Friday, September 02, 2005

More On Nature Conservancy in Vermont

This article was removed from due to their justifiable fear of litigation at the hands of TNC. TNC is CLEARLY a most litigious organization!!

I have just received a large package of legal documents regarding the property the Nature Conservancy hopes to take from private landholders in Vermont. These records are public record and are filed in the Guildhall Land Records. The families involved however are now unwilling to let me use their names, though they are entirely willing to send me surveys and examples of the use of surveyors from out of state who are unlicensed in Vermont but have nevertheless been used to survey the property TNC hopes now to claim. The targeted land has been in one family since 1881 and in the other family since the early 1900’s. Their fear is palpable. But the legal costs they will certainly face if they remain silent will be insurmountable.

I have also received over 35 emails from others across the nation who have met similarly brutal treatment at the hands of The Nature Conservancy. According to Julie Smithson, TNC in conjunction with US Fish and Game, attempted through legal aggression to relocate a number of people in order to take a piece of land at Little Darby Creek in Ohio, but as a consequence of local groups who had the courage to stand up The Nature Conservancy their attempts were foiled. I only hope those in Vermont will show the same fortitude as those in Ohio as they now face this legal behemoth.

According to the Nature Conservancy the land they hope to take in Northern Vermont is one of the last stands of old oak standing in the Guildhall vicinity. According to these elderly Guildhall families (both are in their 80’s), the only reason that land was not previously clear cut by the paper companies is because the families themselves had protected their property. The rewards these families may now receive for protecting their land is that it may be taken from them through the legal machinations of The Nature Conservancy. Yes, local Vermonters do commonly cut a relatively small number of trees on their own property. But that is the point; it is their property.

The ruse they now face is a simple one: TNC received land from Champion that both parties knew was contested property, and TNC is now willing to spend their virtually unlimited legal resources to take this land by pretending to protect it. But according to one of their own lawyers’ web site, one of their primary intentions is to resell land to others who they believe share their own ideological presumptions regarding conservation. According to a Senate investigation however, they have also simply sold it to other private interests.

So please be patient dear readers. More on this will be forthcoming as the information continues to come in. And those of you who have first hand experience, please reconsider your reticence. There is no safety in silence, particularly when you face ideologues with such incomprehensible legal resources. Write me:


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