Sheriffs & SRA
Enthusiasm Escalates for Constitutional Sheriffs
By Liz Bowen
Support Rural America Publicist
Posted July 20, 2012
All photos by Liz Bowen
From left to right: Humboldt Co. Sheriff Mike Downey, Tehama Co. Sheriff Dave Hencratt, Del Norte Co. Sheriff Dean Wilson, Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey, Modoc Co. Sheriff Mike Poindexter and Mendocino Co. Sheriff Tom Allman participated in a panel during Del Norte Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event on July 14, 2012 in Crescent City, CA.
Northern California Sheriffs defend public safety
Crescent City, CA – Diverse economic problems and challenges face law enforcement, but in Northern California elected county sheriffs are doing something new by holding regional Town Hall-type meetings to communicate with their citizens. Powerful networking and a broadening of understanding is the result. But there is also an unexpected bonus: An increased respect for sheriffs protecting and working with citizens.
A fifth Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event, held on July 14, 2012, was hosted by Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson up in the far northern coastal corner of California. Previous regional events have been held in Siskiyou, Modoc, Trinity and Tehama Counties this year.
The next event will be hosted by Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah on Aug.18, 2012. Time is 10 a.m. Admission is free.
Del Norte Co. Sheriff Dean Wilson
Sheriff Wilson knows full well the implications of economic downturns and the resulting public safety concerns facing his citizens. In March of 2011, the devastating tsunami hitting Japan also took out Crescent City’s harbor infrastructure needed for small commercial fishermen. And government agencies have not been in a hurry to aid the re-building.
Finally, on July 11, 2012, a ceremony was held to celebrate the beginning of re-establishment of desperately needed docks – more than a year after nature’s destruction. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, there are many government agencies with numerous hoops to jump through. Yes, red-tape is humiliatingly slow.
Sheriffs with like-minded frustrations attended this Support Rural America Event from Northern California counties including Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey and Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt.
Sheriff Wilson welcomed the audience and began with a statement: “Our issue is public safety, which has always been and shall always be the paramount consideration for government.”
Each man firmly believes his role, as an elected sheriff, is public safety. With rural economies taking hit after hit from unwarranted, but fear-gripping environmental regulations, livelihoods and businesses are on a steep slippery slope downward. As jobs and salaries are lost, each sheriff is noticing an increase in drug and alcohol abuse; also in domestic violence; and abuses of children and the elderly. Problems resulting from a poor economy are now a public safety issue. Crimes are increasing.
Audience before the event.
Not only do elected sheriffs have the job of enforcing the law, but they are responsible for keeping their constituents happy with the job they are doing. Yes, it is a balancing act.
Sheriffs are uniquely an American tradition and these men have sworn with an Oath of Office to defend and protect their citizens “from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.”
Some bureaucrats in high levels of a few state and federal agencies are regulating activities that greatly affect life and livelihoods in rural areas. Citizens facing over-regulations feel attacked from newly-designed agency permits for legal irrigation water, timber harvesting or fishing rights. Escalating fees and gigantic fines are attached to the newly-written codes and regulations.
These sheriffs proudly appreciate the many state and federal agencies, which provide back-up and partnerships for a variety of serious situations. But, new to the equation are unbending over-regulations from environmental agencies stifling business and local economies dragging down revenues needed for public services.
Sheriff Wilson believes there is “hope” in standing on the Constitution as the “law of the land.” Additionally, the Bill of Rights protects liberties and freedoms for the individual. It is under the U.S. Constitution, where local governments are provided equal rights. So these men are speaking out, standing up and claiming their equality to the chagrin of a few government employees, socialists and leftists.
Sheriff Wilson praised his Del Norte County Supervisors for utilizing a legal process called “coordination” to demand equality from state and federal agencies. Through coordination state and federal policy must be “consistent” with local policy. Something Sheriff Wilson said has been ignored for decades.
“Congress recognized local communities and economies,” explained Wilson, when developing the coordination process.
Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey
Siskiyou Sheriff Jon Lopey spoke next lamenting that his county has so many things going on, “we are under siege” from over-regulations. Sheriff Lopey was willing to take the lead with several elected local fire and community districts in demanding federal agencies come to the table and do “coordination” government-to-government.
“There are policies that threaten and destroy rural America,” said Sheriff Lopey, who explained that in the 1970s there were 22 sawmills in Siskiyou County. “Now there are two partially functioning mills.”
Yet, the mountains are full of trees “10 times” the natural amount with fuel-loading extremely heavy – just waiting for decimation by catastrophic fire. Thinning the trees would provide a regional economy, bringing forests back to health allowing more water to flow into streams for fish. But environmental regulations have nearly stopped the harvest of timber.
Recently, Sheriff Lopey was slammed by the Huffington Post blogger Glen Martin, claiming Lopey was above the law, because he is demanding coordination with federal agencies on the potential removal of four well-functioning hydro-electric dams. These dams are situated 200 miles inland on the Klamath River. Eco groups and agency officials claim dam removal will aid salmon runs, which science and scientists can prove is not true, yet perpetuated by restoration grant-loving Non-Governmental-Organizations.
Modoc Co. Sheriff Mike Poindexter
Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter and Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt are also utilizing the “coordination” process addressing the U.S. Forest Service’s plans to reduce roads available for travel. Both sheriffs claim a significant amount of road miles are needed in the Forest Service managed lands for public safety and rescue. Recreationists continue to travel into the back country and there will be fires, natural and man-made, they explained. Both sheriffs said they must have access to and on Forest Service roads. Public lands cannot be closed to the public.
Tehama Co. Sheriff Dave Hencratt
Humboldt Co. Sheriff Mike Downey
Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey said, “We are a Republic. We are a country of a rule of law – not of a mob. We are not a Democracy,” bringing shouts and applause from the crowd of 300.
Sheriff Downey said tremendous environmental issues surround the illegal marijuana business and has asked the Environmental Protection Agency for help — to no avail. EPA officials told him the agency only addresses those situations with permits. Illegal pot grows have no such permits.
Then, Sheriff Downey explained there is a chemical used by pot growers, which is toxic and killing the mammal fisher, spotted owls and deer. He also sees huge amounts of silting and sediment washed into streams from the plowed up fields and pads created by the growers. He has reported it to federal agencies. Nothing has been done.
“We are asking you to stand with us,” said Sheriff Downey to the audience, which verbally agreed, rising to their feet in yet another ovation.
Mendocino Co. Sheriff Tom Allman
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman was last in speaking, but not least in passion. He first mentioned this is “not a political year” for the sheriffs involved in these Support Rural America Events. So there is no campaign agenda. Next he said, “We are not going to trample the rights of the citizens we are sworn to protect. We will not turn away from enforcing the law.”
The year 2011was a watershed year for Sheriff Allman, who said pot growing in his county was out of control and he needed help. It is truly a global business, as he explained many arrests have been made on citizens from 14 other countries. Needing more law enforcement support, Sheriff Allman called up neighboring sheriffs and suggested putting together a multi-county Marijuana Eradication Task Force. They did. In just three weeks, more than 632,000 marijuana plants and 57,000 pounds of trash was found and removed by the county sheriff departments.
Sheriff Allman has invited neighboring Constitutional Sheriffs to the sixth Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event on Aug. 18, 2012 in Ukiah. It is too early to have received confirmation from sheriffs, but if possible they do attend providing needed support. Also, conservative-type of citizens and Tea Party Patriots are so enthused over these sheriffs, some are becoming “groupies” attending as many events as possible. Friendships and networking is expanding.
Solutions to the myriad of over-regulations are evolving and have not yet been found for many issues, but through these Town Hall meetings a “we can do it” attitude is emerging.
After stating, “We will never, never ever give up,” Del Norte Sheriff Dean Wilson took a deep breath, smiled and finished with, “Just look at what we can do together.”
Youtube videos were completed by Phil at State of Jefferson Podcast.com and will also be available on the SupportRuralAmerica.com website, where more information about Constitutional Sheriffs and previous events can be found.
Minister Edwin Fleshman gave the flag salute, prayer and honored veterans.
This fuchsia was five feet tall. They just don’t grow like that — inland.
We really were at the Pacific Ocean in Crescent City, CA.
Thank you Del Norte Sheriff Dean Wilson for hosting a fabulous event.
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News in Jefferson Country on KSYC 103.9 FM radio
June 1, 2012
News in Jefferson Country from Pie N Politics dot com editor Liz Bowen: The Support Rural America committee announced that its next Sheriffs’ Event will be the biggest yet with ten Northern California County Sheriffs participating.
Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt is hosting this Sheriff’s Event on Saturday, June 23rd at the Tehama County fairgrounds in Red Bluff. The panel of 10 sheriffs will take their seats on stage at 1:30 p.m. in an air-conditioned auditorium.
This huge panel of sheriffs will address local issues plaguing rural citizens.
Siskiyou Sheriff Jon Lopey said these sheriffs are committed to the “oath of office” they took to protect their citizens. Lopey will participate in the Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event along with sheriffs from Trinity, Del Norte, Humboldt, Shasta, Mendocino, Plumas, Modoc and Glenn Counties on June 23rd in Red Bluff. Admission is free. All U.S. citizens are invited to attend.
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Support Rural America
Trinity County on May 19,2012
Panel of six Sheriffs, who stand on the Constitution and their Oath of Office to protect their citizens.
Trinity County Sheriff Bruce Haney hosted the Event.
Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt will host the next
Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event
on June 23, 2012
in Red Bluff at the fairgroungs
Time is 1:30 p.m.
Left is Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson
and with the cowboy hat is Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter.
New to the Support Rural America Events is
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman.
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey explained how rural America is
under attack by over-regulations from some government agencies.
He said he gets along well with many federal and state agencies, but there are a few bureaucracies that need to communicate better with his office.
New Mexico Otero County Commissioner Ronny Rardin spoke about cutting down trees in USFS National Forest last Sept. 17, 2011.
Weaverville’s Herk Shriner served as M.C.
A crowd of about 150
Loma Wharton, of Liberators11, asked a question.
Sylvia Milligan, of Redding, and a fighter to keep roads open in the USFS managed PUBLIC lands, also asked a question.
Photographer Lyn Scott with a friend, who helped with the Event. Thanks Lyn for sharing your great photos with us.
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“WE ARE UNDER ATTACK”
Constitutional Sheriffs say excessive regulation puts public safety at risk
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 6:15 am
By Amy Gittelsohn The Trinity Journal
Some like-minded North State sheriffs, including Trinity County Sheriff Bruce Haney, have banded together to take on issues they say affect public safety such as overgrown forests and intrusion by the federal government.
They’ve been referred to as the Constitutional Sheriffs, and a panel of six of them spoke Saturday at the Support Rural America conference hosted by the Trinity County Patriots at Mountain Chapel in Weaverville.
In addition to Haney, the sheriffs who spoke to the crowd of about 150 included Jon Lopey of Siskiyou County, Tom Allman of Mendocino County, Dave Hencratt of Tehama County, Mike Poindexter of Modoc County and Dean Wilson of Del Norte County.
“A lot of the issues facing rural America aren’t just happening here, they’re happening everywhere and that’s why we’re here today,” Haney said.
The effort was kicked off with the Defend Rural America conference in Yreka in October that Haney participated in. More events are planned in June and July in other counties.
Haney said federal and state agencies are making decisions of concern to law enforcement because they affect public safety, such as decommissioning of U.S. Forest Service roads without properly coordinating with local governments.
That word “coordination” would come up frequently during Saturday’s conference. Not in the context of assessing a potential drunken driver, as Haney joked, but as a requirement before government action.
“We’re asking them to follow their own regulations,” Haney said. “We didn’t make it up.”
“We got involved because our job is public safety,” Haney said. “As we enter a new fire season our forests are of grave concern to me as public safety officer.”
He noted that last year the number of searches for missing people in the national forest was “unprecedented and said roads are needed for access during such searches and for firefighting.
“There’s no reason we can’t responsibly harvest and thin our forests,” he added.
Haney is forming a Sheriff’s Public Safety and Coordination Advisory Team and said he wants a diverse membership for that group.
The other sheriffs also expressed concerns about the Forest Service’s Travel Management Plan, dense forests, possible expansion of spotted owl habitat and removal of dams on the Klamath River.
Hencratt, of Tehama, said the Travel Management Plan on that side of the Shasta-Trinity forest called for less decommissioning of roads as a result of a coordination committee involving county supervisors, planning, and himself.
The sheriff’s is a powerful office, Hencratt said, “but we have zero power without the backing of the people.”
A couple of the sheriffs said they have gone to bat for residents having problems with natural resources agencies.
“Who knows how to protect the natural resources better than the people who have been living off that land for four or five generations?” Poindexter asked.
Sheriff Wilson said in these rural communities, “We have everything we need. We have all the resources we need” to have a vibrant economy. Government rules are preventing that and interfering with citizens’ rights in the process, he said.
“As sheriff it’s my duty to see those rights are protected,” he said.
Allman, of Mendocino, said the sheriffs are not affiliated with extreme groups. “We’re just saying we believe our role as sheriffs is to be the watch keeper in our counties,” he said.
Likewise, Haney said someone saw him on You Tube after he participated in the Yreka event and asked what kooky group he was in.
“I considered that just being a good neighbor,” he said. “If that makes me a little kooky and a little loony I’ll accept that.”
Lopey, of Siskiyou, spoke of the importance of honoring the U.S. Constitution.
“We’re under attack,” he said.
“What’s more important than growing food?” he asked, saying there is a concerted effort to take water from ranchers and farmers for endangered species.
When plans were made to take out four dams on the Klamath River, “they didn’t coordinate properly with us,” he said, adding that 70 percent of the people in Siskiyou County say they don’t want the dams removed, “but they aren’t listening.”
In response to a question from the audience, Haney repeated a question Lopey asked of the sheriffs and his own response: “If we have to protect these dams, are you guys willing to stand with me?” and “I said, ‘Yes.’”
Ronny Rardin, commissioner of Otero County, N.M., was a guest speaker at the event.
Citing writings of James Madison, the Tenth Amendment and items from the Federalist Papers, he said those who think the federal government is the most powerful followed by the state and then local governments have it wrong.
“Your local government is the most powerful government,” he said.
Rardin talked about efforts to thin the forest in Otero County – “the driest in the nation,” he said.
In May 2011, the Otero commission passed a resolution declaring a state of emergency due to extreme fire hazards and stating it is empowered to clear and thin the area as necessary under state law.
Rardin said with the support of the sheriff and district attorney, the commission announced plans to go to the forest and cut one acre on Sept. 17. “Our congressman said he’d cut the first tree,” Rardin added.
The initial response from the U.S. attorney was that anyone who went on Forest Service land and broke the law would be arrested, Rardin said, but the sheriff responded he’s the only one with arrest powers and would use them, for kidnap, on anyone trying to arrest the congressman or chair of the commission.
Ultimately, Rardin said, an agreement was reached. The tree-cutting took place, each side agreed not to arrest the other, and Rardin’s side agreed to provide insurance, police the area and tape it off.
In February, the federal government sued the commission and state of New Mexico in district court, asking that the court declare that the state law and Otero resolution are pre-empted by federal legislation and regulations.
Rardin said he welcomes the court battle.
Trinity County could also make a stand, he said, noting that the county has a vegetation ordinance, a larger budget than Otero’s and fewer people.
The words coordination and coordinate came up frequently at Saturday’s Support Rural America conference. The origin is the text of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 which directed the federal Bureau of Land Management. It states that in the development and revision of land use plans, to the extent consistent with the laws governing the administration of the public lands, the Interior Secretary shall coordinate with state, tribal and local governments by considering their plans, “assist in resolving, to the extent practical, inconsistencies between Federal and non-Federal Government plans, and shall provide for meaningful public involvement of State and local government officials.” The National Environmental Policy Act also requires coordination with local governments, the speakers at Saturday’s event said.
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Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Mountain Chapel Assembly of God Church
Directions: It is off of Highway 299 and Martin Road. Then right onto Oakridge Drive
There will be signs posted.
Seating available for 400.
Hosted by Trinity County Sheriff Bruce Haney
Doors open at noon with vendors and info tables available
Admission is free
(No food, but water will be available to purchase)
Five sheriffs will join Sheriff Haney on the
Siskiyou Co. Jon Lopey
Modoc Co. Mike Poindexter
Del Norte Co. Dean Wilson
Tehama Co. Dave Hencrat
Mendocino Co. Tom Allman
Special Guest speaker:
Ronny Rardin, Chairman of Otero County Commissioners from New Mexico
Subject: Coordination process proceeding with USFS
Support Rural America
Trinity County Patriots
Redding Tea Party Patriots
For more information, contact Herk Shriner at 530-623-6883
Erin Ryan 530-515-7135 or Liz Bowen 530-467-3515
Websites for more information:
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Youtube videos available for Siskiyou Feb. 25, 2012 Event
Click on links below photos.
Five County Sheriffs participated in the Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds on Feb. 25. who discussed serious issues facing county sheriffs and Public Health.
Check out these youtubes videos of
Sheriffs Standing Tall:
War to SAVE Rural America
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey speaks on local issues and threats to Public Safety, click on link below:
Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson explains how liberty & prosperity are in jeopardy. Click on link below:
Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood said ‘NO’ to USFS law enforcement encroachment and ‘YES’ to Concealed Weapon’s Permit. Learn more, click below:
Trinity County Sheriff Bruce Haney said “Let’s harvest some timber.” Trinity County is 80 percent public land POORLY managed by U.S. Forest Service. Click the link below:
You won’t catch Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter smiling very often, but he liked the hat given to him by Redding Tea Party Patriots. Click on the below link:
Be sure to attend next event:
Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event
Hosted by Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter
Sat. April 21, 2012
Doors open NOON
Casino Convention Center
920 B County Rd. 56
Sponsored by Modoc Independent Tea Party
Special guest is Wyoming attorney Karen Budd-Falen
Vendor and info tables available to interested groups for $20
Call Doug Knox at 530-233-3599
Or Louise Gliatto at 530-842-5443
We reserve the right of refusal