My Articles

July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The House Resources Committee passed the controversial Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) late Wednesday, after defeating every amendment that would have protected private property rights, water rights, and local control.Private property rights advocates refer to CARA as the "Land Grab Bill." They believe it is the biggest threat to private property rights since the Endangered Species Act. But the bill has many supporters, primarily because of what opponents call its huge "pork-barrel" aspect.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The House Resources Committee passed the controversial Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) late Wednesday, after defeating every amendment that would have protected private property rights, water rights, and local control.Private property rights advocates refer to CARA as the "Land Grab Bill." They believe it is the biggest threat to private property rights since the Endangered Species Act. But the bill has many supporters, primarily because of what opponents call its huge "pork-barrel" aspect.
July 7, 2008, 8:27 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The largest crowd ever to attend a House Resources Committee hearing is expected to gather in Klamath Falls, Oregon, on Saturday, June 16. But apparently not one of the 24 Democrats on the committee is planning to attend.The purpose of the hearing is to examine the water crisis and the disastrous effects that the Endangered Species Act is having on communities like those in the Klamath Basin, which straddles the California-Oregon state line.
July 7, 2008, 8:27 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - A battle is brewing in the Senate over a request from President Bush to allocate $20 million in emergency assistance for California and Oregon farmers in the Klamath Basin, where 1,400 farm families and their communities have been devastated by the federal government's decision to stop supplying vital irrigation water for their crops.
July 7, 2008, 8:27 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The House Resources Committee passed the controversial Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) late Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 29 to 12.Opponents of the bill proposed approximately 30 amendments during the six-hour debate over the bill, which guarantees $47 billion in federal funds over the next 15 years for the acquisition of private land and other government projects.A solid block of Republican committee members voted in favor of virtually all the amendments.
July 7, 2008, 8:20 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Did the U.S. government use the "best available science" last spring when it decided to cut off vital irrigation water from 1,400 family farms in the Klamath Basin and allocate it instead to fish that are protected under the Endangered Species Act? Or was the decision based on "junk science," as alleged by the farmers and other critics?
July 7, 2008, 8:20 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The Bush administration has decided not to challenge a recent federal court ruling that ordered the government to remove the Oregon coast coho salmon from the endangered species list. The White House decision could serve as an important precedent.Officials said the government plans to review similar Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings and, in the future, will measure the economic impact on communities and property owners before designating protected habitat for endangered species.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - "At least they're not shooting at me this time." That's about the only good thing World War II veteran Paul Christy has to say in comparing his experiences as a fighter pilot 55 years ago with what he and his fellow veterans-turned-farmers are experiencing today at the hands of their own government in Klamath Basin.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The federal government was thwarted in its attempt Tuesday to sell cattle seized from two southwestern Nevada ranches in a property rights dispute.A state district judge blocked the sale of the cattle from one ranch, and bidders refused to make offers on cattle from the other ranch.Rancher Ben Colvin obtained a temporary restraining order from Judge Robert Estes just moments before the U.S. Bureau of Land Management was to begin auctioning off 62 head of cattle confiscated from his ranch late last month.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The plight of farmers in Oregon's Klamath Basin region has caught the attention of Congress, and the House Committee on Resources has scheduled a local hearing on the increasingly contentious debate over the Endangered Species Act and how farmers have been cut off from their source of water for crop irrigation.Details of the committee's trip are still being worked out, according to Jeff Eager, spokesman for Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), whose office is coordinating the visit.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - A "Convoy of Tears" will set out from at least three states this week and travel thousands of miles to bring supplies and donations to beleaguered farmers and their communities in the Klamath Basin along the California-Oregon state line.By holding rallies and auctions of donated items along the way, convoy organizers hope to gather more than 20,000 supporters and be well on the way to raising $20 million in relief by the time they converge on Klamath Falls, Oregon, August 21, for a "Freedom Day" rally.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - In the Klamath Basin region of Oregon and California, which has become a poster child for the battle over whether the Endangered Species Act has been corrupted and is being used for political purposes rather than for its original intent of protecting endangered species, one question is being asked more and more frequently:Could the "God Squad" save the people and culture of Klamath Basin?
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Legal wrangling continues this week between the federal government and a Nevada rancher over the confiscation of his cattle and over which court should have jurisdiction over the matter.The dispute over legal jurisdiction mirrors the underlying states' rights and private property rights issues that are simmering not only in this case, but throughout the West.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - President Bush has asked Congress to allocate $20 million in emergency assistance for California and Oregon farmers in the Klamath Basin, where on April 7 the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation shut off the irrigation water that supports 1,400 family farms.The Bureau acted after professional environmental activists filed suit under the "citizen" lawsuit provision of the Endangered Species Act, and after a court decided that the rights of some "endangered" suckerfish and "threatened" salmon took precedence over the farmers' century-old water rights.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - President Bush has asked Congress to allocate $20 million in emergency assistance for California and Oregon farmers in the Klamath Basin, where two months ago the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation shut off the crop irrigation water that is vital to 1,400 family farms.The Bureau acted after environmental activists filed suit under the "citizen" lawsuit provision of the Endangered Species Act. That resulted in a court decision that said the rights of some "endangered" sucker fish and "threatened" salmon took precedence over the farmers' century-old water rights.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Professional environmental activist organizations are mounting a full-scale attack on a clause in President George Bush's proposed budget that they claim will "gut" the Endangered Species Act and hinder their efforts to protect imperiled species.But a long-time employee and official spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the agency that has primary responsibility for implementing the ESA, says the claims - and the resulting media coverage of the issue - could not be further from the truth.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The drumbeat for reform of the Endangered Species Act got a few decibels louder last week. This comes as a relief for people who believe that deliberate misuse of the act is destroying their livelihoods and culture.Bipartisan committees in the California State Senate and Assembly introduced a resolution asking the federal government to take action to remedy the current ESA crisis in the Klamath Basin, and to "ensure that this crisis is not replicated in other regions of the country."
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Devastated farmers and communities in the Klamath Basin of Oregon and California got a glimmer of hope from last Saturday's House Resources Committee field hearing in Klamath Falls, Ore.A top Interior Department official has promised an independent review of a scientist's recommendations that led to the diversion of irrigation water from an Oregon lake to protect endangered fish."We feel we were able to thoroughly expose the bad science that brought about this crisis," said Jim Russell, president of the Klamath Water Users Association.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - As legislation moves through Congress guaranteeing the transfer of billions of dollars worth of private land to the federal government, opponents complain they were barred from testifying against the bill.They also question claims that the new legislation would provide more protection for private property rights than existing legislation does.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - House Resources Committee Chairman James V. Hansen (R-Utah) has refused a request by some House members to hold hearings in western states before the committee votes on the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA).CARA would guarantee $47 billion in federal funds over the next 15 years for the acquisition of private land and other government projects.