Rights and Freedoms

R.O. Voight

June 06, 1999

Many of you know that the Maine Conservation Rights Institute (MECRI) has been working to protect the rights and freedoms of Maine property owners for over ten years. MECRI has been involved in every land rights issue in the State and in many federal land issues.

Over the years MECRI has had an enviable success rate in educating and activating Maine citizens so that the citizens, the grassroots, have stood and held their ground against the giants of the environmental movement that have attempted time and time again to gain control of your land, gain control of your forests, and even control your behavior.

We have hoped, over the years, with each victory, with each meeting, with each rally, that the other folks would see our point of view, would accept the inalienable rights of property owners, and let us live in a free and unfettered country. But instead they see us as far right extremists, as fanatics on property rights, as unable to grasp the importance of Nature in Her Purity, and not willing to serve the "public good”.

Over the years the lines have hardened, and the battle has become more entrenched. The state and national environmental groups have congealed into strongly organized units with sources of money that are obscene in quantity. You are all familiar with the Northern Forest Alliance, a conglomeration of 34 environmental groups, with a 100 million dollar budget, all dedicated to controlling the forested land in Maine. Aligned with them are many government bureaucrats, many business people, and many politicians.

The past ten years have only been the prologue of the battle for your minds, your land, and your behavior patterns. On most priority lists, including the White House list and the Secretary of Interior list, Maine Forests are number one priority for acquisition. And both the State and the Feds are taking steps to establish legal budgets to purchase your land, all of it. This year the specific Senate Act is S-25, the House version is HR 701. You have heard about these, and probably have been briefed on them because property rights groups in Maine and across the country have been trying to reach you because of the high priority the Clinton Administration has placed on the acquisition of Maine land.

But it is important that you understand and grasp the enormity of the activity organized against you, a citizen of Maine. There is the Climate Change Convention of the United Nations, acting through the fabricated vehicle of Global Warming that will control your use of all forms of energy, represented here in Maine by the Climate Change Task Force in the State Planning Office; there is the Sustainable Development Program created by the Clinton Administration, the object of which is to control community growth, otherwise known as "urban sprawl”, again represented here in Maine through the SPO and the ECO/ECO Forum; there is the education program going on in your schools to teach your children the importance of the environment and Nature; there is the religious Partnership program out of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City that is attempting to penetrate your church and orient it to worship Nature and the conceived dogma of Gaia; and there is the well organized activity to create a National Park here in Maine.

There is the Heritage Rivers Initiative which attempted to take control of the Penobscot River and its entire watershed of over 8,000 square miles. There is the attempt to place the salmon on the Endangered Species List for the purpose of controlling the watershed of the seven Downeast rivers. There is the attempt to introduce wolves into Maine. There is the active effort to remove dams from Maine rivers. The removal of the Edwards Dam in the Kennebec River is being used as a national model and is cited as only the first of many Maine dams to be removed. There is the program to convert Rails to Trails which is part of the "Greening" Program for Maine.

All of these, and more, are part and parcel of the environmental movement. They are moving into every aspect of your life here in Maine: your job, your school, your church, your local government, and of course the land you own. The degree to which they succeed is the degree to which, you the citizen, allow them to subvert your rights and deny you your freedoms under the Constitution. For it is only through the Constitution, through your elected officials at federal, state, and local levels that you can prevent them from stealing what belongs to you, and to you alone.

It is up to you to save your future. If you look around you, you will observe all the activities I have described above. I just want you to observe, to look, to read the newspapers, attend meetings, ask questions, and then get involved.

You most surely are aware of the turmoil in the wood and paper industry. The underlying source of all their problems comes from the organized attacks, the organized political pressure from the environmental minions. These attacks include severe restrictions on harvesting methods and administration, severe restrictions on pollutants, severe restrictions on herbicides and pesticides, as well as the constant political pressure on the industry as a whole. To what degree has this already affected your life? What will you do about it?

What you can do is become involved -- join a property rights organization. Choose sides and defend your rights. Standing in the middle of the road, waiting for someone to tell you which way to go will only result in your being run over. If you consider yourself too busy to be an activist, then donate funds to an organization that will defend you and your freedoms. That also is being involved. And once you do become involved notice how different you feel, how good it makes you feel to be an active part of the group that is working for you and your principles.

Do it!

"Courtesy of Scott Fish, AsMaineGoes.com."