The following article was published in the “Inyokern News Review” as a letter to the editor in October 1990. The letter was written in response to the unnecessary death of a young girl. The question then was whose life is valued more an endangered species or human life?
The underlying importance of this issue highlights another question: Are we going to allow the loss of the rights guaranteed through the Constitution for all Americans as a remedy?
Even though the article was written in 1990, the issues surrounding it still exist today and will continue until the people’s voice is loud and clear that they will not stand for remedies, which result in the taking of properties. The Fifth Amendment of United States Constitution clearly prohibits the taking of properties for public use without just compensation.
The Fifth Amendment does not say that “We the People” [the property owner] must do the compensating. Nevertheless, across America, property owners are told they must compensate in order to improve their property when their property is said to be in the habitat of an endangered species.
By Trudy A. Martinez
Tom Turner, author of “Courting Disaster in the Nation’s Capital”, (Mother Earth News, March-April ’88 p44 (2)) says, “The Supreme Court can go for long periods without rendering decisions in environmental disputes.” Some recent decisions have ruled in favor of property holders.”
“ . . . The Firth Amendment prohibits “. . . nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The courts have ruled in favor of the property holder’s right to develop their lands and against environmentalist who wish to prohibit such undertakings.
The Mohave Ground Squirrel has posed some problems for our area residence. Property holders are being robbed of property, money, and peace of mind in regards to this issue. Inconsistency, extortion, blackmail, and plain highway robbery appear to be the tactics incorporated by the so called public agency.
A recent death of a young girl in our area reveals that the Mohave Ground Squirrel’s life is considered of more value than human life. The most dangerous intersection in Ridgecrest goes without a traffic signal because of the prohibiting of development.
Enough is enough! Agencies such as The Nature Conservancy should be forced to have their day in court against the people of California and other states in the Union, if applicable. Joint and/or single court action should be ensued. True, court action may take years; but with the press, public records, documentation, and foresight, the people can again be victorious.
George Reiger author of “Unnatural Developments” says, “Although TNC uses millions of nonprofit dollars annually, it offers little accountability to the public underwriting its schemes”.
The Nature Conservancy’s record is not lily-white. They want a monopoly with no competition. If the people stand in their way, they move them, cheat them, and abridge the people’s rights.
A “Supreme Decision” is not just for the courts but also for the individuals and/or groups of individuals who are affected by mismanaged corrupt governmental concerns. America is still a government of the people. It is the responsibility of Americans to remind the agencies that tend to hinder personal rights guaranteed through the Constitution and the “Bill of Rights” to seek restitution. Not always is the mere joining of special interest groups enough. The way to pursue action if you want results is to challenge them. “A squeaky wheel gets attention; a well oiled wheel is left alone.” The more media coverage there is the better. The more cases tried, the more examples set. To question, to challenge, and to fight for the justice and rights that seem to be forever fading is a responsibility of every American. The oppressive methods of “Special Interest Hip Pocket Agencies” who pursue personal gain by engaging the concerns of corporate, affluent Americans may only be stopped by the judiciary system. Ignoring the interest of the people is only smart if the people allow their freedom to be abridged. An agency like the TNC may shine on the outside, but they stink on the inside, polluting the future of America.
The Nature Conservancy needs to be given a copy of the “Fifth Amendment”; better yet perhaps someone needs to read it to them: the blind are sometimes able to see with the aid of words. (A box of Q-tips may be needed to clear their ears so they can hear what is being said.) I interpret the Fifth Amendment to say that if we the people are kept from our land through the taking of the land that we the people are supposed to be compensated.
Nowhere in the Fifth Amendment does it say “we the people” must do the compensating!