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by
Bryan Preston

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January 28, 2014 - 9:49 am

Nearly two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court smacked down the Environmental Protection Agency in a landmark property rights case. The court ruled that the EPA was overstepping its bounds in going after the Sackett family of Idaho. In 2007 the Sacketts wanted to build their dream home on their own land, but the EPA swept in and tried to stop them, arguing that their land was a “wetland.” It wasn’t a wetland, the Sacketts tried to go to court to win their property rights back, but the EPA ruled that they had no right even to defend themselves in court. The EPA staked out the position that the Sacketts could only deal with the EPA, which had already ruled against them.

The Supreme Court ultimately disagreed with the EPA, and the Sacketts won.

Well, over the course of their suit, the Sacketts worked with an Idaho environmental consulting firm, Kagel Environmental LLC. Kagel provided evidence that the land in question was not a wetland. The DTN Progressive Farmer reports that Kagel Environmental has been subjected to targeting by federal authorities since they worked on the Sackett case.

Ray Kagel, co-owner of Rigby, Idaho-based Kagel Environmental LLC, told DTN in an exclusive interview that he has never faced the delays now faced from the Corps of Engineers when it comes to wetlands delineation work for clients.

The Corps Walla Walla (Wash.) District maintains the recent delays from its field office in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, are just part of the usual course of business.

The delays come from the same northern Idaho county where Kagel successfully defended the Sacketts and another property owner who faced criminal indictment for allegedly filling wetlands without a permit.

Kagel said at least some Corps field offices are attempting to go around the court’s ruling even if trained scientists such as him determine wetlands are not present.

Joseph Saxon, public affairs chief for the Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District, told DTN the Kagel allegations are being reviewed.

After the Sackett ruling, Kagel said, a Corps Walla Walla district field office added more layers of what he says are unnecessary steps to rectifying wetlands determinations for subsequent clients.

Kagel asked the Idaho congressional delegation and other members of Congress for help in ending the delays.

In a Dec. 20, 2013 letter to Sens. David Vitter, R-La.; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; and James Risch, R-Idaho, Kagel said he believes the “targeting” has resulted in “undue hardship and stress for our clients.” Vitter is the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy this month, the senators asked for a February briefing from the Corps writing, “Any effort by the Army Corps of Engineers or the Environmental Protection Agency to penalize a business for its prior assistance to landowners dealing with regulatory issues is wholly unacceptable.”

Read the whole thing. Kagel cites a troubling pattern of delays, runarounds and denials by the Corps of Engineers office on wetlands determinations. He says the CoE has changed its tactics ever since the Sackett ruling. The harassment tactics resemble those the the IRS has admitted to in abusing Tea Party and conservative groups, and which King Street Patriots’ founder Catherine Engelbrecht has suffered since she founded the election integrity watchdog group.

Obviously, the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)  is not part of the Environmental Protection Agency. It answers directly to the Department of the Army at the Pentagon, which means that USACE answers to generals appointed to their posts by President Obama. Likewise, the EPA is an executive branch agency that answers to the president; its administrator is a political appointee and is given a seat in the president’s cabinet meetings.

Any coordination of actions between the USACE and EPA would probably originate above both of them.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
For a state situated in the high DESERT, Idaho sure seems to have alot of "wetlands". Strange....
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Any coordination of actions between the USACE and EPA would probably originate above both of them."

In other words, the abuse of governmental authority is a criminal conspiracy originating at some level within the Obama regime. It's not difficult to understand why most people are afraid to say that. The longer we wait to rectify this situation, the bloodier the required measures will be.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
If we ever have another fair and free election, and if we are able to elect a Republican President, his/her first act, taken as s/he removes his/her hand from The Bible ABSOLUTELY MUST be firing everyone, everyone in the federal government that the President has a legal right to fire at his/her pleasure. GWB, typical Republican, appliqued a thin veneer of his own appointees and left the Clinton Administration largely in place awaiting the restoration of what they consider legitimate government. The mau-mau of Senator Stevens was perpetrated by Clinton holdovers from the Seattle Region. These people, e.g., Lerner, have been in hiring manager positions for more than a decade now, so their entire staff down to the clerks and such reflect their politics. I've tried to muck out a government after Democrats; it is almost impossible and it takes a minimum of two terms just to get the worst of the stink out.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (24)
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Interesting - the article cited from the DTN Progressive Farmer is not available any more.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
How much more satisfactory and effective and, yes, even just, was the route taken by the Egyptians when Morsi began to establish himself as a dictator. Like the Rev. King I have a dream to see Obama and his gang of thieves behind bars.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

And as our beloved Republicans continue to play politics, Progressives continue to play revolution.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Damn that's sick.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why does it surprise anyone that these Chicago thugs can and will use any arm of the Federal Government to harass anyone they see as the enemy?

Sooner or later We The People will have to rise up and put Government back in its place. The more I see crap like this going on the sooner its going to happen. I'm waiting for the 'trigger' point...

These bastards are going to have to pay for the high crimes and misdemeanors they've perpetrated on We The People.


42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you really think they will?
The march toward socialism (or, most likely, it derivative - fascism) is habitually going on for almost a century with short interludes. Enlighten me, please, with your rationale why it is going to stop in near future. Mind you, it will definitely stop sometimes in the future when social engineers manage to run out of other people money, but it will be systemic break, e.g. "We The People" have nothing to do with it.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
For a state situated in the high DESERT, Idaho sure seems to have alot of "wetlands". Strange....
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Idaho is far from bring a desert. You've not travelled through much of it have you?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The government dictating what you do with your private property has been the goal all along.

Wearing a seat belt, the amount of water you can use in your toilet, the type of light bulb you can use and where you can smoke a cigarette ... there are a lot of do-gooders who are happy now. Does water cross your yard when it rains? Guess what. You've got a wetland that the EPA is going to protect.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
absolution of private property rights is the first tenet of communism.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
SCOTUS in Kelo decision.... the shot across the bow. Government as owner of all is what they want..... communism is so defined.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just evil!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is the face of tyranny, what our generation will bequeath to future generations of Americans.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Any coordination of actions between the USACE and EPA would probably originate above both of them."

In this instance, unlikely. The various bureaucrats in those field offices located in small cities certainly know each other, and are quite capable of coordinating something like this on their own. Furthermore, as the interior functions of Corps of Engineers has largely transformed it into a run-of-the-mill civilian Federal agency (not to be confused with Combat Engineers), it is just as vulnerable to the typical Bureaucrat Frustrated And We'll Show Them syndrome as any other gubmint conclave.

From above? Nah, this smells more like local bureaucratic pettiness.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
First rule of damage control; to CYA, find a scapegoat below you to blame.

Second rule of damage control; find an 'independent' apologist to obfuscate the issue.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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