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Summer 2009

Conservation Area Controversy Continues

Fighting for private property rights is more important that ever, as numerous proposal set to exert control and regulation over private property.

For some time now, Family Water Alliance has been reporting on the proposal called the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area (BSM NCA) being pushed by Tuleyome, a Woodland-based environmental group.
The debate centers around the unintended limitations placed on private property through a NCA designation.  The proposal includes designating nearly 500,000 acres of public land into the National Landscape Conservation System in order to preserve it for future generations. 

National Conservation Area map being proposed by Tuleyome.The proposal includes many elements that are alarming to private landowners and local government officials as they have question the motive behind the designation.  As more and more people hear about the proposal the opposition to the designation continues to grow.    

Many will agree that ranchers and environmentalists have different points of view but history has show than giving control to the federal government only spells disaster for private landowners.  Local land use authority is circumvented and control is given to state end federal agencies.

Thomas Jefferson said “when the people fear their government there is tyranny but when government fears the people there is liberty”.  This quote represents what rural private landowners fear about the BSN NCA designation.   The control over land use and private property is given away to federal agencies, who are not accountable to local constituencies.

Furthermore, it seems prudent that these proposals should come from local communities and local government officials that are impacted by the designation.  Getting the support of the Board of Supervisors should be the first step in the process.  It only seems logical that if a decision such as this is good for a community then it would be supported by those that represent the community. 

The BSM NCA lacks support from the five county Boards of Supervisors and Colusa County has expressed overwhelming opposition to the proposal on numerous occasions

Local opposition to the proposal is the best way to ensure that we are heard.  Other organizations are following suit and making their voices heard.  FWA will continue to monitor this issue as it progresses. ■

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