Fox News "Enemies of the State" series on Hage takings case

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ewv
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Fox News "Enemies of the State" series on Hage takings case

Another illustration of why no sane person wants a Federal bureaucracy controlling land in Maine. This one is about the abuse of ranchers in the west where private ownership is not permitted, leaving the ranchers at the mercy of "special use permits" and arbitrary restrictions, harassment and bullying.

Story Featured on Fox News this Weekend.

What does it feel like to have the full force of the state bear down on you? This weekend, Jon Scott hosts the special Fox News Reporting: Enemies of the State, which focuses on Americans who have found themselves in the crosshairs of their own government.

In the sneak peek above, Fox News reporter John Roberts talks to Wayne Hage, a rancher battling the Bureau of Land Management over his cattle farm.

Roberts pointed out that in one 105 day grazing season, the family was visited by government employees 70 times and received an additional 40 certified letters containing various citations and notices.

“That's more than one visit by the government, in a sense, for every day that you are out there grazing,” Roberts said.

Hear Hage’s response in the clip above. Then tune in this Saturday at 10p ET and Sunday at 9p ET on Fox News Channel to see the full special, Fox News Reporting: Enemies of the State.

ewv
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From R.J. Smith:

From R.J. Smith:

This is not to be missed. It documents the quarter century struggle that the Hage family had fighting in the courts to halt the Federal government's violation of their inalienable rights, specifically their property rights, and to try to get Fifth Amendment takings compensation.

I vividly remember being in Sacramento on a Sunday morning back in 1991 and picking up the Sacramento Bee and seeing the above the fold header: "Rancher sues United States." The Hages had already been suffering continuous government harassment by both the DOI's Bureau of Land Management and the USDA's U.S. Forest Service ever since they had purchased the Pine Creek Ranch in Nevada in 1978. In 1991 the Federal government had confiscated the Hages' cattle, showing up with a small well-armed army of Federal agents. Their efforts to auction off the Hages' cattle failed in Nevada because no one was willing to sell or purchase stolen/rustled cattle and the Feds had to truck the cattle to another state to sell them.

Unfortunately the State can outlast any citizen, dragging on legal proceedings day after day, decade after decade, until the families are either bankrupt or dead. During the long years that the Hages fought for their Constitutional rights, first Jean Hage passed away, then E. Wayne Hage, and finally his second wife Congressman Helen Chenoweth.

Now Wayne and Jean's son Wayne N. Hage continues the fight and running the family ranch. Together with the support of the rest of the family.

Former Chief Judge Loren A. Smith of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims carefully and meticulously
presided over all aspects of the case for nearly two decades. Ruling that the Hages had valid property rights to their water, the 1866 water ditch rights-of-way, their range improvements, the forage adjacent to the water and ditches, and the right to access their water and forage. And ultimately awarding them $14.4 million in takings compensation, plus attorney fees.

However, shortly thereafter the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the takings compensation on some minor technicalities.

Meanwhile, Wayne Jr. is in court in the Nevada District Court fighting Federal charges that he is trespassing by having his cattle on the land. Recently Judge Jones strongly admonished the USFS they they were attempting to use their power to destroy the Hage family ranch and ordered them to reinstate the grazing permit.

This is also an appropriate time to read or reread Albert Jay Nock's excellent 1935 book, Our Enemy the State.

And take the time to thank Fox News and Jon Scott for having the courage to document such stories of state abuse. "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

ewv
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Background from the Hage

Background from the Hage family:

The historic Hage v. United States takings case is finally coming to a close after 23 years in court. The award of compensation for the taking of the Hage’s water, rights-of-way and range improvements was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 2012 (Appellate Court). Now it appears that the United States Court of Federal Claims (Claims Court) will not be granting the Plaintiffs a hearing to allow them to argue that only parts of the compensation claim were reversed.

Plaintiffs asked for the hearing in the Claims Court to allow them to argue that the Appellate Court reversed part, but not all, of the Claims Court decision, which originally awarded compensation for $14.4 million dollars as well as attorney fees. In a November 4, 2013 decision, the Claims Court denied a hearing finding that the Appeals Court did in fact reverse the entire compensation award. Plaintiffs have submitted additional motions, but a hearing appears unlikely.

The case was originally filed in 1991 by Wayne and Jean Hage, two Nevada ranchers whose story is well known in the West. In fact, Fox News will be airing their story in a special report this Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 10 P.M. EST and again on Sunday, April 6th at 9 P.M. EST. The program is titled “Enemies of the State.”

Wayne and Jean Hage purchased Pine Creek Ranch in 1978, a large cow-calf operation in Central Nevada comprised of 7,000 private deeded acres and 752,000 acres of federal grazing lands. They owned all the water on the ranch, adjudicated by the State of Nevada, for livestock grazing. Immediately after purchasing the property, their ranching operation became a target of the federal agencies. The water, while not very valuable for livestock grazing, is gravity flow to Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Within a short time of owning the ranch, the U.S. Forest Service filed claim to the Hage’s water rights, fenced off critical springs, and eventually canceled their grazing permits.

In their first 105 day summer grazing season, the Hages were issued 45 citations and received 70 face-to-face visits from Forest Service agents informing them of numerous alleged violations of their grazing permits. One of these violations was for “not maintaining fences,” which turned out to be one missing staple in a 25-mile stretch of fence across the top of Table Mountain, elevation 11,000 feet.

The Hages were cited with having trespass cattle on allotments, not having enough cattle on allotments and not properly informing the agency they were taking “non-use” for an allotment. Ultimately, one of their key summer grazing allotments was canceled for five years based on a photograph taken in November after several freezes, but submitted as if it was taken during the growing season. The very next spring, standing in the same spot, knee high in grass, the Forest Service was asked to explain their decision. They determined that although the allotment was healthy and covered in spring grasses, it was the wrong kind of grass. The five-year suspension was implemented.

Finally, in 1991, after the U.S. Forest Service confiscated over 100 head of the Hage’s cattle (half of the riders armed with semi-automatic weapons), the Hage’s had finally had enough. They took their case to the United States Court of Federal Claims alleging the taking of their property under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The case was the first federal lands grazing case to be filed in this Court. For the first time in the history of western land disputes, Wayne and Jean were determined to resolve whether or not they held property rights on the federal lands and whether or not the federal government could regulate them out of business without compensation.

Their cause became the rallying cry for western ranchers facing the same federal abuse. People across the nation began supporting their case. Wayne and Jean always knew they would have never been able to pursue the case through the courts without the help of so many great friends, members and often complete strangers who did everything they could to stand with them.

Jean died in 1996, with the case still unresolved, but knowing they were on their way to vindication as the Court had made some early key decisions in their favor.

However, it wasn’t until 2002 that the Court issued the first truly landmark ruling in the case. The Court determined that despite the government’s argument that the Hage’s had no property rights in the federal lands, the Court found they owned the water on the federal lands that flowed to their private lands, they owned the ditch rights-of-way that transported that water (and 50 feet on either side), and the range improvements. The decision had a chilling effect on the federal agencies.

Wayne died in 2006 knowing he and Jean had won big for western ranchers, but still without seeing any of the awards.

In 2008, the Claims Court issued a second landmark ruling by finding that the actions of the government agencies to prevent the Hage’s from using their property was a taking under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Ultimately, they were awarded $14.4 million, plus attorney fees.

In the interim, the government brought trespass charges against Wayne Hage, Jr. and the Estate of Wayne and Jean Hage for having cattle on the federal allotments. The dispute ended up in District Court, separate and apart from the Takings case. This court issued the third historic ruling in the Hage saga, ordering the federal agencies to reinstate the Hage’s grazing permit and ordering Wayne Hage, Jr. to sign the permit. In making this decision the court admonished the federal agencies for using the power of the federal government to target and attempt to destroy what was left of the Hage’s livestock operation.

It wasn’t until the federal government challenged the award of compensation in the Appellate Court that they were able to erode the Claims Courts decision. In 2012, they successfully overturned the compensation award based primarily on the ripeness of the claim and failure to apply for a special use permit to maintain the ditches. Their arguments did not take on any of the major issues in the case, such as whether their regulatory actions went too far and caused a taking, but relied on minor elements. The result was the Appellate court awarded no costs.

The Plaintiffs, now the Estate of Wayne and Jean Hage, asked for a hearing from the Claims Court to argue that the Appellate court decision did not overturn all of the takings compensation award. However, it appears the court has accepted the higher courts decision to mean that no costs will be awarded.

What still stands as a result of Hage v. United States, is the decision that western ranchers own their water and right’s-of-way on the federal lands. However, determining what will trigger a compensation claim for these rights under the Fifth Amendment is the unanswered question. The bar is set high at the Appellate court. Still, maybe a case in the future with the right set of facts can cross this hurdle successfully. But that baton will need to be passed to a new generation of ranchers.

What Wayne and Jean withstood to bring us this far is phenomenal. Although they did not live to see how the story ends, they did leave us with their very best effort to protect private property rights for future generations. I know how thankful they were to have so many good Americans stand with them. It is what fueled them to finish the race.

I also know they would have wanted to secure a decision that awarded compensation, not for themselves, but for the precedent and protection it would provide to every American. Although that is not how the final chapter will end, their contribution to this nation cannot be diminished.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.

taxfoe
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"Thanks, Mom and Dad."

"Thanks, Mom and Dad."

Is this your story, ewv? No links in the source post. I've spent a lot of time in the area and have done research re the Hage 'Ranch'.

Roger Ek
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At the top of the post it

At the top of the post it clearly states it is from the Hage family. I met Wayne Hage, the elder, at the national property rights congress in DC a couple of decades ago. Rep Helen Chenowith was there. She was a rancher from Idaho. When she was elected to Congress she promised to serve just two terms. She honored that promise. What a fine group of patriots who attended that event. There were loggers from Oregon, ranchers from all over the West and farmers from everywhere. The Hage family has been under attack for a quarter of a century now. It's pronounced "Hay gee". One family stood against the beast and would not submit. They are fine examples for us all.

Rebecca
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I too read the story on the

I too read the story on the Hages. I am of the opinion that had not our ancestors been granted land directly for their efforts stemming from the Revolution, we too would be receiving the heavy handedness of the Federal bureaucracy in regards to land. Not that we aren't but at least not in the same manner. It is my opinion that the efforts to disarm the American public is simply a step in a much larger effort to infringe on personal freedom. Without the means to protect the freedom of speech and peaceable assembly there is no end to the atrocities and tyranny of government.
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taxfoe
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Thank you, Roger Ek. The

Thank you, Roger Ek. The first post has a link; the two following do not. The third closes with a personal reference and that is why I asked.

BlueJay
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Is this a 2-part special? I

Is this a 2-part special? I hope I did not miss the first part. Hopefully tonight is a repeat, but I'm doubtful.

ewv
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taxfoe Sat, 04/05/2014: "

taxfoe Sat, 04/05/2014: "'Thanks, Mom and Dad.' Is this your story, ewv? No links in the source post. I've spent a lot of time in the area and have done research re the Hage 'Ranch'."

No, as Roger describes above it is the Hage family out west. The summary was provided by Stewards of the Range. So no, it's not my story, but similar abuses have occurred all over the country, including in Maine, that hardly anyone learns about because the "news" doesn't cover that which embarrasses the establishment. Occasionally you see something about this or some other case, but there is no follow up or connections made to a pattern and they are soon forgotten by the few who see them.

How many anywhere in Maine, let alone southern Maine, know about the abuse that has been going on under NPS and USFWS? How many in Bar Harbor know of the threats of condemnation to get land at Acadia and the roll there of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the just as wealthy and politically connected Friends of Acadia, and Quimby herself (yes, at Acadia, too)? How many near the Saddleback Ski Area know about the sustained abuse for 20 years against the owner of the ski area by NPS and the viro pressure groups? How many know of the scandal and condemnation threat to seize property at the Moosehorn National Refuge downeast, or what NPS and Maine Coast Heritage Trust did to the people on the coast there? How many know that the "white hat", "private" Maine Coast Heritage Trust was started with Rockefeller money in collaboration with the NPS to transfer other people's private property to the Federal government and continues in that role today? Not many. It isn't intended that you know.

ewv
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BlueJay Sun, 04/06/2014: "Is

BlueJay Sun, 04/06/2014: "Is this a 2-part special? I hope I did not miss the first part. Hopefully tonight is a repeat, but I'm doubtful."

It was repeated, but a lot of us were not able to watch it. Hopefully it will be shown again.

Abacus
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Back in the '90's I was

Back in the '90's I was heavily involved on OHV (off-roading) jeeps, and was well versed in the Clinton land grabs for the BLM. I fail to see how ANY of it was Constitutional yet it passed without fanfare into obscurity.

I have also seen, firsthand, the local green groups try the same tactics to take land from generous people allowing others to use and enjoy it. No good deed goes unpunished.

ewv
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One of the Clinton land grabs

One of the Clinton land grabs was his abuse of the Antiquities Act in an end-run around Congress at the very end of his term to decree an enormous National Monument in Utah, locking up coal reserves and trapping inholders in a new de-facto Wilderness area. The state has tried to fight it in the courts for over a decade without success. This is what the Quimbyites want to do to Maine in what Quimby called "Plan B".

taxfoe
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SOURCE

SOURCE

In our opinion: Fix Antiquities Act

. . Clinton created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by executive fiat . .

The president's decision entirely ignored all input from Utah's elected representatives and bypassed Congress altogether. It also permanently blocked development of one of the world's largest deposits of clean-burning coal. These resources were part of Utah's school trust lands, which means the Clinton administration's unilateral land grab cost Utah's education system, including its students, untold billions of dollars.
___________________________________________________

Reader comment: Bill Clinton was the greatest President of our generation.

I guess anyone who still believes that will believe just about anything.

ewv
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The Antiquities Act was

The Antiquities Act was passed in 1906 during the early progressive era under the excuse that the President should have authority to preserve relatively small sites such as Indian artifacts and burial grounds in the southwest already on Federal lands. They had already reversed the original policy of private settlement of unowned land in the west, turning it into a vast Federal permanent kingdom without Constitutional authority.

The policy of outlawing private property in the west wherever possible beginning in the late 1800s is the mentality that led to the sustained persecution of the Hage family and many more as the viros try to eradicate the American cowboy. The ranchers may own water rights and relatively smaller patches of land as private property, but not enough to sustain a ranch or become independent of bureaucratic leverage demanding "special use permits" and other interference. The ranchers in these areas are now dependent on Federal land (which the viros call "welfare" in their propaganda) because private property rights were prohibited, preventing them from becoming independent.

The Antiquities Act in particular has been exploited by executive fiat many times to lock up huge areas of land. The largest is over 2 million acres within the Tsongas National Forest in Alaska, where viros have for decades been seeking to eliminate timber harvesting. (The Sierra Club lobby announced in the 1990s its long term political campaign to stop all logging on public lands.)

States with mostly private property have been more of a problem for their "take it all" mentality (to quote Aububon VP Brock Evans in his infamous 1990 speech about northern New England), but as you can see from the constant piling on of regulatory restrictions and demands for massive new National Parks and Greenlining, they continue to threaten "progress" into the primitive past.

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