Your Land Isn’t Your land
It’s my land says the Federal government…
By de Andréa, Opinion Editorialist
for ‘THE BOTTOM LINE’:
for ‘THE BOTTOM LINE’:
Published September 22, 2015
If one rents property one must get permission from the land owner to make changes or improvements to or on the property. Sounds reasonable. But what if one is the actual owner of the land…bought and paid for, which begs a question, does one, or can one actually own land in America? One of the unique characteristics of the formation of the American Republic was the fact that one could own land. But has the meaning of land ownership changed since the country was first formed? Does one really own property in America, or is it just another right that we have long since surreptitiously lost.
A rancher is taking the Environmental Protection Agency to federal court, asking a judge to stop the agency from fining him more than $16 million dollars because he built a small pond on ‘his own property’.
Andy Johnson of Fort Bridger, Wyoming says he made sure to get all the proper permits from his state and local governments before building the pond. After all, this is America in the 21st century, and nothing done on your own property -- certainly when it involves the use of water -- is beyond government concern. But as I said, one must get permission from the land owner to make changes or improvements to the land owners land. So does the federal, state or county actually own your land? A permit is nothing but permission from the land owner to use the land, right?
Johnson is facing millions in fines from the federal government after the EPA determined his small pond -- technically a "stock pond" to provide better access to water for animals on his ranch -- is somehow violating the federal Clean Water Act, even though the pond is perfectly clean and contains hundreds of healthy living fish.
"We went through all the hoops that the state of Wyoming required, and I'm proud of what we built," Johnson said. "The Federal EPA ignored all that."
In a compliance order, the EPA told Johnson he had to return his property -- under federal oversight -- to conditions before the stock pond was built. When he refused to comply, the EPA tagged Johnson with a fines of $37,000 per day.
Dismantling the pond within the 30-day window the EPA originally gave him was "physically impossible," Johnson said.
That was in 2012. Today, Johnson owes the federal government more than $16 million, and the amount is growing as he tries to fight back.
In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court on Thursday, lawyers representing Johnson argue the EPA overstepped its authority by fining the rancher.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Did the Federal government really overstep their authority? Well…that again begs the question of who actually owns the property in question or any property for that matter. You see I think we have all given up ownership of our own property a hundred years ago or more when we applied for the first permit from the County Code Enforcement Department. Permission to build a deck on the front of one’s house, or a shed in one’s back yard or even a permit to build one’s own house on one’s own property, which can be refused by the county land lord by refusing a use permit.
We have lost sight of what it means to own property in America. The so-called taxes one pays is actually rent paid to the government who owns the property. You’re skeptical? Well, try stop paying the rent/taxes to the County. They will do exactly what a land lord would do, have you evicted and rent the property to someone else. The only thing you actually own is the value or equity of your property, not the property itself.
As far as -- did the Federal government really overstep its authority? Legally yes because the Federal government is not constitutionally allowed to own property except that which is necessary to run the government, such as government buildings and military installations and land designated as National Parks. But we have incrementally given up our land and real property ownership by getting permission from the State and County and City governments to use our own property. Now we have to live with it, or fight city hall as they say.
Yes the BLM and the EPA are illegal organization within the Federal government. If you don’t believe me then look for them along with a thousand other illegal federal departments such as the Department of Education or the BATF in the U.S. Constitution. They are not there. And then read the 10th Amendment which says the Federal Government has no authority over anything that isn’t specified in the Constitution. They are “left to the states respectively, or to the people.” And certainly not to the EPA!
You might what to think about this the next time you do something on “your own property,” such as build a doghouse or plant a bush…or a flower!
P.S. Why does the county make you get a permit to do anything on “your own” property?
Answer: What else! As any land lord, so they can raise your rent/taxes…
Thanks for listening – de Andréa
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