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Edited by: John Stewart

The Wildlands Project Comes to Hidalgo County - Part 12

The Wildlands Project: Don't Trust the Trusts

By Judy Keeler

Since my last article I've received many compliments, along with a few criticisms. Usually my best supporter, my Mother thought the last article was too intense, with too much information to digest. She suggested I lighten them up, just a little bit. I wrestled with her recommendations.

About the same time Kim Vicariu, Executive Director of the Wildlands Project, wrote a letter to the editor suggesting the information in my articles was not accurate. Although he stated his opinion as fact, I felt he gave very little evidence that supported his claim. How could I take his comments lightly?  I wrestled some more.

People that know me well are aware I get very intense when discussing the Wildlands Project, along with the environmental groups and government agencies that are implementing the plan. However, they also know I'm not prone to lying.

My parents used to play a game with my brother and me when we were children that would have a profound influence on my ability to lie. Every time my parents suspected either of us of an "untruth", they would tell us to "look them in the eye and say cabbage, cabbage, cabbage three times without smiling". While we tried to look at them and repeat the words they would smile and make faces at us.

When trying to "enhance" a story, I soon found I could not control my laughter, much less a smile. They always knew when we were trying to put something over on them and would admonish us not to exaggerate, or tell a lie.  Even today, I find I can not tell a lie without a smile crossing my face.

I've often used this technique on my own children and grandchildren. It's always been a very effective method to get at the truth!! However, I've also found some, who were not trained up in this way, are very effective liars.

I began my research into the Wildlands Project about 8 years ago. What I've uncovered is both unnerving and nothing to lie about. My intent in writing the articles was to educate others regarding an agenda I believe to be both ungodly and extremely hazardous to resource users and our society as a whole.

Too often I go wanting in the area of tact. I tend to "shoot from the hip", while others are still trying to make small talk. Right now I'd like to go to the heart of the Wildlands Project by sharing the following article. It explains the nature of the beast better than I could ever hope to do.   It certainly "cuts to the chase". Written by an environmentalist who happened to unearth some of the same truths I've uncovered in my research, I think you may find the article very educational.

Don't Trust the Trusts

Bumper stickers around Grand Staircase Escalante warn against the Grand Canyon Trust.

I am an activist environmentalist and it just about took a two-by-four to the head till I believed it.

Story by Toni Thayer.

I set out to get a little information, enough to at least disprove the bumper sticker "Don't Trust the Trust!" Instead, I was led into a worldwide web of names: separate, entangled, and branched. I thought they were environmentalists, but they weren't. I was finally investigating the Grand Canyon Trust's Board of Directors.

My boyfriend, Steve Gessig, badmouthed the Trust during our first two years together, blaming them for his town's demise. He grumbled about the enviros' connections to the World Bank and United Nations and plans to eliminate American sovereignty.

I, however, am the avid environmental activist and refused to believe his undocumented accusations. I had firsthand experience with the Trust in Flagstaff, Ariz. For years, I worked with their staff on joint projects and committees, attended their workshops, and met in their offices. They were my friends.

Living in Escalante, Utah, Steve's perspective was different, encircled by the United States' largest land theft, the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The Trust spearheaded the designation in 1996 with a mission to protect and restore the Colorado Plateau canyon country. The Plateau is, basically, the Colorado River basin: beginning in northern Utah, encompassing all of southern Utah and northern Arizona, and extending into western Colorado and New Mexico. The Colorado River is the giver of life, both water and electricity, to the southwest and the downstream metropolitan regions of Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego.

The Trust made promises back then: "Other existing uses of these public lands are not affected by the proclamation [of the monument], including hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and livestock grazing."

They lied. The 1.9 million acres have been shut down with access allowed in only a few areas. New federal workers moving into town freely come and go, beyond the "restricted" signs that keep locals from their families' traditional sites. New resource production has ceased even though the area is rich in coal, oil, gas, uranium, and timber. The world's cleanest-burning coal is located in only two spots: the Monument and Indonesia. The Grand Staircase field is so vast it can't be accurately valued. It has tentatively been estimated at $1.3 trillion.

The Trust doesn't want any cattle grazing on the Plateau, an idea that's backed by federal government intimidation and harassment of the ranchers. The ranchers are feeling the pinch of the oppression, the drought, and their rising debt. They're selling out and ending centuries-old family cattle careers. Enviro groups are scooping up their grazing permits. Rich second homeowners and large cattle corporations are buying their lands.

A million tourists each year have replaced the resource-based economies and 5,000 cows. They fly by all of the beauty and zoom through the little towns, not spending much, mainly wanting water and sewer services. The 11,000 residents in two affected counties carry the burden of providing infrastructure and services for the increased load.

From tourist-haven Flagstaff, I know tourism does not pay livable wages and that it causes major disparity between the haves and have-nots. I couldn't understand why the Trust wanted tourism when enviros often cited studies showing its negative impacts and lost community revenues. It didn't make sense to take such a clean, pristine and remote area, and market it to a million tourists.

I also knew that all profits stem from resource production. It was hypocritical and outright wrong for Americans to consume most of the world's resources and, at the same time, shut down our resource production. Then what? Go to other countries and rape and pillage their landscapes to fulfill our hungry resource needs?

Rural, southern-Utah towns are reeling from the never-ending limitations and changes put upon them by the "citified" environmental groups. They have few jobs, if any. Houses are put on the market as older generations descended from the Mormon settlers die and their offspring move to the cities for work.

In Flagstaff, no one knew much about the Trust's board, but everyone knew that current president, Geoff Barnard, brought his extremely rich contacts when he came to town in 1995. Some said the board changed then, from members who truly cared about the Colorado Plateau to ones who brought their big assets to the table. It turned into a "think tank" with interests other than the environment.

I decided to get the answers myself and I sat down at my internet browser and entered board name after board name looking for key words. Amazingly, there they were with each and every searchÑinternational, global, worldwide, United Nations, World Bank

Only five of the 22 directors resided within their Colorado Plateau scope of interest. The remaining 17 were from all corners of the U.S.: New York City, Fort Worth, Aspen, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque.

Tons of information surfaced. Business and industrial achievements popped to the forefront, not environmental endeavors. There were major news and magazine articles, partnerships and deals, foundation and nonprofit boards, published books and papers, committees and meetings.

These were not your everyday leaders either. Their companies were the oldest, largest, and first in our nation. They were worldwide market leaders, global, the West's leading authority, the Best in America, and nationally recognized experts and attorneys. The more I looked, the more I found.

There's more, more, more... United Nations' committees, World Bank conferences, international seminars, international inventions, economic development, zoning boards, intergovernmental panels, international ecotourism development, and Indian gaming.

I began noticing that some of the Trust's officers and directors also served on the national boards of other big enviro groups: The Nature Conservancy (TNC), The Wilderness Society, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, World Wildlife Fund, Defenders of Wildlife. A few of them swapped positions amongst themselves and from group to group. My investigation into the national boards of the largest enviro groups confirmed investigative author Ron Arnold's findings of similar global, corporate interests and their foundation funding to many enviro groups.

TNC seemed to be a major player in the Trust with president Geoff Barnard working for them for 23 years, office sharing in Flagstaff, and numerous crossover board members and paid staff. Barnard's wife represented TNC when they moved to Flagstaff. Rumor has it that Jim Babbitt found Barnard and brought him to the Trust.

Most environmentalists are against monster corporate entities, but here they were, sitting on the board of our most "trusted" environmental group. Little ol' Flagstaff had some real heavy hitters in its midst. I knew this was no ordinary board with its highly influential members and well-thought-out structure. It was a secret hidden in plain sight. We just never thought to look.

A few weeks into my research, I learned that the Trust had rejected a proposal from EcoResults to restore riparian areas on the Plateau with cows and the cattle stomp. EcoResults <>, as previously reported by this magazine, uses "rural land stewards: ranchers and farmers" and a twist on holistic management to bring back barren land. Local ranchers have produced "some of the healthiest riparian areas in the U.S." and have a multitude of endangered and threatened species moving onto their restored lands.

I thought this was the perfect solution to the grazing problem. President Barnard thought differently, saying they couldn't be expected to change their minds about cows overnight. This seemed logical enough on the surface, but the Trust had known about Dan Dagget's restoration techniques for seven years since they funded the printing of his book, "Beyond the Rangeland Conflict."

Okay, I admit it, I was wrong. I thought they were environmentalists, but they surely aren't. I thought they were my buddies, but I've been used and betrayed. Environmentalists need to realize who their partners are, and land-rights people should know that "worker bee" enviros are unaware of their leaders' true characters.

My eyes have been opened, but I've got to ask, "Have yours?" My research didn't stop at industrial wolves disguised as enviro sheep. It goes much, much deeper, way down to the bottom of the Rockefeller "think tanks." This is only one small piece of a much larger pie.

Webster's defines a legal conspiracy as "an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action."

It's been coming together for quite some time. It's right before our eyes. We need only look. American leaders have talked about it for decades, authors have exposed it, and the information is readily available. Implementation is accelerating, and we are feeling many of its effects: terrorized citizens stripped of their constitutional rights, economy tumbling out of control, seizure of public lands, killer droughts and forest fires, torrential rains, desperately hungry wildlife, distressed and dying forests.

The Trust's board members led me straight into the conspiracy. The Rockefeller "think tanks" have different names, but they all have the same board and membership structure. Each works towards the ultimate goal of One World Order, fulfilling their particular piece of the total pie. It's a pyramid effect, with the top groups planning strategies for their assigned geographical areas and setting timelines for completion. They implement the strategies through their numerous tentacles of lower subgroups that take action, track their progress and report back to the higher groups.

Membership is by invitation only. They supposedly want "the highest level unofficial group possible," but actually have extensive U.S. government-appointed and elected officials. The U.S. Departments of State, Defense, Security and Treasury are well entrenched with multiple, high-ranking secretaries, ambassadors, trade reps, and chairmen. The remaining membership includes the world's richest CEOs and financiers, union leaders, media, nongovernmental organizations and educational facilities. Harvard is the predominant university involved. Just like the Trust, the directors hop back and forth from group to group, and members are involved in many groups.

One of the first established was the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). It's the think tank for U.S. strategies. Marxist Edward Mandell House founded the CFR in 1921, after eight years as President Woodrow Wilson's chief advisor. House's dream was to socialize America from the inside out, by taking control of both political parties, using them to implement the socialist government, and by establishing a central state bank.

During Wilson's first year in office in 1913, the U.S. passed the Federal Reserve Act, establishing our central bank as the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB). This took control of money production and economy away from the U.S. Congress and gave it to an elite group of private bankers. William McDonough, FRB president, is a Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral member.

The Trilateral Commission (TC) is a replica of the CFR in structure and membership interests, but has strategies for broader geographical areasÑthe Americas (U.S., Canada, Mexico), European Union, Pacific Asia. The Trilateral countries' "growing interdependence" from the 1970s is today "deepening into globalization" with "the need for shared thinking and leadership."

The Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Foundation provided the critical initial funding for the CFR. David Rockefeller is listed as the founder, honorary chair and lifetime trustee of both the CFR and Trilateral Commission. Former or current elected Trilateral members are Vice President Dick Cheney; U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein, John D. Rockefeller IV, Charles Robb and William Roth Jr.; U.S. Representatives Jim Leach, Charles Rangel and former Speaker of the House Thomas Foley.

For some interesting reading, check out one of their books, "The Imperial Temptation: The New World Order and America's Purpose" (CFR) or "21st Century Strategies of the Trilateral Countries: in Concert or Conflict?" (TC).

The world's government is the United Nations. Just a few months ago, Switzerland finally joined, the last country to do so. The only other member "country" outstanding is the Catholic Church. After it joins, all sought-after, prospective members will have been enlisted.

Here's a few of their recent happenings: China's Accession to the World Trade Organization: The Red Work Begins; UN and Decolonization; International Conference on Financing for Development; Millennium Development Goals, New Agenda for the Development of Africa.

The world's central bank is, of course, the World Bank with the International Monetary Fund (UN groups, both work together and are really the same entity). Developing countries borrow from traditional banks due to deficits. When they can't meet their repayment schedule, the WB/IMF steps in and pays off their debt. In turn, the country must change its government to a democratic state (countries in transition) and meet standards that are impossible to reach. As government and economy collapse, regional chaos ensues. The WB and UN step in to create peace and take collateral for the unpaid debt. One theory says our federal lands are held by the WB for U.S. debt, but as yet this remains undocumented.

It's time to wake up and to wake up all of those around you. We've run out of time for complacency. Do you care about your kids' and grandkids' futures? Do you really approve of the plan lying on the table? It's time to stand up, exercise our rights and demand an America that works for Americans!

What happened to us: the land of the free and the brave? Free and brave are interlocked. You can't have one without the other. It's time to take it back. This whole scenario and Americans' sleepiness reminds me of the Jews and Hitler. Do you remember what happened to the Jews who didn't act?

Toni Thayer is a researcher, writer, political activist and consultant. Her website,, has information on public lands "and the state of the Earth."

Reprinted from Range Magazine - Winter 2003, with permission. Subscription information: 1-800-RANGE-4-U

These articles are being published in the Hidalgo Herald, a local newspaper. If you would like a copy of the articles in this format send your request to: Hidalgo County Herald -

Brenda McCalmon, editor
101 East 4th St
Lordsburg, NM 88045
Phone: 505-542-8705
Fax: 505-542-8704

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