#Civil Rights
Congressmen Dan Newhouse of the State of Washington and Committee Chair Congressman Tom McClintock
United States of America

Maritime Washington National Heritage Act would create a Heritage Area of the entire coastline of Washington State. The unelected National Park Service and an unelected quasi-governmental Private Trust Organization would be in charge of administering and distributing tax-payer and private monies in the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area.

Many of the counties of Washington State are already suffering at the hands of governmental regulation. Many, especially on the Washington Peninsula are extremely cash strapped due to Federal Land Ownership and loss of income from banned, burdened, and curtailed industries.

In these cases, the management of additional land by the National Park Service will entangle the counties in additional lost revenues and associated cuts and for schools, and municipal services. This kind of planning results in social injustice for rural citizens already paying the price economically for federal decision making.

These once proud and industrious citizens are now reduced to watching the former source of their livelihood go up in smoke resultant of forest fires due to the heavily mismanaged park in their midst.

Access and uses are severely limited in many areas of the Olympic National Forest which has meanwhile been designated as a World Heritage Site which encumbers the area further by requiring it to meet the standards of United Nations favor in promoting parks on it's worldwide list of Areas.

This organization promotes buffer zones around these parks, and would most likely result in the entire Olympic Peninsula falling under the control of the National Park Service, the National Park plus buffer zones plus the Maritime Heritage Area would result in little if any private property remaining unencumbered. It is difficult to imagine how this scenario would result in enhancing tourism or local economic growth, considering the restrictive management in evidence today.

Similar impact to private property could be expected throughout the Straight of Juan DeFuca counties. The remaining counties mapped into this Heritage Area can expect an additional layer of regulation and bureaucracy in addition to the many levels of county, city, state, and federal regulations and policies, plans, and projects that are interfering with economies and harming agricultural lands and industry.

The Maritime Washington National Heritage Area purports to enhance economies via tourism dollars, yet if this were the case, the communities effected by the management of National Parks would be swimming in dollars and have no need of further enhancements via the National Park Service laying claim to additional management of private properties, and businesses within the mapped area of the Maritime Washington Heritage Area.

While the tourism industry is to some extent profitable to property owners and counties, it is not and should never be intended to be a main industry capable of sustaining the tax base and economic needs of the thousands of citizens in these Washington Counties.

As is the case in considering the designation of National Heritage Areas in the State of Washington there remain concerns about the possible direct or indirect effects of such designations on local communities and private property, including regulatory or bureaucratic interference with private properties.

A petition to the United States Congress requesting a denial of designation of The Maritime Washington National Heritage Act as requested through Bill numbers HR 2833 and S 1623.

Whereas Individual Property Owners expect the right to self-determination through elected and accountable representatives.

Whereas The Maritime Washington National Heritage Area is mapped so as to include nearly all of the entire Washington State Coastline.

Whereas National Heritage Areas are areas that are designated National Park Service Areas and are as such federally controlled areas where that control is handed off to a Private Trust Organization in terms of management of policy and funds.

Whereas The National Park Service and the The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation are not accountable to, and not elected by those they purport to represent.

Whereas To map private properties into a Heritage Area without the consent of the property owners is an affront to the contributions made by property owners, and to their right to self-determination within the framework of the Washington State Constitution.

Whereas The only recourse to being mapped into the heritage area is to be “given” the right to refrain from participating in any plan, project, program, or activity conducted within the Heritage Area; and in fact, this right would be hard if not nearly impossible, and potentially exhaustively and prohibitively expensive to retain for an individual property owner.

Whereas The is opt out clause is of little consequence when compared to the carrot and stick coercion of the private and federal dollars that will be involved in this area that will be tempting to cash strapped local municipalities where income has already been impaired due to state and federal decision making.

Whereas The private property owner cannot exert an equal level of power relative to the influence and lack of accountability if instead of our local elected representatives, we in this “heritage area” have stakeholders deciding what is in our best interest according to their own best interests and agendas, with the power through federal dollars to accomplish those agendas.

Whereas the proposal presented in the Maritime Washington National Heritage Act relies heavily on Federal Park Service monies, it is by no means certain those monies will be granted on a regular basis or to the amount requested by the Trust Organization. This can lead to unfunded projects or a heavy dependance on private organizations for funding. These uncertainties are evidence of the dangerous assumptions that the Heritage Area would be economically feasible for Washington State Coastal communities, or truly representative of the economic goals of that community.

Whereas Certainly, there remain concerns about the possible direct or indirect effects of such designations on local communities and private property, including regulatory or bureaucratic interference with private properties.

Whereas Citizens of the United States and Citizens of Washington State expect their tax dollars directed to the National Park Service to be prioritized to protect, enhance, and maintain existing National Parks and not to creating Heritage Areas.

Whereas We the signators to this petition pray for relief by requesting a denial by congress of The Maritime Washington National Heritage Act, HR 2833 and S 1623.

The Petition to Deny Maritime Washington National Heritage Area petition to Congressmen Dan Newhouse of the State of Washington and Committee Chair Congressman Tom McClintock was written by Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.