Let John Duarte's Story Serve As A Wake-Up Call

August 16, 2017 01:57 PM

John Duarte is a California farmer who took on the federal government and lost.

He’s not the first to do so and probably won’t be the last. However, his case should serve as a wake-up call to farmers, ranchers and land owners across the country.

Faced with millions of dollars in fines and after years of legal procedures, Duarte finally decided to settle with the government and avoid the risk of losing his family operation and jobs for hundreds of workers.

The price for the settlement is over $1 million and being forced to put the ground—his ground—back the way it was before he plowed it even though he still believes he did nothing wrong.

Current federal clean water rules lack clarity and often leave landowners at the mercy of government whims.

While the Duarte case looks like another win for big government and a loss for private property owners, it could have a positive effect as well.

The case points out the need for clear and fair rules and serves as an example of why so many are concerned with the proposed waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule by the Obama administration.

A public comment period is currently underway seeking input on a new rule.

You may question whether these comment periods do any good but at least they offer the chance to be heard.

The Trump administration has reached out to states and individuals seeking information for a new rule.

It’s vitally important that people take them up on their offer so John Duarte’s loss doesn’t become everyone’s loss.

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Spell Check

Neil Wampler
Los Osos , CA
9/1/2017 04:01 PM

  Being the sole commenter on this site, one could wonder just how much interest the Duarte situation has generated in the Ca Farming community. A number of us have been paying attention however, and are not surprised by the recent adverse court ruling. If Mr Duarte and his lawyers had any illusions about fair treatment in a federal court - ironclad case or not - they have certainly been disabused. They were in a Federal Courtroom, with a Federal Judge, opposed by Federal lawyers who were representing a federal entity. How do you suppose a situation like this will turn out ?..Of course, this gross abuse of an honest farmer by the Army Corps of Engineers is merely an isolated incident , right ? You at Ag Web know as well as I do that it is not. But "Maybe if I keep my head down and stay quiet, the crocodile will eat me last"......The fact of the matter is that we are seeing a war on rural America, prosecuted by a phalanx of predatory federal agencies - Army Corps - BLM- USFS - EPA , and abetted by a biased court system. Can any of you at AGWeb refute this statement ? What is the last resort in defending our livelihood and way of life in the face of this - only one word for it - Tyranny ? We know the answer, and have been the fire brigade at a number of hot spots. We have become the scourge of these Govt racketeers, defeating them over and over again, but we didn't win by knuckling under like Duarte. View our fight at Redoubt News, Valley Forge Network, Oathkeepers, The stampede.