To Geoff Simpson and Dan Roach and the entire
Washington State Legislature:
I have read the Guest Editorial by
Geoff Simpson and a Guest Editorial by Dan Roach appearing in two separate
issues of the King County Journal, regarding critical areas ordinances vs.
constitutional protections. I have also read Geoff Simpson's e-mail to
Stan Powers, a rural landowner. A message of condescension, at
Dan and Geoff are saying somewhat the
same thing when they say that reasonable people must come together and forge a
solution. But a solution to what? Geoff and his environmental
cronies think that critical areas deserve absolute
protection, no matter what. Dan says, NO, we must protect private property
rights. Geoff, in his approach to environmental protection believes
environmental protection trumps constitutional law. Dan is saying we must
follow the constitution, as best we can, with some caveats.
However, the solution is quite simple
but must be based on a specific foundation for it to be so. The foundation is that the U. S. Constitution
is the Supreme Law of the land. If it is not, then
the solution becomes much more complicated with many more negative consequences
to politicians, citizens and landowners. The
5th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution is abundantly clear
and I will repeat an excerpt here for your review.
"No person ……………
shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without DUE PROCESS of
law; nor shall private property be taken for PUBLIC USE without
Environmental Protection is,
without a doubt and unequivocally, for public use.
And further the 5th
Amendment cannot be construed such that federal, state or local governments
have the power of eminent domain to condemn property and then give, donate
or sell that property to a developer or private party for the sole purpose
of obtaining higher taxes from that private property. That's not eminent
domain, that's outright theft. Hopefully, the U. S. Supreme Court will
clear this up once and for all in the next few
Protecting water quality is for
public use. Protecting wetlands is for public use. Protecting animal
habitat is for public use. Preserving fish runs is for public use.
It cannot be construed any other way by a reasonable and prudent man or woman
who is knowlegeable of our heritage and our foundation of law.
So if the Geoff's of the world truly
believe in the Constitution and certainly they must since they swear on oath to
preserve, protect and defend that constitution, the solution is to pay rural
landowners a truly "fair" market value for property upon which they are imposing
regulations to protect water quality, wetlands, fish runs and animal
habitat, or any other public use. If the
government doesn't have the money, don't pass the law. It's just
that certain politicians would rather steal our property than pay
Really folks, it's simple. It
doesn't need long drawn out committee meetings or the nashing of teeth by
so-called stake holders (environmentalists invented "stake
holders" for their own purposes. the only stake holder is the private
landowner, period). If government passes a law affecting
private rural landowners for a public use, the
Government must pay that landowner "fair" market value. How can you
construe it any other way? King County just paid Hancock Timber
$22,000,000 to preserve 120,000 acres of Weyerhauser property behind Snoqualmie,
WA. If they will pay Hancock to protect and preserve property, why then
won't they agree to pay us for exactly the same thing? Why
So once again I shall pass on a
simple statement of truth.
"Reasonably protecting the environment is
laudable. Trashing the Constitution to do it is
simple that was and I didn't threaten any one, Geoff.