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 with Rob Miskosky

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing?

It’s big. It’s beautiful. And it’s wild.
It’s called the Willmore Wilderness and it encompasses more that 1700 square miles of pristine wildlands untouched by industrial activity. In fact, it has its own Act that protects it from such use. An Act that states that it is dedicated to the use of the people of Alberta for their benefit, education and enjoyment... and ...shall, by the management, conservation and protection of its natural resources and by the preservation of its natural beauty, be maintained for the enjoyment of future generations.

The Willmore is more than 1700 square miles of sheer wilderness wrapped in beauty.

Having spent many days here over the course of two hunting seasons I can attest to its beauty—it truly is a unique and absolutely wonderful part of Alberta.

Unfortunately, many want a piece of it.

They are called UNESCO, which stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Their World Heritage Program “seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.”

And this is where Willmore Wilderness Park comes into play.

Mike Murtha, a representative of Parks Canada, was approached by UNESCO to put forward a proposal to expand the existing World Heritage Rocky Mountain Parks.

Murtha believes the Willmore is the perfect candidate for such an expansion and has formed a steering committee designed to establish whether or not the Willmore meets the World Heritage Site Committee criteria for World Heritage status.

Which all sounds wonderful. Until you start looking at what this all means.

The UNESCO World Heritage Centre is based in France, far removed from the Willmore. There are 21 members from different countries on the World Heritage Committee. Their job, from an international level, is to ensure that governments of World Heritage Sites ensure those sites keep their values. UNESCO is also said to have no legal jurisdiction in a World Heritage Site and that their only authority could be to remove a site from the “list”.

If such is the case, then why would Parks Canada go through all the bother?

Considering the Willmore can only be accessed by foot or on horseback, a huge economic boom is hardly likely.

What is more likely is outside parties having leverage in determining the future conservation of this area?

And, will European influences suddenly have a say in the Willmore, possibly impacting those who use this area for hunting, fishing and trapping, guiding and outfitting?

Those who make a living here see little benefit from UNESCO and Murtha’s plan.

But UNESCO is not the only one who wants a piece of the Willmore. It appears there may be a few more wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing also making big plans for the Willmore and other regions of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

Its acronym is Y2Y, which means “Yellowstone to Yukon”.

And their motto is “People working together to maintain and restore the unique natural heritage of the Yellowstone to Yukon region.”

The group’s vision is to reconnect the Rocky Mountains, from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon’s Mackenzie Mountains, by creating “core protected areas connected to one another by ‘wildlife linkages,’ mosaics of public and private lands that provide safe passageways for wildlife to travel freely from place to place.”

Sounds wonderful.

Until you start looking back through their history and suddenly have to wonder what the underlying goal of the Y2Y initiative really is.

Y2Y is just one of several projects that falls under the umbrella of another organization called “The Wildlands Project” (TWP) based out of Florida with field offices in Vermont and Arizona.

The Wildlands Project first began in 1991 when the founder of Earth First! (EF!), Dave Foreman, left EF! to found TWP.

It should be noted that Earth First! is known as a “direct action” environmental organization and a “warrior society” with no members, just “Earth First!ers, who have engaged in arson, violent assault and vandalism.

Foreman’s leaving Earth First! in 1991 may have had something to do with his being arrested on eco-terrorism charges. Seems our TWP founder and four others were charged for plotting to sabotage several nuclear facilities.

Foreman is also the author of a book called Eco-Defense: A Field Guide to Monkey Wrenching. The book is an instruction manual for sabotage and gives instruction on how to destroy dams, power plants and industrial equipment while equipping eco-saboteurs with the knowledge to make “social change”.

In another book, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior, Foreman lays out the plans for The Wildlands Project and puts his master plan into the arena of public opinion where many environmental extremists buy in.

The Wildlands Project gathers steam and soon Foreman’s concept becomes an actual model published in a special edition of Wild Earth.

To put it simply, The Wildlands Project seeks to “restrict human civilization to limited patches of Earth”. In fact the project calls for the “establishment of systems of core wilderness areas where human activity is prohibited, linked with biological corridors.” Buffers are to be created around these corridors with regular human activity only allowed outside of these buffered zones. Foreman suggests that National Parks and Wilderness Areas are useless because they only “protect scenery and outdoor recreation”.

Soon, Reed Noss, a colleague of Foreman’s, publishes a new Wildlands Project model in a paper entitled “Endangered Ecosystems of the United States: A Preliminary Assessment of Loss and Degradation”. With many of Foreman’s original ideas, the paper soon becomes the principal design for biodiversity protection within Section 10 of the United Nations Global Biodiversity Assessment authorized under the United Nations Convention for Biodiversity held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. This conference produced Agenda 21, the ultimate plan of action to save the world from human activity.

The Wildlands Project has been described as “islands of human habitat surrounded by wilderness.”

Dave Foreman resigns from TWP in 2003 to form the Rewilding Institute, a group noted for its belief that Pleistocene rewilding could put African animals such as elephants and cheetahs back on North American soil.

However, Foreman still plays a role with TWP. According to their website, “The Wildlands Project continues to maintain a strong working relationship with Dave.”

It should be noted that The Wildlands Project is just one of several elements that are part of the goal of implementing the United Nations Agenda 21, which includes the relocation of wildlife, the creation of large wilderness and roadless areas, and the relocation of people into sustainable communities.

So, knowing the background of The Wildlands Project and how the United Nations have bought in, what exactly are the underlying goals of Y2Y, a spin-off of TWP and also promoted by Dave Foreman and The Rewilding Institute’s website?

Y2Y, whose head office is based in Canmore, Alberta, have suddenly raised the alarm bells of many. Their grand vision of the Rocky Mountains appears to be covered in fluff, leaving those who visit their website with an urge to help in fixing a part of Alberta that isn’t broken.

But are those involved with Y2Y and TWP little more than global socialists trying to control the human population?

Furthering Agenda 21?

Next month we’ll look deeper into these organizations and see how they operate, who’s involved and what their plans are for the Yellowstone to Yukon region, how those plans will impact you and me and what we can do about it. ■

For previous Outdoor Pursuits click here.

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