Read this letter of introduction from CAPR Stevens County to Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. This letter explains the reasoning behind the refusal to submit to setbacks. RE: Introduction Letter and “Official Statement of the Stevens County Private Property Owners” We are sending you our “Official Statement” that was put together and edited by our group of private property owners in Stevens County. This “Official Statement” we are sending has to do with the “setbacks”/’buffer zones” that are being increased and implemented by the Department of Ecology starting July 01, 2014. These “setbacks” are being illegally implemented on private property around sub-irrigated areas and waterways. So far, the DoE has claimed that these setbacks are being implemented to stop pollution of the waters by livestock. However, in a couple different fully documented cases, water tests taken across the span of a year’s time have proven otherwise. One such case was that of Len McIrvin, of northeastern WA. Mr. McIrvin had around 2,500 cow/calf pairs that had full access to the Colville River for the full length of his property, which spanned around 3.5 miles, and the total acreage was approximately 3,200 acres. The DoE accused him of polluting the Colville River with his cattle, and that he would be forced to fence off 35’ beyond the highest watermark. Mr. McIrvin’s entire property of around 3,200 acres fell within that watermark. So he refused to comply with the DoE’s demands, and instead insisted on taking water samples for proof. Both McIrvin and the DoE took their own sets of water samples, and Mr. McIrvin stayed with his water samples throughout the testing processes for the entire year’s time span. After a solid year of water testing, both McIrvin’s and the DoE’s tests came back, concluding that the water was actually 300% CLEANER when it left his property than when it came in to his property. So the DoE had to back off and leave him alone, because when they had to actually prove their accusations, they were not just wrong, but they were 300% wrong. Why was the water 300% cleaner when it left McIrvin's property? It was 300% cleaner because the cattle could reach the shoreline and the water, and therefore were able to graze back all the endless grass. By keeping the grass neat and cleanly mowed around the water’s edge, the sun was able to reach the water and kill the bacteria, thereby cleaning the water by 300%. Len McIrvin should even be eligible for some kind of grant from the State for being able to clean the river water by 300%. The environmentalists keep saying they want CLEAN WATER, and here is the best documented and most cost-effective way to do it that has been recorded so far- simply leave things as they are with livestock being grazed along the waters. Upstream from Mr. McIrvin’s land was a DoE directed, man-made swamp or “wetland”. What happened upstream from McIrvin’s was that the grass grew to well over 7 feet tall around the Colville River, thereby blocking the sunlight from reaching much of the water. This causes the water to become anaerobic, and produces a lot of bacteria, which forms a green slime covering over the water, offensive odor, and becomes a mosquito haven. This process actually putrefies the water. Thank goodness for the river that there are people like the McIrvins that let their cattle graze the grass back so that the water will be cleaned up once again. So the DoE has it completely backwards. It is the livestock who keep the waters clean and neatly kept, yet the wetlands produce anaerobic bacteria buildup. The tests conducted at the County proved it. If that doesn’t make enough sense for you, think about every pond you’ve ever visited that is full of ducks, geese, and other waterfowl. Do you ever let your kids go swimming in those ponds? Not a chance! And that is because the water is always disgusting to look at and smell. Water tests conducted in those locations prove that the bacteria content is off the charts. Yet it is these wetlands that the DoE keeps attempting to save and promote, when it is the livestock grazing that actually cleans the water that was polluted by the wetlands. You can’t have wetlands AND clean water, unless you’ve got somebody grazing their livestock somewhere along the rivers downstream from the wetlands. In fact, if they do force everybody to fence their livestock away from the waters, the water will actually become more and more polluted, since there will not be any more mowed-back stretches of open/exposed areas where the sunlight can clean it all up again. While this letter is being written to show how several DoE practices have proven themselves to be counterproductive to the health of the environment, this is not our primary argument with the DoE’s “setbacks” on private property. This information is being provided strictly to help you to understand a few more things that we are referencing in our “Official Statement”. Our primary issue with the setbacks being enforced upon private property is that we have found “setbacks”/”buffer zones” to be in direct conflict with a total of 14 State and US Constitution Articles and Amendments. Therefore, the private property owners of Stevens County are non-violently refusing to submit to or comply with any setback/buffer zone demands being placed upon private property. If any RCW, WAC, or CAO does not complement or agree with the State and US Constitutions, any demands put forth through them are unconstitutional, and therefore null and void. The majority of the 14 direct conflicts have to do with the fact that the DoE is not following the Due Process of Law that is guaranteed in several Constitution Articles and Amendments. People are being accused of polluting without being granted their Constitutional guarantee provided for by “The Rights of the Accused”, which says there should be a formal charge, a formal investigation, a trial by a jury of the accused person’s peers, a jury derived verdict, and then and only then, if the jury has found that person guilty of the accusations, should he/she be forced by the way of a court order to fence off his/her shoreline. A trial by jury is a right that “shall remain inviolate” according to the State Constitution, Art. I, Sect 21 and even has its own standing and recognition as a right. So the idea that the DoE can assume rights over private property without following the Due Process of Law and the Constitutional guidelines is absolutely in violation of both State and US Constitutions. As a point of reference for this very issue, the State of Alabama passed a bill that was dubbed “The Due Process Bill”, in their SB 477. This SB 477 more or less re-iterated the 5th and 14th Amendments relating to “Due Process of Law”. Since then, EPA and DoE activity has been brought to nearly a complete halt in regards to private property issues. Why? It has come to a halt, because the EPA and DoE cannot prove their accusations, and their efforts tend to fail every time. What could that possibly mean? That could only mean that the EPA/DoE accusations are entirely faulty to begin with, just as in the Len McIrvin case, where the water was 300% CLEANER when it left his cattle farm. Yet, without that investigation into the facts, he was already assumed as being guilty of polluting. Fortunately for McIrvin and his family, he forced the DoE to get the facts. We need not pass another Bill stating what is already written in the Constitutions like Alabama did. That is pointless. We simply need to uphold and acknowledge what is already written. Without the strict reverence for the law by both the citizens AND the Agencies, there is nothing but lawlessness, chaos, and anarchy. Therefore, we intend to hold the DoE to the confines of the law that is referenced in the Constitutional guarantee of Due Process of the Law that is already written in both the State and US Constitutions. Every elected official and military enlistee has to take an oath to uphold and defend the State and US Constitutions, otherwise lawlessness would simply run rampant. I know you agree with that. We are expecting that a Moratorium will be placed upon all DoE actions that have anything to do with the implementation of setbacks/buffer zones on private property until you have conducted your investigation and have come to a lawful decision. Attached is our 4 page “Official Statement” that cites each direct conflict with the State and US Constitutions. We look forward to open dialogue and we welcome discussions with you on your findings. We absolutely want to work with you, and strictly within a legal and a civil manner. We don’t ever want this issue to escalate any further, like we have recently seen in other states. So this is the route we are taking in an effort to simply make our statement of refusal to comply with all DoE actions that are unconstitutional on private property. Thank you for your time in addressing this matter. Respectfully, The Stevens County Private Property Owners Group P.S. For further reference on how long today’s livestock grazing practices have been going on worldwide, please read Psalm 104 in your Bible. The cattle and other “beasts of the field” have been doing this very same thing since before the time of Christ, and it has not caused any harm to the rivers and streams thus far, nor will it ever. If there had been any notable harm done by this practice, there would not be any fish alive today, because this has been going on for thousands of years, and even more readily than it is happening today, i.e. the herds of millions of buffalo that used to graze the plains. Yet, even with multiple millions of free ranging buffalo crossing, drinking, and living in the rivers and streams, it had no adverse affects on the fish or water. The proof of that is that today the rivers and streams are still full of a large array of healthy fish and aquatic life. If full access to the rivers and streams had been detrimental to anything, especially with the numbers of millions of buffalo, all the fish would have died out long ago and there wouldn’t be any of them here today. But that is not the case at all, nor will it ever be the case in the future.