From the June 2002 Idaho Observer:
Eighty regular folks come out to hear what the Washington Farm Bureau has to say about RMAPs
SPOKANE, Wash. -- More than 80 people came out to downtown Spokane's Doubletree Inn June 5 to find out why Washington state's Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plans (RMAPs) may prove to be the most idiotic regulatory scheme ever passed by a state legislature.
RMAPs became law in 1999 during the Clinton era. It calls for people in the state who have land that could support a tree to either bring their driveways and roads up to state Department of Natural Resources/EPA standards or obliterate them. Failure to comply is punishable by property seizure. Roads on government lands are exempt from the law which would cost landowners and an estimated $375 million.
In many cases, the cost to either obliterate roads or bring them up to spec could exceed the value of the property. Property owners who fail to comply must disclose the lien upon sale of the property or be liable for potential road work. This effectively reduces the value of the affected land to zero in many cases.
Property owners are finding curious allies in this issue. Utility companies that rely on easements for access to their equipment are concerned about the abandonment of certain roads and there is not one politician or agency or law enforcement official interested in taking responsibility for RMAPs compliance.
We really have their attention, commented Farm Bureau official Dean Boyer. Boyer is certain that a legislative remedy is forthcoming but wants people to be ready for action at a moment's notice.
Okanogan Farm Bureau President Joel Kretz made some interesting comments about government stewardship. I am a grass farmer. I grow good grass and feed it to animals that become protein to either eat or ride. Our grass is better than government grass. I know because we have had 19 cougar attacks in three years. They come over to my place because that is where the deer is -- the deer isn't on government land. Superior habitat. And these are the people who want to tell me how to manage my land?
Kretz also explained how if he grazes his cows on government land, they send him a bill. When he drives home he will see 200 deer grazing on his place. It's time to send them a bill, he said.
The Spokane stop was the third of seven Farm Bureau property rights presentations scheduled throughout the state.
We covered the RMAPs issue extensively in the May edition of The IO. To fully appreciate the war on the west, one must see the official documentation in support of this flagrant attempt to steal property from citizens. To receive copies of RMAPs information scontact the Washington State Farm Bureau at (360) 357-9975 or receive information via email at RMAPS@wsfb.com.
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