Skip to comments.California's Republican Version of Al Gore
Posted on 08/27/2012 7:00:25 PM PDT by Texas Eagle
Rural Northern California has always been the great bastion where solidly conservative Republicans go to escape the Democrats nanny state. NorCal political discourse is focused on family values, support of agriculture, gun rights and a visceral loathing of crony capitalists like Al Gore. Thats why the shenanigans of Shasta County Supervisor Glen Hawes is about give the Republican Party such a black eye.
Chriss will be talking about this tonight on The Inside Education Show on KMYC 1410AM in Marysville, CA and simulcast on http://www.mysytv.comstarting at 7:00 pm PT Monday 8/27/12
Seven years ago Reverge Anselmo left the Los Angeles rat race, to build a world class winery and cattle ranch just outside Redding, California. As a former combat Marine, international businessman and son of the founder of the Univision media empire, Anselmo began investing tens of millions into the depressed rural economy. A deeply religious man, Anselmo even worked with the Vatican to design and construct a Romanesque Catholic Chapel on the highest point of his vineyards as a place of personal worship and reflection for visiting monks.
But just as Anselmo Winery picked their second harvest on October 16, 2007, Andrew Jenson of the Shasta County office of the California Water Quality Control Board came on the property and issued a stop-order for all agricultural operations. Mr. Jenson demanded that Mr. Anselmo immediately spend over $10,000 on erosion control at various parts of the ranch. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Jenson issued clean-up and abatement Order #729, demanding tens of thousands of expenditures and threatening daily fines of $10,000 to $25,000.
Anselmo later would learn that Mr. Jenson had shaken down the farm to the west for $20,000 and the farm to the east for $28,000, as ransom money to pacify the Fish Cops and other regulators. A stressed out Mr. Anselmo called Les Baugh, his local County Supervisor, about his predicament. Supervisor Baugh said, Somebody has got to say enough is enough, and agreed to be that man. But he called back shortly thereafter and said that when it comes to this issue, he was not that man. Soon thereafter, Anselmo received his first $240 fine from Shasta County.
Mr. Anselmo hired a local lawyer who notified the Fish & Game Department that under Section 404 of the United States Clean Water Act, agriculture activity has been exempt from Fish Cop tyranny since 1985. Shortly thereafter, platoons of vans with the insignia of the United States Army Corps. of Engineers arrived and put frogmen in Anselmos local creek to take underwater soil samples in search of single cell organisms. He also discovered another group of regulators at the 200 foot waterfall on the other side of his property, supposedly trying to prove that an extinct species of salmon had once jumped up the falls and spawned in the pools above.
One of Anselmo Vineyards largest vendors and a regular on his property was Hawes Farm & Ranch Supply, whose proprietor, Glen Hawes, is also a Shasta County Supervisor. Supervisor Hawes visited Mr. Anselmo and stated that he owned Stillwater Plains Mitigation Bank and the Supervisor suggested it might be helpful if Anselmo bought environmental credits from his bank.
Research from a messy divorce and subsequent bankruptcy filing of Mr. Hawes son, Greg, has indicated the Supervisors mitigation bank is mandated as a monopoly in Shasta County and has already reaped $3 million since 2002 from local businesses. Even the City of Redding pays Stillwater Plains an $85,000 fee anytime they need to move an elderberry tree. Cal Trans also paid Hawes cash to build an overpass.
Generous Supervisor Hawes appears to have taken Shasta County Resource Management Director Russ Mull and his family on hunting trips to Mexico, Canada and Venezuela. Hawes in his benevolence, donated environmental credits toward approval to build a Veterans Hospital, and then charged the facility for soil movement.
Shasta County in a June legal brief arrogantly argues that Anselmos its my property and I can do what I want attitude has led to these lawsuits. Because Anselmo refuses to play ball, Shasta County has racked up 7,467 days of fines totaling over $18.7 million. Anselmo filed lawsuits in state and federal court and has received numerous favorable rulings. But three days after his last victory in Appellate Court, Shasta County retaliated by declaring the Chapel a public nuisance and red tagged the winery and ranch to try to financially starve Anselmo and his 38 employees.
Supervisor Glen Hawes family were legendary California pioneers and operated the first hay combine north of Sacramento in the 1800s. But today the Supervisor farms environmental credits, instead of crops. From 2002 to 2008, there were plenty of land developers happy to pay to play. But after the housing bust, Shasta County farmers and ranchers appear to now be his prime business targets. Supervisor Hawes hasnt made as much money as Al Gore, but with gangs of County regulators furiously generating new prospects, selling environmental credits looks to remain very profitable.
Chriss Street and Paul Preston Co-Host
The American Exceptionalism Radio Talk Show
Streaming Live Monday Through Friday at 7-10 PM
Click Here to Listen: http://www.mysytv.net/kmyclive.html
If you can add any more information regarding mitigation banks in California or across the United States, please e-mail Chriss Street or Paul Preston:
I actually patented a business method meant to eliminate government environmental management that is in part based on a mitigations market. Of course, the pricing system it proposed has nothing to do with the crooked fascist racket we see here. In that respect, these people have harmed my business by defaming the real potential for that market.
Nobody listened. They were all looking for a guy on a white horse to save them so that they could go back to what they were doing. They all saw taking care of habitat as a losing game. Now the owners of the conservancies and easements virtually stolen from them are looking to cash in at everybody's expense. The very word "mitigation" brings shrieks of pain and horror, when it was they who had the inside track had they only grabbed it first.
A fool is so blind as not to see an opportunity. Believe me, I'm not the one laughing his way to the bank.
There is nothing wrong with a market in mitigating assets. However, there is something terribly wrong with insider trading, political price-fixing, racketeering, and graft. That is what needs to be fixed before what could be a good thing for landowners becomes irreparably corrupt.
USDA Awards $26 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants
Projects include development of water quality trading markets in Chesapeake Bay and across the U.S.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2012 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $26 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) awarded by USDAs Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to entities across the nation for projects that test and prove innovative approaches to conserving Americas private lands. The grant winners will demonstrate innovative approaches to improving soil health, increasing pollinator and wildlife habitat, protecting water quality and producing on-farm energy savings. Grant recipients will pay 50 percent of all project costs.
Were announcing 59 grants today in 47 states that will help some of Americas top agricultural and conservation institutions, foundations and businesses develop unique approaches to enhancing and protecting natural resources on agricultural lands, Vilsack said. The grants will help spur creativity and problem-solving to benefit conservation-minded farmers and ranchers. Everyone who relies on our nations natural resources for clean water, food and fiber, for their way of life, will benefit from these grants.
Twelve of the awarded grants are for development of water quality trading markets to demonstrate how farmers and ranchers can help municipalities, utilities and others overcome high pollution control costs.
We believe there are states around the nation that are on the cusp of having thriving water quality trading markets, Vilsack said. These grant awards will help develop projects that create new revenue streams for farmers and ranchers while they are helping to improve water quality.
This is the first time USDAs Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has offered a separate request for proposals that specified support for water quality trading markets. In a water quality trading program, point sources buy environmental benefits or credits from landowners who install specific conservation practices.
Water quality trading is a market-based approach that enables facilities to achieve needed pollution controls through the purchase of credits for a particular pollutant. Farmers can produce water quality credits by implementing conservation practices that reduce nutrients or sediment losses, and generally at a much lower cost than a municipal treatment facility. The goal is to achieve water quality improvements more cost-effectively by bringing together participating buyers and sellers.
In early August, one of the grant awardees, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), announced the signing of the first interstate water quality trading compact in the U.S. The states of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio signed onto a plan to launch interstate water quality pilot trades in the Ohio River Basin in 2012. The grant award will help EPRI develop the trading registry to operate the Ohio River Basin program.
Another grantee, the Willamette Partnership, has successfully facilitated trades of water temperature credits to improve salmon habitat in Oregon. This award will help the partnership develop a multistate agreement and rules for trading water quality and temperature credits in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
In the Chesapeake Bay, five awardees will be facilitating and building infrastructure for water quality trading markets: the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Inc.; Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Borough of Chambersburg; Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Conservation & Recreation; and Maryland Department of Agriculture. NRCS will work with the grantees to form a water quality trading network, a forum to share ideas, coordinate program development and evaluate program components.
NRCS administers CIG as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Grants are awarded to state and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals. NRCS uses CIG to invest in innovative, on-the-ground conservation technologies and approaches with the goal of wide-scale adoption to address water quality and quantity, air quality, energy conservation and environmental markets, among other natural resource issues.
For a complete list of CIG awardees and more information about NRCS conservation programs online, visit: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov.
Contact: Office of Communications, (202) 720-4623
I predict this and all trading schemes will make the wealthy a great deal of money. It will create a backlash on the rural people who participate as the urban folks will now have a stake in their operations and will eventually want to “preserve” them out of production. I predict that the cost of all of this will be passed on to the backs of the middle class consumer.
Ecosystem Services http://users.sisqtel.net/armstrng/ecosystem_services.htm
And I predict that the people who should be getting that money won't do a thing to acquire it. Nor will their "leaders" show them how.
You've invested so much in blasting the idea of "ecosystem services" because of its existing corrupt associations, you have failed to see the opportunities right before your eyes.
I never did agree with you. I always thought your idea severely undermined the integrity of private property rights. I have not changed my views.
How does marketing the benefit of one's acts of environmental stewardship in a verifiable fashion degrade property rights?
I think you have no concept for what I proposed.