some federal money. Now use whatever tools, whatever laws, whatever regulatory procedures you already have to make this management plan come into fruition.”
This sweeping mandate ensures that virtually every square inch of land within the boundaries is subject to the scrutiny of Park Service bureaucrats and their managing partners. That is the way it works. It’s done behind the scenes – out of the way of public input.
True private property ownership lies in one’s ability to do with his property as he wishes. Zoning and land-use policies are local decisions that have traditionally been the purview of locally elected officials who are directly accountable to the citizens that they represent.
But National Heritage Areas corrupt this inherently local process by adding federal dollars, federal mandates, and federal oversight to the mix. Along with an army of special interest carpet baggers who call themselves Stake Holders. (See reference 4 for much more.)
1) P.A. Pearthree and F.M. Conway, 2019, Preliminary evaluation of mineral resources
of the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area, Arizona, Arizona Geological Survey, Open-file Report OFR-19-03 (link)
2) Southwestern Minerals Exploration Association (SMEA), 2001, Mineral Potential of Eastern Pima County, Arizona, Arizona Geological Survey Contributed Report 01-B (link) (Note: I am one of the co-authors of this report.)
3) Text of House version of establishing legislation: H.R. 6522 (115th): Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area Act (link)
4) Tom DeWeese, American Policy Center, 2012, National Heritage Areas: the Land Grabs Continue (link)
5) Cheryl Chumley and Ronald Utt, 2007, National Heritage Areas: Costly Economic Development Schemes that Threaten Property Rights, The Heritage Foundation (link) ☼
A Look Back At Radical Environmentalism:
Hypothesis: Radical Greens are the Great Killers of Our Age
By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng. (Read full post)
Excerpts: Here is some of the supporting evidence:
1) The banning of DDT from ~1972 to 2002, which caused the malaria deaths of tens of millions of children under five years of age, and sickened and killed many more adults and children. (See link to story)
3) The misallocation of scarce global resources for destructive intermittent “green energy” schemes, which are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy. (Link)
4) Properly allocated, a fraction of the trillions of dollars squandered on green energy schemes could have installed clean drinking water and sanitation systems into every community on the planet, saving the lives of many tens of millions of children and adults; the remaining funds could have significantly reduced deaths from malaria and malnutrition; Source: Global Crises, Global Solutions, The 1st Copenhagen Consensus, edited by Bjørn Lomborg, 2004, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 648 pp.
5) The number of Excess Winter Deaths and shattered lives caused by runaway energy costs in the developed world and lack of access to modern energy in the developing world probably exceeds the tens of millions of malaria deaths caused by the DDT ban; Excess Winter Deaths (more deaths in winter than non-winter months) total about two million souls per year, which demonstrates that Earth is colder-than-optimum for humanity. (Link)
6) Indoor air pollution from cooking fires kills many women and children in the developing world. (Link)
7) In addition to runaway energy costs and increased winter deaths, intermittent wind and solar power schemes have reduced grid reliability and increased the risk of power outages. (Link)
8) Huge areas of agricultural land have been diverted from growing food to biofuels production, driving up food costs and causing hunger among the world’s poorest people. (Link)
9) There is NO credible scientific evidence that climate is highly sensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2, and ample evidence to the contrary. Catastrophic human made global warming is a false crisis.
10) Humanity needs modern energy to survive – to grow and transport our food and provide shelter, warmth and ~everything we need to live. Green energy schemes have been costly failures.
(MacRae has two engineering degrees related to the earth sciences. He and colleagues made innovations which created 500,000 jobs, caused $250 billion in capital investment in Alberta and made Canada the fifth-largest oil producer in the world) ☼
The Case for a Green ‘No Deal’
By Steve Milloy
The Senate rejected the Green New Deal on a 57-0 procedural vote last month. Not a single senator voted to bring the proposal to the floor, including its chief sponsor, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey. Climate alarmists demanded that Republicans come up with a plan of their own. But the best plan may be no plan at all, for at least four reasons.
First, cutting U.S. emissions won’t have much of an effect on the climate. Supposing the U.S. could go carbonless, the difference in atmospheric CO2 levels by 2100 would be only about 29 parts per million. Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change modeling, this would make no discernible difference in mean global temperature.
Second, claims of reductions in national emissions should be taken with a grain of salt. According to an August 2018 report from the ClimateWorks Foundation, Western industrial nations have simply outsourced as much as 25% of their emissions to Asia, where labor is cheaper and environmental and workplace regulation is less expensive.
Third, the only thing certain about CO2 is that it’s necessary for life on Earth. It’s plant food. NASA satellite images have charted the greening of the Earth since the early 1980s. The notion that climate change is necessarily bad is an assumption, and possibly an unfounded one. There is no known or demonstrable “correct” or “optimal” level of CO2 in the atmosphere. There is similarly no known or demonstrable “correct” or “optimal” average global temperature. The climate is always changing, albeit gradually and often imperceptibly.
Fourth, pointlessly wrecking the U.S. economy is bad politics. Read full article ☼
It’s time for us all to recognize the 97% con game
By Dr. Jay Lehr
We are confident that all of our readers have read or heard for a number of years that 97% of all scientists believe that mankind has played a role in changing the earth’s climate. While it should have been recognized long ago as an urban myth, one of those stories that hangs around regardless of a lack of any supporting facts. Rarely a day goes by that a global warming alarmists does not use it to promote their cause of enlarging government and reducing personal freedom through the promotion of fear about our future.
Many articles have been written to refute this claim but they all dig into the statistical weeds. Common sense alone should set you straight.
We do not doubt there are many scientists who do believe that man plays a major role in the determination of his climate. However, among the unsuspecting public who do not stop to consider what we are saying, the near universal comment of “the 97%” has done a lot of damage. It leads to poor anti fossil fuel legislation in states all across the nation. It leads to some states embracing the Paris Accord which would redistribute $3 trillion of American dollars to nations who use little fossil fuel. These American states could have none but zero impact on the planets thermometer but they can and will damage their state’s economy and their citizens standard of living.
The fraudulent 97% consensus is clearly a marketing ploy. What makes science different from religion is that only empirical evidence matters not opinion. Consensus does not matter at all in science. Read more
Some of the “statistical weeds”:
The 97 percent consensus for human caused climate change debunked again
On consensus in science ☼
Greenhouse Gases – A More Realistic View
by Jock Allison and Thomas P. Sheahen
The contributions of water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) to the warming of the atmosphere are reviewed. Water vapour and clouds are responsible for 80-90% or more of the greenhouse gas (GHG) effect. CO2 has a finite influence. However, contrary to the common assertions, the contribution of methane and N2O to world’s total emissions is negligible. We therefore conclude that expensive attempts to reduce human emissions can have negligible effects only on regional and world temperature.
Mistakenly, water vapour is not included in any assessments of GHG effects by the IPCC, a crucial omission. The IPCC concentrates mainly on anthropogenic (human) emissions, and ignores natural contributions of the GHGs from the planet and the ubiquitous water vapour, both of which also must be included in any sensible consideration of the effects on world temperature. Read more ☼
Climate disaster? Grain production almost quadrupled worldwide while the population doubled over past 60 years!
It’s claimed that all experts agree on their vision of the future! Droughts, floods, crop failures and famines threaten – and millions of climate refugees will make their way from south to north.
The grain yields per hectare of corn, rice, wheat and barley have increased strongly over the last 25 years and have not decreased at all, despite all the climate horror claims. Maize yields have increased by around 80%, rice by around 65%, wheat by around 70% and barley by around 65%. (Source) ☼
New German Study Shocks Electric Cars: “Considerably” Worse For Climate Than Diesel Cars, Up To 25% More CO2!
By P Gosselin
If one takes into account the energy to extract and process the lithium, cobalt, and manganese needed to produce the batteries, then e-cars in total produce more CO2 than diesel cars. (Source) I wonder if AOC knows that? ☼
Warren Unveils Her Plan For Federal Lands: Ban Drilling, Make Parks Free
by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller
Democratic Massachusetts Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan for the 640 million acres controlled by the federal government.
Warren’s “plan for public lands,” includes banning coal, natural gas, and oil production, and making all national parks free to visit.
Fossil fuel production on federal lands and waters supports 676,000 jobs and $134 billion in economic output, according to Interior Department figures. Some Native American tribes also subsist off revenues from coal, gas and oil production. Read more ☼
Air Emissions, Toxic Releases Reduced, Epa Reports
By Bonner R. Cohen
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released reports showing air pollution and the amount of toxins released into the environment continue to decline nationwide.
An EPA report detailing the ongoing decline in regulated air pollutants from power plants announced emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) declined 4 percent below their 2017 levels in 2018. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from power plants in the lower 48 states declined 6 percent during the same time period.
These improvements occurred even as demand for electricity increased by 5 percent in 2018 as a result of strong economic growth.
The report indicates the air quality improvement in 2018 was a continuation of a long-term trend. From 1990 through 2018, annual emissions of SO2 from power plants fell by 92 percent and annual emissions of NOx from power plants declined by 84 percent. Read more ☼
Sea Level Rise:
You may have seen some scary headlines:
“Glaciers have lost more than 9 trillion tons of ice between 1961 and 2016, which has resulted in global sea levels rising by 27 millimeters in this period.” The 27 mm over the 55-year period works out to 2 inches per century. Is that something to worry about? (Source) ☼
U.S. Senate Public Lands Bill Would Declare 1.3 Million Acres as Wilderness
By Kenneth Artz
The Natural Resources Management Act (NRMA) includes provisions from 170 previously proposed bills and affects virtually every state. Among its provisions, it designates 1.3 million acres as wilderness and permanently re-authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which draws revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling, to purchase land for federal ownership. Roads and motorized vehicles would be prohibited on the newly declared wilderness areas, along with other restrictions on their use and enjoyment.
Restrictions would also be imposed on the use of more than 200 miles of a river traversing Massachusetts and Connecticut, and almost 300 miles of rivers in Oregon that NRMA declares “wild, scenic, or recreational.”
The bill passed in March would also create three new national monuments: the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument in Jackson, Mississippi and the Mill Springs National Monument and Camp Nelson National Monument, both in Kentucky. The next stop for the bill is the House of Representatives, where it enjoys bipartisan support. Read more ☼
‘Insectageddon’ is ‘alarmist by bad design’: Scientists point out the study’s major flaws
Earlier this year, a research article triggered a media frenzy by predicting that as a result of an ongoing rapid decline, nearly half of the world’s insects will be no more pretty soon.
The major flaws in the study are pointed out by a paper in Rethinking Ecology: Alarmist by bad design: Strongly popularized unsubstantiated claims undermine credibility of conservation science (Read full paper)
The flawed study was a meta-study of other papers (no physical evidence) which was biased by the search method used by the authors. Geographically limited studies were extrapolated to continent-wide areas. Another problem is the misuse of the IUCN Red List categories. ICUN is the International Union for Conservation of Natures, one of the many United Nations organizations. ☼
Points to Ponder:
“The Constitution is a system of checks and balances the sole purpose of which is to protect the unalienable rights of individuals from the ebb and flow of democratic sentiment. The object of our constitutional republic is not to make everyone’s voice exactly equal, but rather to make everyone’s unalienable rights equally secure.” – John C. Greene
“They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.” —John Adams (1775)
“There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.” —James Madison (1786)
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H. L. Mencken
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” —John Adams (1770)
“We currently live in a world where climate policies appear to be more-and-more dictated by high-school students, political operatives and unaccountable international NGOs rather than the scientists and policy experts who have spent decades studying these problems. In that context, I can state that I have never been more afraid. I’m afraid because it is becoming increasingly clear that the idea that we should proceed using defensible and rational policy has effectively become passé. We have let ourselves be convinced that any action is better than our current path and in doing so are embarking on policies that could pose a significant threat to the long-term ecological health of our planet.” – Blair King
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1) Support private property rights.
2) Support multiple use management of federal lands for agriculture, livestock grazing, mining, oil and gas production, recreation, timber harvesting and water development activities.
3) Support a balance of environmental responsibility and economic benefit for all Americans by urging that environmental policy be based on good science and sound economic principles.
Newsletters can be viewed online on Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:
See my essay on climate change:
The Constitution is the real contract with America.
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People for the West – Tucson, Inc.
PO Box 86868
Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor
Dr. John Forrester, Vice President
Lonni Lees, Associate Editor
People for the West – Tucson, Inc. is an Arizona tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation. Newsletter subscriptions are free.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.