Skip to comments.Sheriff Baca Won't Renew Forest Service Agreement
Posted on 02/04/2012 5:27:37 PM PST by girlangler
click here to read article
YIKES, that had paragraphs in it when I posted it.
...”And the horse you rode in on !”
.... think before hitting ENTER
Sierra County Sheriff Joe Baca has joined a growing number of elected sheriffs from across the West by sending a message to federal officials about undermining state and local rights regarding law enforcement.
Baca, a former lieutenant in the New Mexico Army National Guard and an Afghanistan veteran, told Sierra County Commissioners earlier this month his office will not renew an annual $16,000 contract with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
The ongoing cooperative agreement between the two agencies to compensate the sheriffs department for patrolling and enforcing laws in the Gila National Forest was due for renewal this past fall.
Bacas decision places him in agreement with other western sheriffs opposed to proposed Forest Service rules they interpret as giving USFS law enforcement officers more police powers, which they claim is contrary to citizens rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
According to Sierra County Tax Assessor Keith Whitney, the Forest Service manages approximately 378,700 acres (a portion of the more than 3- million acre Gila National Forest) in Sierra County.
The Western States Sheriffs Association (WSSA) received official notice of the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement proposed rule changes to the code of federal regulation 36 (CFR) 262, 261 and 212 on July 15, 2011 .
The WSSA released a position paper opposing these rules in September 2011. The portion of the new rules the WSSA opposes reads The proposed revisions to 36 CFRs 262, 261, and 212 make the Forest Service regulations more consistent with other land management agencies; clarify the agencys authority and give it enforcement measures and means commensurate with state law; and update regulations regarding payments for evidence, rewards, and impounding abandoned property.
The Forest Service has added stipulations that we do not agree with, Baca told The Sentinel. We (sheriffs) have jurisdiction in the forest anyway if the land is within our county, and I wont take money for doing what I already get paid to do by the residents of Sierra County.
Baca said he refuses to have federal authorities dictate what he can and cannot do in Sierra County, while Region 3 USFS officials contend the agency is merely updating rules that allow the existing agency law enforcement to be more effective when enforcing laws on public lands and ensuring public safety.
The Gila National Forest is presently in the final stages of approving its Travel Management Plan to determine what roads will remain open to motor vehicles, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in the Gila and other national forests, and the agencys adjusted law enforcement powers are contained in these proposed plans.
The Gila draft proposals for road closures in the forest include (1) taking no action, which would leave 4,604 miles of roads open to public use; (2) implementing a preferred alternative, which would leave 3,323 miles open; and (3) allowing 2,332 miles to 4,266 miles of open roads.
The final decision for road closures was originally scheduled to be announced in mid-2011, but has been delayed until spring 2012. During a series of public meetings last spring where significant local opposition was expressed to any forest road closures, Sheriff Baca announced his department would not enforce federal regulations preventing citizens from accessing public lands.
Sierra Countys sheriff is not alone when it comes to local law enforcement officials who claim it is their job to protect the citizens who elected them, even if it means conflicts with federal Forest Service authorities. Sheriff Gil Gilbertson of Josephine County, Ore., after hearing complaints from local citizens about Forest Service law enforcement officials, told the agency it has no authority in any county and he would protect citizens using the forest.
In 2011 Gilbertson drafted a 10-page report, Unraveling Federal Jurisdiction Within A State, which has become the resource manual for sheriffs in counties facing road closures, National Monument designations and other federal actions perceived as limiting citizen access to public lands. Last year, another Oregon sheriff, Glenn E. Palmer of Grant County, refused to renew his countys cooperative law enforcement agreement with the Forest Service.
I have sent at least two requests to the U.S. Forest Service asking for information that pertains to where the U.S. Forest Service gets it Constitutional authority to have law enforcement officers within Grant County, Sheriff Palmer wrote. Your jurisdiction, as I see it, is limited in nature to the Federal Building in John Day (Ore.). Within the confines of Grant County, the duties and responsibility of law enforcement will rest with the County Sheriff and his designees.
And in March 2011, the Denver Post reported a feud between Montezuma County Sheriff Dennis Spruell and the Forest Service over road closures in the San Juan National Forest. When 155 miles of the forests estimated 700 miles of unauthorized motorized routes near Dolores were made off limits to ORV use, Spruell threatened to cut locks on gates and ticket Forest Service agents enforcing the closures. Like his counterparts in other states, Sheriff Baca is confident his refusal to renew the law enforcement agreement with the Gila National Forest was justified.
It might make some people mad, but I want to do whats right, not whats required by the Forest Service, or violating the U.S. Constitution or state statutes, Baca said. Robin Poague, the USFS Region 3 law enforcement special agent responsible for national forests in Arizona and New Mexico, said the agency has jurisdiction over forest lands, and its road closure proposals are not meant to undermine the authority of county law enforcement We want to work with the sheriffs, and respect their role, and these rewrites of the regulations will give us the opportunity for better enforcement cooperation, Poague told The Sentinel this week.
Poague said the USFS has long-held arrest authority (on forest lands) under the law, but the timely rewrites are meant to conserve resources, enhance public safety, and enhance cooperation between the sheriffs and agency. However, an official statement from the Western States Sheriffs Association indicates that group respectfully disagrees. (The proposed rule changes) exhibit an absolute disregard for the sovereignty of the individual States, show a disregard for the authority of the Office of Sheriff, and a continued inability of the Forest Service to understand the mission and function of its law.
The revolt of the Sheriffs continues, thanks to the initial impetus of Joe Arpaio. Soon there won’t be a Sheriff’s association in the US who will support Obama and his buffoonery re the National Parks and the borders.
This will offset the leftist turn by some of the major FOP organizations who support Obama in the big cities.
We need more types of revolts from within the law enforcement ranks to stop Obama and his marxists from their unconstitutional power grabs.
Now, if the military had any balls, they would start their own revolts about the disasterous anti-military policies of Obama and his advisors.
I can remember that it was just 50 years ago the feds couldn’t find any constitutional authority for police powers.
Indeed it does. Will someone tell me what it says? The unformatted article makes my eyes hurt.
Thanks for fixing this, I didn’t know how.
I had several more examples of sheriffs (one in Indiana threatened to arrest EPA thugs) rebelling, but couldn’t put them in the article, as I had to focus on N.M.
Thanks. It did actually show paragraphs.
These guys rock. America needs more sheriffs like them.
Here in fly-over country the MSM has not seen fit to publish these stories.
The National Forest Service did absolutely nothing to stop the Bastrop, Texas, wildfire that burned 1600 homes. In fact, they wouldn’t allow volunteer fire departments from across Texas that had driven hundreds of miles to get to Bastrop to help because these good neighbors hadn’t received certification from the NFS to fight fires. These good men and women left Bastrop and went to smaller communities where their help was desperately needed as the flames approached.
This is why people hate big government. It is constantly focused on paperwork and their reams of rules instead of letting the citizens of this country do the good things that were done for generations until the federal government became too powerful.
The Feds will just taser him in the back for ignoring their dictates.
Related story, sort of.
USFS Rangers Gone Wild.
Not likely. Most citizens blessed with that type of Sheriff will back them to the hilt! Wouldn’t you?
Very interesting article. Thanks for posting it here.
Sure, it was a little tough to read without paragraphs, but don’t let the complainers get to you.
good article, but I couldn’t figure out what was making it so hard to read...Had to put on concentration hat, bingo, paragraphs are wonderful things....This article is well worth the read, normally I’d just give up....gg
We learn from our mistakes. Go for it. (and share what happened to enlighten us all.)
I am glad to see more and more Sheriffs who “get it”.
Theirs is an office (not a department of anything) that draws it’s power straight from the Constitution. Can’t be said for ANY police department or Federal law enforcement department.
But fedgov has been ignoring the Constituion for a long time.
Nobody responded in any post with the first thought that crossed my mind as I read the article, and that was “can you all say United Nations Agenda 21 everybody?”
This is just a part of the UN power grab that has been foretold for so long. It’s happening now, and these Sheriffs need our backing all the way.
Pinging the Agenda 21 folks!
More on the sheriffs with spines! (See post 7 for the formatted version!)
If you want to be on or off the Agenda 21 ping list, please notify me by Freepmail. It is a relatively low volume list in which we have been exploring the UN Agenda21 and related topics. We have collected our studies with threads, links, and discussions on the Agenda 21 thread which can be found here:
Thanks for the ping TEXOKIE. See my post #25 just two prior to your ping. GMTA.
“I had several more examples of sheriffs (one in Indiana threatened to arrest EPA thugs) rebelling, but couldnt put them in the article, as I had to focus on N.M.”
Please, girlangler, would you be willing to post links to those stories! Thanks!
Thanks for the ping TEXOKIE. See my post #25 just two prior to your ping. GMTA.
Excellent! This is what I love to hear.
These tyrannical road closures coming from the feds in DC make my blood boil. I'm extremely happy to see that locals are taking aqction here -- even if it means cutting the damn locks! Bravo!
Thanks for the ping, girlangler!
It’s a helluva story isn’t it?
Word is the ranger in question has been a ticking time-bomb every place he’s worked.
I’ve got some friends in his previous jurisdiction who are working to make his record of run-ins and near-blow-ups known not only to the authorities but also the public at large.
That’s some tough country up there near Roundup and I have to wonder if the hunter didn’t recognize this idiot ranger...otherwise somebody wouldn’t have walked away from the situation.
I also suspect that the ranger recognized the vehicle and the lady inside...she and her husband are apparently known as “anti-government” types, by the people who use such labels (pro-big-government types, in other words)...the ranger knew who they were and decided to strut his stuff.
Now they are stuck with the threat of prison and tons of legal bills while you and I are forced to pay his.
What a disgrace.
Point is, I respect you as a fellow FReeper but give the messenger a break.
I did IT work for 17 years in older tech and I still can't do a basic web page. Don't have the motivation or desire.
I'm nit pickin' about the 'learn HTML' post, alright. I'm not attacking you 'per se' but we all must remember the message.
Those sheriffs I've been reading about kick ass.
And my FRiend, I'm pretty 'anti-cop' based on my dealings in life.
Peace brother. I ride a Harley. It's not what you ride but IF you ride... ain't I right?
The most important thing is getting the information out. Especially check out his lessons learned on the summary page.
We keep pressure up on them, and we'll roll back the statists on this issue like we have on the 2nd Amendment issue.
I love it when County Sheriff's stand up against the feds.
Whatever... I always made sure I had a pocket full of quarters if going through Santa Fe during the HOG rally back in the early '80s. ;)
I rode a Honda 350 back then.
I'm too fragile to ride these days. And actually aware of it...
Thanks Flycatcher, just reporting the news in the area I happen to be covering at this point. I love the West, and the spirit of the people here.
I've had the old CL350's IIRC which were basically a street bike with knobbys, raced hare scrambles and motocross in the 'early 80's' owned a stable of crotch rockets, but I love my old 85 softail custom with the old school 4 spd tranny.
Your comment reminds me of my old sarge that I used to go dirtbike riding with in Mississippi who is now 67 and tells me he's too old to ride.
I respect what you say about 'acknowledging it' but I'm too damn stubborn to give up just yet. I'm 50 and still ride dirtbikes too. Now when I break something (which I have) it does take a little longer to heal.
Sorry for the brag rant.
Sorry for going so far off topic.
Sheriffs exercising their Constitutional duty. That's a win in my book.
Spent some time in SW NM a couple years back; all over the place, typical tourist stuff. Wonderful people, beautiful scenery!
Ping, in case you’re not on this list. I think you would find this one pretty interesting.
The evil paragraph destroyer has struck again!
You are right.
It is NEVER my fault, must be someone else’s.
Really, that is not funny, but I am sleepy so will be better tomorrow.
Just a tagline update. Dragging up an old one WTH.
This story does not suprise me. My fiancee’ is from out west. He told me he has had run ins with USFS rangers himself while out hunting. He despises them. He says they think they personally own the forests and he even had one ranger tell him that it was his forest and he could do anything he wanted. But on that day my fiancee’ was holding a 30-30 and was really in no mood for it so the ranger backed down and left. They will come up and try to tell you that you can’t hunt in an area that is clearly legal to hunt in.
The unstated goal of the National Forest Service is to close down all of the “public” lands to the public. They don’t want you hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, riding an ATV or anything else on “their land”.
The sovereign states are finally waking up and they are going to have to at some point just kick the Feds out. Thank God for the sheriff’s.
Thanks for the ping!
To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildingsOther than the District of Columbia, the federal government is authorized to own land only for the purpose of "erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings." They have no authority to manage the vast area that are now under their control. To see the extent of the land controlled by the federal government, especially in the western states, see the following map prepared by the Bureau of Land Management:
Additionally I would argue that ownership of the western lands was transferred from the federal government to the various states upon their erection as sovereign states. There should be a movement in the western states to assert such ownership and expel federal authorities as unlawful trespassers.
Even if the above theory of state ownership of these lands cannot be enforced the federal government should be forced to sell off any lands that are not required for the "erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings."
In any case, the most that the federal government can claim is ownership, not jurisdiction. They should be treated by the states in the same manner as the private owners of other lands.
I was taught to read English left to right, top to bottom, so I had no problem reading your post. And it was a good one.
The deal is that HTML eats excess white-space. If you want white-space beyond a single space (say a paragraph) you need to insert it by typing "<p>".
Try it and see.
Several years ago I read an article which made reference to the closing of mountain roads and trails in Germany during the 1930s. In that case the authorities wanted to make sure people couldn’t ‘bug out’ to the hills when TSHTF.
The more things change the more they stay the same - right?
They should have gone in and fought the fire any way. Let the feds bitch and moan and whine
The rule is “ask for forgiveness, not permission”