To Rural Landowners, Government Types,
Interested Parties and the News Media:
Woe be to the rural landowner who
becomes a target of government bureaucratic enforcement, whether it be
from King County's DDES, or the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA), or the
State Department of Ecology (DOE), or the State Department of Natural Resources
(DNR), or State Fish and Wildlife (DFW), or any other federal, state or
local government agency whose job it is to come down hard on rural landowners
for daring to touch their own land, that now belongs to government by fiat,
regulation, restriction, law, act or ordinance. Except the landowner gets
to pay the taxes on that land but has little or no rights to it. A small
minority, who has little or no representation in government, falls to the
tyranny of the majority, socialists, radical environmentalists and the
government that aides and abets them.
Just yesterday, we learn of another
rural landowner victim in the King County Journal, above-the-fold headline,
who has to spend thousands of dollars to defend themselves against their own
government, for doing what should be their constitutional right to
do on their own land. Now Gwen Bartol and her family can
join the ranks of Charles Strouss, Dave Dahlin, Karl and Diana Lechner, Stan
Powers, Paul Hiatt, Ron Rowe, Ken and Barbara Miller, Klamath Falls area
farmers, loggers, mill operators and wood products employees and hundreds
(if not thousands) of rural landowners who have run
afoul of unconstitutional environmental laws, or eminent domain abuse.
The Bartol/King County Journal article appears
below this message. You won't believe it.
Every day new victims of
government abuse and excesses come to light and every day these abuses and
excesses will continue until the "people" wise up and take back their
government, as WE THE PEOPLE and the CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.
But notice that most of these
government bureaucratic attacks are perpetrated on rural landowners. Just
rural landowners, no one else. If you live in a house on a lot in the
city, you might own your land. But if you own acreage anywhere, the
government owns your land, you don't. If you have ocean front or a stream,
river, lake, trees, steep slopes or God forbid, a wetland on your property,
don't think for one minute that one day, government won't come knocking on your
door to fine you, penalize you, sue your, or send you to jail for just about any
use you decide to do with your land. Because you will soon learn the
stark reality that whatever you plan to do or are doing on your land, violates
some law and you will discover that you really don't own that land.
All across America mMillions of words
have been written, are being written and will continue to be written by
well-meaning, knowledgeable individuals, on the vicious assault by government on
our freedoms, liberties and property rights. But the time for words
is long since past. The time for unified action is now.
A freedom not defended is a freedom
lost. A government un-monitored is a government out of control. If
both are allowed to continue, abject socialism and radical environmentalism will
rule and WE THE PEOPLE will become serfs to the Lord of the Bureaucracy.
We formed NARLO to start the process to regain our freedoms and property
rights. We know how to do it. The question is, will enough of
you be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to join with us in this effort,
or will you leave us to dangle precariously in front of and be taken down by the
Last year we reached in an helped Ron
Rowe with his problems with King County Government. It so befuddled King
County's DDES that it took over 8 months before they decided to take Ron to
court. When the court reviewed the facts, the judged nixed King County in
short order. Ron Rowe won against King County because of our and two
others direct involvement.
Last week we took action to defend
Stan Powers and his family against bureaucratic abuse of power. We shined
the light of public scrutiny on the bureaucracies that are attacking the Powers
family. We have already (in just one day)
received positive results from that action. We can help you too, if you
are under attack by your government. If you would like NARLO to
fight for you, all you need do is call and we will come out and discuss your
issues and determine some course of action.
If we come together, we can
win. If we fight separately, as way too many are having to do, we shall
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RURAL
P. O. Box 1031, Issaquah, WA
425 222-4742 or 1 800
(Fax No. 425 222-4743)
"THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RURAL
The National Association of
Rural Landowners (NARLO) is a non-profit corporation, duly licensed in the State
of Washington. It was formed in response to draconian land use ordinances
that were passed by King County in Washington State (Seattle) in the late
Fall of 2004, after vociferous opposition from rural landowners. NARLO's
mission is to begin the long process of restoring, preserving and protecting
Consttitutional property rights and returning this country to a Constitutional
Republic. Government has done a great job of dividing us up into little
battle groups where we are essentially impotent at a national level. We
will change all that with the noisy voices and the vast wealth tied up in the
land of the American rural landowner. The land is our power, if we will
just use that power, before we lose it. We welcome donations and
volunteers who believe as we do, that government abuses against rural landowners
have gone on for far too long and a day of reckoning is at hand. To learn
more, visit our website at www.narlo.org.
President Roosevelt, in his 1933
inaugural address said, “…. The only thing we have
to fear is fear itself”.
I maintain that the only thing we have to fear is unbridled
government. The only
way unbridled government can exist is if WE THE PEOPLE allow it. Unfortunately, we
cleanup leads to court battle: Covington woman removes trash, tires from
land, gets cited for conducting 'unlawful'
Bartol of Covington is being prosecuted for trimming blackberries
and removing old tires and garbage along a section of Soos Creek
that runs through her property.
By Jamie Swift
thought she was beautifying her property by cutting back bushes and removing
dozens of tires and a washing machine from Soos Creek, a salmon-bearing stream
that meanders through her expansive Covington estate.
"I was proud of
myself," she said. "I thought I was doing environmental
But according to
the state, Bartol was committing a crime.
real estate agent is scheduled for a jury trial in September in King County
District Court on the charge of conducting an "unlawful hydraulic project" on
the creek, which is a Green River tributary.
The violation is
a gross misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a
Bartol was cited
by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife more than two years ago. That
was after living on the property with her husband for more than 20
Years ago, the
couple built a fort for their children on the banks of creek, as well as a small
wooden bridge that spans the stream — activities that would not be allowed
without a permit under modern environmental laws.
citation was issued in 2004, Bartol has been embroiled in a contentious and
confusing battle with the state over exactly what she's done wrong — and how to
mitigate the alleged damage she's caused to the wildlife habitat on her
Prosecutor Leah Altaras, representing the state, said the fish and wildlife
department "alleges they offered more than one warning" to Bartol and that "she
did not heed their warnings."
That's why this
case is headed to court, a rare occurrence for such violations, which in most
instances are settled with warnings and fines.
In fact, of the
1,289 contacts fish and wildlife officers made in 2005 regarding reports of
unlawful hydraulic projects, only 78 resulted in any level of action — and just
26 of the cases were filed with prosecutors across the
frustrating for Bartol's attorney, Scott LaFranchi, is the broad nature of the
law under which she is being prosecuted. RCW 77.55.00 states that "any work that
will use, divert, obstruct, or change the natural flow" of a stream requires
approval from the state.
Under that rule,
LaFranchi said, you can't put your foot in the water.
"I understand why
the law exists," LaFranchi said. "But is that the intent of the law? To go after
people like Gwen for removing trash, tires and a washing machine from a
"The fact that
jail time is even on the table seems extreme to me," he
Bartol has spent
thousands of dollars, first trying to do what the state wanted her to do, and
more recently fighting prosecution.
In that time, the
stress of the situation led to her divorce.
"It was just too
much," Bartol said. She visibly shakes when talking about her frustration with
all that has transpired.
Bartol said she
didn't know she was doing anything illegal when she cleared blackberry bushes
along her property line to remove garbage that motorists had discarded over the
Bartol also said
she had no clue that removing old tires, a washing machine and other trash from
Soos Creek, or placing boulders around a man-made creek diversion, were
violations of a state law aimed at protecting salmon-bearing
the state's claim that she removed several trees and salmon berry bushes that
provided shade and erosion control for Soos Creek.
"I'm not doing
anything different I haven't done for 22 years," she
But all of these
activities require permits, Altaras said. "(The state) doesn't discourage people
from pulling garbage from streams, but they prefer you get a
"The point of the
legislation is to protect fish and there are a lot of salmon in the stream that
goes through her property," she said.
Bartol said when
she was approached in 2004, she was amenable to performing remediation —
removing the rocks, planting trees, installing woody debris in the creek — but
at some point, a working relationship with state officials turned
The state wanted
her to perform remediation on the property and accept a deferred sentence,
basically a plea bargain confessing to the crime. The deal called for her to be
on probation for a year and pay a $3,500 fine.
"No way I was
going to sign that," she said. "I'm a proud woman. I'm not going to bend
Bartol said she
doesn't believe a jury will send her to jail for trying to improve her
Bartol and her
ex-husband had planned on retiring and preparing the property to be a
bed-and-breakfast and a place to host weddings. But those designs have been put
on indefinite hold, because as long as there are pending violations, no permits
can be obtained.
"It's a lose-lose
situation for everyone," LaFranchi said. "Because the more situations you have
like this, the harder it is to pass regulations that will actually serve to
protect the environment."
Jamie Swift can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org