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Nieves and dozen witnesses: Stop ‘Agenda 21”

A dozen Missourians told a state Senate committee Tuesday that they should pass a bill to prevent the state, county, city and other government bodies from doing anything that supports the United Nations’ “Agenda 21.”

Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, told fellow members of the state Senate’s General Laws Committee that “Agenda 21” is an international effort to give governments more control of land, at the expense of private property owners.

The U.N. says it’s a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan intended to help combat poverty in developing countries and maintain worldwide natural resources so they last longer.

The United States was among the nations signing on to the policy in 1992.

Nieves gave committee members a booklet, “Sustainable Development or Sustainable Freedom?” which said the plan has its roots in a 1972 U.N. Conference on the Environment.

And by 1976, that booklet said, the U.N.’s “blueprint for comprehensive land use planning” because “private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice.”

Two women from the Lake of the Ozarks area — Stacy Shore and Jane Boyce — both testified that recent attempts by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to demolish properties near the Lake shoreline was a part of that international agenda.

Boyce noted Union Electric (now Ameren) built Bagnell Dam and created the Lake as a private entity, and the federal government never had rights to the land.

“Thirty percent of the lake was never owned by Union Electric in the first place,” she said, questioning FERC’s ability to claim control of any shore land.

Shore, a real estate agent, said: “FERC has redefined what our deeds actually look like.”

Dent County Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles told the committee the “sustainable community” idea “was being pushed on us” by at least three federal departments in 2011, “because they had grant money available.”

But his commission and others in the Meramec Regional Planning Commission rejected pressure to adopt agreements for that money.

“The tenets (of Agenda 21) undermine private property rights but are to be implemented worldwide,” Skiles testified.

Phillip Todd, a third-generation farmer in North Central Missouri, said the U.N. policy is aimed at showing that “agriculture is unsustainable.”

He called the government planning efforts “unconstitutional,” adding that “property is the cornerstone of our natural rights.”

Mark Harder, a Realtor and Ballwin city council member, told the Senate panel that “almost everything you touch has sustainability tied to it,” partly because the current “generation of urban planners who know no different.”

And former state Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, urged the senators to reject “the idea that a central planner can come in to our communities and somehow know better what’s good for them.”

No one testified against Nieves’ bill.

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