Tuesday, September 22, 2009
NDPC Investigates by Brett Narloch
Issue: Property Rights
The work that the NDPC is doing to educate people about the dangers of the Northern Plains National Heritage Area has now reached Washington DC.
An amendment has been added to HR 2996, an appropriation to the US Department of Interior, by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) that would require that beginning in fiscal year 2010, before any NHA could receive federal funds, it must “notify landowners that their property is contained within the NHA’s boundaries, and remove any property for which the owner has not provided the managing entity written consent for inclusion in the NHA.”
Coburn’s background documentation about the amendment specifically mentions the North Dakota Policy Council and the issues the NDPC uncovered about State Sen. Tracy Potter’s less-than-truthful testimony to a congressional committee. It states,
“The North Dakota Policy Council ‘says Potter was deceitful when he testified to Congress that public hearings were held on the heritage area when none were.’ The council’s director, Brett Narloch, says Potter broke federal law by using federal grant funds to hire a lobby firm and to personally lobby for the designation.”
The document cites concerns about NHAs that are very similar to the concerns expressed by the NDPC, specifically relating to NHA management entities influencing local land use planning. It cites a Government Accountability Office document that stated,
“Some management plans encourage local governments to implement land use policies that are consistent with the heritage areas’ plans and offer to aid their planning activities through matching grants.”
Click HERE to learn more about the Northern Plains National Heritage Area.