Small town becomes U.N. free zone in Utah

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    The small town of LaVerkin has a resolution on the ballot for November — one that takes a stand against the United Nations.

    The resolution would protect the town of 3,500 in southern Utah from obeying United Nations policy by becoming a U.N.-free zone.

    By definition, a resolution is not legally binding. It is an organized will of the people or opinion. Therefore, if the new resolution is passed in November, it will not be binding. This is not what the original proponents of the U.N.-free zone envisioned, but they are willing to settle.

    Al Snow, a member of the LaVerkin City Council and main proponent of the U.N.-free zone, first drafted an ordinance that would be law binding.

    On July 4, 2001, Snow called a public hearing to discuss becoming a U.N.-free zone. Some in attendance called the United Nations “anti-God and anti-family.” Snow said he felt it would be appropriate to meet on the fourth of July because the city was declaring its independence from the United Nations.

    Dan Howard, the city’s Mayor, was in attendance. His speech, which was in approval of passing the U.N.-free ordinance, received a standing ovation.

    “(Freedom is) why people clamber, cross rivers and deserts, and suffer in the holds of rusty ships to get to America,” Howard said. “I don’t think that we should sell-out our principles, which are key to our greatness, to try to achieve the approval of the U.N.”

    The ordinance passed with a 3-2 vote. Gary McKell, a city councilman who opposes a U.N.-free ordinance, said the meeting was not a fair representation of the town because many people in attendance were not residents of LaVerkin. Some of the most vocal were residents of Toquerville, a neighboring city.

    McKell is against the U.N.-free ordinance because he wants to deal with issues that affect the city and people now, not what he thinks are political or hypothetical things.

    Snow said he realizes this ordinance will not directly affect the people now, as fixing a pothole would, but views it as a preventive measure.

    Snow said because the city is not protected from the United Nations, the city’s water has a chance it could be shut off. LaVerkin is the gateway to Zion’s National Park. Snow said the park could become a part of a United Nations proposed biosphere. This biosphere would have “buffer zones,” which must follow rules from the biosphere area. If Zion’s National Park became a biosphere, LaVerkin would be included in the buffer zone.

    Snow said a previous city in Oregon within the buffer zone had its water shut off, and he does not want that to happen to LaVerkin. He said this ordinance is a precaution.

    Ron Terry, the chief naturalist park spokesman for Zion’s National Park, said the national park has no intentions on becoming a biosphere. Furthermore, a water law passed in 1996 allocates water to Zion’s National Park and the surrounding counties.

    The biosphere, if implemented, would not allow human development. Snow said these biospheres dot the land and violate Americans’ rights to use the land.

    “The earth was made for man and man had dominion over the earth, and God would want us to take care of it,” Snow said. He said the United Nations Agenda 21, which is a United Nations environmental recommendation, changes the idea of being stewards over the earth to, “the earth has dominion over man, man has to go.”

    Victor Iverson, a member of the City Council who backed the ordinance, said, “we are stewards” over the land. By man not being able to build roads in nature, many would not be able to enjoy the land.

    He said “if roads are not able to be constructed, children and grandparents would not be able to enjoy nature. Therefore, the only people who would be able to go camping would be the “dope-smoking granolies,” Iverson said.

    After the ordinance passed, it received national attention. Mark Shurtleff, the attorney general of Utah, came to LaVerkin and reviewed the ordinance. Upon reviewing the written form, he found it unconstitutional and had to be rewritten.

    The ordinance was re-written. However, during elections, a new city council was voted in. They took the status of the ordinance down to resolution. Soon it was eradicated all together.

    Snow petitioned the decision by obtaining more than 400 signatures to put the resolution on the ballot this November. He said the resolution will be voted back into effect because he has completed a random survey in which most people said they support the resolution.

    Many residents voice their opinion about the United Nations. In a survey conducted by the Daily Universe, residents were asked to describe the United Nations. Some described it as “darkness,” “world government,” the “anti-Christ,” and that it is run by people with “self-serving agendas.”

    “We will stand united in our fight for freedom and be an example to other cities to do the same,” said one survey taker who was originally from Denmark, but a resident of LaVerkin.

    Two other regions have become U.N.-free zones following LaVerkin. They are Grant County, Ore. and Binghan, N.M.

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