Posted on Freedom Advocates on March 24th 2005
In a stunning reversal California Department of Fire and Forestry (CDF) Santa Cruz mountain Chief, Steve Wert announced that the department would support the federal imposition of a Habitat Conservation Plan for Santa Cruz county despite uncontroverted citizen input that such action
takes private property and will lead to worsening fire risks and potential losses of human life.
Wert described the effort to establish the HCP as a locomotive that
can’t be stopped. He also said that he had come to this decision “on
his own”. Obviously uncomfortable with his decree he was supported by
CDF official Mike Gagrin who defended the “stakeholder” process as
“inclusive”. Citizens have contended that the U.N. Agenda 21
stakeholder process is the tool by which an internationalist agenda to
destroy the idea of private property is facilitated.
Wert also waylaid the development of the new by-laws that were
intended to create a model organization based on voluntary action. Wert
ruled that the state could not be involved in an effort organized by
citizens that did not include stakeholder principles. Although the
draft bylaws made membership in the Residents for Fire Safety open to
all individuals including persons who worked for stakeholder
organizations, Wert called them “exclusionary” because they were not
The original Fire Safe Council by-law stakeholder members included
the federal Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife division, CDF,
the County Planning Department, City Planning Departments, The Sierra Club, Congressman’s Sam Farr’s office and other powerful governmental and non governmental agencies. As citizen involvement grew these agencies became conspicuously absent. Wert proclaimed that the development of the HCP has been continuing within the County Planning department.
Some see the HCP process as a key element for implementing within
Santa Cruz the U.N. Agenda 21 Wildlands project. “When combined with
the other attacks on owners of mountain property like the Fishnet 4C
ordinance, the timber harvesting ordinance, the confiscatory new road
standard proposed ordinance, this massive land management control
program (HCP) will turn productive citizens into desperate ‘willing
sellers’. The government and their NGO cronies will own the mountain
just like they own the North Coast. The landscape will become
unproductive and degraded. Eventually the forest will become off limits
to people. That is the Wildlands project. It is happening all over the
country at a quickening pace. Washington was right: ‘Private property
and freedom are inseparable’. America is in trouble,” said Michael Shaw
a fire safe participant.