THE TEA PARTYER
May 1, 2012
For the people that oppose the Bandon Marsh Expansion, it was sweet vindication when Congressman
Peter DeFazio released a letter to the public that he had written to Dan Ashe the Director of the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Dated March 13, 2012, it was a strongly worded letter questioning the actions of The Service concerning the acquisition of 4500 acres of prime agricultural real estate in the heart of the Coquille Valley.
Environmental extremists criticized many of us as anti-government right-wingers, but now that the Progressive congressional representative, Mr. DeFazio, has joined in the opposition, the critics seem to have become dumbfounded. Several of them have since changed their stance from supporting the expansion to joining the choir in opposing this government land grab. Those actions would make one wonder if there is any consistency in their collectivist ideology or, is this more proof of their blind obedience to selected leaders over objective reasoning on the merits of each individual issue? Either way, it is good to have the support.
Congressman DeFazio should have been insulted when he received a response to his letter on March 30
2012, not from Mr. Ashe, but from one of his underlings in the agency, a Mrs. Robyn Thorson. Remember, it was Mrs. Thorson who chose not to meet with Senator Wyden’s aide and the opposition to the expansion.
Dan Ashe’s inconsideration and lack of respect for our congressional representative is a signal as to what the Director and his agency actually think about us lowly common citizens. It also demonstrates the wide-spread arrogance of the agencies and the employees who populate the federal government.
In one paragraph, DeFazio writes, “Rushing into a lengthy and expensive expansion of the Refuge seems ill-timed and is likely to generate significant public controversy. I personally believe a more prudent course is to
use the next few years to monitor the ecosystem following restoration and to better understand the ecological impacts of the expansion. I would like to know the reasons for initiating the new study, why USFWS is considering expansion before examining the impacts of the recently completed restoration, and the
specific timeline for decisions related to possible expansion.”
It is ill-timed for Mr. DeFazio only because he is in a highly contested election and will be facing a serious, well-funded contender for the congressional seat in the 4th District, which was demonstrated by his near loss of the 2010 election in Coos County. However, it is a move in the right direction for DeFazio and gives credence to the opposition of the expansion.
The Service response was, “We are monitoring the Ni-les’tun restoration in coordination with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and other partners, to track our progress on achieving restoration objectives. Surveys and monitoring are ongoing, including measuring salmonid use and habitat development, use by other wildlife, native marsh vegetation development, water quality changes, and other restoration indictors.”
The Service then went on to write, “The Coquille River estuary has lost 95 percent of its tidal marsh habitat over the last century, the largest such loss in Oregon.” “As Part of the Refuge’s comprehensive conservation planning (CCP) process, we identified that more restoration is needed to provide the habitat need of the area’s fish and wildlife, which exceed the Refuge’s 889-acre land base.”
The interpretation, the USF&WS is going to hang over the Coquille Valley for the next two decades like a bunch of blood sucking vultures picking off property from willing sellers until the agency owns every single inch of the 4500 acres in the expansion plan. Then The Service will move up the Coquille River expanding further into the valley, acquiring property all the way up to Myrtle Point and beyond and that is the future plans for Coos County.
Since this agenda has become even more evident, the people of the county are going to have to work twice as hard in the effort on stopping this looming project. And, we need to keep pressure on all our Representatives, so they know this is more than just an issue in an election year cycle.
From the beginning, the opposition has had only three demands concerning the Bandon Marsh Expansion and everyone needs to keep repeating these demands until they become the reality of the situation.
The first demand is NO to any expansion of the Bandon Marsh, not one inch, not one more acre.
Second demand is that there should be NO Protective Zone placed around the marsh and the adjoining area. The Service wants to create a protective zone and use the agency’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan to do so.
The third demand, and the most important, is for The Service to return the Bandon Marsh Refuge over to the county’s Board of Commissioners and then the US Fish & Wildlife Service needs to complete their Exodus from the county.
When citizens are facing rogue agencies it is important to remember it was the people who created these bullying bureaucracies, meaning the power and authority to control, punish or destroy them, also resides in the people.
“Rob Taylor was the original organizer of the TEA Parties in Coos County and is currently an independent activist working to promote the rights of the individual.”
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