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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 7
INTRODUCED BY A. CURTISS, S. ORR, M. BRAINARD, B. DAVIES, K. MILLER, B. MOLNAR,
D. WAGNER, T. KEATING
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA SUPPORTING THE AMERICAN LAND SOVEREIGNTY PROTECTION ACT; AND REQUIRING THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO TRANSMIT COPIES OF THE RESOLUTION.
WHEREAS, the United Nations has designated 67 sites in the United States as World Heritage Sites or Biosphere Reserves, which altogether are about equal in size to the State of Colorado, the eighth largest state; and
WHEREAS, Article IV, section 3, of the United States Constitution provides that the United States Congress shall make all needed regulations governing lands belonging to the United States; and
WHEREAS, many of the United Nations' designations include property inholdings and contemplate "buffer zones" of adjacent land; and
WHEREAS, some international land designations, such as those under the United States Biosphere Reserves Program and the Man and the Biosphere Program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, operate under independent national committees, such as the United States National Committee for the Man and Biosphere Program, that have no legislative directives or authorization from Congress; and
WHEREAS, these international designations as presently handled are an open invitation to the international community to interfere in domestic economies and land-use decisions; and
WHEREAS, local citizens and public officials concerned about job creation and resource-based economies usually have no say in the designation of land near their homes for inclusion in an international land-use program; and
WHEREAS, former Assistant Secretary of the Interior George T. Frampton, Jr., and the President used the fact that Yellowstone National Park had been designated as a World Heritage Site as justification for intervening in the environmental impact statement process and blocking possible development of an underground mine on private land in Montana outside of the park; and
WHEREAS, a recent designation of a portion of Kamchatka as a World Heritage Site was followed immediately by efforts from environmental groups to block investment insurance for development projects on Kamchatka that are supported by the local communities; and
WHEREAS, these international designations could be used to harass or block any commercial activity, including pipelines, railroads, and power transmission lines; and
WHEREAS, the President and the Executive Branch of the United States have, by executive order and other agreements, implemented these designations without approval by Congress; and
WHEREAS, actions by the President in applying international agreements to lands owned by the United States may circumvent Congress; and
WHEREAS, Congressman Don Young introduced in the 105th Congress House Resolution No. 901, entitled the "American Land Sovereignty Protection Act of 1997", that required the explicit approval of Congress prior to restricting any use of the land of the United States under international agreements.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Montana Legislature support the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act of 1997 that reaffirms the constitutional authority of the United States Congress as the elected representatives of the people over the federally owned land of the United States.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send copies of this resolution to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, each member of Montana's Congressional Delegation, and each member of Alaska's Congressional Delegation.
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