The behemoth that is the federal bureaucracy is wholly unaccountable to the people whom they are now pushing around via massive new regulations -- Obama style -- that take away private property rights without due process or even a hearing. Washington is out of control and must be reined in,
The new Private Property Rights Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives will target legislation and regulations that interfere with the free and lawful use of private property. Created by Rep. Tom Reed (R, NY), the caucus hopes to build a broad-based coalition that will restore Constitutional rights and enable property owners to provide for themselves and their families.
While the Land Trust of Central North Carolina did purchase some property along the Uwharrie River, their attempts to stifle suction dredging by local prospectors looking for gold may have run afoul of North Carolina law -- the prospectors surely think that the state, not the Land Trust, owns the riverbed and thus the Land Trust has no right to impede the dredging.
Heather Richards may have resigned from her job with the Piedmont Environmental Council, but she is in a position of even greater authority now as chair of the Land Trust Accredication Commission -- and one wonders whether other land trusts are also abusing power as the PEC clearly did. As for Richards, she cannot even seem to tell the truth about her upbringing.
Executive Order 13690 is a massive overreach of illegal federal authority over what ought to be locally determined floodplain management standards.
The proposed "Forest Legacy Management Flexibility Act” would, according to its supporters, promote conservation of private forestlands by reducing administrative burdens for states. Conservation easements under the federal Forest Legacy Program could be held by accredited land trusts rather than state agencies. CFACT advisor Bonner Cohen says the cost to the public of this bill would be incalculable. Far better than the landowners ignore these land trusts and manage their own property and pass it along to their heirs.
Martha wins! In a stinging repudiation of the conduct of a Virginia environmental group once viewed as politically invincible, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) March 10 signed into law bipartisan legislation that -- for the first time -- provides rural landowners the means with which to defend themselves against bullying by land trusts.
Once again, a President has designated land for national monuments without the advice and consent of Congress -- an action unchecked during the Bush years after President Clinton's highly controversial designation of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah. These land grabs may sound noble, but whenever federal officials replace state and local land managers, they tend to create problems for continuing use of the land and even surrounding areas. This is particularly true of Brown's Canyon in Colorado, says the Colorado Cattlemen's Association.
Raisin growers Marvin and Laura Horne have challenged a 66-year-old USDA regulation that allows the government to seize up to half a grower's raisin crop for forced resale overseas at discounted prices. The stated purpose is to keep the domestic price for raisins artificially high, but the Hornes claim that the seizure of their crop amounts to an unconstitutional taking without adequate compensation - and now the case is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
EPA's proposed ozone regs will weigh down the economy with no meaningful benefit to the environment. Read CFACT's testimony to the EPA.
Farmers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore are breathing a sigh of relief on news that newly sworn-in Gov. Larry Hogan (R) plans to scrap regulations targeting agricultural runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. Hogan’s announcement came as outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) was scrambling to get the regulations finalized before leaving office Jan. 21. “The first fight [when I take office] will be against these politically motivated midnight-hour phosphorus management tool regulations that the outgoing administration is trying to force upon you in these closing days,” Hogan said in a speech before the Maryland Farm Bureau (Washington Times, Dec. 9) “We won’t allow [...]
The once-respected Piedmont Environmental Council has been shamed by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and Virginia Assistant Attorney General Richard Mahevich for misdeeds surrounding its sale of Liberty Farm to organic farmer Martha Boneta. The PEC had inserted language into an easement agreement with Ms. Boneta and the VOF that benefitted PEC member Phil Thomas, who then took various actions against Ms. Boneta in a blatant attempt to force her to abandon the property she had turned from a dump into a profitable operation. Now the Virginia legislature is considering legislation to curb the power of land trusts.
First, it was the spotted owl -- a horrific decision that destroyed jobs forever despite faulty science. Then, the land grabbers at the USGS and the FWS determined that the "Gunnison sage-grouse" is a different species (not just a variety, as is the scientific reality) from the "greater sage-grouse," and so took more land out of production. Now these servants of the state (not the people) want to list the "greater sage-grouse" -- yet another taking that is facing real opposition. The Endangered Species Act as written and executed is bad law that uses bad science -- and does not adequately protect the species it claims to favor.
Do not for a moment believe that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is setting up these "Climate Hubs" to assist farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, says CFAC Advisor Bonner Cohen. The goal is to force these hard-working Americans into compliance with federal mandates on climate change -- which will surely include new restrictions on their use of water, livestock feed, fertilizers, livestock management techniques, and who knows what all else that violate every principle of real land management ever established through the test of time. If they succeed in this, we should fear for our food supply.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flexed muscles it may not yet have the right to use in declaring a Louisiana property to be a wetland. Worse, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Corps' latest victim their day in court. But the Pacific Legal Foundation has petitioned the Supreme Court. claiming abuse of the Clean Water Act. Even if the PLF beats the Corps in court, the victory will be pyrrhic if the EPA is allowed to promulgate its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which is due to take effect at the end of 2015 if not withdrawn or dramatically restructured.