Alaskans should pay attention to Oregon’s intolerable acts

By Lindianne Sarno

The Legislative Blitz of 2013 in Salem, Oregon is a grievously under-reported story. Oregon’s state government is moving in a total media blackout to close down all rural producers in mining, logging, agriculture, and ranching.
Beginning in December, 2012, the office of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber emitted a blizzard of bills to the Oregon legislature. Oregonian mining law researchers Ron Gibson, Art Sappington, Hal Anthony, Guy Michael and Al Hansen are doing a Herculean task, reading and testifying on 2,684 bills to assess impact on natural resources, labor, family farms, small business, county economies, private property, and the foundations of American law.
Thanks to these courageous men of the Jefferson Mining District, we can examine the mechanics of a would-be tyranny: Onerous paperwork requirements. Heavy, arbitrary, escalating fines and fees. Arrest and jail for resistance. The bills all end with a declaration of emergency. Bills are moved fast from first reading, to ways and means, to a vote, with hardly any public hearing. Urban legislators are rubber-stamping the bills. Observers believe the blitz is a test: what tyranny will the American people swallow?
The bills, if passed, would: Close down farmers markets through onerous certification requirements; Forbid farm youth from doing chores; Stop all placer mining, including gravel for septic systems; Force artisanal miners to pay high fees; Regulate every detail of farm and business life; Force family restaurants out of business; Force ranchers to pay high fees for customary water rights; Outlaw water harvesting; Require permits to pick berries and mushrooms for subsistence; Label a barnyard an abatable nuisance because it doesn’t meet urban aesthetic standards. This is just a sample.
Masquerading as environmental protection, the Intolerable Acts are a sneaky attempt to take over Oregon’s natural resources, drive Oregon’s farmers and ranchers from their land, and steal gold mines outright from mining families who have lawfully worked claims for generations. The Intolerable Acts exceed constitutional and legal boundaries to create a tyrannical system in which government (backed by shadowy corporations) owns everything and private property is outlawed.
Here in Alaska, we still live the culture of self-reliance. Old Believers, Amish, Kilchers: such self-reliant cultures and families are the heart of America. Growing food is a risky enough business. Agriculturists should be supported, encouraged, and respected for their know-how and wisdom–not taxed, permitted, and regulated to death. If Oregon’s small holders are driven from business, what is to stop government machinators from doing the same in every state?
What can Alaskans do to stand by Oregonians in this crisis? Correspond with friends and relations in Oregon. “Alaskans know what’s happening and we stand with you.” Write, communicate, correspond, speak. Call this blitz to the nation’s attention. Remind Oregon’s legislators that every time small farmers have been dispossessed – the kulaks in Russia, the peasants of China – the result has been mass starvation. Natural resources are the heart of popular economy. Make this point in Salem or risk having to fight the same fight in Juneau.
We are at a turning point in history. From the 1950s to 2010s, oil and chemical interests captured America’s agricultural lands. Media portrayed rural producers as stupid bumblers. Disrespected, their voices ignored, 50,000,000 farmers were forced into debt, bankrupted and now persecuted by a system of onerous laws and forcible imprisonment.
Urban folk, convinced taking agricultural land was good real estate business, surrendered America’s agricultural life insurance system with barely a peep. We Alaskans know better.

Homesteading author Lindianne Sarno is raising 11 unregistered baby chicks by the woodstove.

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Posted by on Apr 17th, 2013 and filed under Point of View. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses for “Alaskans should pay attention to Oregon’s intolerable acts”

  1. Barrrr says:

    You’re freaking crazy. First off, you don’t even mention the proposed bill in question. Rather, you refer to a set of bills. The specifics, other than the grand standing of the anti-government spiel, are missing as well.

    Why don’t you mind your own dumb business and write about how Alaska is providing corporate welfare to multi-national oil companies, all in hopes of more in-state jobs in return. Well guess what? That $1 billion tax break is just going to drain state coffers and leave the citizens of Alaska without needed services and puts the financial legacy of the state for future generation into question.

    BTW… The main bill you are referring to that is proposed in Oregon puts a ban on dredging in streams and rivers that have sensitive ecosystems. Only some of the proposed legislation bothers farmers and most of fee money raised goes straight into paying for state and regional services.

    The reason money needs to be raised for state coffers is because rural counties in the state of Oregon are struggling financially and are about to be taken over by the state government to provide services such as Police, Jail, Hospital, Roads and Libraries.

    Alaska doesn’t have this problem because state revenue from Oil is so high.

    Before you make an editorial in the future, do so research.

    • Geo says:

      Wow, what a way to open a response. You must be significantly arrogant and self abosorbed.
      As for the bill and the reason behind it, shut up and listen:
      The financial strife that the rural portions of Oregon (and rural areas in most every State in the nation) have been experiencing has been caused largely by over-regulation, mainly scientifically unsupported environmental regulation, the unwise spending of taxpayer funds by the liberal elites of Salem, Eugene, and Portland, and the ignorance of self-imposed narrow minded thinkers such as yourself.
      This bill will hurt your State financially (through lost ag revenues), culturally (through crushing environmental regulation and over-taxation), and environmentally (because farming and ranching operators are good stewards of their land).
      I recommend that you spend the summer months (because any other time of year would be to much for someone like you) and work at a farm or ranch in East Oregon. TALK to the farmers and ranchers and LEARN from them. They know more about the land than your university professor!
      Also, Land ownership is a right. People have worked hard own land. Why do you think these people are going to allow people who have not worked hard to take their land? Please do not underestimate the resolve of well educated, well informed farmers and ranchers.

  2. John says:

    The Oregon bill Barr mentions claims to ban gold mining on sensitive streams and rivers, however the streams and rivers included in the bill, are simply every gold bearing waterway in the state.

    • mike says:

      john is right! these bills here in Oregon will just about shot down all mining. Will hurt farmers and the timber industry to. We just don’t need this at all we are struggling the way it is. Why in the world should we pass these illegal bills. this BARRR person is nuts. he don’t live here. I know that the paper is not here either. But the paper has brains and the guts to stand up for us. With that said I say a great big thank you!!!!BRRRR sounds to me like one of those tree huggers and does not know his butt from a hole in the ground. He most likely wipes his mouth with toilet paper he is so full of it. that’s all folks

  3. Homesteading in Alaska (or anywhere) takes a bit more than living semi-off the grid, in nonprofit haven off Kachemak Drive, in the middle of a ‘burb. And John, whatever they do in Oregon has nothing to do with Alaska mining laws. If we are pressedt to compare anything at all to Oregon, it might be the fact that there are some down to earth people living there too. Mike, who said Barrr doesn’t live here? But, even if this person doesn’t live here, he/she made more sense about what’s actually happening in Alaska than any of you. Why don’t you research more deeply into what’s REALLY HAPPENING IN HOMER. Research Agenda 21 and see just how far we’ve been sold down the old rabbit hole by our wonderful city council, mayor, manager After they turn us upside down (with our own money) they pretend we don’t even exist. We’re invisible (other than paying our taxes). Don’t they look good using our hard earned taxes to build the city their way. Ask them what they do with the other 2/3 collected in taxes … or maybe they don’t even know … like when Rumsfeld said, “We’ve LOST $$$ trillions (through DoD) and don’t know where it went.” Duh, sleepy sheep. NO ONE questioned that loss … still today. No one knew what to say … does anyone know what to say when you are ignored to the point of non-existence by your elected politicians? it’s time to kick them all out and take care of our own business. It couldn’t be any worse.

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