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  • Farm Life in America, 21st Century

    Farmer faces $2.8 million fine after plowing field

    EXCERPTS:
    ...
    A farmer faces trial in federal court this summer and a $2.8 million fine for failing to get a permit to plow his field and plant wheat in Tehama County.

    A lawyer for Duarte Nursery said the case is important because it could set a precedent requiring other farmers to obtain costly, time-consuming permits just to plow their fields.

    “The case is the first time that we’re aware of that says you need to get a (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) permit to plow to grow crops,” said Anthony Francois, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation.

    “We’re not going to produce much food under those kinds of regulations,” he said.

    However, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller agreed with the Army Corps in a judgment issued in June 2016. A penalty trial, in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office asks for $2.8 million in civil penalties, is set for August.
    The case began in 2012 when John Duarte, who owns Duarte Nursery near Modesto, bought 450 acres south of Red Bluff at Paskenta Road and Dusty Way west of Interstate 5.

    According to Francois and court documents, Duarte planned to grow wheat there.

    Because the property has numerous swales and wetlands, Duarte hired a consulting firm to map out areas on the property that were not to be plowed because they were part of the drainage for Coyote and Oat creeks and were considered “waters of the United States.”

    Francois conceded that some of the wetlands were plowed, but they were not significantly damaged. He said the ground was plowed to a depth of 4 inches to 7 inches.

    The Army did not claim Duarte violated the Endangered Species Act by destroying fairy shrimp or their habitat, Francois said.
    ...
    http://www.redding.com/story/news/20...eld/336407001/


    This may be an extreme example, but not by a large degree nor isolated. Many farmers here in my County are starting to encounter similar restrictions and ludicris expense in trying to grow their crops and make a living. Fed dumbocrats ...
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

  • #2
    Didn't the Supreme Court already establish that the Federal government can make almost any regulation it wants on farmers back when they fined a farmer for growing his own chicken feed back in the '30s?

    Comment


    • #3
      All this will do is put pressure on the current administration to demolish even more of the EPA who is ultimately responsible for these "waters of the US" regulations. It's also going to add impetus to farmers to simply grade their land as flat as possible to eliminate this problem. With modern machinery, that's entirely possible. If that starts happening then what you get is farmers mitigating regulatory excess that ends up doing more harm than the regulation ever intended to mitigate.

      Comment


      • #4
        Locally, there have been several similar cases of this Federal BS over the years.

        A person bought some property on M-30. Across the road was a high school. On his side as neighbors, a church. He was fined for clearing the land in preparation to building. That happened during the Clinton years.

        Another person bought some sand dune land near Glennie. When he was told that he couldn't build on the dune, he started the summer home next to the road. He was fined for building on wetlands.

        A person built a summer home on Saginaw Bay. That was OK but he was not allowed to have a driveway since the front lawn was considered wetlands even though it wasn't actually wet during the summer or has such plants growing in it.

        Saginaw Bay property owners have been in a court battle with the Feds over their effort to clean their beachfront property for years. The Feds claim that it wasn't their property to maintain. http://saveourshoreline.org/

        There was a lot of good farm land in the Tittabawassee Flood plain. Not any more. Farming is no longer allowed there. It is all been declared part of the Shiawassee Federal Refuge.

        The ultimate was a farmer that cleared a large woodlot for farming next to the airport. He was fined for destroying wetlands even though the property was nowhere near any stream and was on higher ground.

        It has reached the point where if you had any standing water on your property in the spring, that may have wetland plants, you could face a fine for draining or filling in those wet spots, even if they are less then ten square feet in size.
        “Breaking News,”

        “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmmm, ...

          Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
          Farmer faces $2.8 million fine after plowing field

          EXCERPTS:
          ...
          A farmer faces trial in federal court this summer and a $2.8 million fine for failing to get a permit to plow his field and plant wheat in Tehama County.

          A lawyer for Duarte Nursery said the case is important because it could set a precedent requiring other farmers to obtain costly, time-consuming permits just to plow their fields.

          “The case is the first time that we’re aware of that says you need to get a (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) permit to plow to grow crops,” said Anthony Francois, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation.

          “We’re not going to produce much food under those kinds of regulations,” he said.

          However, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller agreed with the Army Corps in a judgment issued in June 2016. A penalty trial, in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office asks for $2.8 million in civil penalties, is set for August.
          The case began in 2012 when John Duarte, who owns Duarte Nursery near Modesto, bought 450 acres south of Red Bluff at Paskenta Road and Dusty Way west of Interstate 5.

          According to Francois and court documents, Duarte planned to grow wheat there.

          Because the property has numerous swales and wetlands, Duarte hired a consulting firm to map out areas on the property that were not to be plowed because they were part of the drainage for Coyote and Oat creeks and were considered “waters of the United States.”

          Francois conceded that some of the wetlands were plowed, but they were not significantly damaged. He said the ground was plowed to a depth of 4 inches to 7 inches.

          The Army did not claim Duarte violated the Endangered Species Act by destroying fairy shrimp or their habitat, Francois said.
          ...
          http://www.redding.com/story/news/20...eld/336407001/


          This may be an extreme example, but not by a large degree nor isolated. Many farmers here in my County are starting to encounter similar restrictions and ludicris expense in trying to grow their crops and make a living. Fed dumbocrats ...
          ... don't they eat alot of fairy shrimp in California?
          "I am Groot"
          - Groot

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Marmat View Post
            ... don't they eat alot of fairy shrimp in California?
            They had better get ready to skip the bread-sticks.
            Forever.

            A Farmer's strike almost sounds like a great idea, but Monsanto would probably just bribe the Feds to seize all the land and give it to them.
            Speeds up the whole process they have been pursuing by... meh, a couple of years.
            "Why is the Rum gone?"

            -Captain Jack

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Marmat View Post
              ... don't they eat alot of fairy shrimp in California?


              Would seem they eat a lot of "fairy" something. ...

              Meanwhile save the minor species at expense of the Major Species ...
              TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

              Comment

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