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Property Rights

Moratorium on fish farms adds one more assault on small business

Commentary by Karl Spees

Peninsula Daily News 12/18/17 – “State ends lease for PA fish farm”

Had Democrat Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton been elected in the 2016 Presidential election, no doubt she would have continued and expanded Barrack Hussein Obama’s Western Civilization destroying Agenda as just deserts for her “Basket of Deplorables“.    In 2016 WA State Democrat Public Lands Commissioner candidate, attorney Hillary Franz, was elected to office. (In my recent opinion letter, “Marbled Murrelet – Same Agenda Different Bird” chronicled how Hillary Franz took 600,000 acres of timberland on the WA Olympic Peninsula out of the multiple-beneficial-use category to the ‘lock-it-up and burn-it-down’ category.  She essential advanced the Dysfunction Democrat anti-Western Civilization Agenda of ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts‘.)
Continue reading

Citizens express concern over aspects of draft shoreline management plan

By Sue Forde and Lois Krafsky-Perry

The public, or at least about 80 of them, showed up for the public hearing at the Board of Clallam County Commissioners’ (BOCC) meeting on Dec. 12, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the Clallam County courthouse, to share their thoughts and concerns about the proposed draft Shoreline Management Plan (draft SMP)  under consideration for Clallam County.  Many more citizens and groups have sent in comments by email or mail.

The meeting began with County Planner Steve Gray, reading a synopsis of what has taken place over the course of the past nine years for the plan.  He failed to mention the Seattle environmental firm, ESA Adolfson, who actually put the majority of the plan together for the county. Gray recapped the 9-year process, from the “visioning” aspect to the current draft.  He referred to using the “State guidelines,” which were revised in 2016.  He talked about the 200 foot buffers on each side which is from the high water mark (represented by the most outer vegetation line from the creek or river).  There are more than 50 pages of maps, he said, and over 200 pages of the draft plan.  Then he explained what each chapter covers.

The County Commissioners will review over 700 comments made regarding the shoreline plan, he stated, before making a decision as to how to move forward.  After Gray’s lengthy review, the meeting was opened to the public hearing. Continue reading

Landowners express anger over water rights issue that blocks their ability to build

By Shannen Kuest
Skagit Valley Herald

The meeting was called by the Skagit chapter of the Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights.

About 120 people filled the American Legion Hall on Tuesday night to discuss the water and property rights issues facing Skagit County. Among them were property owners and Alliance members, who took the state’s 2001 instream flow rule to task.

When some at the meeting suggested building on their properties without county permission, one audience member shouted, “To hell with the county!”

Continue reading

The ROSS Approach to Puget Sound – Restoration Shell Game

Editorial by Pearl Rains-Hewitt
Behind My Back

Posted 5/11/2015

A highly convoluted “GAME OF RESTORATION” that is involving the sleight of many, many hands, in which hundreds of inverted Federal agencies, WA State agencies, WAC’S and /or other NGO, NUTSHELLS are moved about, and hard working taxpayers must attempt to spot which is the one, of many thousands, with  NGO’S or other government agencies are underneath the “RESTORATION” plan.




designing a unified plan, and making sure money is being spent efficiently, and our region is making progress,” says Gerry O’Keefe, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. Continue reading

Feds sued for blocking thousands of recreational routes in Plumas National Forest

The victims include all citizen users of public lands — including the disabled

Pacific Legal Foundation
SACRAMENTO, CA;  March 18, 2015: Representing two California counties and a broad coalition of associations and individuals who value public access to national forests, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) today sued the federal government for acting to prohibit motorized travel on thousands of roads and trails in Plumas National Forest that have been used for decades for responsible and legally permissible recreational purposes.

Plumas National Forest is a 1,146,000-acre National Forest in the Sierra Nevada, in northern California.  The lawsuit argues that the U.S. Forest Service, a division of the Department of Agriculture, violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), by blocking access to much of Plumas National Forest without a careful, factually specific review of environmental impacts, including consequences for the public. Continue reading

LF defends Emerald Isle beach homeowners against a “taking” by town officials

News Release from PLF

Town of Emerald Isle, N.C.; March 19, 2015: This week, the nation’s leading property rights defense organization stepped in to represent an Emerald Isle couple who are fighting the town’s unconstitutional imposition of a 20-foot-wide government driving lane across their privately owned sandy beach property.

Donor-supported Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is a public interest legal organization that defends limited government and property rights in courts across the country.  Because of the importance of the Emerald Isle case, PLF now represents beachfront homeowners Greg and Diane Nies, free of charge, in challenging the Town government’s unconstitutional seizure of their property rights.  PLF, which is headquartered in Sacramento and maintains an Atlantic Center based in Florida, is representing the Nies along with Keith Anthony, Esq., and North Carolina’s Morningstar Law Group. Continue reading

River levee proposed setback to be revealed by agencies

Posted 3/13/2015

An open house to be held on March 19, 2015, will be given by the agencies who plan on moving back the levees (dikes) along the Dungeness River.  (See proposed map below)

See the Notice here: levee setback mtg., 3.19.2015

In 1997, the Dungeness River Management Team (DRMT) promoted the “restoration” ideas as set out in the “Recommended Restoration Projects for the Dungeness River” or so-called “Blue Book” developed by the Dungeness River Restoration Work Group. Continue reading

Appeals court upholds protection for threatened seabird

Posted: Mar 02, 2015 4:22 PM
Herald Whig

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit by the timber industry seeking to strip Endangered Species Act protection from a threatened seabird that nests in old-growth forests.

Environmentalists say the ruling Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., should mark the end of a 15-year legal battle over logging trees used by marbled murrelets along the coasts of Oregon, Washington and northern California. Continue reading

WA State: Bills Affecting Property Rights Weekly report

Feb. 16, 2015
goto CAPR WEB site

Washington Legislative Bills Weekly Update

Another busy week in Olympia with hearings taking place on many bills effecting your property rights. (Thus we have a very long report today) Use the links below to contact committee members and your legislators on the bills important to you.


Bills before the Washington Legislature Affecting Property Rights
Full Weekly Report February 16, 2015
NEW Bill
HB 2046 Streams, definition in SMA
CAPR Recommends DO PASS CAPR rating = 10 (Outstanding) Impact is Critical
Establishes a definition of “streams” in the Shoreline Management Act to mean naturally occurring bodies of periodic or continuously flowing water contained within a channel.Excludes certain water features from the definition of “streams,” including artificially constructed waterbodies, hydroelectric canals, and natural channels or swales that would normally be dry, but for the presence of irrigation and irrigation return water. Continue reading

Bills before the Washington Legislature Affecting Property Rights

from Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR)
Full Weekly Report January 24, 2015
NEW Bill
SB 5407
CAPR Recommends DO PASS
2015 Senate Bill 5407: Concerning existing lots and the Skagit instream flow rule

  1. Introduced by Sen. Kirk Pearson (Monroe) (R) on January 21, 2015, For Bill Information, please click HERE.
    • Referred to the Senate Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development Committee on January 21, 2015.

Summary from

Continue reading

Clallam Shoreline Master Program – Comments and rights

Jan. 19, 2015

SMP [Shorline Master Program] Public Comment (159)

Clallam County Planning Commission

Public Forums

Pearl Rains Hewett


I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Clallam County Planning Commission, for recognizing the need for this additional  step in the SMP Update  process, and voting to provide the public forums  for us.

I have appreciation and respect  the dedicated members of Planning Commission that made the (4) regional, informal, public forums a reality. The choice of evening forums, and  having the presenters go to meeting at the four locations, allowed working people to attend.


I did attend two public forums

Jan. 8, 2015 Port Angeles Public Forum

The presentation was well done and applauded

Jan 14, 2015 Sequim Public Forum Was a mini- presentation


Jan. 8, 2015 Public Forum at the PA Senior Center

It was very encouraging to see our New County Commissioner Bill Peach, our new DCD Director Mary Ellen Winborn, members of the Clallam County Planning Commission and Home Rule Charter Commission  in attendance. It is vital to have our local representative, Involved in, listening to public questions, comments and the many concerns of our local citizens on the SMP Update.




Continue reading

ORPC files lawsuit challenging Dungeness Water Management Rule

from ORPC website

Posted Jan. 6, 2015

December 31, 2014 – A Petition for Declaratory Judgment has been filed with the Thurston County Superior Court to determine the validity of the Dungeness Water Management Rule by the Olympic Resource Protection Council (ORPC).  ORPC has been critical of the rule because of its significant and  unnecessarily costly impacts on Clallam County residents seeking to utilize their properties in a manner that is consistent with established county land use designations and planning policies and with the private well exemption under Washington State water law. Continue reading

Conservatives Train Fire on Government ‘Land Grab’ in Key Defense Bill

by Melissa Quinn | The Daily Signal

Posted 12/4/2014

Parkland and wilderness provisions added to a defense policy measure have outraged friends of the military, who call the move both a “land grab” and a slap at men and women serving in the armed forces.

Considered must-pass legislation, the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act details Republicans’ and Democrats’ military policy priorities. It ranks high on the priority list of outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for the current lame-duck session.

But this year the annual defense authorization includes a multitude of non-defense provisions such as new parks, wilderness areas and a national museum celebrating women. The move irks conservatives and other proponents of a “clean” bill. Continue reading

Skagit County backs couple’s right to use their well

Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 6:00 am | Updated: 8:55 am, Tue Dec 2, 2014.

By Daniel DeMay | Skagit Valley Herald

Richard and Marnie Fox have a right to use the well on their Sedro-Woolley property, regardless of an instream flow rule that limits water use in the Skagit Basin, Skagit County said in a response filed last Monday in Skagit County Superior Court.

The document is in response to the Foxes’ motion asking the court to force the county to issue a building permit — an action the county has not taken because a Department of Ecology rule appears to say there is no legal access to water in much of rural Skagit County.

In the response, the county argues that Ecology removed a paragraph from the draft 2001 instream flow rule before publication that would have allowed rural landowners to continue the use of permit-exempt wells for single homes.

Continue reading

The Out-of-Town NGO’s Are Back

Posted on

by Pearl Rains Hewett,

Funding for this work is provided by SURFRIDER FOUNDATION, PATAGONIA, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Rose Foundation and the Coastal Watershed Institute.



Big meeting? Landowner Update and Discussion?


WHO INVITED THEM? Who’s collaborating with them?


Continue reading

The Government Is Controlling Private Property to Save Frog Species Not Seen in 50 Years

By Scott Blakeman
For the Daily Signal

Posted 9/7/2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is seeking to protect the dusky gopher frog on the Endangered Species List by designating over 1,500 acres of private property in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana as a “critical habitat” for the embattled amphibian.

But here’s the kicker: The frog hasn’t been seen on the land in question for over 50 years. Continue reading

Fears of EPA ‘land grab’ create groundswell against water rule

The Hill

Posted 7/2/2014

Lawmakers are up in arms over an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that they fear could give federal officials expansive new powers over private property and farmland.

The EPA is seeking to redefine what bodies of water fall under the agency’s jurisdiction for controlling pollution. The scope of the final Clean Water Act (CWA) rule is of critical importance, as any area covered would require a federal permit for certain activities.The rule is facing a groundswell of opposition from lawmakers, who fear the EPA is engaged in a “land grab” that could stop farmers and others from building fences, digging ditches or draining ponds. Continue reading

Gopher’s ‘endangered’ status irks property rights leaders

by Jeff Rhodes | The Olympian

Posted 6/2/2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized Endangered Species Act protection on Wednesday for four subspecies of Mazama pocket gophers and designated 1,607 acres of protected critical habitat in Washington’s Thurston County, including at the Olympia Airport.

The decision was part of a landmark settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity requiring the agency to speed protection decisions for 757 species across the country. Continue reading

BLM secret memo outlines plan to lock up an area as big as Colorado and Wyoming combined

By Thomas Mitchell | 4th St. 8

Posted 5/21/2014

President Obama today was to announce the creation of a national monument in southern New Mexico — the 500,000-acre Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

It looks suspiciously like an opening round in a bid to carry out a plan — first outlined in a secret Bureau of Land Management in 2010 — that would lock up abut half of the BLM’s 264 million acres, about the size of Colorado and Wyoming combined, and halt most productive private use, such as ranching and mining and oil and gas exploration.

The Washington Times reported that about half of the land involved in today’s announcement is to be set aside as wilderness, meaning it would be closed to vehicles and construction and mining. Local ranchers say it’s a land grab that will interfere with their grazing rights.

The Congressional Western Caucus released the 2010 memo — which is headed “Internal Draft – NOT FOR RELEASE” and labeled “Treasured Landscapes” — Tuesday. It lists more than two dozen specific areas from which the agency seeks to lock out most human activity. Three of those are in Nevada. Continue reading

Enemy at the gates: New Mexico plots criminal charges against feds in land fight

Gov’t, locals want to fend off a new Bundy-type clash

By Valerie Richardson | The Washington Times

Posted 5/26/2014

New Mexico ranchers are plenty mad over the U.S. Forest Service’s refusal to open a gate blocking their cattle from reaching water, but all sides say they are working hard to avoid an armed showdown reminiscent of Nevada’s Bundy ranch skirmish any time soon.


Continue reading

EPA News from Liberty Scene

Rep. Darrell Issa calls for Pebble Mine probe

House Republicans are calling for an investigation into whether the Environmental Protection Agency planned to kill a controversial Alaska Copper-and-gold mine from its inception, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.


The EPA last month moved toward issuing a preemptive veto of a key mining permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska.  The agency said the mine would destroy salmon runs that are home to nearly half the world’s sockeye salmon, and would disrupt the lives of native tribes.


House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., urged EPA’s internal watchdog to investigate the agency’s handling of the Pebble project Friday, saying it had planned to use a preemptive veto to block the mine from outset.

(Washington Examiner)



Wyoming welder faces $75,000 a day in EPA fines for building pond on his property

All Andy Johnson wanted to do was build a stock pond on his sprawling eight-acre Wyoming farm. He and his wife Katie spent hours constructing it, filling it with crystal-clear water, and bringing in brook and brown trout, ducks and geese. It was a place where his horses could drink and graze, and a private playground for his three children. 


But instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, the Wyoming welder says he was harangued by the federal government, stuck in what he calls a petty power play by the Environmental Protection Agency. He claims the agency is now threatening him with civil and criminal penalties – including the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine. 



Will the Supreme Court permit EPA climate fraud?

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. The case will determine how far EPA can extend its regulatory overreach, to control “climate changing” carbon dioxide from power plants and other facilities – by ignoring the Constitution’s “separation of powers” provisions, rewriting clear language in the Clean Air Act, and disregarding laws that require the agency to consider both the costs and benefits of its regulations and what it is regulating. Put more bluntly, the Court will decide whether EPA may deceive and defraud the American people, by implementing regulations that have no basis in honest science and will be ruinous to our economy. It is the most important energy, economic and environmental case to come before the Court it in decades. 




Watch Trey Gowdy’s epic speech on the floor of Congress that may be a defining moment for America 

We’ve finally gotten to the point where Congress had to pass a law to make sure that the laws they pass are enforced.


In a speech that Representative Trey Gowdy really shouldn’t have had to make, he explains angrily to the Congress what its job is, and to Obama what his job is. Members were heard to applaud as he reached the crescendo.


Five Democrats joined Republicans in passing a bill that directs Obama to follows the laws – clearing the House by a 233 to 181 vote.

(IJ Review)



California’s drought is a dam problem 

Congressman Tom McClintock brings some common sense to California’s drought crisis. There is no reason for the current drought problem. California needs more water storage and more dams. Instead Sacramento is considering the opposite – they want to remove dams.




IG report: EPA employees used federal charge cards for gym memberships, gift cards

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees used federal charge cards to buy gym memberships, gift cards, hotel space and items at dance halls and music venues, according to an inspector general report released Wednesday.


“The EPA did not provide effective oversight to ensure that purchase card holders and approving officials comply with internal control procedures,” according to the report, entitled ”Ineffective Oversight of Purchase Cards Results in Inappropriate Purchases at EPA.” Seventy-five of 80 reviewed transactions were not in compliance with EPA policies.


The Liberty and Property Rights Coalition is committed to promoting and preserving Constitutional rights to liberty and property in public policy and the law.

A service of Liberty and Property Rights Coalition, 2013.

Opt-out bill hailed as first sign GMA could be eliminated

by Jeff Rhodes
The Olympia Report

Posted 3/17/2014

Property rights advocates are hailing a bill passed overwhelmingly by the Washington State Senate on Tuesday as potentially the first crack in the Growth Management Act dam.

Passed by the Legislature in 1990, the GMA requires state and local governments to manage Washington’s growth by identifying and protecting critical areas and natural resource lands, designating urban growth areas, preparing comprehensive plans and implementing them through capital investments and development regulations. Continue reading

Farmers win land-use fight; ‘food freedom’ next

by Kenric Ward
for BizPac Review and

Posted 3/17/2014

LOCUST GROVE, Va. — Martha Boneta, a big-spirited small farmer, calls newly enacted land-use legislation a “landmark event” that will boost agricultural entrepreneurs in Virginia.

“No Virginian should be forced to lose everything when they fight city hall,” said Boneta, who is locked in a costly legal battle with Fauquier County officials over use of her farmland.

State lawmakers sided with Boneta this year, giving farmers protection from overreaching bureaucrats. Continue reading

Supreme Court to Government: Stop Railroading Property Owners

by Trevor Burrus
for Cato Institute

Posted 3/17/2014

Today, in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, the Supreme Court rebuked another attempt by the Obama administration to adopt a novel and extreme litigating position that was contrary to well-established precedent. Eight justices agreed with Cato’s amicus brief, holding that the United States does not retain a property interest in former railroad lands that are no longer used by railroads. Although this may seem like an arcane issue for Cato to be involved in, the case actually resembles a typical takings case, but this time the government tried to define a property right out of existence rather than pay compensation to the owners. Continue reading

U. S. Supreme Court rules in favor of property owner over railroad right-of-way

by David Roland, for
Freedom Foundation

Posted 3/17/2014

On March 10, 2014, eight of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices responded to the U.S. government’s efforts to bully property owners by punching the bully square in the nose. Continue reading

What is ‘PILT’ and why do we need a permanent solution?

Arizona Capitol Times

Feb. 17, 2014

The acronym “PILT” is more than just an odd abbreviation. PILT stands for Payment In Lieu of Taxes, a program created by Congress in 1976. Simply put, PILT provides federal funding to counties that host large tracts of non-taxable federal land, reimbursing the counties for services required on those lands and making it possible for county governments to provide police and fire protection, road maintenance and necessary health care services.

In the nearly four decades since PILT’s creation, counties all across America — and especially in Arizona and the West — have come to rely on these funds, especially after the recent economic downturn slashed county budgets and resources to the bone and beyond. Continue reading

Washington’s Fish and Wildlife riles Asotin County with land buys

Kerri Sandaine
Lewiston Tribune

 Posted 3/9/2014

ASOTIN, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has gobbled up more than 10 percent of the 410,240 acres in Asotin County and that’s ruffled some feathers.

A group of Asotin County residents say purchases by the state agency are having an adverse effect on every other property owner in the county, whether they live in the country or city.

When that land goes off the tax rolls, everyone else winds up absorbing the added tax burden, said Brad Forgey, of Asotin. He and other members of the agricultural community are hoping changes are made at the state level to address the problem. Continue reading

Editorital: A War on Wild

Editorial series by Pearl Rains-Hewett

Posted 1/31/2014

Part 1:

There is a time to be silent and a time to speak

 A time to keep and a time to throw away

 There is a time for every activity

 Now is the time for many of us to speak of a War On Wild and keep our rights.

Is it your time?

We are American citizens, we are private property owners, we are the stewards of our pristine forest land, it is our heritage, it is who we are and what we do, it is our way of life, it is our source of employment and income, it provides our shelter, the roof over our heads, food on our tables and heat from our hearth, indeed it has been  the  lot of our lives for many generations of local  families.

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil Continue reading

Down on the farm, property-rights fight gains ground in VA

By Kenric Ward | Virginia Bureau

RICHMOND, Va. — Fauquier County farmer Martha Boneta is hailing a bill that would give property owners a legal club to pummel overreaching government officials.

Boneta knows the stakes. In a widely reported showdown that sparked pitchfork protests in the community, Fauquier officials cited Boneta for selling homemade products on her farm. The county threatened her with $5,000-per-day fines for hosting a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls, and for advertising pumpkin carvings.

Calling her ongoing legal battle with government officials a “prime example why we need legislation,” Boneta praised HB 1219, introduced by state Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas.

“This could be the difference between keeping small family farmers on the farm, or being forced off the land,” Boneta told Tuesday.

HB 1219 provides remedies, including damages and attorney fees, when localities “abuse zoning laws and violate constitutional rights,” Marshall said.

Continue reading

The Growth Management Act: Just another Central Planning Failure

by Glen Morgan
Freedom Foundation

Posted 1/25/2014


Last Thursday, thanks largely to Senator Pam Roach (R-Auburn), the Washington State Senate provided an opportunity to discuss the Growth Management Act (GMA) in a public work session. Last year,I wrote about a less formal work session held by Representative Dean Takko (D-Longview). However, the recent Senate work session demonstrated notable willingness to look at Washington State’s GMA in a comprehensive manner without constraining the comments of those who testified. The complete video from the hearing is here (starting at about 37 minutes). Continue reading

IJ Scores Major Federal Court Victory In Massachusetts Civil Forfeiture Case – Motel Caswell is Safe from Federal Seizure

The Institute for Justice

Posted 12/28/2013

Arlington, Va.—In a major triumph for property rights, a federal court in Massachusetts dismissed a civil forfeiture action against the Motel Caswell, a family-run motel in Tewksbury, handing a complete victory to owners Russell and Patricia Caswell.  In one of the most contentious civil forfeiture fights in the nation, Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts concluded, based on a week-long bench trial in November 2012, that the motel was not subject to forfeiture under federal law and that its owners were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing. Continue reading

Waterfront homes may become victim to Port Orchard walking ‘trail’

By Tracy Vedder 

Posted 11/29/2013

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — A handful of Port Orchard homeowners are fighting city hall to protect their way of life.  They fear the city wants to take their waterfront homes to build a pedestrian path.

Randy Jones is one of those homeowners; he bought his home, which rests on pilings over the Port Orchard beach, 35 years ago.  He’s made friends with the seagulls, hand-raised orphan geese, and still waits anxiously for high tide and salmon season.  “The tide comes in…you can see salmon coming underneath your house.”
Continue reading

LPRC to Co-Host Property Rights Seminar in Klamath Falls, OR Nov. 16

Posted 11/7/2013

Danny Martinez, Ramona Hage Morrison, Michael Shaw and Debbie Bacigalupi are presenting a seminar geared to provide property owners with some of the steps necessary to protect property rights including water rights against government intrusion.  Speakers will focus on the Klamath water crisis, property rights unique to range land ranches, and Constitutional protections.  Martinez, CEO of Liberty and Property Rights Coalition (LPRC), will also highlight the purpose of LPRC in its mission to provide ongoing education and support to property owners involved in attacks on their property rights. Continue reading

Obama’s Park Services Kick Property Owners out of Homes until Shutdown Ends

Las Vegas, Nevda


Joyce Spencer is 77-years-old and her husband Ralph is 80. They’ve been spending most of their time in the family ice cream store since going home isn’t an option.

The Spencers never expected to be forced out of their Lake Mead home, which they’ve owned since the 70s, but on Thursday, a park ranger said they had 24 hours to get out.

“I had to go to town today and buy Ralph undershirts and jeans because I forgot his pants,” Joyce Spencer told Action News.

The Stewart’s Point home sits on federal land, so even though the Spencers own their cabin outright, they’re not allowed in until the government reopens. Continue reading

Jewell Announces Over $40 Million for State and Local land acquisition; reiterates call for full funding of LWCF

The Westerner

Posted 9/18/2013

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that $40.03 million is being made available in allocations from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and will be distributed to all 50 States, the Territories, and the District of Columbia for state-identified outdoor recreation projects. LWCF state grant funds are awarded through Federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in America’s state and local public outdoor recreation projects.

Secretary Jewell also underscored the importance of President Obama’s proposal to require mandatory, full funding of the program by 2015. Continue reading

California raisin grower battles federal order taking almost half his crop

KERMAN, CALIF. –  Marvin Horne had been praying for what drought-struck central California’s famous farmlands need little of — a good dry spell.

 His acres of raisin vines require two weeks of uninterrupted scorching sun to shrivel the grapes here in this gentle valley of sleepy fruit groves and yawning blue skies.

Unfortunately, an unseasonal inch and a half of rain earlier in the week has partially rehydrated his crop, laid out to dry on reams of paper running the length of the vines.

As raisin grapes produce only a single crop per season, Horne could lose a hefty slice of his harvest. But, like all raisin growers in the United States, he is used to having part of his crop taken from him. Continue reading

Report: Property Rights in America Weakening

United States’ property rights protections ranked 17th in the world

The strength of property rights in the United States has declined over the past four years, a new report on property rights around the world has revealed.

The Property Rights Alliance released its annual International Property Rights Index on Tuesday. The index ranks 131 countries based on how they score in three areas of property rights protection: legal and political environment, physical property rights, and intellectual property rights.

The United States was ranked 17th in the world for property rights protections. Continue reading

Putting Bicycles Ahead Of People


Written by Tom DeWeese, guest post
for Climate Change Dispatch

Posted 8/18/2013

This is a story of raw power, collusion and government corruption. A story that is taking place in countless towns all over America. A story of “reinvented” government, where self-proclaimed private “stakeholders” and pressure groups set the rules, local elected officials rubber stamp them, and non-elected regional governments enforce them, sometimes with an iron fist – all with no input from citizens, and apparently no rights for private citizens and property owners to stop them or even have a say.

It’s the story of the destruction of private property rights in America. Of injustice and tyranny. Of unaccountable government run amok. We need to take action! (See below, in blue, for what you can do.) Continue reading

Washington State Congresswoman says ‘fiscal responsibility’ behind decision to cut federal agency spending

By Stevie Mathieu 
Columbian Politics Reporter

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Conservationists cried foul this week when a bill that would slash money for land and water conservation projects began moving through Congress. They’re putting pressure on U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler to support the fund.

The Camas Republican sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, as well as its environmental subcommittee, which passed the bill in question. Even though Herrera Beutler plans to vote in favor of the bill, it doesn’t mean she supports zeroing out the Land and Water Conservation Fund, her spokesman Casey Bowman said.

Beyond the conservation fund provision, the House bill allots $24.3 billion next year to the federal Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service and other agencies. The bill would reduce funding to those agencies by 19 percent when compared with 2013 spending levels.

Herrera Beutler’s final decision on the bill came down to fiscal responsibility, Bowman said. Continue reading

Tales of Tyranny

Freedom Foundation

Posted 7/20/2013

Are you really free?

You might think: “Of course I am.” After all, no one’s telling you how to live, work, or act on a daily basis. Right?  

The reality might surprise you.  

Yesterday’s “American Dream” is today’s regulatory nightmare, where property owners are guilty until proven innocent, officials grant permits only to take them back again, and local communities that plan ahead get punished when the rules change. 

These are “Tales of Tyranny,” stories of people hurt by high-handed officials and short-sighted policies. It doesn’t have to be this way. The first step toward a solution is just spreading the word, showing examples of the personal costs that out-of-control government inflicts on regular people – people much like you. 

Now tell us: Are you really free?

Click here to view several stories about how environmental groups and bureaucracy is stopping people like you and me from using our own property.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.]

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Note about Searching this Website

If you wish to use this website to research by topic or keyword, there are TWO search engines - one for the current stories as posted in our Wordpress format, and the ARCHIVE search engines, which goes back in time to 1999.  Be sure to use both to access stories relative to your search that covers both time periods. - Ed.