The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

14 July 2011

Asserting the sovereignty of the people and local government over the

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.


Josephine County, Oregon -When Gil Gilbertson was sworn is as Sheriff of Josephine County, a rural county in southwest Oregon, in 2007, he had 30 years of law enforcement experience behind him, both in the United States and with various military missions overseas.

So when citizens of the county began coming to him complaining of "harassment" by U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers (LEO), he said he'd investigate their concerns, figuring he could work things out with the local ranger district. After all, as the county's chief law enforcement officer he was in the "club" and moreover had gotten along with the "feds" - though he disagreed with their road closing policies and other efforts to keep the public off public lands which cover 68 percent of the rural county.

"You know, until about a year ago this wasn't even on my radar," Gilbertson told NewsWithViews. "It was the miners that were coming to me saying they were being harassed. I said I'd look into it."

He contacted the local ranger district for information, but instead of answers he was bluntly told that No, they couldn't, wouldn't discuss anything about any complaints with him, but he could file a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request and they'd get back to him.

"Go Pound Sand"

As talk-radio host Bill Meyer [of KMED] put it in an interview with Gilbertson, the Forest Service had essentially told the sheriff to "go pound sand." Federal agencies are notorious for taking months and years to answer FOIAs Meyer said.

"I'm not going to file any FOIA," Gilbertson told Meyer. "I think that they're obligated to impart that information to me."

On May 5, Gilbertson sent a blistering letter to the District Ranger of the Wild Rivers Ranger District in Caves Junction, setting down in no uncertain terms his objections not only to the Forest Service response to his requests for information but his dissatisfaction with USFS policies.

"Frankly, I was somewhat taken aback by your legal department's position advising you to not discuss issues with me," he wrote, adding he was "aghast" at the refusal to provide information without a FOIA "to find out what your agency is doing in regards to the citizens of this county." He continued:
As the CLEO [chief law enforcement officer] of this county, elected by the citizens, saddled with the expectation and responsibility to safeguard their rights, I fully intend to uphold the laws against any threat, inappropriate or unlawful actions against them.

The issues of illegal road closures, grazing, logging, minerals, taking land under the auspices of 'Monument' status, citizen complaints against your LEO agents, high unemployment and other socio-economic issues we all face today; coupled with the uncooperative nature presented by the USFS are causing me great concern about our relationship and future cooperation.
Go here to read the full letter.

The following day he released the contents of the letter to the public at a meeting of the South West Oregon Mining Association which posted it on their website. He explained he'd been discussing the issue and sharing information with Sheriff Glenn Palmer of Grant County, Ore., who sent a similar letter [dated March 31] to Teresa Raaf, supervisor of Malheur National Forest.

In his letter Sheriff Palmer questioned the USFS's authority to engage in law enforcement within Grant county, declaring: "your jurisdiction as I see it is limited to the Federal Building in John Day" [the county seat]; and that the presence of USFS "Law Enforcement" violates Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

"Within the confines of Grant County, Oregon, the duties and responsibility of law enforcement will rest with the County Sheriff and his designees," he wrote.


Link to rest of the article, News with Views

Also, check out the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officer's Association:

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