Contact: David Almasi, National Center for Public Policy Research, 202-543-4110
WASHINGTON, Mar. 7 /Standard Newswire/ -- U.S. Representative Frank Wolf's (R-VA) controversial Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Act is scheduled for a vote in the House Resources Committee today. It stalled last year after protests by property rights groups.
Wolf's legislation would create a 175-mile preservation zone from central
"Congressman Wolf has simply resurrected his failed Heritage Area initiative from last year, slapped a few cosmetic changes on it, and is now trying to push it through the new Congress," said Peyton Knight, director of environmental and regulatory affairs for the
The bill failed last year despite Wolf slipping a million-dollar earmark into the 2005 federal transportation bill to fund the principal lobbying group behind his bill.
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) introduced an alternative bill to address concerns found in the Wolf bill about private property rights, federal overreach and earmarks.
Key differences between the proposals:
* The Wolf bill would earmark $10 million federal tax dollars for interest groups; the Barlett bill would not. The Wolf bill recommends that these interest groups disburse their taxpayer-subsidized windfall to "states and their political subdivisions" for the purpose of promoting the land use policies the preservation groups favor.
Richard Falknor of the Maryland Taxpayers Association notes: "The
* Under the Wolf proposal, preservationist groups and the National Park Service would be directed to create a "management plan" that includes an "inventory" of property that should be targeted for preservation. The
"The Wolf bill would enable special interest groups and the federal Park Service to impose a narrow, preservationist agenda on the citizens of the area," says John Taylor, president of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy Research.
* The Wolf bill would not require that property owners be compensated for losses; the