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Thread: Gophers vs. landowners: In Washington property rights battle, furry rodents win

  1. #1

    Gophers vs. landowners: In Washington property rights battle, furry rodents win

    It would appear to be a David and Goliath fight over property rights, but a furry little rodent is currently whipping the landowners of Thurston County, Washington.

    In 2014, three sub-species of the Mazama pocket gopher were listed as threatened in the county under the Endangered Species Act. Since then, property owners have lived in fear that a gopher hole might show up and derail any plans to develop their land.

    Steve and Deborah McLain have been trying unsuccessfully for over a year to get a permit to build a home on the 8 acres they own near the city of Tumwater. The problem started when inspectors found a single mound of dirt indicating a pocket gopher lived there.

    “The gopher has been able to enjoy our property the entire time,” said a frustrated Deborah McLain, “and they have more rights to our property than we do.”

    The McLains have offered to give up one of their acres as protected habitat for the gopher, but Thurston County still won’t issue a building permit. The county requires landowners who want to build anything on their property to determine if their soils are conducive for gopher tunneling. If they are, inspectors must make three site reviews 30 days apart. The reviews must be done between June 1st and October 31st – because that’s when gophers are the most active.

    Larry Weaver is a homebuilder. He says the gopher issue is driving most contractors out of the county.

    “In one instance I had to give up 64 percent of my property where we built the house,” said Weaver. “It was a little over an acre and 64 percent had to be fenced off as gopher habitat.”

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which listed the gopher as threatened, can’t even give a rough guess as to how many pocket gophers are living in Thurston County.

    “It’s not based on number, it’s based on area and threats,” said Eric Rickerson, the Washington state USFWS Supervisor.


    The Mazama pocket gopher thrives in loose, well-drained prairie soils. The government estimates 95 percent of the gopher’s habitat has been lost due to development. Since it is cost-prohibitive to actually count gophers, which live underground and rarely surface, the aim of the conservation plan is to prevent building on the remaining land that is good for gophers.

    Glen Morgan from Citizens Alliance for Property Rights doesn’t think the gopher is endangered at all. He points to the fact that gophers have been thriving in the most dangerous place in Thurston County, the artillery firing range on the Army’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

    “This all starts basically with environmental groups that push a species, whether they’re endangered or not, to force U.S. Fish and Wildlife to start down this road, to list them whether or not there’s any good science,” said Morgan.

    Thurston County officials are working on a conservation plan that would create a $42,000 gopher tax for new homeowners who build on gopher habitat. That money would be used to purchase land in another part of the county where it would be managed as protected space for gophers.

    A sort of cap-and-trade gopher tax has already been started by a large developer. Kaufman Real Estate owns prime land near a small regional airport. It also happens to be prime gopher soil. In exchange for obtaining building permits, Kaufman bought 77 acres for gopher habitat. The process has taken several years and cost the company $3 million.


    Thurston County Commissioner Gary Edwards said the county is trying to avoid getting sued by environmental groups, but he also opposes the gopher tax.

    ...
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/25...dents-win.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    This intellectually stimulating conversation is the reason I keep coming here.



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  3. #2
    GophersGovernment vs. landowners: In Washington property rights battle, furry rodents win
    "The Patriarch"

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post

    Not going to happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Schifference View Post
    The man did not think clearly. It was almost as if he had brain cancer of something.
    Quote Originally Posted by oyarde View Post
    I missed out on the dick pills , they any good ?

  4. #3
    Ferrets eat gophers.


  5. #4
    Trap all the gophers and send them to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The employees can put them in their own yards.

  6. #5
    In 2014, three sub-species of the Mazama pocket gopher were listed as threatened in the county under the Endangered Species Act.
    Needed to read no further.

    Just another indication (as if more were needed) that you, every single one us, are nothing but serfs, squatting on the King's land and that we hop or trip about our daily lives only with the King's permission.

    And if the King decrees that pocket gophers or three assed snail darters or pink unicorns are his especial animal pals and your activity disturbs them, you are put off what you foolishly thought was "your" land.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal;6458601[quote
    Thurston County officials are working on a conservation plan that would create a $42,000 gopher tax for new homeowners who build on gopher habitat. That money would be used to purchase land in another part of the county where it would be managed as protected space for gophers.
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    Trap all the gophers and send them to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The employees can put them in their own yards.
    Yeah, I was wondering how they were going to capture all those guys and move them to their new protected habitat.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Needed to read no further.

    Just another indication (as if more were needed) that you, every single one us, are nothing but serfs, squatting on the King's land and that we hop or trip about our daily lives only with the King's permission.

    And if the King decrees that pocket gophers or three assed snail darters or pink unicorns are his especial animal pals and your activity disturbs them, you are put off what you foolishly thought was "your" land.

    And AmeriKunts continue to bend over and ask for more.

    Land of the "free" and all...
    Chris

    "Government ... does not exist of necessity, but rather by virtue of a tragic, almost comical combination of klutzy, opportunistic terrorism against sitting ducks whom it pretends to shelter, plus our childish phobia of responsibility, praying to be exempted from the hard reality of life on life's terms." Wolf DeVoon

    "...Make America Great Again. I'm interested in making American FREE again. Then the greatness will come automatically."Ron Paul

  9. #8
    "Nobody wins in a Dairy Challenge" ~ Kenny Rogers


    "When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest." ~ anonymous


    “The fate of all mankind I see
    Is in the hands of fools” ~ King Crimson



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  11. #9
    If I'm not mistaken gophers a burrowing animals. I think some dry ice might take care of the "problem." But, even there you will run foul of the EPA.

    http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthr...s-with-dry-ice

  12. #10
    They can send me one silver dime and I will mail them my gopher recipes .
    Do something Danke



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