Have any readers been following the story of the National Heritage Area the federal government is trying to locate in North Dakota? For information on National Heritage Areas themselves, follow the link. There does not seem to be much useful information there. at least not that admits to causing any of the grief the people of ND have been dealing with.
Allegedly, a law was passed to designate a large area of ND as a NHA. Because of this, properties within this NHA were subject to multiple regulations and restrictions simply because this imaginary line around the NHA now included these properties. The residents and property owners were not notified or contacted.
Apparently, the designation can be either an opt-out or and opt-in designation. In an opt-out designation, the residents must jump hoops to have their property removed from this area. With an opt-in designation, residents can request to have their property included.
In ND, the designation was opt-out. What does this mean for the land owners? Basically their land was suddenly part of some government program of which they had no warning. Their property was suddenly under a rash of federal regulations, restricting the use and developement thereof.
And since this was done with little or no warning, the residents had no chance to opt out before it all got rolling.
Many North Dakotans are reasonably upset about this.
Rob at SayAnythingBlog has a little write up on the backpedaling the lawmakers are doing. Also of note, since he's on my hero list, is Oklahoma Senator Coburn's proposed amendment which would require all National Heritage Areas to come under the opt-in designation.