Date: September 19, 1997
Creator: McHugh, Lois B
Description: During the 105th Congress, the House considered H.R. 901, legislation which would give Congress a role in designating any new U.S. national parks and monuments of world significance added to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Sponsors of the bill are concerned that designation of a U.S. site to the U.N. list, which is currently done under Executive Branch authority, does not protect the rights of private property owners or the States. The Administration and opponents of the bill argue that the designation has no affect on property rights and does not provide the United Nations with any legal authority over U.S. territory. H.R. 901 passed the House on October 8, 1997. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and H.R. 901. It will be updated as the legislation progresses through the House and Senate. Similar language concerning the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program has become law. For information on that legislation, see CRS Report 96-517 ENR, Biosphere Reserves: Fact Sheet.
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