A series of columns on property rights, resource
providers (farmers, loggers, miners, ranchers, and recreationists) and
the continuing situation in west central Ohio, first with U.S. Fish
& Wildlife Service and then with the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) by Julie Kay Smithson, property rights researcher, author, speaker
and activist. New Book of Vital Importance Available!
February 2002 Darby Update
February is certainly unusual in west-central Ohio in 2002: Snow is non-existent and the temps have been above normal for much of
the new year.
Both Stewards Of the Darby (SOD) and Citizens Against the Refuge
Proposal (CARP) held meetings recently, apparently to assess the current
situation with the EPA-driven efforts to implement the restrictive Clean
Water Act in a community that has exemplified stewardship and clean
water WITHOUT federal, state or local restriction/directives. Both
groups have met sporadically over the past year since US Fish &
Wildlife Service publicly stated that it had given up in its attempt to
create a Federal wildlife refuge in Madison and Union Counties in Ohio.
continues to be an excellent and ever-expanding and improving
research/resource tool for those interested in disseminating facts:
Not only the situation in the Darby Plains/Darby Watershed area of
Ohio is available for the reading/printing, but also the dilemmas that
resource providers, homeowners and others with land and water use
issues, is here to help!
January 2002 Darby Update and Website
As of January 1, 2002, the No Darby Refuge website, created in August
1999 by Jim Slaughter, and grown into a fine property rights website
that has helped many to learn about various different issues relating to
property rights in general, and the Darby area of Ohio in particular, is
undergoing some major changes.
Jim has suffered some health problems and has
handed over the reins to Julie Kay Smithson, who is very proud to
'inherit' this wonderful site. However, Julie has never run a
website before, so the webmaster duties will be capably handled by Gerry
Ullery of Dolphin Enterprises.
Both Julie and Gerry are looking forward with excitement to the new look
of the site, which will remain as user-friendly as ever! Please
often, and recommend it to your friends!
November 2001 Darby
While the "Darby Creek Watershed Project Watershed Planning
Group" continues "full steam ahead" with its agenda,
members of our local rural community feel that they must stay involved
in order to know what's being foisted on us at every turn (Endangered
Species Act, or ESA; Clean Water Act, or CWA; point and non-point source
pollution, or PSP and NPSP; total maximum daily load, or TMDL; riparian
buffers, or RB; the "Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program"
or CREP; conservation easements, or CEs; and "alphabet soup"
Because one agency appears to have been kept away, we must keep in mind
that others have taken their place, and those who seek to acquire, by
whatever means possible, our rural lands and heritage, have not given
up, and shall not. A famous saying: Eternal vigilance is the price of
freedom, is never truer than today!
Networking with others in like situations/dilemmas has meant a trip to
western Nevada to speak to both American AgriWomen (AAW) and California
Women for Agriculture (CWA) as well as American Women in Forestry.
While we are getting better at something that the
"environmental" groups have used for years (networking), it is
still a "mixed bag" of response. Some are enthusiastic and
ready to meet and mingle with other resource providers (farmers,
ranchers, miners, loggers, recreationists). A few are of the fatalistic,
"we've already lost" mindset. Others are shocked by the facts
("the United Nations and foreign creditors have been in cahoots to
collateralize our country's natural resources???"). Still another
contingent "goes ostrich," and tunes out the truth.
On the return trip, a lovely visit with Wayne Hage and his wife, Helen
Chenoweth-Hage, at their Nevada ranch was scheduled, only to be cut
short by the rustling (read: stealing or theft) of 62 head of
neighboring rancher Ben Colvin's cattle, and the subsequent
"sealed-bid only" auction of them at the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) auction facility at Palomino Valley, NV, five hours
away. The Hage's, ever the reliable neighbors and patriots that they
are, were up and away at 4 am to drive through snow for 5 hours, to
stand up with their neighbor and try to help.
How many readers have seen Ben Colvin's story
in the national print or television media? If not, why not?
The buyer of the cattle was a 19-year-old from California who used his
grandmother's credit card for the purchase. Please keep in mind that
these cattle did NOT belong to the BLM, and were Ben Colvin's property.
Mr. Colvin has adjudicated grazing rights, which gives him up to 7 miles
of grazing for his cattle from each water source on his ranch. His
cattle were NOT guilty of trespassing, and he does NOT owe any fines to
the BLM. Facts aside, an agency of the Federal government, a branch of
the same Department of the Interior (Gale Norton) whose U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Marine Fisheries
Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Park Service, continue to
work de facto (without law) to decimate America's ability to remain
Why, you ask? Our natural resources, and our ability to use them to take
care of our needs and maintain our freedom, have been collateralized to
foreign creditors to keep us begging for loans. The reasons for not
being "allowed" to access and utilize our natural resources
(timber, grazing, farming, and mining, along with recreationalist
pursuits) are publicized as being: to preserve endangered species,
"protect" water quality and old growth timber, etc. The truth
is that collateral loses value when it is used. Collateral, in the eyes
of the creditor, must be kept pristine, so that if the borrower defaults
on the loan, the creditor recoups his/her investment by TAKING THE
COLLATERAL. Please think hard and long on this, dear reader!
Our ability to consume locally-produced products at affordable prices
not only saves on "fossil fuel consumption" by saving on the
distance that the goods (gas, food, lumber, minerals, medicines, etc.)
are transported, but also keeps us free and independent as a country.
This is what America is all about. Our great and God-blessed country has
in the past led the way for others to emulate. We have set the standard
for others; that is precisely why so many come to our shores to live and
realize "the American Dream!"
By using the resources and sweatshops/cheap labor of other countries, we
are contributing to their continued servitude. Purchasing something made
in China, for example, does not elevate the standard of living for the
average Chinese laborer. The revenue generated serves only to perpetuate
the terrible poverty that enshrouds those faraway countries. While Americans may
visit the tourist areas of other countries, they do not see the rural
custom and culture that is being destroyed. Our own country is at high
risk of the same happening; we simply must realize this fact, and stand
together in this time of opportunity. We have the chance to make things
better, not only for us, but for people everywhere, but NOT succumbing
to false advertising/guilt trips! Knowledge of truth is a powerful
asset; being kept in the dark by other than the truth is a terrible
This reporter is encouraged by the exchange of email addresses,
problems, possible solutions, and energy that happened in Sparks,
Nevada, and sees a light at the end of the tunnel that is NOT a train!
She asks that everyone reading this update consider/continue to make
phone calls, send emails (and letters and faxes when they once again
become possible), attend meetings, and talk to everyone everywhere about
this. It is NOT just in someone else's backyard: it is in YOUR backyard,
whether you are
yet aware of it or not, and in your neighbor's backyard, and your family
and friends' backyards!
Please go to our Links page and
spend time at the websites listed there. Consider the truth, and ask
others to read http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org
It does not matter if the reader be rural or urban, American or anywhere
else on the planet: this giant environmental hoax that is simply
business and generated by the profit motive, is EVERYWHERE.
August and September in Ohio, in the Darby farmland: Nothing appears to
be moving but the tasseled corn. The "dogs days of summer"
preclude most activity within our 200-year-old rural culture. The
soybeans ripen, the cicadas sing, and the air is pregnant with
anticipation at the fall harvest. However, this apparent lack of action
should not lull the residents into a false sense of security, because
the elected officials and non-governmental organizations continue to
work feverishly for their agendas. For example, there is now a large
group calling themselves the "Darby Creek Watershed Project,"
comprised of "stakeholders" whose eighteen month
"vision" and "mission" is to "protect water
quality" to initiate a "watershed planning process. " While we who live within this "watershed" have
repeatedly asked those who are heading this project, what IS it that
needs to be done to improve upon what we are ALREADY doing, and doing
without GRANT MONEY, we have yet to receive a real answer. They blithely
attempt to smooth over our concern at having questions regarding the
NEED for this, and wax ecstatic over the stakeholders who will "all
have a say" in "the process." The facilitators of the two
meetings held thus far have reassured the area's residents that
compliance will be strictly voluntary. The website that has been set up
for this "project" is owned and operated by none other than
The Nature Conservancy, and emails to that site, http://www.bigdarby.org
go to Jan Burkey, of TNC.
The implementation of the Clean Water Act for the
ENTIRE Darby Watershed, which includes both the Big and Little Darby
Creeks, involves eight counties, and could ultimately have an even
greater and more permanent impact on the area than the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service's "proposed federal wildlife refuge."
In fact, our area is crawling with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
employees, ostensibly taking "water quality samples," and
trespassing on a regular basis on private property. License plates from
as far away as Georgia (a white sport utility vehicle whose driver was
trespassing on private property, and was "collecting endangered
species") have been documented, and the formerly friendly rural
mood has darkened. No Trespassing signs are multiplying rapidly, and
residents maintain a loosely organized "neighborhood watch"
program over one another's farms and homes, much more so than in the
"good ole days."
Travel to distant places, to speak about property
rights issues, has been dampened by the horrific events of Tuesday,
September 11, 2001. Even farmers whose fields received irrigation water,
bought and paid for, "too little, too late" in the Klamath
Irrigation District of southern Oregon and extreme northern California,
struck a truce and vacated the Headgates of the "A" Canal in
Klamath Falls, choosing rather to help their city neighbors in the East
with donations and supplies.
Life will go on, and one Oregon farmer said it well:
"We may now be expected to go to war for America, little knowing if
we will even have farms to come back to, because of the undue influence
and pressure that is destroying our American custom and culture as
resource providers due to the Endangered Species Act and the uninhibited
lust that the non-governmental agencies (notably the Nature Conservancy
and the Sierra Club among others) have for our lands. Almost one hundred
years of 'sweat equity' are valued at as little as $28 per acre, and our
wildlife refuge inhabitants are suffering, too, at the hands of those
who profess to love wildlife, the 'environmentalists'"
July 2001 Darby Update
July in Ohio, characterized by the three H's: heat, haze and humidity,
and truly the dog days of summer! July found various Stewards of the
Darby attending several meetings, from Madison County Farm Bureau to
zoning. A presence at each of these events is so important! Also in mid-month, Julie and Wiggles Blue Heeler traveled
to St. Louis, Missouri, to attend the second annual Freedom 21
Conference, hosted by Henry Lamb's Sovereignty International. Julie's
trip was made possible by the generosity and kindness of Thomas Cochran
(Zanesfield, OH), who was a longtime scheduler for the 700AM WLW Radio
talk show, Bill Boshear's SciZone, which has a 38-state radio listening
audience, and global coverage through the ability to listen on the
Internet. As the month closed, plans were in the works for a trip to
take much-needed supplies to the beleagured farmers in the Klamath Basin
June 2001 Darby Update
While local and state elected officials continue to discount the
"alive and well" status of the "proposed Little Darby
National Wildlife Refuge," the Madison County Commissioners held a
secret meeting in late May, closed to the general public and the press,
with officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR),
Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Governor's office, to discuss
the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) "in lieu
of" the proposed refuge. Apparently, the above entities believe
that P.T. Barnum's saying is false. They seem to concur that you CAN
fool all the people (within the Study Area and the rural community) all
CREP is more akin to opening the door for US Fish & Wildlife Service
than it is an "in lieu of" proposal. Saying that the proposed
three hundred foot setbacks from ALL streams in Madison County is
"strictly voluntary," the "behind closed doors"
bunch is contradicting themselves. If this proposal were so grand, why
would they meet in secret to foist it on our community?
A meeting was held by Stewards of the Darby (SOD) at the Rosedale Bible
College on June 26th, to discuss CREP. About thirty-five were in
attendance, including London attorney Chris Brown, who spoke at length,
warning the audience of the pitfalls of CREP, and its danger to private
property rights. "Don't sign ANYTHING," he was quoted as
Julia Cummings, of Madison Soil and Water Conservation District, was in
attendance, and offered her "take" on CREP, being a proponent.
She was outnumbered, and was given many reasons for the opposition to
the CREP program. When asked what the farmers were doing wrong, that
called for CREP to regulate them, she could offer not a single reason.
Other events attended by refuge and CREP opposition, to hand out
literature and talk to the public about our area and property rights,
was the Capitol Cruisers drive-in in West Jefferson on May 5th and June
2nd; there was a SOD tent at the first annual London Strawberry Festival
from June 13-16.
Please continue to contact us with your knowledge of these issues
wherever they may surface, your questions about property rights, and how
we may help you, and your prayers and support!
continues to be a firm bastion in the defense of property rights and
other American freedoms!
May 2001 Darby Update
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have NOT given up and gone away! The
"Proposed Little Darby National Wildlife Refuge" is still
alive and "well."
Between the Madison County Commissioners' plan to acquire 1,000-foot
setbacks from ALL streams that flow through Madison County; to the State
of Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture and
the Governor's Office meeting, not with local landowners (the real
stakeholders), but with
"local officials" to discuss "alternatives," we are
far from being out of the woods!
Thomas Larson, Chief of Ascertainment and Planning for Region 3, FWS,
says in a recent email:
"Subject: Status of the Proposed Little Darby
Date: 4/20/01 6:07:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Dear Miss Smithson:
I am writting (sic) in response to your inquiry as to the
status of the Little Darby National Wildlife Refuge proposal. Since last
fall the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has put the Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) development process on hold, waiting while Ohio
Congressional representatives explore options for addressing natural
resource related issues in the area of the Little Darby Creek. As you
probably know, the Governor of Ohio has recently asked the Director of
the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Director of the Ohio
Department of Agriculture to meet with local officials in the proposed
refuge area to discuss the available options to achieve natural resource
objectives in the area.
The Service is still waiting on any further action
regarding the completion of the EIS to give the Congressional delegation
and the Governor's representatives ample opportunity to explore all
avenues that could result in meeting the needs of the local community
while ensuring the preservation of the natural resource of the area.
Thank you for your continued interest and active participation in the
discussions related to the long term preservation of the natural
resources of the Little Darby Creek system.
Thomas J. Larson
Chief, Ascertainment and Planning
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building
1 Federal Drive
Ft. Snelling, MN 55111-4056
Planning Web Site: http://www.fws.gov/r3pao/planning/
You may e-mail Governor Taft at [email protected]
Governor Taft values your views and opinions, and his staff monitors
these messages. If you would like a written response to your concerns,
please include your mailing address in your e-mail. Responses are sent
via U.S. mail. You will not receive a response via e-mail. If you'd like
to contact Governor Taft by U.S. postal mail, address your
Governor Bob Taft
77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6117
Phone 614-466-3555 or 614-644-HELP
Agriculture [email protected]
Natural Resources [email protected]
I'm off for Eureka, Montana, with a black walnut log in the pickup
truck, ready to stand by Jim Hurst and the timber industry in America,
to "return the favor" that they rendered to us so kindly last
Labor Day weekend, when the famed Jarbridge Shovels were hauled to Ohio
in Mr. Hurst's Grim Reaper semi! www.loghaul.com