Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Stealing our future

EDITOR:

Stop paying the environmentalists our tax payer dollars to sue us. If they want to sue, great let them and let them suffer the consequences if they lose. I am tired of reading that they get paid by the same people that they sue, whether they win or lose. Under the guidelines of Equal Access to Justice Act they get paid attorney fees regardless whether or not they win or lose — that is outrageous.

Thousands of farmers, miners and anyone else that uses our land for the fulfillment of our fathers’ and our dreams for the pursuit of living from the land has been devastated by this one law. They sue the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Forest Service and any other governing agency under the Endangered Species Act, environmental reasons, and any other thing that may make them some money. Once they start a lawsuit the people that are being affected are always farmers, loggers and miners, not the government institution they sued. Consequently, the people have put up the money to fight them and if they don’t, the government agency involved just settles with them instead of fighting. The people are the ones that have their heads on the chopping block even though they are not the ones being sued; the working men always end up losing whether or not they win or lose.

Stop this bizarre law and make the ever-expanding enviormaniacs pay for their own lawsuits, and if they lose make them reimburse the ones they tried hurting.

MARTIN SCHUMANN
Placerville

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 12 comments

  • MikeFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:55 pm

    Yep... That is what they do... Sue, Sue, Sue.... The money is in the Millions. http://evergreenmagazine.com/web/DOJ_Documents_Confirm_Center_for_Biological_Diversity_Received_Millions_in_Taxpayer_Funds_from_ESA_Related_Lawsuits.html

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  • Dink LaneFebruary 14, 2013 - 11:41 am

    Sure sounds great --Until.... The shoe is on the other foot..... Just this month your WATER District won a legal battle against the BIG STATE AGENCIES + a Billion $$ Corporation.... to STOP the state from taking over YOUR WATER RIGHTS.... This time is was the Water District who had to fight the STATE & the Industrial Farming Corporations from Kern County.... IF they would NOT have won, the state would have 1st access to your water (You'd be rationed.).... So you see, Court Cases are DESIGNED to bring all voices... Big and Small... Be careful what you ask for (TORT REFORM) you might just get it and STATE Agencies and Corporations will be able to take your water UNCHECKED!

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  • MikeFebruary 14, 2013 - 11:49 am

    What does that have to do with the "Endangered Species Act"? The point isn't lawsuits per say, it's that lawsuits related to Endangered Species allow groups to bill the public for their legal fees.

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  • Dink LaneFebruary 14, 2013 - 12:22 pm

    Am I wrong? The first sentence was "Stop paying the environmentalists our tax payer dollars to sue us." and his Last sentence was "Stop this bizarre law and make the ever-expanding enviormaniacs pay for their own lawsuits." RIGHT? Blocking the tools for a smaller entity to go to court so their voice can be heard is exactly what he is talking about.

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  • Dink LaneFebruary 14, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    If he was talking about FRIVOLOUS lawsuits..... Look at the QUINCY LIBRARY GROUP..... They BROUGHT in the environmentalist into the discussion..... as a result.... When a extreme Environmental group tried to sue to STOP logging, the California Supreme Court said.... Because numerous Environmental groups had their concerns addressed and agreed with the other groups in the QLG.... He threw their case out and BLOCKED them from filing future claims until they could prove harm.... as a result...NO environmental cases are pending... Check it out yourself...

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  • MikeFebruary 14, 2013 - 1:00 pm

    The following are some highlights from a story I found last year: Nine national environmental activist groups alone have filed more than 3,300 suits, every single one seeking attorney fees. The groups have also charged as much as $650 per hour (a federal statutory cap usually limits attorney fees to $125 per hour). In well over half of the cases, there was no court judgment in the environmental groups' favor. In all cases, whether there was any possible environmental benefit from the litigation is highly questionable. Most cases were simply based upon an alleged failure to comply with a deadline or to follow a procedure. Examining court records in 19 states and in the District of Columbia, the total amount paid to less than a dozen environmental groups exceeded $37 million. n 2009, the Earthjustice Legal Foundation represented the Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council in a case dealing with the process used by the Forest Service to adopt some regulations. The Earthjustice Legal Foundation filed for attorney fees for that single case that took only one year and three months to complete. The same suit was filed by the Western Environmental Law Center on behalf of other environmental groups. The seven total attorneys who worked on the case billed the federal government $479,242. They charged between $300 to $650 per hour, far above the statuary federal cap of $125. The case was resolved at the district court level and the federal government did not appeal. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) also files a significant amount of litigation and receives lucrative attorney fees. In Washington State Federal District Court alone, CBD received attorney fees totaling $941,000 for only six cases. In the District of Columbia, it received more than $1 million in fees.

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  • MikeFebruary 14, 2013 - 1:02 pm

    Read the rest here: http://www.westernlegacyalliance.org/eaja-abuse-home-page/activist-green-lawyers-billing-u-s-millions-in-fraudulent-attorney-fees

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  • Martin SchumannFebruary 14, 2013 - 3:13 pm

    Thank you Mike? Their are more and more environmental groups using the system to bank roll there existence. It needs to stop before they are in control of every square foot of our nation. All our government needs to do if they lose the case make them pay the piper and a lot of the FRIVOLOUS lawsuits would stop.

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  • Ron BrayFebruary 14, 2013 - 7:20 pm

    The comments fail to acknowledge that the environmental lawsuits are based on the failure of a few polluters to follow the same laws that most loggers, farmers, and industries work hard to comply with on a daily basis. Not only do these polluters harm our water and air but they have an economic advantage over their competitors. The laws allow for citizens to sue polluters if government agencies fail to enforce and, yes, the polluters can be required to reimburse for legal fees. It gives the little guy a chance to fight for their rights against big industry polluters. Sounds like a good system to me.

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  • MartinFebruary 14, 2013 - 10:32 pm

    Friend you can take that idea and shove it, that is such a line of bull; this has nothing to do with polluters it’s about the money.

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  • Old JoeFebruary 14, 2013 - 9:45 pm

    Like it or not, there has to be a check and balance on the actions of government and citizens alike.

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  • MikeFebruary 15, 2013 - 10:09 am

    I'm all for checks & balances, & most everyone agrees that we need to protect the environment. But how do we do that? Even though this law was created, & these groups may have started with good intentions, there is major abuse/mis-use out there. Did you guys even bother to read the links? The CBD has 6 full time staff members, their average salaries for 2010 & 2011 were $90k & $98k+ (respectively). Their Exec Director Kieran Suckling banks $138k a year. That doesn't include the Millions of $$ of income from Legal fees... http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/publications/reports/CBD_2010_form_990.pdf http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/publications/reports/CBD_2011_form_990.pdf These same groups were behind the closure of over 90 OHV trails throughout the county last year: http://www.mtdemocrat.com/news/county-takes-formal-stand-against-usfs-road-closures/ Guess what, they sued the USFS, the roads were closed, and then we paid the legal fees accrued by the groups who filed the suits, as well as the legal fees for the USFS. These groups & their Lawyers are laughing all the way to the bank. My friends & I practice "Tread Lightly" principals. We volunteer 100s of hours a year working in the forrest, helping to maintain the trails & the environment. I wonder how much time the 6 people I mention above do that? (All of which make more money than I do.... One of which is a Secretary, while I'm a teacher).

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