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The Kellenberger Legacy To Ohio
Good Neighbors to the Hopewell Mounds" Iíve never wanted to live anywhere else. As far as can be seen from my home, the view is pleasing to the eye and a balm to the spirit. This is my home, and my family has cherished and been the best of stewards to our land." Looking out from the front porch of Tom and Nancy Kellenbergerís home, it is clear why he feels such kinship and pride in his farm. An hour south of Columbus, the Kellenberger Farm lies just southeast of Chillicothe. One of its neighbors is the Hopewell Mound Group, one of several ancient Indian earthworks found in Ohio. The view is unfettered by development, the wildlife coexists well with the human residents, and the earth has been coaxed to share her bounty. Corn stubble exudes its own beauty, and provides nourishment and shelter for songbirds, waterfowl, and other avian residents and visitors; and a smorgasbord for the whitetail deer. Level to slightly rolling, the foothills of the Appalachians as a backdrop, itís easy to see why the Kellenbergers chose this place to sink their roots. Four generations deep, the attachment for the farm is much more than material or monetary.The responsibility felt for the flora and fauna is not that of a mercenary, to merely deplete the resources and move on. Rather, the Kellenbergers have fought, and are fighting, to keep this place pristine for succeeding generations of Kellenbergers. The human influence on this land has been an enhancement and not a detriment, as the fine soil attests, and the mature trees that line the fields testify.

The National Park Service and the Archaeological Conservancy are united with multiple partners to separate Tom and his family from sixty-four acres of his 352-acre corn and soybean farm, including both his home and his parents home. There has never been a study done on the 64 acres to prove the existence of an earthworks, and no evidence can be found of such. Certainly, there are the occasional broken pieces of stone and flint, which exist in numerous other riverside locations in the Midwest.

It should be noted that while preserving the culture of Native Americans is admirable and necessary, it has already been done in many places in Ohio, and the need to take prime production agricultural land for another place with no ingress by the public, is questionable. The Kellenbergers have been used by both groups, who made false statements stating that the Kellenbergers were going to donate the land in question, untruths that led to the sale of neighboring land. Over the course of nine years, Tom and Nancy have sought legal assistance, and the intervention of local groups. Nothing seems to have deterred the NPS and the Archaeological Conservancy from their chosen course, to disenfranchise the Kellenbergers from an integral part of their home and farm. The 64 acres is not only "loss of (farm) income, but also the loss of TWO family homes and the loss of a part of our lives," as Tom puts it so well.

The essence of this issue is not the preserving for research of this land, but the removal of private property rights by a federal agency and its cohorts. The current administration has, in the past eight years, locked up and removed from public use, more land than in all other administrations, put together. This is not land that a family can visit and hike, birdwatch, horseback ride, or camp on. This is not land that can keep our country free from dependence on foreign oil supplies and imported products, not any more. Our own government has stolen our countryís heritage, and is doing everything possible in these last days, to make her subservient to a foreign power, the United Nations. This juggernaut of the taking of privately-owned land, the USE of privately-owned land, and the publicís ability to use public lands and waters, is WRONG. The Kellenbergers stand as one Ohio example of what is happening in virtually every state in America: the siege of the American citizen, the removal of the middleclass and the backward journey into feudalism that our country was founded to thwart! By telling their story, and many others like it, the author hopes to light a fire of curiosity and public outrage that bridges the gap between, "...as long as itís not in MY backyard..." and "...itís all around me, and Iíd better wake up and get involved!" To expect "someone else" to attend the meetings and write the letters to the editor and make the phone calls and keep tabs on the elected officials, is to know what itís like to have it done "someone elseís way."

If freedom is vital for oneĎs happiness, than one must be willing to stand up for it! The issue is no longer "if" but "when." Please visit http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org and read of other true attempts on Americaís citizens by those who would ensnare Americans in so much red tape that we lose the rest of our freedom. December 10, 2000 869 words in body of article - Article may be reprinted with written (or email) permission of author.