29 Mar Huge Congressional Land Grab Goes Unnoticed by Public
CARA Act Provides Billions for Land Acquisition by States
“With attention focused on the primary elections, Americans remain unaware of legislation that is a direct attack on property rights, the keystone of the nation’s economy,” warns Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center, an activist think tank. “Millions of acres now enjoyed by sportsmen, owned by farmers, ranchers, and property owners of every description will be forcibly acquired and put off limits to Americans.”
The Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA-HR 701/S 25) creates a three billion dollar annual trust fund taken from royalties generated by offshore oil productions called outer continental shelf revenue. The fund was established to pay for damage caused to marine life, oceans and estuaries by oil exploration and extraction activities. “Congress is lining up for an all-out raid on these funds.”
“Now,” says DeWeese, “all fifty states are being offered an opportunity to access this money for purposes that have nothing whatever to do with the mitigation of any environmental problems. The result will be a huge pork barrel of land acquisition projects that will deny Americans access to vast areas of the nation. CARA threatens privately owned hunt clubs and other areas used by sports people of every description, from hunting and fishing, to camping, mountain climbing, skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities”
Using the power of eminent domain, States will have funds that will permit them to take away land owned by farmers, ranchers, and others. DeWeese noted that 139,000 acres of timberland leased to hunters for more than a century was purchased by New York State last year. “Hunting and snowmobiling was immediately prohibited.”
“If CARA is passed by the House and Senate, no one’s home or other property will be safe,” says DeWeese. Development for the housing needs of Americans will be thwarted. The legislation is sponsored by Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska), Billy Tauzin (R-Louisiana), and George Miller (D-California). “By spreading the money around while subverting its original
purpose, CARA encourages other members of Congress to support it. “The Center anticipates that Rep. Young will try to ram through CARA in the opening session of Congress.
“CARA is an attack on the Constitutional protection given property ownership, on the ability of this nation to overcome its dependency on foreign oil production, and on the millions of Americans who will wake up to discover they are denied access to the forests and wilderness areas of the nation.”
The Center urges its supporters and all Americans to write, fax, and email their Representatives and Senators regarding the need to defeat CARA.