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.