DEBATE OF '98- responsibilities of forest land owners

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Thu Apr 23 08:43:25 EST 1998

mcour at wrote:
> Not really.  The existing legal framework can be changed through court cases.
> Laws are overturned every year and new claims are forced each year based on
> 5th amendment claims to property rights.  The existing framework can also be
> changed through legislation.  Have you forgotten that the people are the
> highest authority in the United States?  Congress, the President, and the
> Supreme Court all work for me (and every other citizen) and we can change
> them.

Until we reform our election laws, don't be so naive as to believe our
politicians are working for us.

> Consider the local ordinance of a nearby city that wants to annex some
> property that I own.  This ordinance states that I cannot cut down any tree
> with a diameter greater than 12".  Their motivation behind this law is that
> the city wants large trees to be there to beautify the city and maintain its
> reputation for having pretty trees.  In my opinion, this is the taking of
> private property for public use because landowners in the city cannot sell
> their trees.  The timber value of the trees is reduced to zero.  But I suppose
> you'd say that this is all irrelevant to a forestry newsgroup.

Is that ordinance just for roadside trees or also on trees not visible
to the public? It sounds like a bad ordinance to me. And it's not
irrelevant, as "urban forestry" is part of forestry.

> Almost every public official is sworn to uphold the Constitution.  Thus every
> public official that enacts or enforces a "public taking" that is later
> awarded "just compensation" by the courts has broken his oath of office.
> Furthermore, our government is "of the people."  I am higher on the authority
> chain than the Supreme Court, though this authority is shared wih every other
> citizen.  The people have the power to change the makeup of the Supreme Court
> if we disagree with the manner in which they interpret the constitution.

Does it say that in the constitution? The Supreme Court can't be touched
by anyone, not even the President can fire them. And that's for a good
reason. You wouldn't want some liberal president like Clinton packing
the court would you? <G>

> When the government tells me I can't fill in a wetland and farm on it because
> they need it to act as a big water filter for the "publically owned water" how
> is this not a taking of private property for public use?  When the city tells
> me I can't cut down my trees for timber because they want my trees to make
> their city pretty, how is this not a taking of private property for public
> use?

Because if you destroy a wetland, that may cause flooding to someone
else on THEIR land or you may be contributing to the extinction of
species. But I'll agree that wetland preservation has gone too far. I
can think of some swamps I'd like to drain. But it seems that currently,
every square of wetland is sacrosanct. A reevaluation is needed. But, I
agree 100% with you that the community has no business telling you you
can't cut your trees just to make the land pretty. I'm sure if you cut
trees you want it to look good too, and it's your right to decide what
looks good.

Joe Zorzin

"Still, after a year, the only forestry web page in the otherwise
sophisticated state of Massachusetts"

"In wilderness is the preservation of the world."
Henry David Thoreau

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