OT? "Closed Unless Posted Open"greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
During the past decade the federal government has been proceeding with a number of policies to "firm up" their shakey title to public domain lands claimed as "federal lands" in the West. Some believe that the movement is because these lands are collateralized for our public debt. The feds have shuffled split estate interests off historic grazing alottments through land exchanges with trusts and demanded mineral "royalties" from gold miners, (as if the federal government held the type of underlying claim to the land as a feudal king.) And, of course, they have virtually eliminated logging in many parts of the West.
One of the latest ploys is the new US Forest Service road policy of "closed unless posted open." (Currently it is "open unless posted closed.") Dombeck plans to announce this new policy on October 13. Senator Larry Craig is trying to muster Congressional protest to halt the move and preserve public access to our National Forests.
An interesting sidebar to this ongoing saga of "locking up the west" is the current road battle being waged in Elko Nevada. This is not the first Western battle. They are being waged hot amd heavy in rural communities throughout the West. There is a growing "rural rage." If you are not in a rural community, you are probably not even aware of it because the mainstream press doesn not cover such things. It is here and it is severe in many areas.
Free Use for educational purposes From the Elko Daily Free Press http://edfp.com/jarbidge/ Latest Jarbidge News - Jarbidge rebels undaunted by threats Wed, October 6, 1999 by Chris Fotheringham
Supporters of this weekend's Jarbidge work party vowed last night to stay the course in their efforts to reopen South Canyon Road despite threats of arrest and mounting political pressure to quell the rebellion.
"What we have here is an oppression of government," Elko businessman O.Q. "Chris" Johnson told the 45 people who attended the organizational meeting at Stockmen's Hotel and Casino. Calling those in attendance "patriots," Johnson said, "We're going to go up there with a show of support for what the county started to do."
Anticipating a "multitude" in the hundreds, the citizens intend to remove rocks, debris and fill material the U.S. Forest Service used to obliterate a section of the road last December.
The confrontation between the county and the forest service escalated last month when the U.S. Justice Department demanded county taxpayers pay $400,000 in damages for work the county did last fall to repair the road. The threatened suit also involves an ongoing maximum daily fine of $27,500, which to date amounts to $12,182,500.
In a businesslike and determined atmosphere, leaders of the uprising held their final planning session before embarking for Jarbidge Friday to organize the weekend activity.
Discounting the swirl of public comments in recent days from politicians and federal officials about the potential for violence, and deflecting charges of "vigilantism" and threats that participants face "significant criminal penalties and imprisonment," supporters of the two-day "people power" event remained undaunted.
"We don't want any confrontation," Johnson said. "We would prefer there not be any firearms. The only way there could be any violence is if the forest service starts it."
Elko County Sheriff Neil Harris said he will have deputies patrolling in Jarbidge to protect the public and ensure nothing goes wrong or anybody gets hurt.
"We're not viewing it as a legal event or an illegal event, because we're not in a position to make that decision," Harris said. "Traffic is going to be a problem. That's one of the reasons I'm sending some people up there."
Harris said he has been in "continual" contact with the forest service "trying to determine what they might do. I need to know, or I would like to know ahead of time if they are going to attempt to write citations or make arrests."
Assemblyman John Carpenter of Elko, who announced the people's uprising Sept. 15 and has come under increasing criticism since, said he expects a "peaceful" weekend and predicted, "I think we're going to have a multitude of people there."
But calls have come from all corners attempting to put down the uprising.
Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., said he has talked with Kathryn Landreth, U.S. attorney for Nevada, and is confident federal prosecutors will "respond prudently.
"They know how potentially incendiary it is," Bryan said.
Gov. Kenny Guinn, through his spokesman Jack Finn, said, "This is one that should be resolved in the courts. That's the proper venue."
Finn said, "He's hopeful that an agreement that will be palatable to both sides can be reached."
Guinn had been lobbied by Trout Unlimited to intervene, but Finn said beyond the governor's statement, no further action from Guinn was anticipated.
Trout Unlimited, a nationwide preservationist group, first challenged Elko County's attempt to rebuild the road by citing danger to the Jarbidge River's bull trout.
In a series of letters to various officials, Matt Holford, chairman of TU's Nevada Council, said the work project comes in the middle of the bull trout's spawning season.
"They have not received any of the permits required or planned any mitigation for their activities," Holford said. "They are not going to put any of the common engineering practices into play. They are just going to go up there and going to be moving dirt willy nilly."
But during last night's strategy session, details of the work party's activities were laid out and Carpenter insisted, "We will do it right."
"True environmentalists want this road open," Carpenter said. "We're not hurting anything. We're going to take all precautions to make sure silt doesn't get in the river. That's our water too."
Such assurances aside, Humboldt-Toiyabe Forest Supervisor Gloria Flora, as well as Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa have had harsh criticism of the event and stern warnings for its organizers and participants.
"I'm shocked and appalled that any individual, particularly a state assemblyman and the county chairman of the Republican Party, would choose to undertake an illegal action against essentially the American people," said Flora, referring to Carpenter and Johnson.
"It is an illegal activity," Flora said today. "Even if the county does prove ownership of the road, the activity itself is not legal. Citizens cannot by state law do maintenance and repair work on county roads. Likewise it is illegal to do unauthorized repair and maintenance on federal roads."
Carpenter, however, challenged Flora's comments, which have been broadcast throughout the region in a series of radio interviews in southern Idaho and northern Nevada in the past few days.
"I know of no law that prohibits people from getting together. I think the Constitution guarantees that we can assemble. I know of no law that prevents us from working on a county road."
Carpenter said, "She's the one lending credence to violence. But it's not going to come from me and my group. It seems to me like she's the one trying to incite things. We're not. It's going to be an absolutely peaceful event."
In another attempt to block the work party, Del Papa sounded similar alarms in appealing to Elko District Attorney Gary Woodbury to join her in condemning the citizens' plans.
"The planned road reopening," Del Papa stated in a letter dated Oct. 1, "has potential to create significant civil liability for both the county and the state, under several laws."
But Woodbury, who said he would respond in writing to Del Papa, said, "I don't understand that logic. If there is logic to it, she is going to have to explain it to me."
Since Carpenter publicly announced the citizens movement to retake the road, Woodbury and Deputy Civil District Attorney Kristin McQueary have warned Elko County Commissioners to stay clear of any involvement and endorsement of the activity.
"So long as county commissioners and the county is not involved in this action," Woodbury said, "I'm not aware of how that would happen. I don't know how the county could be held vicariously liable."
Del Papa also said those who take part in the event could face "significant criminal penalties and imprisonment" if their efforts to reopen South Canyon Road were later judged to be in violation of federal laws.
"Anyone considering participating," warned Del Papa, "should seek private legal counsel from an impartial and objective source before risking liberty and financial well-being by embarking on this course."
Carpenter, however, dismissed the threat.
"It's just an attempt to scare people away," Carpenter said today. "It's nonsense."
-- marsh (email@example.com), October 08, 1999
Protocol # Ten, section 2
2. The mob cherishes a special affection and respect for the geniuses of political power and accepts all their deeds of violence with the admiring response: "rascally, well, yes, it is rascally, but it's clever!...a trick, if you like, but how craftily played, how magnificently done, what impudent audacity!"...
To which I might add...
(Psa 83:3 KJV) "They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones."
(Psa 83:4 KJV) "They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation;..."
-- Mark Hillyard (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 08, 1999.
This reminds me of the policy of enclosure that was practiced in England in the 17th century. The lords fenced in the land and took it for themselves, and the small farmers lost their common pastures, Their resulting impoverishment swelled Cromwell's ranks of fighters in the English Civil War.
-- Forrest Covington (email@example.com), October 08, 1999.
-- Donna (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 08, 1999.