Written by James Simpson
California is the unfortunate testbed for almost every new lunatic idea promulgated by the radical left—which is to say, every idea they offer—the complete explanation for why the state is such a train wreck. One of the worst examples is California’s oppressive environmental statutes. In combination with these, Agenda 21 has spread like cancer throughout California. Today I received some explicit examples of how this is playing out in Ventura County. The county Board of Supervisors is attempting to impose, almost word-for-word, the Wildland Project’s despotic edicts that will turn wide swaths of rural private property into complete wastelands.
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A group called the Ventura County Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (VC COLAB) detailed these problems in a recent seminar held by the Ventura County Libertarian Party. VC COLAB Executive Director Lynn Gray Jensen cited planned revisions to Ventura County’s Biology Initial Study Assessment Guidelines (ISAG), which they describe as “a lengthy and complex draft of terminology, thresholds, methodology and restrictive covenants to be applied to county projects that are subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).” Look at the 210 page document and see if you don’t agree. Simply mind-numbing.
ISAG had identified 19 practices and conditions determined to be “unsustainable.” Imagine yourself a VenturaCountyf armer who owns a parcel of undeveloped land. You want to grow crops or build a structure, but it has been identified as “protected property” by California’s onerous environmental regulations. The restrictions identified by VC COLAB are nothing short of horrifying. Following is a partial list:
In addition to owners being prohibited, without express approval from the County Planning Director, from conducting normal agricultural activities such as filling, storing and removal of soil and rock; erection of buildings, fencing, corrals and other structures; placement of pavements, stones, gravel, etc., for pathways; and grazing of livestock, property owners must not keep pet animals or operate bicycles, mowers, tractors or any other vehicles (motorized or not) on their land. Other limitations apply to planting, harvesting, landscaping and irrigating. It bears repeating, these restrictions would be applied to the property by way of mandatory deed amendments, and thus remain in place permanently, even as the property is passed on to heirs or is sold.
No bikes? No pets?
Emphases are mine. Effectively, you couldn’t grow crops, keep livestock or clear a field. Your kids couldn’t even ride their bikes on the land! And if you ever sold or bequeathed it, subsequent owners would be subject to the same restrictions. In other words, your land would essentially be dead. Over time, it would become engulfed in an overgrown tangle, as the land was reclaimed by the wild. Your property value would fall to zero. Right now, this only applies to undeveloped land, but if they can take some of your property this way, why not all of it? The precedent has been set.
We must make this place an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects… We must reclaim the roads and plowed lands, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settled land.
As I have said many times before, these people are insane. But that is not all. A key component in Foreman’s Wildlands Project is the creation of “Wildlife Corridors” or “Wildways.” According to VC COLAB:
Pertaining to Wildlife Corridors, although over fifty percent (approximately 600,000 acres) of the County’s public land is currently preserved for wildlife movement, VenturaCountyis promoting the further expansion of “conservation corridors” to include private lands. As much as 140,000 acres of private property has been targeted for this purpose. The County used a report in their Guidelines produced by South Coast Missing Linkages (SCML), which sets targets for wildlife agencies. This report has not been made available for public review, lacks specifics and, it is feared, will be misused where applied to impacts analysis and restrictive covenants… (Emphases mine.)
SCML is one project of a group called, Science and Collaboration for Connected Wildlands, which is itself part of a large networkof environmental organizations, some governmental, some private. The Wildlife Corridors envisioned by SCML are shown in an interactive map of Southern California on their website. On the website you can click on the arrows and see close-ups of each proposed location. Areas affected include agricultural land and “open space,” which, according to VC COLAB Director Jensen, is largely private land.
SCML is not directly connected with the Wildlands Project, though their goals are clearly identical. Interesting to note is that they are only one of many “Wildlands” organizations, each with its own maps of proposed “Wildways.” The Wildways envisioned by the original Wildlands Project for example, include none of the land depicted on the SCML map. They are working on their own version for the Pacific but haven’t completed it yet. They could come up with an entirely different set of corridors. What would the county do then? The map they have completed gives you an idea of just how massive this land grab really is, and explains the ultimate purpose for the restrictive covenants being proposed by VenturaCounty.
County staff revised the ISAG guidelines following input from VC COLAB and others. The revision can be viewed here. From the markups in evidence, VC COLAB had an apparently significant impact in changing this document. They even managed to get references to SCML removed.
However, Jensen reported that there remain significant issues. She said that despite the changes, this updated document added entirely new language not included in the original. And while references to SCML have been removed, their recommendations likely remain in force. VC COLAB has created a map, which shows some of the wildlife corridors proposed by SCML (in purple.) They pass directly through wide swaths of productive agricultural land, affecting 26,000 acres.
Furthermore, the County released this revised ISAG without enough time for proper review before the upcoming Board of Supervisors meeting March 1st, where the whole package will be voted on. Jensen voiced this concern in a letter on February 17th, requesting a one month extension, but the Board has not responded. Sounds like they are playing the all-too-familiar bait and switch game of politicians everywhere these days.
In any event, the proposed VenturaCountyregulations detail just how far this agenda has advanced, and despite whatever the media tells you, it is as radical and oppressive as those of us familiar with Agenda 21 keep saying. Check your county website and enter “sustainable development” or “sustainability” in their search function. It will almost certainly be there.
Then get to work.
James Simpson is a freelance journalist, businessman and former White House budget analyst.. His writings have also been published on Big Government, Big Peace, Emerging Corruption, American Thinker, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily, FrontPage Magazine and Right Side News, Soldier of Fortune and others. His blog is Truth & Consequences.