Virginia farmer Martha Boneta has reached a settlement in her $2 million lawsuit against a husband-and-wife team of realtors whom she accused of colluding with an environmental group to drive her off her land.
Martha Boneta dreamed of having a farm in Virginia’s lush countryside. Green busybodies turned her dream into a nightmare. She fought back and won. WATCH NOW
Martha rose to national prominence in 2014 when legislation strengthening farmers’ rights and named after her – the “Boneta Bill” – was adopted by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by the governor.
Martha Boneta: "It is my hope and prayer that no American citizen ever has to suffer the way we have on our family farm.”
Martha Boneta’s lawsuit against the Piedmont Environmental Council, filed in May, argues that the organization’s linking of Jackson to her property was not just a mistake but a deliberate act of fraud.
Martha Boneta dreamt of a farm in Virginia's lush countryside. Big Green bureaucrats and busybodies turned that dream into a nightmare of obstruction and red tape -- until Martha fought back and won. This is her story.
"Farming in Fear" pieces together Martha's story from interviews and documentation, tracking the nearly 10-year ordeal she's gone through just to earn a living in spite of corrupt local ordinances, abusive management of her conservation easement, and personal attacks through the introduction of an amendment to Virginia's Right to Farm Act called the 'Boneta Bill', designed to protect small farmers so that what happened to Martha never happens again.
Press release: Two awards for documentary on Martha Boneta's property rights victory in Virginia.
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.