I grew up believing that your property was your property, that, if you owned a piece of land, it was yours to do what you want with. But, apparently, the Federal government, doesn’t think that is the case.
They have the bizarre idea that your land is theirs to do what they want with. And, at your expense, no less.
Take, for example, the case of John Duarte, a farmer in Red Bluff, California, who bought 450 acres of land so that he could farm it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers holds that he “violated the Clean Water Act by not getting a permit to discharge dredged or fill material into adjacent wetlands.” This is because water from his property drains into the Coyote and Oak Creeks which then drain into the Sacramento River.
Now, before anyone gets the idea that the government is acting reasonably and rationally here, understand that Duarte hired a consulting firm (at his own expense, mind you) before he started plowing to determine what parts of his land that he could plow. Once he had that information about how to comply with Federal government regulations, he started to farm the land (his land, remember?).
That’s when the Corps of Engineers decided that Duarte violated the law.
Duarte’s lawyer, Anthony Francois of the Pacific Legal Foundation, disagrees with the Corps of Engineers assessment. He said,
“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. […] We’re not going to produce much food under those kinds of regulations.”
“A plain reading of the rules says you don’t need a permit to do what he did. […] How do you impose a multimillion penalty on someone for thinking the law says what it says.”
Francois asks a great question, how do you fine someone for following the rules? Well, apparently, in California, the rules only apply in a way that makes sense to those living by government logic (which is probably why this looks insane to us).
It’s this kind of government overreach which kills freedom and stifles progress and growth in an economy. This is an utterly ridiculous situation, and, frankly, whoever decided to enforce the Clean Water Act in this way needs to be fired.