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.
Landowners, homeowners, business owners, home builders, construction companies, the forestry and mining industries, and just about everyone else engaged in productive activities in the United States are in the crosshairs of the most far-reaching power grab the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ever undertaken.
The dramatic transformation of America’s energy outlook brought about by the shale revolution was underscored Sept. 2 with the official unveiling of a plan to build a $5 billion, 550-mile gas pipeline through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Wyoming ranchers are suing the Western Watersheds Project for trespassing for gathering water samples on private and state land without permission. WWP's stated mission is to rid public lands of all grazing leases. Writer Ron Arnold says their activities constitute "rural cleansing."
If its Clean Power Plan rule is allowed to go into effect, EPA will subject the country to a wrenching transformation of its energy sector that cannot be justified by the available scientific evidence or the damage it will inflict on ordinary citizens and the environment.
$54 billion for new transportation schemes to make Washington, D.C., a more "sustainable" city means pushing out the automobile in favor of bike lanes, buses and railcars, and, yes, water taxis. And, yes, tolls on motor vehicles entering the city. First off, the plan suggests the city will be adding 200,000 jobs -- presumably mostly in the federal government or in the massive lobbying community that surrounds officialdom. That alone should be cause for the panic button.
Voters in northern Virginia are thinking twice about spending unlimited sums for "smart growth" features like streetcars, "super stops" for buses, and even bicycle lanes -- especially bike lanes that "sharrow" lanes with automobiles. Talk about a revolution, when the people who make a living out of quite often wastefully spending other people's money balk at wastefully spending their own money.
The "plantocracy" [plan-tocracy] is a new term CFACT coined to describe the woes about to be unleashed upon American citizens through the grand designs of unelected bureaucrats hell bent on massive social engineering schemes, regardless of the cost to or convenience of -- or even the willingness of -- local citizens of all persuasions. Worse, this Frankensteinian, corporatized nonsense is being paid for by the very citizens who are going to be harmed by it.