Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Is "Open Space" a Good Thing?

Governor McDonnell thinks that "conserving open space" through conservation easements is a good thing.

Patricia Evans notes, however, that this "open space" is being taken away from families who may need, want, and deserve to live on the land...per "Agenda 21," a.k.a. "Smart Growth," a.k.a. "Sustainable Development," a.k.a. "Future Earth," a transparent bid to weaken American Democracy by enforcing "global" (wretched, crowded) standards of living on Americans.

I'm not sure that the United Nations really needs to bother trying to enforce anything. Enough Americans are lazy, greedy, and cowardly enough to destroy our democratic republic, all by themselves, just as Ben Franklin feared that they would. But apparently the destruction doesn't seem to be proceeding fast enough to suit some envious souls, who allowed their envy to reduce formerly wealthy Russia to a global poverty pocket, allowed it to bankrupt several former world powers in Europe, and just can't stand that they've not been able to impose more poverty on China, either, yet.

I forget where I recently read: "In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is not king, because the blind people put out his good eye because they think his having one good eye isn't faaaair."

When good people disagree on points like this one I like to turn back to the Bible. The Bible has quite a lot to say about property rights. Specifically, it says that the ideal use of land is for land to be privately owned, but entailed within families. Thus, in practice: as Grandfather's eldest surviving child's eldest child, I am "The" King (or whatever my real family name is). I get to live in the house, but if tempted to sell it I'm blocked by other relatives who have some interest in it, if they don't want to maintain houses of their own in town I'm obliged to share with them, and they get some say in what I can do with the house and land. I believe this is one bit of biblical truth the English preserved better than other groups of people have. We can study this idea in depth here, historically and/or theologically, if you're interested.

Patricia Evans sent another article containing links youall may want to follow, so here they are:
"Protecting the environment is of the utmost importance to our Administration. Since taking office we’ve conserved over 120,000 acres of open space." - Gov. Bob McDonnell http://www.governor.virginia.gov/news/viewRelease.cfm?id=1583

Remember, "open space" was someones private property, but it will never be private property again.

Conservation Easements:

Please read: Virginia Outdoors Foundation Protected 26,375 Acres of Open Space ( Private Property ) in 2012 - and holds more conservation easements than any land trust in the nation!


RICHMOND – The Virginia Outdoors Foundation permanently protected 26,375 acres of open space through 127 conservation easements in 2012—a rate of more than three acres every hour.

“I applaud the efforts of the Virginia Outdoor Foundation and VOF Board Chairman, Charles Seilheimer,” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “VOF is a key player in working to conserve Virginia’s many beautiful open spaces. When we conserve more open space we make Virginia an even better place to work, expand a business, and raise a family.”

“It’s a win-win when private landowners partner to conserve open space, working farms and forests,” said Doug Domenech, Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources. “We all benefit from enjoying Virginia’s natural beauty. It’s good for the environment as well.”

VOF recorded easements in 53 localities, including its first two easements in the City of Covington, which protect nearly a mile of a state-designated native brook trout stream, contain portions of a public hiking trail, and border the George Washington National Forest.

Smyth County had the most open space protected with 2,569 acres on five easements.

The 2012 easements include about 120 miles of streams, 11,000 acres of U.S. Department of Agriculture-designated high quality farm soils, and 1,700 acres along state-designated scenic roads and rivers, among other conservation values.

VOF now protects about 675,000 acres— more than 1,000 square miles—across 107 localities. That is an area three times larger than Shenandoah National Park. Roughly 75 percent of the acreage lies within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Conservation easements are voluntary agreements between private landowners and a qualified land trust such as VOF that restrict future development while allowing ( under strict government control ) compatible uses such as farming, forestry, and recreation. Landowners who donate easements can receive state and federal tax benefits.

VOF was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1966 to encourage the preservation of the Commonwealth’s natural and cultural heritage lands. It operates seven regional offices in Virginia and holds more conservation easements than any land trust in the nation.

Please read the analysis on conservation easements linked below from The National Center for Public Policy Research, then forward this important information to others, especially landowners. An educational effort on reasons to say no to conservation easements can slow the central government control of our agriculture and natural resources and help "conserve" private property.

Conservation Easements: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Virginia's protected land, read more:
http://www.virginia.gov/search?searchStr=Protected%20land&page=1 "