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OCTOBER 24, 2010 


Private Property Rights  
APPEARANCES:  OCT 24, 2010  JAN 9, 2011  MAR 13,2011  JUN 5, 2011  JUL 31, 2011  MAR 2, 2014 AUG 10, 2014

Today's guest: Fred Kelly Grant


A message from Fred

I served as Chairman of the Owyhee Initiative Project for 11 years, guiding the Work Group through development and execution of an historic agreement between environmental groups, ranchers, off road vehicle organizations, hunters, fishermen, wildlife supporters, the BLM, County Government and the Shoshone Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley, Nevada.

We started this organization as the Owyhee County Commissioners put out a call to select landowner groups and environmental and recreation groups to come together to try to resolve decades of land use conflict that hurt all interests in the BLM lands; there are no forest lands in Owyhee County, but what worked for the BLM lands can work for Forest Service lands. After 6 years we reached an agreement as to restricted wilderness (only 1/6 of what had been sought and almost obtained by environmental groups), the release of wilderness study areas in the amount of 200,000 acres back to multiple use including recreation, designation of wild and scenic rivers, but retaining cross for motorized vehicles, permanent rights of ways for off road vehicles across private lands by exchanging the private for BLM, making the limited wilderness the most accessible wilderness in the US, with hundreds of regularly used roads and trails maintained open and cherry stems allowed to remain for access, a science review for reviewing BLM grazing decisions, a cultural protection program for the Tribes, and increased law enforcement for the BLM to enforce travel management plans to be developed for the entire county by the BLM under guidelines for challenging trail alignments.

Five more years we moved the agreement through congress, first we had to draft it to fit a republican energy and natural resources committee in the Senate; then we had to alter it when the democrats took control. In Marcy 2009, the bill passed in the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, and was signed into law by President Obama.

Today, the federal government holds out the Initiative as the only complete success in collaboration between all users of the public lands: hikers, berry pickers, equestrians, bicycle riders, off road motorized vehicles, ranchers, outfitters and guides, skiers, hunters, fishermen, wildlife enthusiasts, plant enthusiasts.

It would not and could not have occurred without a history of coordination by the Owyhee County government. Twenty years ago, I introduced coordination into the relationship between BLM and the County, in order to save all ranchers in the county from going out of business with a government management plan that would have removed cows from the public lands. Using the coordination process that is set by statute, we were able to keep the feds at bay until we could put together this collaborative approach.

I openly suggest that the collaboration could not have taken place had it not been for the success of Owyhee County in the coordination business. The environmentalists knew that the county had the edge up on them because the county had standing with the BLM while the environmentalists did not. That standing is based on the following:

The statutes managing the public lands require that the federal agency coordinate with the local government as to planning, policy and management decisions; coordination is defined as early notice to the local government of what the agency plans to do, open discussions regarding the impact that the plans have on the county and its citizens, an acknowledgment of the existence and contents of any local plan or policy that is contrary to the plan proposed by the federal agency, and then the agency is directed to use every means practicable to reach consistency with local planning.

No other groups except the state, Indian tribes and local government units have this standing. All these levels of sovereignty have the right to coordination; no other groups do, including the environmental organizations.

The environmentalist knew that they would never get the 3 million acres of wilderness they wanted, with Idaho republican delegation. Senator Crapo told them the door to his office was through the county commissionerís office in Murphy, Owyhee County. So, they joined with ranchers, recreation users and the local government, all mortal enemies just a few months earlier. The result was a highly successful collaborative effort in which ranchers gained significantly , the county gained because it is free of litigation, and the BLM gained because it is spared repeat addressing of similar but different law suits.

The Owyhee Initiative contains the first private property rights for ranchers enacted in 50 years; and it emanates from coordination.

Coordination is simply a statutory process that is set forth by Congress for the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to follow in making their plans, policies and land management decisions. They must involve any local government that stands up for its people and multiple users of the Forests.

 Congress included it in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act in the mid1970s, and in the National Forest Management Act, as well as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and other natural resource acts that affect the use of the streams and lakes in the Forests and on BLM ground.

It is up to the local governments to invoke coordinating, and all it takes is one letter to engage them. Del Norte County, Modoc County, Shasta County, Siskiyou County, Inyo County all have coordination plans or resolutions. In Del Norte coordination is underway and has been for two years; in Modoc County it is and has been for about 16 years, Shasta and Siskiyou have just recently come on board, and are ready to sue the Forest Service in order to force it to comply with National Environmental Policy, the National Forest Management Act, the Travel Management Program rules, the Transportation and planning rules of 1982.

The Process is there to be used, it has been since 1974 but until Owyhee County jumped in to protect its ranchers no local government had ever convinced the BLM to come around to accepting that they are going to have to coordinate. Over thirty significant victories have been won by the county with the BLM. and many success stories also dot the Modoc County record, setting the stages in both counties for continuing officials to make the law work for their constituents.

I would like to discuss this process which is so simple to install and implement; no huge amounts of money will be necessary to make coordination work; and when local government insists on coordination, the whole set of issues are called into play: endangered species, forest services, BLM, water, grazing, allotment improvements.

I would like to discuss the specific success stories for Modoc County and Murphy, Owyhee County. Also, th success in stopping the Trans Texas Corridor, the first of the connections in the NAFTA superhighway. Through coordination, 4 small towns, combined population of 6,000, stopped the projects by one of the best funded and most powerful transportation departments in the state.

Successes in Fremont County, Wyoming and Fremont County, Colorado show even more progress. And, in Logan County Kansas on an endangered species case on private lands.

This process works on private lands and on public lands; you will become the target of several agencies of government in trying to stop coordination.
These are the things that I want to talk about if possible;

Would like to emphasize Initiative, plus my association as special assistant to the Shoshone Paiute Tribes for the purpose of consultation which is their version of coordination.

Would like to pass over Stewards, if that is okay. some environment groups have labeled them terrorists

More in the morning re some questions for Sylvia.


Charter Counties in California:
The main difference between general law and charter counties lies in the way they can organize and select their county governing bodies and officers. Every county is required to elect a governing body -- a board of supervisors. General law counties elect supervisors by district, while charter counties have the option of electing them at large or by district Except for the constitutional requirement that every county elect a sheriff, district attorney and an assessor, charter counties have considerable freedom when drafting their charters to determine what other officers they will have, their powers and duties, and whether they will be elected or appointed. Although general law counties have been granted some flexibility, they do not have the latitude of charter counties regarding officers. General law counties are regulated by statutes which specify their principal officers, assign their duties and require that they be elected by the people. The law, however, permits boards of supervisors to consolidate these elective offices into any of 25 combinations and to appoint additional officers, but prohibits the supervisors from giving appointed officials the responsibilities assigned by law to elected officials.
BASIC Differences between Charter and non Charter Government 
● Structure of county government specified in State Constitution and State Statutes.
● Structure of county government can be changed only by amending the State Constitution or Statutes.  All non-Charter counties are treated equally regardless of complexity of problems.
● County shall have only those powers of self-government prescribed by the State Legislature.
● State Statutes do not provide for initiative or recall at the county level.
● County cannot levy a utility tax.
● In the event of a conflict, Municipal Ordinances prevail over County Ordinances inside city. 
● Structure of county government specified in Charter.
● Structure of county government can be changed after a local election approving the change.  Form of government can be tailored to the particular needs of the County.
● County shall have all powers of self-government unless they are inconsistent with the Constitution and State laws.
● County Charter can provide for ordinances by citizen initiative and must provide for recall for the county commission.
● Charter counties may impose a utility tax in the unincorporated area and can substitute that revenue source for property taxes.
● Charter may prescribe which ordinance prevails inside city.  
Examples of criteria for Charter Cities. These are the work documents being used to evaluate the benefits of changing from a general law to a charter city here in Redding
10th Amendment - RESERVED POWERS
Video: PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS - Fred Kelly Grant
Websites and material mentioned on today's program:



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