From the November 1998 Idaho Observer:
Contemptable USFS Will Not Challenge HRA Boundary Creek Road Evidence
Federal agency still plans to argue federal jurisdiction in federal court before a federal judge
We have seen it time and timer again: People, armed only with the Constitution(s), state law and federal law, must spend their own time and their own money in an attempt to prove to the government that the government has no legal basis to do whatever it is doing. Time and time again, the government ignores state and federal law and the Constitution(s) and continues regardless. This time, there is no doubt that the federal Forest Service is in contempt of a federal restraining order. Will the federal judge acknowledge the federal contempt? Would the federal judge acknowledge the contempt if the Continental Mine properties shareholders or the Boundary County Board of Commissioners were the ones digging up the road in blatant defiance of a federal court order?
BONNERS FERRY_U.S. Forest Service (USFS) officials have told Continental Mine properties shareholders that it will not challenge in court evidence uncovered last September by Historical Research Associates (HRA). The federal agency has told the private property owners that it will argue in favor of federal jurisdiction regardless of an impressive body of evidence that jurisdiction over the disputed road unarguably belongs to the county.
In an attempt to convince the infamous Presiding Idaho District Federal Judge Edward Lodge that Boundary County has indisputable jurisdiction over the 27-mile road in the rugged, northernmost Idaho county near the Canadian border, shareholders in the currently landlocked, 360-acre Continental Mine property spent nearly $10,000 unearthing evidence to prove their case through historical documentation.
The shareholders commissioned the Seattle-based HRA to research the disputed road and supply interested parties with an analysis of the evidence. HRA, a respected organization that has been contracted by the USFS in the past to conduct similar research, located historical data in the bowels of the Kootenai County Courthouse that, according to HRA, illustrate that Boundary Creek Road is a county road and belongs to the county.
"The evidence that HRA uncovered is powerful," commented Bonners Ferry veterinarian and Continental Mine property shareholder Roland Hall.
The evidence was so compelling that a pre-hearing hearing that had been scheduled for October 1, 1998, had been postponed and it was reported that the "client" USFS and its tax-paid law firm, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boise, held a private strategy session up at the road September 30, 1998.
Apparently the federal government decided that it would be unable to make an argument justifying federal control of the road based upon the evidence. Therefore, the federal agency and its federal law firm will attempt to ignore the evidence uncovered by HRA. The federal government is also expected to ignore all other evidence that can be supplied by the third and fourth generation people who have been a part of Boundary Creek Road their entire lives.
The strategy of the federal government is clear: If the federal government refuses to address the evidence, then Judge Lodge will not be in a position to weigh the merits of the arguments and, therefore, HRA will not be allowed into the courtroom as expert witnesses to the evidence uncovered.
The only person that will be sitting in judgment of the merits of the evidence will be Judge Lodge. Judge Lodge is a compromised jurist (see nearly every previous edition of The Idaho Observer) who consistently rules in favor of the federal government regardless of the evidence that he does or does not allow into his courtroom.
Judge Lodge was the federal judge who declared open season on the American public when he dismissed manslaughter charges against federal sniper/assassin Lon Horiuchi who was to be prosecuted for his involvement in the 1993 murder of Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge.
One can infer that Judge Lodge, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the USFS have already determined the outcome of the dispute between the Forest Service and the residents of Boundary County. It does not matter what evidence the people of Boundary County bring to court, federal court will determine that the federal government will be awarded jurisdiction over Boundary Creek Road.
Evidence which would indicate that the above statement is not merely the opinion of The Idaho Observer is found in the contemptable activities of the USFS which, in blatant defiance of the restraining order that enjoins them, as well as the mine shareholders and Boundary County officials, from disturbing the road pending a resolution to the matter in court, are preparing to obliterate the road.
See the September edition of The Idaho Observer for stories which illustrate the true agenda of the federal government where Boundary Creek Road is concerned. The truth is that, if the USFS can obliterate the first five miles of Boundary Creek Road, then place one gate at Smith Creek Road three miles to the south, it will control (eliminate) public access to 180,000 acres of timber and precious metals and other resources adjacent to the Canadian border.
A Little Background Information
The first record of USFS involvement in maintenance of Boundary Creek Road is 1969 when it became a contributing member of the Boundary Creek Road Association whose members pooled resources to maintain the road. Apparently, it was a common source of friction between other members and the USFS because the federal agency did not contribute its fair share.
The only time in the recorded history of the road that it has washed out to such an extreme that it presented a hazard to the public has been since the USFS became "responsible" for maintenance of the road. In 1994 the USFS closed the road to the public. Ostensibly, the Forest Service closed the century-old road that had deteriorated_in an unprecedented manner over the span of just a few years_in the interest of public safety. At the time, protecting the habitat of endangered species was not the publicly stated reason for the road closure.
Although the historical data indicates that extreme weather occasionally necessitated more serious road repairs, the road has been safe and operable since the turn of the century. According to local people who have closely studied the colorful history of the road, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ore and timber have been hauled down the road since the 1900s, without a recorded road failure (except, of course, the road failures that have occurred since 1994 under the stewardship of the USFS).
Aside from disputes with the Forest Service which date back to the 1930s when the agency was itself locked out by county residents, two books have been written about the road. Boundary Creek Road is possibly one of the most well-documented roads in North America. Vestiges of the gate put up by the father of Guy Patchen, Sr., can still be seen near the current USFS gate.
The original trail, called the Rawhide Trail, the Indian Trail or the Cavalry Trail (depending upon who was using it at the time), is indicated on old Idaho Territory maps. The road led from where it currently begins to the Columbia River area near Kettle Falls.
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