Casper resident Michelle Starkey emailed Rosa Koire after watching the California-based author and anti-U.N. Agenda 21 activist speak in YouTube videos.

“I sent her her airfare and asked her to come out,” Starkey said.

And while lambasting smart growth and sustainable development as cogs in a wheel of government manipulation, Koire was met with spontaneous standing ovations and outbreaks of applause from the crowd of about 100 at the Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Center one Saturday night in October.

“We have been manipulated throughout our entire lives,” Koire said during her visit to Casper on Oct. 27. “Throughout our childhood, throughout our schooling, throughout our media.”

At play here, Koire says, is Agenda 21 — a non-binding United Nations agreement signed in 1992 by nearly 200 world leaders, including then-President George H.W. Bush. Agenda 21 supports sustainable use of natural resources and town planning as responsible policies for a population-heavy 21st century.

Where expert planners see economically and environmentally sound policies like comprehensive land use planning and streets complete with avenues for driving, biking and walking, Koire sees underhanded government orders standardizing the world to make it easier for an impending takeover.

Among the planning techniques rained on in Koire’s lecture was the comprehensive plan, a common planning practice for cities nationwide. Koire decried a comprehensive plan as a “living document.”

“That’s a scary term. It means it can change at any time. It’s a communitarian document,” Koire said.

But Casper Planning Division planner Craig Collins sees neither malice nor sneaky government directives in Casper’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which is actually due for a makeover soon and will involve public opinion from the get-go, he said.

“When we do our comprehensive plan updates, there’s an extensive public process. I’m guided by public input from the beginning, if I’m doing my job correctly,” Collins said. “[Planning] is not a one-size-fits-all approach. What works in San Francisco or New York doesn’t necessarily work well in Wyoming. ... Balancing the community’s interest with the private property rights is always the biggest thing.”

As stewards of taxpayer dollars, planners “have a responsibility to manage growth to be fiscally responsible to our taxpayers,” Collins said.

And because costs of providing law enforcement, emergency and road services increase the farther a person lives from the county seat or city center, rural living is simply more expensive, Collins said.

“Where people get confused on the Agenda 21 side is that they think we’re trying to make everybody live that [urban] lifestyle. As a planner, we’re not saying you can’t live that [rural] lifestyle or have that acreage in the county. All we’re saying is, that doesn’t pay for itself.”

Vice Mayor and City Councilman Paul Meyer was in the audience at Koire’s speech, as were Natrona County Commission candidates Troy Bray and Linda Bergeron, school board candidate David Blaede and city council candidate Daniel Sandoval.

As the only elected official present, Meyer said he went to “hear their side,” and because he thinks elected officials should be vigilant in keeping up on public opinion.

“My perspective, from where I sit, is development is going to occur,” Meyer said. “I think it would be no fair to our citizens to not be engaged and try to make the best development we can.”

While Meyer said he does not buy Koire’s argument that urban planning trends these days come from a government greedy to control its citizens’ lives — “I don’t think Wyoming is under the influence of this federal thing they talk about,” Meyer said — he did share the crowd’s distrust of federal activity.

“We trust each other out here in Wyoming,” Meyer said. “I don’t have that same kind of trust for the federal government.”

Fear of government infringement was palpable, but mostly ungrounded, at the Parkway Plaza Hotel. Besides references to Casper’s recently proposed smoking ban as infringement on personal property rights, no real present-day threat from Agenda 21 was identified at the meeting. Conversation during a question-and-answer session after Koire’s presentation drifted quickly to cameras installed in high-density downtown areas, Huxley-esque scenarios of population inventories and a general distrust of change.

“We’re as concerned about Casper as anybody else is,” Starkey said, adding she is a taxpayer “just concerned about where our taxes are going.”

She collected donations at the back of the conference room that night, to help pay for Koire’s plane ticket home.

Reach county reporter Leah Todd at 307-266-0592 or leah.todd@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter @leahktodd.

(23) comments

sober21
sober21

The vice Mayor of Casper Paul Meyer stayed at the Koire meeting only long enough to see what it was about. He exited the room about twenty minutes into the hour and a half meeting. Apparently the truth hurts. Casper planner Craig Collins also cannot tell the truth. Open the City of Casper web page and click on Planning, Construction, Housing. Then go to the Planning and Zoning page. Then click onto Casper Area Comprehensive Plan. There you will find "Smartgrowth" which is recognized as THE guidline for Casper City Development. Also there is a ling to go to the EPA's webpage on nsmartgrowth that comes directly from Agenda 21. Also Gene Wallace of Natrona County Zoning and Planning studies this garbage. We need to elect officials that are not liers that want to sell us out to the ideas of the United Nations.

sober21
sober21

While visiting the internet, type into your search engine " Smartgrowth Hong Kong" You will find the same exact program that Casper uses. You are being lied to on a grand scale.

carlover
carlover

if you want alittle closer to home as well, type in plan cheyenne, buidling the wyoming we want, the senoran institute, community builders inc, and now for the grand fanally, TETON COUNTY IS A dues, paying member of iclie, and that my firneds is AGENDA 21 at its finest. right here in wyoming, 3 examples, if the people of goshen and platte county had not woke up they to would have been a dues member, but thanks to a group of concerned citiesn who kicked their arses out of their counties, building the wyoming we want failed. look it up. rich fairservs became a member in 2009, that was our planner until just recently, wake up people they are lieing to you and us all.

Vettester
Vettester

As I expected, the "two-magoos" have commented. I have one burning question though...what is a "communitarian-document"?

bane of trout
bane of trout

Aaaaaand, enter the wingnuts. You want no government? Well, there are places in the world where that happy utopia exists. That place is called Somalia.

Seriously, I like having cops living on my paved street, with my garbage picked up regularly. More to the point, I want Wyoming cities planned more thoughtfully so that we can travel about as we see fit, up to and including by - gasp! - bicycle. Putting my kids on their bikes in the middle of Casper traffic makes me shudder. Planning for bike lanes makes more sense than just about any other civil engineering priority.

But hey, the article's author already put it pretty well:

"Where expert planners see economically and environmentally sound policies like comprehensive land use planning and streets complete with avenues for driving, biking and walking, Koire sees underhanded government orders standardizing the world to make it easier for an impending takeover."

Yeah. No kidding. Someday we'll look back at these people and laaaaaaaugh.

SimplyAmerican
SimplyAmerican

Rosa Koire's comment on the Casper Comprehensive Plan being a "living document" is a direct result of her actually reading the Casper Comprehensive Plan. See the Executive Summary on page 8 of the pdf here: http://www.casperwy.gov/Portals/0/docs/Planning%20and%20Zoning/caspercomplan.pdf.

Communitarian basically means "collective". Thus a communitarian document is a document for a "collective community or society". Collectivism is the basis of socialism and communism - where collective Rights replace individual Rights. Rosa Koire's comment on the Casper Comprehensive Plan being a "living document" is a direct result of her actually reading the Casper Comprehensive Plan. See the Executive Summary on page 8 of the pdf here: http://www.casperwy.gov/Portals/0/docs/Planning%20and%20Zoning/caspercomplan.pdf.

Communitarian basically means "collective". Thus a communitarian document is a document for a "collective community or society". Collectivism is the basis of socialism and communism - where collective Rights replace individual Rights.

Approx. three years ago at the City of Casper site it stated that their Smart Growth plan for Casper was created by the EPA. I see that reference is now gone however.

TBA
TBA

“We trust each other out here in Wyoming,” Meyer said. Sure,you betcha,as far as you can throw an elephant.

bane of trout
bane of trout

Yes, SimplyAmerican, because having community input into planning is obviously a bad idea.

Do you not want cities to be planned? Do you honestly believe that a city plan is a socialist plot against individual rights? Do you not see that as a citizen, you are bound to obey the laws that created and guide the nation, state, and municipality in which you live?

I'm up for reasonable debate about how taxes are spent and whose policies improve the country. But the anti-Agenda 21 ideology is beyond the pale; it's remarkably anti-democratic in its belligerence.

Move to Somalia if you hate local government so deeply.

Wyomingsportsman
Wyomingsportsman

bane of trout, the problem is you move from California to get away from the people, then you come to Wyoming and want to bring California with you. If you want someone to move to Somalia, let it be you! Wyoming was founded on the premise of "the less government the better." We already have too much government in our lives!

bane of trout
bane of trout

Heh. I wasn't born in Wyoming, but moved here at age 12. . . from South Dakota.

And how in the heck does a person's former residence have any bearing on their right to determine the future of their town, anyway? Your thinking is straight out of a stereotype. So only "true" Wyomingites, as defined by you, should participate in local government?

What utter crap.

I simply disagree that we have "too much" government. We have just enough, and planning the town is part of it. I like my paved street. I like my public schools. I like having a city council that PLANS OUR ROADS.

side oiler
side oiler

So what's your take on Herr Cheney? He moved to Wyoming from Nebraska,or is that some how different and OK?

carlover
carlover

no body says no government, that is not nor was the message, and if you would have taken the time to attend i might give you some credit, but as you did not so you only get what the paper tells you. want to read a real article on the subject 2 days ago in the cheyenne news paper. very informative and well written. as for vetter, it works like this the community rights out way the private rights, and if you think that is ok then your the wing nut,

Vettester
Vettester

Hmmm......carlover, did I say that? I must have missed that sentence. Must be a gremlin in my keyboard that typed while I wasn't looking, like the one in your's that confuses your ingnorance for intelligence. Your problem is that you "assume". ....and you know what that means right?

GameOn
GameOn

Well said, Bane of Trout, on all counts. Unfortunately there's just no reasoning with the hoarders, junk collectors and conspiracy nuts who flock to this story. And I've also never understood the "I was born here" mentality either. So somehow, because his mother gave birth to him here, that gives someone more say over "his" state?

LuvCasper
LuvCasper

So any kind of government "plan" is related to UN control, therefore government shouldn't plan at all??? Geez you wingnuts have reached a new low of utter stupidity. On the plus side looks like you can't say the U.S. Congress is beholden to the scourge of planning for the future -- and that's a good thing???

River Rat
River Rat

Unfortunately, these comments are all over the map. And while I am personally concerned about Agenda 21, the references to local land use planning as "evil" are downright goofy.

Comprehensive planning, zoning, and many other land use tools have been around long before Agenda 21. When used properly, they actually protect property rights by allowing property owners, neighbors, prospective buyers, and developers know what to expect in their land's development potential. But Agenda goes far betond those harmless practices: it adds the mantra of "sustainable development" as justification for un-American population controls that could include prohibitions on gun ownership, personal decisions where one may live, and the use of public lands.

The speaker at this presentation (which I did not attend) blew it by lumping land use controls (no doubt draconian in her state) with the REAL issues of Agenda 21. This is a shame.

patroit
patroit

you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink. stupid people make me laugh and lazy ones even more so.

patroit
patroit

zoning protects? are you insane? 23 other counties in wyoming do not have zoning, and they have grown, look good and are prospering. 23 other counties said no to zoning and are happy they did, no one has stuck a feed lot next door to a home, and prime exaple of what its done to casper/ natrona county. Prime example: the 1998 land use plan said salt creek should all be light industrial, well what about the folks who live out there now that the county has decided after more then 15 years to pick up that plan again and force zone changes on the residents out there against their wills, after more then 50 years as a farms residents are now light industrial, forceing them to not be able to use their land like they intended? thats good? what about what about cheyennes talks about not being able to replace or put in a septic system on your rural lands anymore? so you own land but you want be able to live on it? what about nolan feed, lees glass, and many others who does not want to relocate after 50 years, but will be forced to after a civic center is put on the list of things to be built. what about mcmurry park that in the 1998 land use plan was to never be developed? but as you can see it sure was. planning and zoning only works for the rich and elite, it kills the little mans rights to use, develope or pass on to their kids. you just take 5 minutes and lean about zoning, and planning, and then ask your self what have they been doing for the last 10 years? making it nice and cozy for developers while trmapling the little guy. ya its a good thing, alright. you want a look at smarth growth, look at any big city that adopted it, they are failing. as for casper and natrona, did you know thay will be combining services such as code enforcement? this means no matter where you live your stuck with city rules. sounds good to you huh? you can own 1000 acres and will be gotten after for your wood for your wood buring stoves, you will be told you can only have one home on that 1000 acres because of building codes, yep soulds good dont it. oh lets not forget bridel trail, hes being forced to give an easement or risk being sued, yep there is a nice example of zoning and planning.

carlover
carlover

leah takes on rosa by phone utube, rosa koire interviews with casper star tribune. its insightfull, and wow. what a difference between a article and the real deal. perhaps the kids not ready for such big storys.

HodgePodge
HodgePodge

Wow. There happen to be a couple of really arrogant s.o.b's commenting on here about a matter they know absolutely nothing about. Mr. Meyer was only present at this meeting for a matter of minutes before getting up & walking out; so how is his interviewed opinion on this matter even listed as credible??? IT'S NOT!!! It also states in this article that there was "no present day threat from Agenda 21 identified." Besides our council's ridiculous zoning & planning that is stripping citizens of their property rights, allow me to provide the most dominant example of Agenda 21's implementation here in Casper: It seems to me that everybody has overlooked the transformation of the old Wyoming National Bank into the "Wyoming National Apartments" - retail at street level & apartments stacked on top!! Those apartments are government subsidized!! I should know - I helped build them!! Steve ( the owner/developer ) makes money on those apartments regardless of whether or not they're occupied or vacant. So, before you go blasting & castigating those for being "ignorant", "wing nuts" & "conspiracy theorists", first, pull your heads out of your asses, stop obtaining your information from a newspaper as biased as the CST & do some actual research. --& to think that you a-holes have the audacity to label US as "ignorant."

SimplyAmerican
SimplyAmerican

TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT, the following is the follow up interview between Rosa Koire and Ms. Todd after this article was published.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kggaqsvgdTY

Pay close attention to the reporter's comments regarding what the chief planner for Natrona County said: Rural property owners should pay more taxes than Casper property owners because they live too far from the city center. The planner thinks that he can charge rural property owners higher fees and taxes, and impose punitive conditional use permit fees if rural owners want to build on their land. This is supposed to be a punishment and penalty for living in rural areas even though the rural parcels use less services--but according to the reporter this is 'fair.' The reporter fails to include how UN Agenda 21 relates to regional plans, and how those regional plans are the same all over the US and world.

carlover
carlover

oh but she wanted examples of agenda 21 in casper, well ill give ya a few. charging more for services outside city services, to drive rural land owners out. = agenda 21. the popular corridor that is in the works all those homes will be destroyed to make a walkable , bikable path and roads, "but what about the old women and men who live in those houses, they will be forced out of homes they have had for more then 50 years, many low incoma familys live in that area as well. where do they go? the new super low income apratments out on the east side of town, that will cross a mans land and cut his ranch in half= agenda 21. the convention center that was never put to the voters costing us millions for the next 40 years, that is a PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP= agenda 21, putting private entities into business with our tax dollars. compeating with private sector for hotel and conventions=agenda 21 not to mention against the consitiution. civic center needs 15 million plus, they have 4m , who will benefit with this, the private entity who is building, running and collecting the profits.another PRIVATE business started with our tax dollars. thats just a few. i can name more, wonder what kept leha from finding all these?

Warren Kruse
Warren Kruse

"Comprehensive planning, zoning, and many other land use tools have been around long before Agenda 21."-another commentor

Gee, I'm getting old. I can remember when acknowledging Agenda 21 even existed was forbidden.

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