We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, July 12. 2016
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Not sure what they do over there, but the "environmental inspectors" here (not police, though they have the power to fine people) are mostly involved in dumpster diving, rifling through peoples' garbage bins to look for "violations of the recycling rules".
On paper they also act against violations of emission rules for industry, but that's actual work...
Used to be called game wardens but they have the same police power. Arrests are typically for poaching or unsafe things like driving ATV's while drunk on public lands etc. The National Park service has similar law enforcement rangers to handle everything from car accidents to murders. With drug gangs increasingly growing, processing and distributing stuff from public forests etc. the job of the warden/cop gets increasingly dangerous.
The Sheriff of Nottingham would be proud.
John comes to power in 1199 and England is more or less bankrupt. In order to raise money for the crown he has to get creative. At the time, as a result of William the Conqueror a century earlier, there’s a concept called the Royal Forest. A Royal Forest doesn’t necessarily have trees. It’s just a parcel of land. It could be heath or swamp or hills or forest. You’re not allowed to cause any damage to the animals or greenery of the Royal Forest unless you pay for the privilege.
That’s a nice little moneymaker, so what do you do if you’re John? That’s right. You expand the Royal Forest. By the time of the Magna Carta the Royal Forest is up to something like 20% of the land in England. What this means, essentially, is that if you own land that has been afforested by the crown, you now have to pay for the privilege to use your own land. If you own a bit of fenland that’s no good for anything but pigs, you have to pay pannage even though there’s no other use for it. If you want to heat your hovel in the winter, you’re paying estover for firewood and turbary for turf. If you want to keep a cow and that cow is going to eat grass, that’s agistment. That’s on land you theoretically own, mind.
There are instances of entire villages being burned out in advance of afforestation amounting essentially to seizure of land. The law of the forest was enforced somewhat arbitrarily and without due process. You could be blinded or mutilated or killed for poaching a deer. You could be severely fined for just about anything.
The Magna Carta and the companion document the Charter of the Forest are a rare example of what happens when you push Monarchic rights too far. The Magna Carta disafforests all of the land taken by the crown during John’s reign and basically ensures that it can never happen again. The Charter of the Forest basically establishes personal property law. In one fell swoop the Magna Carta gets rid of unreasonable taxation, unreasonable seizure, establishes due process of law and ensures a properly sized pint.
We have signs here in ma threatening people if they "steal" the rocks from beaches. We also have pre-schools that teach our children it is harmful (to the rock)to paint them. I don't think I want to know what the environmental police actually police. Wonder what their budget is?
You can tell a lot about an outside bureaucrat by the vehicle they use. If it's shiny bright and the tires are clean out in the field, the b'cat most likely doesn't do much but push paper. If it's scroungy, the b'cat probably does real world things, maybe useful maybe not, but at least does something.
Support your local government spending infrastructure investment.
Nothing like stopping by Home Depot in the morning to pick up some material in my plain-Jane 2005 Chevy work truck and seeing the school board and water department and sheriff's office work trucks there - not a one of them over two years old and all of them bigger and shinier and nicer than mine. Strange that I can't afford a new truck but I'm buying all my servants trucks.
I've had run in's with these folks ... and they are NOT game wardens. MA has those too. But the MA EPA is among the largest and most empowered state environmental agencies. Any "district", "habitat" or "conservation" area is under their jurisdiction. And many of these are "air rights" in that they cover your front lawn not just the woods or fields beyond your property line.
Once I was cutting the tops out of some bushes so my aged mother could see the ducks on the pond behind her house on Cape Cod. As I'm finishing, here comes the Town Environmental Officer (who, by the way, carried a side arm) to cite me for destroying conservation habitat. He walked on the property without warrant or warning. And the bushes were well inside the property line - at least 8-10'.
Later on when I sold my parent's house, the MA EPA had to sign off on environment easement restrictions (e.g., endangered frog habitat, indigenous plants habitat, water conservation district, etc., etc.) in order to complete the title transfer - an exercise that took nearly 3 months and cost a couple thousand bucks.
The inherent cronyism in MA is amazing. As Mr. BD has shared in posts about his parent's farm, your property is not your property. The state compels you to "hire" lawyers and engineers to so much as plant a freakin' daylily! The "police" and the weapons are just icing on the coercive cake.
Try having a pond on your property. After bleeding everyone dry with ponds built after 1975, they are now focusing on everyone who thought they were safe with grandfathering pre Clean Water Act.
That's how tyranny rolls.
@JK Brown i really appreciate/like your posts.
First it is not MassEPA--it is Mass Department of Environmental Protection. DEP. And their law enforcement arm mostly deals with illegal dumping, such as the contractor who takes the asbestos shingles off your house and dumps them into a quarry, rather taking them to the licensed disposal facility you paid for. Yes they are law enforcement, and if you consider that waste hauling and handling is often associated with criminal enterprises, it makes perfect sense.
The local Conservation Commissioner is an entirely different person, usually part time, and is paid by the municipality. The approach they take to wetland jurisdiction varies greatly with the direction they get from officials in the towns they work in.
In all of this, Massachusetts has a very long history of each town running things they way they want to, with no particular concern for consistency between communities.
And, no, I don't work for either of them.
Yes, well, tomato or to-mah-to...
I do agree the towns used to do as they wanted. But over the 30 years my folks had their house, the state increasingly encroached, to the point that the "DEP" was the prime arbiter in allowing residential title transfer.
What was simply the town's "Water Conservation District" behind the place when they moved in, became numerous "state" reserves. It became an "geologic historic conservation" area because the pond was a "kettle pond". DEP has jurisdiction.
Then it became a "protected plant habitat" because "wild" blueberries grow around most "kettle ponds". DEP has jurisdiction again.
Then it gained endangered species habitats - at least 3 times - for some supposedly rare frog, for some supposedly rare butterfly, then for supposedly rare marshmallow flowers. DEP has jurisdiction.
The Town -despite it's alleged power in all this- tried to push back over the years. The endangered species findings were especially silly, since none of said species are all that rare in Southeastern MA. A couple of towns went to court but couldn't stop the juggernaut.
Later on, of course, the towns got on board because the state sends money to enforcement and helps them buy those shiny new trucks and hire the local officers.
Net, everyone of these conservation designations required STATE paperwork to "grant approval" for the land to be transferred to a new owner. Grandfathering did help minimize some of the predation. But I feel sorry, though, for the new owner. He won't be so lucky when he decides to sell.
That's why I avoid straying too far south. The line between legal and normal, and state felony isn't always marked with a "Welcome to Massachusetts" sign like it should be.
Nice truck...even has a headache rack. Not sure why they need that. Parked next to a truck with some type of insignia on the door--Maybe they are having coffee and/or donuts.
There is only one proper response to tyranny. And I think you all know what it is.
Whine. Cry. Bitch. Moan? No.
You deserve to have been made into castrati.
If you haven't fought back then you welcomed this. And encouraged it.
Better luck in the future.