Skip to comments.Habitat conservation planning
Posted on 04/26/2002 8:14:18 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
Habitat conservation plans
impose unnecessary new burdens
on land owners
without corresponding benefits
Comments and analysis regarding habitat conservation plans
By Bob Perkins
March 12, 2002
Prior to becoming executive director of Monterey County Farm Bureau, Bob Perkins served for 22 years as executive manager of Riverside County Farm Bureau, where he represented farmers and ranchers in stakeholder committees and discussions of four habitat planning efforts. This is a compilation and explanation of notes, issues and recommendations accumulated from those habitat plan discussions.
I would always recommend that local government avoid habitat conservation plans and that citizens challenge adoption of habitat conservation plans until all of the issues Farm Bureau raises have been fully resolved in public debate and then only where clear and compelling need is determined. Bob Perkins
Whats wrong with habitat conservation plans
Habitat conservation plans are often promoted by local governments as a solution to problems created by federal and state Endangered Species Acts. In practice in California, habitat conservation plans inevitably cause unprecedented and unnecessary harm to farmers, ranchers and land owners that exceeds the impacts of existing state and federal law. The amount of land regulated and the total cost of a habitat conservation plan are always underrepresented at the outset. A habitat conservation plan always takes far longer to complete than initially promised if it can be completed at all. In the interim, land owners suffer increased costs and regulations.
Local government frequently cites the No Surprises premise, that a habitat conservation plan can preclude unexpected new environmental restrictions. No Surprises is a fraud. The details of No Surprises agreements always exclude new restrictions that werent specifically anticipated in the habitat plan agreement. A surprise is, by definition, a surprise.
The only benefits that may accrue can be to a large entity that faces drastic restrictions or costs arising from presence of a listed threatened or endangered species or a formal designation of critical habitat. Such an entity could be an extremely large land owner (for example, a timber company) or a utility or government agency, such as a university or water district. For such an entity, a habitat conservation plan can shift the entitys costs and regulatory burdens to farmers, ranchers and other property owners over a large area. The entity enjoys the benefit while neighboring land owners shoulder the burden.
Local governments may enjoy increased regulatory authority and enlarged staff but must also bear new costs, new enforcement responsibility and significant liability.
Habitat conservation plans directly impact farms and ranchers by regulating agricultural activities and choices, by imposing new costs and by distorting land values.
Science and Law
As burdensome as they are, the state and federal Endangered Species Acts are law, subject to due process, public debate, legislative change and legal remedy. They specifically rely on scientific information to arrive at decisions. They provide a legal process for citizens to petition to add or remove species and to challenge listings and designations of critical habitat.
Habitat conservation plans bypass this process of science and law. Participating local governments choose to impose restrictions on farmers, ranchers and land owners for species that have not been recognized through the legal process of listing under the Endangered Species Act and to regulate land areas that have not been designated, through the legal process of the Endangered Species Act, as critical habitat. Farmers, ranchers, land owners and citizens are denied the due process under the Endangered Species Act by an unnecessary local government choice.
By including species and habitats that have not been identified through the legal process of listing and critical habitat designation in the Endangered Species Act, local governments extend the reach of the Endangered Species Act without basis in law. They do this without benefit of the deliberative course of legislative action, and they bypass the provisions of the Endangered Species Act.
Key to this problem is the simple fact that local government cannot make law that is less restrictive than state or federal law. Local government can only make law or impose regulations that are more restrictive than under state or federal law.
Local government will be sticking its neck out a mile when it adopts a multiple species habitat conservation plan.
A local government plan is significantly different from existing laws and regulations imposed by federal and state agencies. Taxpayers, landowners, citizens and voters need to be clear on the differences:
- Enforcement responsibility - When the county voluntarily adopts a habitat plan, it assumes complete enforcement responsibility, duties that ordinarily burden the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies and the California Department of Fish and Game and other state agencies. This responsibility comes with enforcement costs and liability for enforcement actions.
- Financial responsibility - When the county voluntarily adopts a habitat plan, it assumes responsibility for the fiscal soundness of the plan, for the funding. Despite talk of equitable sharing of the cost of habitat protection between federal, state and local sources, the county -- or more properly, its citizens and taxpayers -- will be on the hook for the funding.
- Liability - When the county voluntarily adopts a habitat plan, it assumes complete liability. All exactions, restrictions and enforcements will be under the authority of local government, which therefore assumes all liability against lawsuits and other challenges. This issue was resolved when a land owner group called Property Owners Working for Environmental Responsibility took a local government joint powers authority, the Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency, to court. The court ruled that the habitat agency -- not the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- must answer legal challenges in court and bear the cost of defending its habitat plan.
- Exceeds the law - When the county voluntarily adopts a habitat plan, it exceeds existing law. Federal and state endangered species acts have specific applications to listed and proposed species and for designation of critical habitats. A county plan seeks to conserve nonlisted species that otherwise have no legal protection and to regulate private property that has not been legally defined as critical habitat. This excess opens the county to additional liability when it impacts, restricts or takes private property to preserve species that have no legal status.
Habitat conservation is not a benign land use. It can have serious, unexpected consequences for owners of private property.
These impacts become a serious and long-term worry in habitat plans, which can have a span of from 20 to 75 years to acquire and assemble habitat. A long-term plan like this produces intermittent, piece-meal conversions of private parcels to government-owned habitat or to dedicated habitat. No individual property owner can know for certain when or if adjacent land owners might sell or dedicate for habitat. This is as troubling for land use planning as if piecemeal urban development occurs haphazardly.
The conversion of neighboring properties to habitat can trigger restrictions on agricultural uses, on potential future uses of property, and on the property's value. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has previously demonstrated that it views agricultural uses of property as incompatible with habitat conservation, both on-site and on neighboring properties.
Habitat mapping creates impacts for private property. Maps are commonly developed at the beginning of discussion of a habitat plan, overlaying private property without consent of the affected property owners. Regulatory agencies such as U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service will then treat such local government maps as hard-line restrictions. The agencies will deny federal permits for any land use activity, affecting the private use and the appraised value of the land.
A habitat conservation plan can have supremacy over land management plans that have previously gained support by property owners and local governments. Habitat plans are generally seen as the overriding controls on land use decisions and are generally more rigorous and restrictive than other land use plans.
When a local government establishes a habitat conservation plan, it obtains permits for listed species from federal and state regulators. The local government becomes the permit holder not the individual property owners as required under federal and state Endangered Species Acts. The local government will "volunteer" its constituents to be regulated under the habitat conservation plan. The individual land owners would have no choice.
Incentives considered in local government habitat conservation plans assume that land owners will be forced to participate. In essence, local government places a new burden on property owners, then offers to partially relieve that burden as an incentive to cooperate.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has made it clear that it will require that local government habitat conservation plans treat nonlisted species as if they are listed. The demand bypasses the legally defined listing process in the federal Endangered Species Act.
In an example of the policy ideas proposed under habitat conservation plans, a property owner, seeking a building permit to build his own single-family home on a lot designated as mountainous because of slope, would be required to build on, for example, the 25% least-sensitive portion of the property (as determined by government agencies) ... and to dedicate the remaining 75% as a conservation easement.
Mapped areas for habitat conservation are extended by overlaying maps of lands restricted for government ownership, open space designation, mountainous designation, existing habitat reserves, natural hazards, and so on, and by broad patches marked for potential corridors between protected areas and for expansion of existing reserves. The mapped areas can appear so huge that any subsequent reduction is represented as a generous benefit to land owners.
Among the hazards to owners of private property are:
Restrictions on commodity production: As one example, it has been suggested the "mountainous" land use designations, where local government limits dwellings to large acreage because of steep slopes, could serve as habitat conservation. However, an owner of a sloped property still might choose to plant a crop suited to hillside cultivation or to run cattle or horses on the land or find some other productive agricultural use. It's clear to Farm Bureau that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not accept such activities on designated habitat. Farm Bureau anticipates that local habitat plans could seek to restrict or prohibit such agricultural uses on private property as a way of achieving conservation goals without buying the land.
Restrictions on pest control: The use and method of application of agricultural chemicals, specifically pesticides but possibly fertilizers or any other materials, could face restrictions when adjacent to habitat. The USFWS has already asked for controls on pesticide use on private properties adjacent to habitat, demanding a setback or buffer area where chemicals can't be used and demanding that aerial application be prohibited. These demands can impose added cost or lost income on the owner of the private property.
Restrictions on future use: Future land use on a private property can be constrained when the adjacent land becomes habitat. For instance, water discharge (ordinary runoff) from private land development into a habitat will trigger federal Clean Water Act provisions and add delays and costs to the land use. Increasing federal regulation can bring new restrictions at any time. These restrictions could constrain an owners use of the land to build a home or to engage in agriculture.
Loss of value: Appraised value of private property depends on surrounding land uses and the anticipation of potential future use of the appraised property. When a property is adjacent to -- or partly or entirely surrounded by -- habitat, its future potential is severely limited. Property values are depressed by the conversion of adjacent land to habitat. This is a real and direct harm to the asset value and creditworthiness of the owner of the private property.
Force conversion of agriculture: Restrictions on raw land that prohibit development will, sooner or later, encourage conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses. Raw land that hasn't been cleared or leveled is a prime target for habitat conservation. Land that has been actively farmed may be a lower priority for conservation or even excluded from conservation goals. The restriction on unused land combined with availability of agricultural property that isnt restricted for habitat conservation can encourage conversion of that agricultural property. Habitat planning will force future demand for economic growth onto productive agricultural land. As agricultural acreage and production diminish, the volume of agriculture may shrink. It can lose the critical mass that supports an agricultural infrastructure of labor, processing, transportation, equipment and supplies. Excessive habitat demands are far more likely to spell the end of agriculture than is economic and urban growth. As one Farm Bureau manager in a rural county put it, We dont have a problem with urban sprawl; we have a problem with conservation sprawl.
The questions of who pays and how much are recurring issues in all habitat plans. Typically the dollar cost shifts to new development where it is ultimately paid by new businesses and by new home buyers.
Such cost-shifting ignores the question of nexus, the connection between the impact of a land use on habitat and species and the cost that land use must pay. A nexus study should be the first step in habitat planning. Farm Bureau has argued that any threat to species and habitat began with the first human resident, and all should share an equal burden.
Discussion of the funding mechanism is usually delayed until local governments have too much invested in habitat planning to back out of the process. Disclosure of funding mechanisms is delayed as a way to avoid opposition from those who will pay. (In the case of future businesses and home buyers, they simply have no voice in the discussion because they arent here yet.)
Fiscal analysis of any habitat plan should also be prepared before plan development proceeds. Typically it is deferred or even never done to conceal the true cost of the habitat plan and to avoid opposition from citizens and taxpayers.
Federal and state government may or may not be willing to share the cost of a habitat conservation plan. Habitat conservation plans are developed to fulfill or anticipate the demands of federal and state Endangered Species Acts. If federal and state government balk at sharing the cost, the burden would fall entirely on local property owners.
Where a proposed funding plan calls for equal cost sharing among the federal government, state government, and the local area, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service routinely opposes any requirement that it put up one-third of the cost or the land. While funding discussions suggest federal funding likely would come from a variety of agencies and sources, local habitat planning agencies have found it difficult to obtain federal and state resources. Federal government participation usually consists of dedication of government land which is already supposed to be committed to protection of listed species and habitats under the Endangered Species Acts. Such government land dedications may agencies other than just wildlife agencies. Discussions in local government planning efforts have also indicated that wildlife agencies may require proof that habitat conservation plan is fully funded before they will sign agreements or issue permits ... which could require county taxpayers to front the entire cost of the program.
Farm Bureau proposes that local government prepare a comprehensive cost analysis of any habitat conservation plan proposal, allocating full costs for all properties committed to the plan whether conserved by acquisition or by other means, and for all related activities such as future management. Farm Bureau further proposes that local government make full disclosure of such cost analysis at its earliest opportunity.
Farm Bureau takes the view that the full cost of a habitat conservation plan will be the value of the total acreage of private property conserved through the plan and that the cost analysis and disclosure must fully account for the total value of all of that conserved land, whether in direct purchase payments or in incentives, conservation easements or donations of land.
Habitat conservation plan is difficult to complete
Completing a multiple species habitat conservation plan can be extremely difficult, as competing interests find it impossible to reach consensus. Both U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Game share an interest in opposition to property owners, and their participation generally doesnt actually contribute to solutions but rather seeks to force different parties to stay at the tables and to smooth over local worries.
Among the problems is the almost total failure to maintain any kind of schedule. Plans that call for fixed periods to prepare alternatives, conduct plan reviews or complete habitat plans have routinely failed. Ambitious programs that envision steps taking from 90 days to two years have consistently dragged on for five (Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan) and ten years (Kern Countys multiple species habitat conservation plan) without end. And supposedly-completed plans can come back to haunt land owners, (such as Coachella Valleys Fringe-toed Lizard Habitat Conservation Plan, that was reopened after almost 15 years to demand even more land and regulation.)
A main obstacle to consensus is the inevitable demand from the environmental community that any habitat conservation plan include requirements for interim regulations. These can include outright land use restrictions, mitigation demands or habitat transaction credits, in addition to an upfront habitat mitigation fee. Farm Bureau has said, just as repeatedly, that land owners will not accept interim controls or a plan that uses policy requirements to restrict private property or mitigation demands added to fees.
No guarantee of no surprises
No Surprises means no surprises unless theres a surprise. The so-called No Suprises policy of regulatory agencies does not work.
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Agency has made it clear that this policy does not apply if there is new biological information that was not anticipated in the habitat conservation plan permit issued by the Service. The Service has clearly stated that "No Surprises" wouldn't cover "unforeseen" circumstances. The No Surprises promise is unreliable.
The ultimate scale of a habitat conservation plan is always misrepresented at the outset as smaller than the end product. The amount of land that is impacted by habitat planning and the amount of land demanded for conservation inevitably multiplies. (For example, the Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan started with an estimate of 40,000 acres to be conserved but grew to 153, 000 acres to be set aside, with regulatory restrictions and mitigation demands on 320,000 acres of private property.) Property owners are asked to commit to a habitat process before they learn the true size and cost.
Adaptive management raises uncertainty about a habitat plan. Adaptive management is kind of like an adjustable rate mortgage ... the cost of a habitat conservation plan can change over time. Conservation requirements for different species can change as more is learned about them, changing the demand for money or land. Environmental groups and regulatory agencies have indicated that all future habitat conservation plans will require adaptive management. In theory, adaptive management would define the kinds of changes that might be required, in effect guaranteeing "no surprises" by spelling out the kinds of surprises that can be expected.
Land Values and Acquisition
Another problematic issue is the value of land to be acquired for habitat and the method of acquisition. Habitat conservation plans involve acquisition by local government of private land for permanent preservation. The best preservation is through ownership, so local government usually expects to acquire fee title to large amounts of land. Local government therefore has an interest in land values that is adverse to that of private property owners. Private property owners want to maximize the value of their land and to realize the highest market price when they sell. Governments want to minimize their costs and to buy at the lowest price.
Land is valued based on an expectation of its productive use. At its fundamental value, land is priced according to its agricultural production. In many parts of California as in many parts of the United States, this price can range around $1,500 to $3,000 an acre, but the potential for high value crops can drive the figure much higher. There is often an expectation which is not the same as an entitlement that a property can be used for purposes that are more financially rewarding than agriculture, uses such as industrial, commercial or residential development. Just the possibility of such future uses can drive land value up. This speculative value can translate into creditworthiness and into actual prices paid in property sales.
Government has the power to control land values. Habitat conservation planning inevitably creates a new and different set of expectations that will immediately change perceived values of land, affecting land sales and creditworthiness. Unfortunately, local governments may use this process to their benefit. Local governments may impose habitat designations and restrictions as a way to drive down or to hold down the value of land that they intend to acquire. Worse yet, local government may use its land use authority to restrict land, to downzone land or at the very least to prevent higher uses as a deliberate step to hold down the future price for habitat acquisitions.
Government also has the power to control the method of acquisition.
Habitat may be protected through conservation easements. Local government creates the conditions for acquiring easements. While these acquisitions are often characterized as voluntary agreements by willing property owners, the reality is usually quite different. Government creates willing sellers through its land use powers to deny land use, to downzone land through direct or indirect action and to overlay land with restrictive designations such as conservation planning areas.
Habitat may also be protected through outright acquisition. Here the government faces challenges with negotiating with land owners and establishing fair market values. A local government may pursue property purchases through real estate agents without disclosing the true buyer or purpose. The local government will also keep individual purchases secret, to conceal prices paid and to maintain its bargaining position. Government exercises its land use authority to deny land use changes, to limit potential use of land, and to block encroaching uses that would increase neighboring land prices. The private seller has little or no leverage on the government buyer, while the government has a significant leverage over the private seller.
As a buyer on a scale far greater than most private acquisitions, governments can engage in selective acquisition to minimize future prices. For instance, government will acquire distressed properties or will target sellers who desperately need to sell and who face the alternative of selling to the government or waiting on a slow and indefinite acquisition process. These distressed sales then put pressure on neighboring properties to sell at prices similarly below market. Government also uses targeted acquisitions, a kind of checkerboarding, to acquire key properties, to block expansion of economic uses, extension of infrastructure, or the spread of value-enhancing development, as a deliberate means of holding down prices of future acquisition. Again, the leverage is entirely with government.
One traditional method by which government acquires property from private owners, where the private owner refuses governments offers or disputes governments offered price, is eminent domain. While farmers and ranchers dont like the idea that government can take their property, they recognize the usefulness of condemnation. They want to retain the ability to take local government to court to determine the fair market value of their land. Eminent domain guarantees that local government could obtain private property that is essential to a habitat plan like it does for any other public works project. Condemnation serves as an ultimate dispute resolution process. It also provides some tax benefits to property owners, who have the opportunity to reinvest in other land. However, farmers and ranchers expect local government to use its eminent domain powers to acquire private property only after all attempts at negotiation, including mediation, have failed.
Local governments will argue that funding for habitat planning could be quickly depleted by landowners seeking court determination of land value. Farmers and ranchers answer that local government can avoid expensive legal battles by bargaining in good faith, offering fair market value and carefully choosing which private lands to acquire. The argument that local government cant afford to pay market value for private land proves that government seeks to acquire land for less than market value and simply strengthens the argument that land set-asides for habitat protection are a taking of private property.
Notice to affected property owners that a habitat conservation plan may affect them is another recurring problem.
Farmers and ranchers want local government to send individual notices to all property owners who may be affected by a habitat plan. Notices should be sent at the very beginning of habitat planning discussions. Farm Bureau has said press coverage and other general public information is not adequate to alert individual property owners. Farm Bureau has said it is absolutely necessary to inform all individual property owners about habitat planning discussions and about their opportunity to attend meetings and participate in the planning process.
In areas where local governments have initiated habitat conservation plans, Farm Bureau has offered recommendations for minimizing the effects on farmers, ranchers and land owners.
Farm Bureau has said that the constitutional protection against taking of private property without just compensation must apply strictly and absolutely throughout any habitat conservation plan, for all taking of private property whether by outright acquisition of by any restriction resulting from the plan. Compensation must be provided for onsite restrictions, such as limitations on farming and ranching activities to protect habitat and species where property may not be purchased by local government, and for offsite restrictions, such as any kind of setback or limitation on farming and ranching on properties adjacent to the habitat conservation area. Compensation must be provided through payment or incentives without threat of penalty and at current, fair market value without influence from habitat plan restrictions. The full cost of all such compensation must be determined and disclosed in a cost analysis.
Farm Bureau has also proposed that local government make a public determination, about whether, when completed, a habitat conservation plan will be accepted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Game as mitigation for targeted species in place of any critical habitat already designated for some species included in the plan and whether USFWS and CDFG will eliminate critical habitat restrictions on all lands not conserved through the plan.
Farm Bureau has also proposed that local government make a public determination about whether, if any local governments fail to join the habitat conservation plan, the plan can be completed and implemented and whether U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Game will accept it as mitigation for targeted species.
Farm Bureau has said that critical habitat designations impose additional burdens on property owners beyond the conservation proposed under a habitat conservation plan, that a principal reason for creating a habitat conservation plan is to manage the cumulative conservation required through formal assurances from the regulatory agencies, and that failure to gain such assurances removes any benefit derived from enacting a plan.
Meanwhile, the whole county is falling apart. The schools are beyond horrible and the University is the worst in the system. The traffic is a mess. Businesses can be sued for hiring discrimination on the basis of (are you ready) personal appearance. If the County Roads were even close to the standards they imposed for private driveways their tax base would go up 10%. That with price of housing as the least affordable in the nation. My 2,400 sft home on 14 acres just appraised for $930,000 and I PROMISE you (since I built it) that it's nothing that special.
Meanwhile, who takes care of the land? You seem to think that it takes care of itself or that it shoud perhaps be done by central planning from Gland Switzerland? That's what you are getting from the IUCN (the globalists' EPA) and it's total crap. Centralized planning is no more capable of land use optimization than it is of running an economy. Nature is too complex for that kind of decisionmaking system. and please don't blather to me about consensus processes of stakeholders, it never works out that way. I've been there, and btw, please consider the sources of that disappearing desert crap. There is so much dishonesty among the environmental movement that you would puke if you knew. Many of those groups are funded by developers, or did it occur to you that the American Planning Association only makes money on new houses?
There are better ways to manage growth and best consider the balance of risks between concentrated urban development, rural sprawl, resource development, and habitat management than relying upon political favoratism, corruption, and bureaucracy. That is why I wrote a book on it, because the environment is too important to be run by politics.
The problem, as I see it, is that the powerful vested interests like the current system and will fight to protect it. I guess I'll have to finish the book to find out how he proposes to get around that problem.
Only a government agency could come up with this level of idiocy, then sign it into law.
"Hey Andy, I just found these here Lynx hairs down by the swimmin' hole.
Better call that thar nice Nature Conservancy man."
Glad I'm not the only one.
LOL! You guys are making it sound unreadable. It really isn't, it's just that it is emotionally reactivating. Remember what I said in the Preface? (bold added)
As environmental organizations have grown, their common agenda has diverged from its purpose. Their adherents principle goal has devolved to pursuit of funding to support a political and legal agenda. They have ignored scientific evidence and overridden legitimate discourse over technical differences in the name of preserving entrenched bureaucracies and political power groups feeding off taxes, grants, and lawsuits. It has even led to an odd form of corporate welfare: membership in an oligopoly in return for selling out or buying up smaller competitors. The consequences have compounded. Ruined lives have been rendered into political cannon fodder. In the con-duct of battle, the environment has been subordinated to the status of a political hostage. Much like a child in a custody case, the object of the dispute is the one that suffers. The worst of it is, it does not have to be this way.And so it is, an emotionally draining experience. SW, you may not like the answer I'm going to cook up for you, but you will see the uncomfortable truth in it.
When one begins a process like this, it starts as a polemic, for much of what starts you writing is a sense of what's wrong. This book takes to task environ-mental activists, all levels of government, universities, developers, irresponsible loggers, lawyers, rural/suburban residents, bankers, the urban public, politicians, insurance companies, and more! Each of us is a user of the environment and anyone who would buy this book and read it shares such a love of nature and an investment in how we got here. Maybe we have to see the egg on our faces before we can work with those with whom we have struggled for so long. At least we all have something in common!
Perhaps for some it is enough to simply state an injustice, but love of the land won't let you get away with just that and will lead you to wonder what might be done instead. The polemic took nine months. Taking the answers from the abstract, to the concrete, and then to the elegant took far longer. I have done my best to make them simple. I ask your forgiveness for anything less, but this book had to get out. It is time.
One last thing, just to make it clear. This book was written without financial support from any person, corporate or individual. It was paid for with savings and personal debt. I was provided data from numerous sources from all sides of the arguments. There is no motive other than the reward of having helped people do a better job for nature and to find a way out of the injustices they rightly perceive. It is possible to prosper in harmony with the laws of nature once we begin to act in concert with all of them. Best that we start to learn.
No matter how intelligent people are, how much experience they have, or how much they care, we all have major degrees of ignorance when it comes to understanding our interactions with the environment. I have done my best, within my limitations, to make it honest.
Speak up man, help is on the way. Have you talked to B4Ranch? He knows all the Ranchers up there.
Thanks, I'm lousy at asking for help.
Have you talked to B4Ranch? He knows all the Ranchers up there.
Oh, yes. I will catch him when I make a Sierra trip this summer after the snowmelt, say early July. Gotta make it a camping trip for the kids too! Maybe Daddy gets some target practice as well?
..."well, gooooool-LEEEEE... I coulda SWORE this here was PRIME spotted owl habitat..."
...Or will some corrupt politician and some big shot construction developer ruin and destroy it? ...
There is a correct way to handle this situation in a free and lawful society. It isn't takeover by the government from the owner. It isn't to make regulations to tell the owner what to do with his land. It is to gather likeminded individuals and buy the land yourselves. Become an owner of private property. Then you may do with the land as you please.
Freedom Is Worth Fighting For !!
Molon Labe !!
It's stupid lies and slogans like this that prove what enviralism really is: MARXISM
You're not loosing anything, some worthless dust-bin desert is being salvaged and put to the use that the Lord intended: homes for people.
This is off subject, and I do not wish to hijack this thread, but...
The untold truth is that we didn't run out of power last year!
It was all hype in an abortive attempt by our socialist governor Gray-out Doofus to have a government take-over of the power industry. - Check the records, and you will find that there was not one single day where power demand exceeded supply; but in order to have black-outs, 'rolling' blackouts were instituted when reserves reached 3%. - That's the facts, Mam.
I can take it... I think. Bring it on!!!
Yes, this is the ONLY solution, but you will never see it touted in the media because it doesn't empower government (read: Tyranny)
Will it help Dog Gone and me to come to believe that Capitalism should not be a government program as it always has been? That's my question for you!
Hi forester! Did you see they passed the Federal land use planning over-riding Local government monstrosity in SECRET in the Senate, just like they did the "Son of CARA." Now that what I call an abomiNation!!! Marsh2 isn't gonna have any authority left by the time she takes the oath, is she farmfriend?!?
Phil V... when ya gonna post the Friday story about the rip-off rafters plottin to by a PG&E dam, after fightin dams all their imature adult lives? http://www.mtdemocrat.com/display/inn_news/1N_01.txt
Guess I missed that one, I feel so out of the loop now. Do you have a bill number?
Hey E-S! Wanna hear my new slogan?
Pave the Rainforest!
The best thing is, we still have our freedom here in NC...at least for now.
For some reason, when it does the same thing to real estate values there doesn't seem to be the same kind of reaction. I suppose some of it has to do with the fact that everyone has a dollar bill, but not everyone owns property; so the impact isn't as universal.
Onerous land-use regulation is theft, pure and simple.
Anyways, why have people slow motion fled urban areas? Why do they leave their homes and towns? Why do they move from democrat to republican areas? It is not to ruin anything, although you can fairly say they do, but to escape entrenched leftist, unions, high taxes, regulations, shakedowns and daily tuggery of the left.
I will give you an example. Our family had 50 acres of bottom land, and lots of water rights in Oury, Colorado. Farmed hay on it and it paid the taxes. Our neighbors were small cattlemen. They made about 30k a year, each. Well, retired Californians came. Usually retired govenment/town emplyooyees and such and built $300k log mansions. And ran for town office as they had time and pensions to do so. And started spending and making a quiet, inexpensive place ito what they fled. That is a paperpushing, get your lawyer, we are spending now, and up go your taxes. We couldn't afford it and sold out. Likewise many neighbors who had been there since the late 1800's.( they moved to Wyoming )
So long as leftist take power, people will flee to the hills. No one but kids, bad artists and the rich move to democrat areas.
Reserves fell to 1.5%. This is only a built in safety margin and not a cause. It is unwise to operate plants at anything too close to 100%. Doing so will result in the failure of at least one plant and cascading blackouts like the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965 (caused by relay failure) and the New York City Blackout of 1977 (started by lightning).
Government manipulation of the free market. Electric utilities were only partially deregulated. Utilities still had price controls and limits on where they could buy. Power generators had no limits on prices they could charge utilities and had a captive market. This gave no incentive to develop new plants.
Out of State Power. California had relied on power from neighboring states for a quarter of its energy. With the utilities on the edge of bankruptcy due to state mandated price differences, out of state utilities stopped selling power to California. The federal Department of Energy later forced the out of state utilities to sell, ending the January blackouts.
...When deregulation occurred in 1996, California's major utilities sold many of their power plants to a handful of electricity wholesalers.....Demand for electricity in California has grown by 6 percent per year for the past five years.....Because of the high demand, unregulated wholesale energy prices have risen dramatically in the last year. But the rates charged to customers are still under a freeze. So the utilities buy energy at a deregulated rate from the wholesale suppliers, but have to charge customers a much lower regulated rate.....There have been no major power plants built in California in the past 10 years.....California relies on many out-of-state companies to provide them with electricity. California imports 25 percent of its electricity to meet daily demand...link
...Rolling blackouts are typically used only in severe cases, and are designed to prevent a complete collapse of the state's power system. It signals that the state's operating reserves have fallen below 1.5 percent.....Hospitals, police stations, fire departments and some residents located near these emergency agencies are unaffected by the rolling blackouts.....link
Fixes. Complete the deregulation of the industry by ending government price controls. Breakup the government created semi-monopoly power suppliers into smaller units to increase the number of competitors.
My problem has been time constraints that should now be eased as I am unemployed. Anyone looking for a lobbyist?
I have been told that by a lot of people. It's really comforting as most of my neighbors don't have a clue what I am doing, although a few are realizing that I'm not the eco-rapist they thought I was at first. I guess it's because these days I plant as much as I chop.
It's also tempting because I could do it with cash and own it free and clear, but there's one thing about it that I know in my heart: There is no coming back. Land prices here will continue to go out of sight as they always have, until it all collapses. All that love and time and care, down the tubes. Four generations of history, down the tubes, and the liberal fascism will follow me anyway in just a few years.
If it does collapse, it will do so everywhere, not just in California. That's one thing many FReepers don't understand when they bash us or advise us to cut and run. So I guess it's best that I stay and fight, and be the public example of what I espouse in stewardship and research.
Our county has resisted HCPs, although large timber companies such as Fruit Growers and Sierra Pacific have tried to go in that direction. The last example is the notorious "5 County Plan." NMFS did not want to deal with small stuff, so the state helped to broker a Coalition of the 5 Counties effected by coho. Part of the action was to go together on shared staff, conservation protocols (such as road treatments) and grant applications. The kicker was when "model" conservation ordinances began to assert themselves. These were ordinances on new building, grading, etc. that were supposed to be adopted universally throughout the region.
Locals put up a stink with the result that Siskiyou dissolved its formal ties with the coalition. (It still works with them on a collaborative and coopertaive basis.) My board wanted to back the Supervisors with a show of confidence, which meant they backed continued contractual ties with the 5 County Group. I disagreed. One of a few times that I took a public stand against my board of directors.
Anyway, I am not a fan of HCPs. I have long supported voluntary, incentive-based approaches toward conservation/habitat enhancement and non-point source pollution.
A note of interest, I have already taken the oath of office. They did it in December when I filed my papers as a candidate. I guess they do it to get the paperwork on file as there has been some stink in the past over office holders not having a signed oath on file.
I imagine that I will take it again when I am sworn in next January. I would like a formal ceremony. It is rather a momentous event in my life and I take the matter seriously. It should be marked with a bit of ceremony and witness.