FROM “IN DEFENSE OF RURAL AMERICA”
by Ron Ewart, President, NARLO, ©2014
Life on Earth offers many, what are called non-linear dynamic systems. Ecosystems, oceans, the weather, the stock market, commerce and trade, currency exchange, welfare and the poor and the behavior of people, are just a few examples. They are characterized by having many different variables that determine their instantaneous conditions. Each can be altered dramatically with small changes in one or more variables. Government, by far, is the worst perpetrator of messing with non-linear dynamic systems that end up having disastrous unintended consequences. These unintended consequences are abundantly apparent by observing the Obama Care disaster and the irreversible damage it is doing to the American health care system. Radical environmental law is doing the same thing to constitutional safeguards on property rights.
Every week we get calls or e-mails from landowners from all over America who have come up against the consequences of environmental law, passed by governments who are lobbied by radical environmentalists. The foundation of most environmental laws come from the United Nations radical Agenda 21 accord adopted by over 170 nations, including the United States, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The flawed premise of Agenda 21 is that man is a virus that must be rigorously controlled in all forms of behavior, in order to save the planet. That control, defined by Agenda 21, takes no account of American constitutional property rights. In fact, it tramples all over those rights.
Here is a response from one of those “faces” of radical environmentalism, a family that was destroyed by the Army Corps of Engineers, who charged the family with filling in a wetland, a federal offense, but the family wasn’t filling in a wetland. The family had all the permits to do what they were doing but the Army Corps ran roughshod over them in court and their permits were ruled inadmissible. The family lost a going business, their entire savings and their farm to the fight with the Army Corps of Engineers. They were literally left on the street with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The following words from the surviving spouse of this family are heart-wrenching.
“Until America becomes aware and fights justice for just “one individual family” being destroyed, how we were and others, it’s evident “the takings” will continue one by one until all is gone and the American dream left desolate and completely lost. After all, it wasn’t their fight ….. it wasn’t their property taken ….. it wasn’t their family destroyed to death!”
“It was corruption at the highest. We fought with truth long and hard. Courts did not want to hear the truth, only the lies that drove their agenda. That’s how the system works. It is entwined with a political agenda wrapped up in lies signed by high-powered attorneys and politicians. Yes, all in the name of fighting against “Private Property Rights”. A twisted unbelievable story but the facts are clear! It’s like how Benghazi is being handled now!”
“You are right on when you say that most people do not realize how big this issue is, with Americans being taken down one by one. Those that believe that way have not lost like we have. It was 3 years on Feb 9th that my husband passed instantly from so much stress. His hard work and fight all those years in what he believed in, finally overcame him when he had to face his children and what they lost too from the loss of our farm and business. It was too much for him. The stress just sort of ate away at him. He passed in an instant and I know God took him as easy as he could because he worked so hard his whole life for the love of his family and then lost it all. Our sons lost all and he could hardly face it. His faith in God was much but his heart was broken. We tried to start over so we could financially take care of our selves and we couldn’t even finish that when he went to rest. I am still trying to do little by little for myself, still hoping I can find a way to proceed, or get something together for some income.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we can assure you that this is not an isolated story. Here is another.
“In the middle of the night Raven heard clanging and banging near her hayfield, down by the tide gates that kept the Grays River from flooding her property at high tide. The tide gates were installed many decades ago near the mouth of the Columbia River, where it empties into the Pacific Ocean. These tide gates were essential in protecting prime agricultural property from tide and river flooding in the Grays River valley and other valleys feeding the Columbia River.”
“Raven bought her land in 1999, not knowing the horror she would endure at the hands of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) and two non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) known as the Columbia Land Trust (CLT) and another NGO, Ducks Unlimited (DU). Armed with millions of dollars of federal grant money, USFW and the two NGO’s set about to restore the Grays River to its pre-human days, in the pursuit of salmon habitat recovery.”
In Raven’s own words she writes: “CLT, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited and USFW, began immediately. A 36-inch tide gate was replaced with two 13-foot culverts. Sloughs were filled in. In 2005 CLT asked me to give them my land. I refused. More sloughs were filled in, a county road made lower in some areas and higher across my property. Trees with Eagles nests were bulldozed. The only thing left alive, were the mosquitoes. The chum salmon get swooshed onto my fields where they flop around and die. The river’s depth went from 21 feet to 9 feet due to the increased sediment and debris thrown into the river, thus destroying fish spawning areas. Much of their so-called restoration work was done in the dead of night so that it would go unnoticed by the locals.”
“On December 31, 2005 my home, property and barns were flooded. My home and the out buildings stayed immersed in water until March 17 2006. My utility room flooded, destroying my freezer, all the food, linen, and all supplies that were stored there. With each high tide, the water got deeper and the property itself stayed flooded until late June. Almost everything was a total loss. No automobiles ran, classic cars destroyed, a professional automotive shop and all the tools gone. My home had extensive damage. CLT requested I give them the property. Again, I refused.” “I repaired what I could. It took me two months to get enough money to buy a used van. In the meantime I had to hitchhike to work. My minimal insurance would not cover anything because the insurance company determined my loss was from third-party error. The ‘third-party’ refused my demand for damages.”
“When my property flooded, I had three-to-four foot waves crashing on to my house. It sounded as though I was at the beach. I live 25 miles inland. The water filled my property, then headed east, flooding Altoona highway and the Scott’s Bed & Breakfast. Since USFW and the NGO’s started this salmon recovery project, my property has flooded eleven times. I am out of money and have nothing left to fight with. The government agency and the NGO’s don’t care. It appears to me, that neither does anyone else.”
Raven eventually gave up, abandoned her land and moved to Idaho to live with relatives. This is just one more story out of the thousands of stories just like it, as these kinds of government/private partnerships are terrorizing rural landowners for the sake of fish, wildlife habitat restoration, endangered species and other environmental projects, driven by the United Nations Agenda 21 accord. Each one of these two stories is true because we have personally talked with both of them. Multiply these two stories by tens of thousands and you just might get the size and scope of the injustice being inflicted on rural landowners in the name of radical environmentalism. We could tell you many more such stories. The fact is, constitutional protected property rights under Agenda 21 have become meaningless, as the onslaught of environmental carnage through law and bureaucratic rule making continue unabated and the hapless American rural landowner, acting alone, is powerless to stop it.
As a tribute to these forgotten faces of radical environmentalism, we have prepared a 12-minute video based on one of our last year’s article with the same name. It is a must viewing for any urban or rural landowner.
These same types of individual injustices being inflicted on rural landowners are also being inflicted on tens of thousands of American taxpayers who find themselves in the jaws of the IRS. In the hopes we can provide some clarity to the IRS dilemma, be sure to visit our IRS information website HERE.
Ron Ewart, a nationally known author and speaker on freedom and property issues and author of his weekly column, “In Defense of Rural America,” is the President of the National Association of Rural Landowners (NARLO) (), a non-profit corporation headquartered in Washington State, an advocate and consultant for urban and rural landowners. He can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.