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"Water is a human right, not a commodity. ... All water resources, including the oceans, must be protected [NOTE not part of quote: Controlled, not 'protected'] as a public trust so that commercial use of water does not diminish public or ecological benefits." - The Sierra Club. 'Sierra Club was one of 225 public interest organizations from around the world that released the following declaration in Kyoto at the 3rd World Water Forum setting forth principles for global water policy: "Water, as a public trust and an inalienable human right, must be controlled by the peoples and communities that rely on it for their lives and livelihoods. The management of water services must not only remain in public hands, but must be revitalized and strengthened to make community and worker participation central in order to democratize decision-making processes and ensure transparency and accountability." http://www.ventana.sierraclub.org/conservation/sc_watershed/water_as_human_right .shtml

"The zebra mussel may be impossible to control and may cause major changes, some of which may be beneficial. Western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron -- once clear waters -- became artificially enriched and plagued with high turbidity caused by runoff from agricultural lands. The filtering action of the zebra mussels in these areas may reduce turbidity and restore water clarity to historical levels, thus benefiting native fishes adapted to clear water." Source: http://biology.usgs.gov/s+t/SNT/noframe/gl127.htm

All the water, which God originally put on earth, is still here. It is continually "recycled" and reused. The only exception is that amount which is locked up in the formation of concrete. So, why are we so concerned about the "use" of water? - Joseph Miller, southern Illinois, April 14, 2006.

The St. Johns River Water Management District
(Note: It appears that just this one 'management district' covers about one-fifth of Florida. From where in America's Constitution and other foundational documents did such a group acquire its authority to Control?)
The website's search page: http://sjrwmd.com/search.html
December 4, 2003
... this wildland-urban interface -- an area of urban sprawl where homes and other development press against the boundaries of public or private wildlands or rural areas ... Thanks to the partnership of four government agencies ... http://www.sjrwmd.com/programs/outreach/pubs/streamln/03winter/wi03sln1.html
Streamlines - A quarterly publication of the St. Johns River Water Management District
Spring 2002

Q: How is the work of the water management district funded?

A: As an independent special taxing district, the District is not a state agency and its work is not funded like the work of the Florida Department of Education or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The St. Johns River Water Management District collects property taxes and fees and receives grants or appropriations from the state and federal government. The state's voters, in 1976, approved a measure to allow the five water management districts' governing boards to levy a property tax. The voters set a limit of one mill (no more than $1 for each $1,000 of assessed property value). The St. Johns District's rate was capped by the Legislature at 0.6 mills, or 60 cents per $1,000. The District's current property tax rate is .462 mills.


District sets fires to prevent wildfires

(Note: It was also a 'prescribed burn' that destroyed Cloudcroft and Alamogordo, New Mexico. "This year, the District plans to prescribe-burn 42,000 of its 557,000 acres of public land...")


By Teresa Monson

Jacksonville, Florida - Florida's three-year drought fuels vivid memories of 1998's destructive wildfires. The drought has, until now, prevented land managers from using their most effective tool against wildfires: prescribed fire, or controlled burning.

Most Florida habitats will burn sooner or later, says Steven R. Miller, director of the St. Johns River Water Management District's Division of Land Management.

But the situation is much more favorable when conditions, staffing and equipment are controlled as they are in prescribed burns, rather than uncontrolled as they would be in a wildfire.

Prescribed fire recycles nutrients back into the soil and supports new growth; it also protects Florida from destructive wildfires by burning off fuels that naturally build up over time.

Periodic fires help to control the growth of woody shrubs and remove the buildup of excess dead, flammable plant material that can result in wildfires when the woods ignite from a lightning strike or a carelessly discarded match.

Controlled burning is part of the ongoing restoration and maintenance of District-owned land along the St. Johns River system.

This year, the District plans to prescribe-burn 42,000 of its 557,000 acres of public land to protect against wildfires, restore and maintain natural communities, control tree diseases, open scenic vistas and perpetuate fire-adapted plants and animals.

"Fire is a natural process in many plant communities -- sandhills, pine flatwoods, scrub and marsh. Without fire, these communities change," Miller says.

"Removing fire from these plant communities has the same effect as taking rain out of a rainforest. Plants and animals that are dependent on fire, such as fox squirrels, gopher tortoises and red-cockaded woodpeckers, are lost," Miller adds.

Before Florida became developed, fires generally occurred naturally due to lightning strikes. Then, wildfires might burn for days and travel many miles. Today, fires can no longer be allowed to burn freely, so to achieve the effects of natural fires on lands, prescribed fires are intentionally ignited under very strict conditions.

Before conducting a burn, District land managers weigh a variety of stringent factors, including specific weather conditions, types of vegetation, and staffing and equipment needs.

Both public and private land managers periodically conduct prescribed burns to imitate nature but with less risk of property loss and more savings to taxpayers.

Some studies show that controlling a wildfire can cost five times more than the expense of a prescribed burn.

According to the Florida Division of Forestry, more than 750 structures, homes or businesses have been damaged or destroyed by wildfire since 1998 in Florida.

Wildfire also has damaged more than 1.2 million acres of Florida's wildlands since 1998.

The risk of wildfire increases as more homes are built in and around forested areas.

To reduce the risk of wildfire to homeowners, the District and other members of the North Florida Prescribed Fire Council encourage residents, particularly those living near pine flatwoods, to be tolerant of temporary inconveniences that accompany prescribed fire and to carry out preventative maintenance at home before the wildfire season begins.

To learn ways to protect your home from wildfire, visit the Firewise Web site at http://www.flame.fl-dof.com/firewise


Dixie Lee Ray regarding William Riley of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)

Fall 1992

"There is a deliberate and quite outspoken attack on the whole idea of people owning private property. Mr. William Riley, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has said publicly on a number of occasions that he does not believe that people should have the right to own private property.

To use his words, 'The ownership of private property is a quaint anachronism.' He has called for a repeal of the fifth amendment as it affects the right of private property. There are two laws that have been passed by the Congress that are being used to take property away from people. One is the Endangered Species Act, and the other one happens to be the Clean Water Act." - Dixie Lee Ray, scientist, recipient of the United Nations Peace Prize and former Governor of Washington State, in an interview with the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, Special Edition, Fall 1992.

Full interview at: http://www.acton.org/publicat/randl/interview.php?id=52