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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 10
INTRODUCED BY A. CURTISS, M. BRAINARD, R. JORE, B. MOLNAR, S. ORR
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA OPPOSING THE BIOSPHERE RESERVES DESIGNATION OF THE MAN AND THE BIOSPHERE PROGRAM AND URGING THAT THE PROPOSED BIODIVERSITY TREATY NOT BE RATIFIED BY THE UNITED STATES.
WHEREAS, the United Nations has promoted a Biosphere Program throughout the world; and
WHEREAS, the Biosphere Program threatens to place millions of acres of land under the control of the United Nations via agreements or executive orders; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations Cultural, Educational, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) has created a worldwide
328 AT LEAST 352 Biosphere Reserves in AT LEAST 82 nations; and
WHEREAS, 47 United Nations-designated Biosphere Reserves are within the sovereign borders of the United States, and 3 United Nations-designated Biosphere Reserves are at least partially within the State of Montana; and
WHEREAS, neither the Legislature of the State of Montana nor the Congress of the United States has considered, debated, or approved these designations; and
WHEREAS, these designations require strict land-use management procedures as are set forth in the 1994 Strategic Plan for the United States Man and the Biosphere Program, as published by the United States State Department, and are further described in the Global Biodiversity Assessment, published by the United Nations Environment Program, expressly for the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity; and
WHEREAS, Biosphere Reserves are, by definition, designed to continually expand each of three zones: the core protected zone, the buffer zone, and the zone of cooperation; and
WHEREAS, Biosphere Reserves are expected to be the nucleus of the system of protected areas required by Article 8 of the Convention on Biological Diversity as expressed in the minutes of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity; and
WHEREAS, no landowner within reach or potential reach of the Biosphere Reserves has input or recourse to land-use management policies of UNESCO or the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity; and
WHEREAS, no body of elected officials, whether local, state, or federal, has input, recourse, or veto power over the land-use management policies that may be prescribed by either UNESCO or the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity; and
WHEREAS, even though the Convention on Biological Diversity has not been ratified by the United States Senate, the very presence of United Nations Biosphere Reserves on American soil demonstrates the compliance with an international treaty that has not been ratified; and
WHEREAS, the use of land in biosphere areas for ordinary commercial or agriculture purposes may be severely restricted or eliminated; and
WHEREAS, the Montana Legislature does not believe that a request from the National Park Service or a tourist and convention service should be adequate to subject land in Montana to the control of the United Nations or any other foreign parties; and
WHEREAS, the areas encompassed by these reserves include not only public, but private, lands; and
WHEREAS, the placing of environmental or other restrictions upon the use of private lands has been held by a number of recent United States Supreme Court decisions to constitute a taking of the land for public purposes; and
WHEREAS, the proposed Biodiversity Treaty, if ratified by the United States, would ultimately lead to the reality that Montanans could not use their private and public lands in the manner to which they have been accustomed; and
WHEREAS, there are no proposals to purchase the private lands by either the United States or the United Nations; and
WHEREAS, the restrictions contemplated, together with the outside control of the land encompassed by a Biosphere Reserve, constitute an unlawful taking of that land in violation of The Constitution of the United States, to wit: Article I, section 8, clause 17, provides that before any state lands can be purchased, the consent of the state Legislature and not the state Executive Branch must be obtained; and
WHEREAS, Article IV, section 3, clause 2, of The Constitution of the United States provides that "nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state"; and
WHEREAS, Article IV, section 4, of The Constitution of the United States provides that "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government"; and
WHEREAS, Amendment V of The Constitution of the United States provides that no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation"; and
WHEREAS, the virtual ceding of these lands to the United Nations leaves the residents who own the land, local governments, and the State of Montana without any legitimate form for redress of grievances for input into any decisionmaking process relating to the Biosphere Reserves; and
WHEREAS, under Article VI of The Constitution of the United States, this treaty would be given equal footing with The Constitution of the United States, thus effectively precluding any legal means of redress; and
WHEREAS, the Montana Legislature does not wish to have portions of Montana's land area controlled by foreign minions over which it has no control and that are not subject to its laws.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
55th 56TH Montana Legislature is unalterably opposed to the inclusion of any land within the borders of the
State of Montana within the purview of the Biodiversity Treaty or any Biodiversity Program without the express consent of
the Legislature of the State of Montana, as provided by The Constitution of the United States and The Constitution of the
State of Montana.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Montana Legislature urge the members of the Congress of the United States, and especially the Montana Delegation to the Congress of the United States, to oppose ratification of this treaty and the inclusion of any land within the State of Montana in any Biosphere Program of the United Nations.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Secretary of State of the United States, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, and the Congressional Delegation representing the State of Montana in the Congress of the United States.
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