Saturday, December 22, 2012

Agriculture and the CAOs

It seems that more and more of our County residents are coming to grips with the horribleness of the CAOs. Many people erroneously believe that agriculture is somehow unaffected by the CAOs. Not true. Agriculture stands to lose big time, and if you listen to Stephanie Buffum of the Friends, she wants new agriculture to be subject to a conditional use permit (CUP) too. If you've ever paid attention to the CUP process, you know that probably means that your right to farm would all but be eliminated.

San Juan County opted into a state program called the Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) for agriculture vis-a-vis the CAOs. The trouble is that there is no money from the state to implement it, and it is unlikely to be implemented any time soon, if at all. Also, no one really knows how it will work exactly. In the meantime, all agriculture has to comply with all the usual requirements of the CAOs, until or unless the VSPs are put in place. The idea behind the VSPs is that a farmer would trade strict compliance with the CAOs for strict oversight and monitoring of their farming operations. Every farm would be under the regulatory microscope. It is a Faustian bargain.

For a sense of what that could be like, have a look at the experiences of Joe Lemire, a rancher in Columbia County. It looks like the same old story: "they" accuse you of using your property (no matter how minimally), want no-go zones, and ultimately force you to prove your innocence despite there being no evidence that your activities are actually causing any harm in the first place. The regulators believe that your use of your property -- your mere existence -- is the harm that they seek to curtail.

Back here at home, I was describing the CAOs to one of my neighbor's farm animals, and this was the reaction (see below). It shows more sense and better instincts than most of our Council members.


  1. Ms. Pratt's positions on agriculture, Brickworks and associated conflicts of interest driven by her blind passion, juxtaposed with her single minded "don't confuse me with facts) positions on the CAO.

    How can you be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all?

    Help me out. So self contradictory. She can't have things both ways. Not a good sign on the road ahead. Particularly with the current gaggle of Ecocrats who couldn't care less about nonpartisan elections.

    This just says to met that these are people who can willingly embrace and promote a political paradox. They can have their cake and eat it too. There's a word for that I am sure. Probably a pathological state defined in the DMSO.

    In sum, she's barkers. The Ecocrats are nuts. They should no more be given the keys to the council than a drunken teenager should be given the keys to the family car. They are a danger to themselves and others and need help.

  2. LIKE :) The post above

  3. It was always my understanding that Lovel Pratt was elected and largely supported by the ag community, a community I know is organized and a community that can be ruthless when they don't think things are going their way, like the brickworks funding.

    So Lovel trashes the ag community with her vote to cede local control to the State. Where were these people?

    Lovel then hears many, as we all did, ag persons testify at CAO hearings that the then proposed CAO was a complete disaster for them.

    Lovel votes for it anyway.

    So I'm confused too. Seems to me Lovel should have gotten zero votes from the ag people, she has certainly not served them well.

    Is every body nuts, or maybe the ag people are all working so hard they are not minding their own store, out of touch, and just continued to assume Lovel could do no wrong.

    As the opening post suggests, maybe only now the majority of ag people are beginning to get the true message on the really shitty job Lovel has done for them.

    I also totally agree with the above post and one earlier, that there are five council people who really, really need some couch time.

    I'm sure the County medical plan would cover the cost. It's only money you know.

  4. Sorry, TH people, psychiatry is no refuge for your problems. We have our own. The Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, newly known as DSM 5, appears to be a sell out to big Pharma.

    In DSM 5 everybody is nuts and needs medication. Some of you think this would accurately define your politicians. I would say maybe they are stupid, but not nuts.

    Good luck, all the best in the new year.

  5. Why is the new DSM-5 like the new CAO?

    One says we're all crazy and need to be medicated.

    The other says we're all polluters and must be surrounded by buffers.

    We don't need code compliance officers. We need those nice young men in their clean white coats ...

  6. It is interesting to me that those who most strongly espouse the precautionary principle in land use have no interest in extending this logic to human dynamics. SJC ag culture and economics are very fragile largely because a very small number of people do the vast bulk of the farming here and everyone doing it commercially is operating on very thin margins. It would not take much to tip SJC ag over the edge of no return.
    Over the past two years I have watched our SJC elite engage in a series of actions and decisions exactly counter to the interests of ag here. They do a good job of trotting out token, well heeled "farmers" to endorse and legitimize the actions, but that just underscores the venality of what is happening.
    The conclusion I have come to is that ag was useful as a foil to limit development until a better avenue came up. The salient point is that those bent on control will try and exercise it through any available means. Posturing is just posturing, and the stated goals have nothing to do with actual outcomes, reality or consistency. As Phiilip K Dick wrote, if reality contradicts your preconceptions, re-evaluate you preconceptions. Ergo, if Lovel et al work against the interests of ag, perhaps the perception of her as being pro-ag is mistaken, and was from the start. What overriding goal or outcome is being fostered here? The justifications of the moment are nothing more than passing whimsy. By those lights Lovel is remarkably consistent, and quite frightening.

  7. Like :) Below. Geez do we need to vote Pratt down again? When will she learn that in order to be elected one must actually represent their constituency, not their make believe Ecocrat interests. She doesn't have a chance with the agricultural community - she put the wheels in motion to crush San Juan County agriculture AND the farmers market.

  8. Thinking we need us some New Year's resolutions ... Let's get more exercise ... of our rights.

    I'm talking Clowncil Resolutions. Let's give them resolutions to drive real reform and dare them not to move on them.

    Let's use the mini-initiative and start cleaning house.

  9. In my opinion we need to mount an active, visible, and loud opposition to those running for the Council with positions that are contrary to the health of our County and our rights.
    This means Lovell and Jamie for sure. I have a deep suspicion of Byers. Her background, while in affordable-housing, reeks of a "social justice" bent. Which means abolition of private property and infinte government expenditures to right all evils in the world. I'm not certain of the others, and McCllellen is a cipher at this moment.

    The Friends and other fanatics will push for Lovell, Jamie, and I suspect Lisa. This is a real nightmare. There will be no checks and balances to speak of. The Eco-utopia will be within reach if only enough taxes and grants can be obtained.

  10. What will be interesting and maybe refreshing will be the first votes of the newly elected six member Council.

    Will they seize the day or wimp out. At least three have got to make some impact. With Peterson playing linebacker on the good plays and giving corrective guidance on the bad ones, or hopefully as chair directing a whole new beginning, it could be, well not only interesting, but also productive. WOW.

    On the other hand, the down side. UGH. Stephens gets the chair and Hughes is his best buddy.

  11. Of note: Stephens cast center stage in the photo op of the pap piece run by the Island Guardian on the "accomplishments of the current Council."

    Who wrote this tripe? Why does IG publish such junk? (Or, anybody else?)

  12. The worst possible interpretation is that they actually believe what they published is true. That the Council WAS productive instead of DESTRUCTIVE.