P.O. Box 75, Stony Creek, New York 12878 - 518/696-5748
Dear Congressman Pombo:
Your speech about Protecting Private Property Rights in the U.S. Congress at our First Annual Conference on Private Property Rights in Albany on October 14, 1995 was an exciting event in New York. Your arrival with other property rights leaders had the environmental groups trembling. The Audubon Society sent out a press release warning that the western property rights movement was coming to New York. During the ensuing years you became recognized as the flag-bearer for private property rights in the United States Congress.
I believe that your leadership in the Congress to protect private property rights is now on the line. Industry is exerting immense pressure to pass a bill that will meet their needs, but disregards private property rights. When you spoke via video conferencing to the national gathering of property rights and wise use leadership at the Longworth House Office Building in January, you declined to discuss the property rights protections that would be included in the bill you were drafting to revamp the Endangered Species Act. This was amazing, considering that the Endangered Species Act's infringements on private property rights was the issue that brought you to Congress - and was the hallmark of the leadership attributed to you on behalf of private property rights! It is now reported that a draft bill exists, but copies of it are unavailable to the property rights movement.
Tomorrow, I understand, you will hold a meeting with property leaders who are able to travel to Washington, D.C. on a single day's notice, to discuss the contents of the undisclosed bill. I wish that I could be there! However, as the leader of a grassroots organization, such travel is also impossible for me.
Only one point needs to be conveyed. If liberal Oregon can do it, the U.S. Congress can! We need regulatory takings compensation, clear and simple, not for a fifty percent taking trigger, not for a 33-1/3 percent taking or whatever; and not tied to some sort of land acquisition package, considering that the last thing that this country needs is more government land ownership. All other reform of ESA should hinge on pure property rights protection, nothing less!