vail-lake

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Bonus lap! I had so much fun at the SoCal Enduro race that I had to do an extra lap after the race.

Segment map HERE.

Watch on floridateenlibertarian.tumblr.com

It started with the Bundy Ranch. The Bureau of Land Management moved to take Rancher Cliven Bundy’s land (and cattle) from him, all for not paying “grazing fee’s”, even though the Federal Government has no reason to be in control of said land. The BLM then came in, with snipers, armed vehicles, and practically a small army, surrounding the Bundy Ranch. In response to the land grab, scores and scores of people came out in support of Bundy, many coming to aid him at the Ranch.

For this, the media, which hadn’t reported much on the whole situation, finally stepped up their reporting, but, as usual, in their way. Reports of “armed thugs” and others coming to the aid of a rancher, and interfering with a Federal Agency poured from the keyboards and printing presses. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) came out, calling the supporters “domestic terrorists”. All in all, some (mostly liberals and other leftists) tried labeling the Bundy supporters as such, but failed ultimately. As for the BLM, they backed off, and released the captured cattle. Report and pictures surfaced days later that several cattle had been killed, and place in a mass grave, which can be seen below:

[1-2] [3] [4]

After the BLM backed out of the Nevada situation, they moved to the Texas-Oklahoma border on the Red River, where the BLM went after 90,000 acres of land, which was mostly already owned by private property owners. As Ben Sharpio say’s in his article The Land-Grabbing Feds, :

“The BLM is apparently considering whether or not to federalize some 90,000 acres of land on the Texas side of the Red River separating Texas and Oklahoma. The BLM says that in 1986, the feds successfully grabbed some 140 acres of land in that area and therefore has the precedent to grab 90,000 more acres.”

The BLM responded to this, through a Spokesperson, saying:

“It’s not the BLM making any such claim as to the status of the land,” McGuire said. “That land was a matter that the courts adjudicated decades ago, going back to the 1920s in fact. The Supreme Court settled the matter as to where the public land in the Red River was. So, BLM is really just proceeding on those earlier court decisions.”

Some would ask why, since apparently the courts already said they can take this so-called federal land that’s been in the hands of private owners for many decades before the ruling, they have waited decades to do so. Lack of funding wouldn’t be the issue, for the Feds don’t care about how much money they rack up.

The issue of land grabbing by the Federal Government is becoming more and more reported these days, where in recent years, people weren’t as vocal on property rights issues as they were before. What you probably never heard about in Minnesota is that the Feds took land from several property owners, to build Bike Paths, Picnic Area’s, and Riverfront Docking on the Mississippi River.

This brings up to one of the newest lands grabs by the Feds. A land owner in California by the name of Bill Johnson, who lives in California, has about 11,000 acres in the county (Riverside County), and 1,000 acres on a lake called Vail Lake. His property, surrounded by 3 million acres of federal land managed by the BLM and the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP).

In an article at Ben Swann Exclusive Videos: Fed’s 260K Acre Land Grab At Vail Lake by Annabelle Baumforth, the two groups, say’s Johnson, have been using tactics to get him off the land, which include:

  • lying to them about the process being voluntary
  • falsely promising to purchase the land legally

Johnson say’s that the two groups are trying to devalue the land to the point where it’s worthless, and then they come in and sweep it away from Johnson for little money. So far, the two groups have succeeded in taking part of his land from him already, and are in the process of devaluing more of his land.

Here’s where we get into the cronyism. Johnson has said that, in the process of devaluing his land, the Government’s goal is to re-market the land cheap to campaign donors, who will then buy the land for the cheap price, and develop the land. It’d make sense, seeing how the County is one of the most corrupt within the already-corrupted state of California.

The County Supervisor, Jeff Stone, has said that the BLM controls over 2/3’s of the county itself. Judging by the nature of the Federal Government, it’s looking for more control of the area lands.

Now, here’s where the liberals and other statists will try to turn this. In a Breitbart California article Federal Land Grab Comes to California at Vail LakeKristen Tate explains:

“The MSHCP further claims the land should be under government control, since Johnson owes $4.75 million in property taxes, penalties and interest on overdue fees. Johnson has largely refused to compensate the agencies trying to seize his property. He believes that the tax assessments would be fair if he were able to develop or farm his own land–but because the MSHCP will not allow this, his property value is substantially less.

Johnson said, "How can you pay taxes on property you can do nothing with? The government will sneer at you and say, ‘It’s our property. You need to pay taxes, but the property is ours in the end.’ During the 17 years that I’ve owned Vail Lake, I have not built one single thing on the property. The minute I bought my land, they started taking all my rights away. They stripped the zoning, general plan, and specific plan for the property and open space designation, depriving it of its value.”

Johnson himself is no stranger to Federal Land grabs. In '95, both County and Federal Authorities seized a 2,000 acre ranch in Riverside County belonging to Johnson. The total lose for Johnson was $18 million. The Authorities claim it was to protect the Kangaroo Rat.

The issue of land grabbing by the Feds is growing. People need to realize what’s happening, and put a stop to it. The Federal Government is taking away people’s private property, and little really is being done about it. Private Property rights are being perverted and destroyed across the nation, yet people believe these actions by the Government are justified. There is no justification for forcibly taking away a person’s land. For now though, the BLM will continue to cruise around the country, taking people’s land from them.

To see more of the Ben Swann interview of Johnson, see these video’s here: [Video 1] [Video 2]

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Finally had time to do some editing over the weekend. Here’s last month’s zombie run.

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Ragnar Trail Vail Lake is advertising for 2014 and I watched their video from last year. I’m in it! 1:48, on my last run (it was raining earlier on the run) coming downhill. 

:D

Spartans! Ready your protein shakes and drink plenty of Gatorade … for today we dine in hell! (A.K.A. Temecula, CA in 106° Heat)

When a group of friends, my wife, and I decided earlier this year to sign-up for the September 13th Spartan SoCal Beast, we knew there was a risk we could catch a hot day. Well as it turns out, we didn’t catch a hot day, we caught the hottest day of the year! (So far …)

Southern California is currently experiencing an extreme heat wave and drought. Leading up to the weekend of the event, a high heat advisory was issued—people were encouraged to stay indoors, weekend youth sports were cancelled, and many schools were closed.

Never ones to shy away from a challenge, we decided we’d compete regardless of the heat. While public service announcements urged people to stay inside, we figured it was a good idea to take on the Spartan Beast—a grueling 12+ mile / 25+ obstacle race. The Beast, which is a formidable challenge under the best of circumstances, takes on a whole new dynamic when the event takes place on what felt like the surface of the sun.

As a group of experienced endurance athletes we were confident in our abilities, we arrived excited and energized to take on the Beast! As is tradition, we poured a round of Coldcock Herbal Whiskey and took our ceremonial shots. Armed with our CamelBak’s and Shot Bloks we all eagerly approached the starting line.

After an impressive rendition of President Whitmore’s speech from “Independence Day” followed by the Spartan trademark “Aroo! Aroo! Aroo!” chant, we were off! For the first five minutes of the race it felt like a typical trail run, the terrain was uneven, but expected. People were bunched up a little, but my group and I were able to quickly jump out ahead. It was at the ¾ mile mark that everything changed.

The race course primarily follows a series of narrow trails weaving up and down the sheer hills surrounding the Vail Lake Resort. As most hills are too steep to run up and too treacherous to run down, much of the first half of the race felt more like a grueling hike than a run. A steady 25-minute run/hike up a 15% grade was quickly repaid by a sharp decline immediately followed by another long climb. With a heat index of 106, traversing the dry, dusty ridgelines soon became quite exhausting, not to mention, messy. At one point, the bottoms of my fairly new Nike running shoes began to melt and peel off.

With this type of heat, dehydration is the biggest concern, but like a Boy Scout, I was prepared. I carried a two-liter CamelBak filled with Gatorade, plus packets of Gatorade powder to refill as needed. All I can say is that nothing I did could stop the negative effects of dehydration from setting in. Even though I drank over four liters of liquids, I experienced muscle cramping like I’ve never felt before. At various times I battled through painful cramping throughout my lower body, and from what I saw and heard, my issues were minor compared to what some people experienced. This was no joke.

As difficult as it became at times, I am happy to say I was able to finish. I successfully completed every one of the 25 obstacles, including the infamous spear throw, avoiding the dreaded consequence of 30 burpees for a failed attempt. (“Wait, I wanna do 30 burpees in 106 degree heat!” said no one, ever.)

Because of the heat, the race that day was shortened by about one mile and the race scheduled for the next day was cancelled altogether. The Spartan Team, who run one of the best race series in the industry, truly demonstrated their class by offering free admission for all those affected by the heat to take part in their next set of SoCal events, scheduled forJanuary 2015.

I can tell you that I plan to take Spartan up on their offer and will compete again in January. My goal for 2015 will be to earn the Spartan Trifecta—awarded to those who complete the short and fast Spartan Sprint, the longer tougher Super Spartan, and the toughest longest Spartan Beast, in a single year.

Although the Spartan Beast in the September heat may not be the ideal race for a newbie, I would recommend anybody out there to sign-up and compete at one of the great Spartan events. I assure you, you will experience the thrill of accomplishing something you may not have believed possible, and come away knowing you are stronger than you thought. Aroo! Aroo! Aroo!

FEDERAL LAND GRAB COMES TO CALIFORNIA AT VAIL LAKE

Americans have become increasingly concerned about the federal government’s seizure of privately-held lands and property, especially after the Cliven Bundy incident in Nevada. Now another land owner, Bill Johnson of Temecula, California, claims his property at Vail Lake, the largest privately-owned lake in California, is being threatened by the county, state, and federal governments.

Johnson purchased 11,000 acres of land in Riverside County over 17 years ago, including Vail Lake, encompassing over 1,000 square surface acres of water. Now Johnson claims various levels of government are trying to seize the property, using intimidation under the guise of environmental concerns.

Johnson told Breitbart News: “The habitat is free of any endangered species. The government just wants it because it’s part of their ‘core area’ due to the properties of water and enormous size.”

He mentioned that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) currently manages land parcels on either side of Vail Lake.

“The EPA needed to come up with 42,000 acres in the area to 'protect’ the kangaroo rats,” Johnson said. “They intimated property owners into giving up their land.”

Duncan Hunter, a Republican Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California from 1981 to 2009, has known Johnson since the 1970’s.

“There’s a common thread between Johnson’s situation and the Bundys’ situation,” Hunter told Breitbart News. “The heavy hand of government has played in both of those cases.”

The land of over 15,000 property owners in Johnson’s county was ultimately bought off by the Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP), an entity comprised of state and federal government agencies. The MSHCP told land owners that for environmental reasons, their property could not be developed, split, or farmed.

“They devalued properties,” Johnson said. “The government told property owners that selling to the state would be voluntary. They said, 'If you don’t sell to us, you won’t be able to sell it to anyone.’ The land became worthless and devalued since you can’t farm it or build on it.”

Hunter argued that the federal Endangered Species Act allows counties to bully residents into giving up their properties.

“If the government says you can’t use your property for anything, they’ve essentially taken your property from you,” he said. “Essentially, you’re not a real property owner. Then the government has the best of all worlds–they paralyze your use of the property but they still demand property tax from you.”

The former congressman said that the state and local government has leverage over citizens using the federal government as an arm. The Endangered Species Act is used “as a way for local governments to build empires, employ people, and make money,” Hunter said. “The federal government passed the Act, which said that an array of plants and animals are to be protected and cannot be disturbed. Some plant and animal exists almost everywhere.”

He said the counties and the cities have understood the value of the Act and used it to exert power over land owners.

Jeff Stone, the Riverside County Supervisor, has also known Johnson for many years. 

“Johnson is certainly not happy and I can understand that,” Stone told Breitbart News. “The pendulum has swung way too far to the left with regards to the Endangered Species Act. It has impeded on some property rights, there’s no question about that.”

Stone mentioned, however, that the county is only enforcing federal law through the MSHCP. 

He said, “Could Bill Johnson build whatever he wants without our plan? The answer is no. He would have to go to the federal government.”

Stone said that the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act is particularly unfair to citizens who purchased their land before the MSHCP was put into place, such as Johnson. Buyers who purchased their land after the plan was put into place, however, purchased their land knowing it might be protected for endangered species. 

“If the federal government wants to preserve the land that Johnson has had for 17 years, they should step up and buy it for market value,” Stone said. “There has been an assault on property rights by the federal government. The plan was adopted prior to me being on the board. It’s a plan that I have to live with, but I still have my concerns about property rights.”

Currently, the BLM has control over about two-thirds of Riverside County, according to Johnson. “The county claims they need the land to protect lots of rare species,” Johnson said. “But there have been studies done that that just isn’t true.”

The MSHCP further claims the land should be under government control, since Johnson owes $4.75 million in property taxes, penalties and interest on overdue fees. Johnson has largely refused to compensate the agencies trying to seize his property. He believes that the tax assessments would be fair if he were able to develop or farm his own land–but because the MSHCP will not allow this, his property value is substantially less.

Johnson said, “How can you pay taxes on property you can do nothing with? The government will sneer at you and say, 'It’s our property. You need to pay taxes, but the property is ours in the end.’ During the 17 years that I’ve owned Vail Lake, I have not built one single thing on the property. The minute I bought my land, they started taking all my rights away. They stripped the zoning, general plan, and specific plan for the property and open space designation, depriving it of its value.”

Stone added, “Johnson could make the argument: I am paying property taxes on land that I cannot maximize for my own benefit–why should I pay taxes on land that I cannot develop? I think he makes a valid argument there, but the laws are the laws.”

A California-based spokesman from the BLM told Breitbart Texas that the agency has a thorough process for determining which lands it ultimately chooses to manage. 

“We start with a public scoping period,” the spokesman told Breitbart Texas. “We engage the public in telling us the issues they want us to address–we also address stakeholder groups like environmental groups. Those people are all engaged in the process. We then develop draft plans and environmental impact statements, which go out for public review and comment.”

He mentioned that the BLM is only able to seize privately-owned land from a third party. The spokesman said, “Sometimes a third party will purchase that land from willing sellers, then they transfer that land to BLM to become [federal] public land.”

In many cases, state or local authorities like the MSHCP act as the “third party,” and leave home owners very little choice but to sell by barring their land from being developed. MSHCP then hands the land over to the BLM, which currently controls both plots of land bordering Vail Lake. 

Breitbart News made multiple attempts to reach out to the MSHCP. Although a representative did not return phone calls, explanatory information is accessible on the entity’s website. 500,000 acres of land in Riverside County was “designated for preservation” to protect certain species.

“About 69% or 347,000 acres was already public or quasi-public land when RCA was formed in 2004,” the MSHCP website states. “This land forms the core of the habitat conservation plan. RCA’s work focuses on the remaining 153,000 acres needed to fulfill the plan’s requirements and is expected to take at least 25 years. To date, 27% of the remaining goal of 153,000 acres has been acquired.”

That remaining land will likely be taken from private citizens in the county, like Johnson.

Johnson is no stranger to government land grabs. In 1995, the County, along with help from federal agents, seized his 2,000 acre ranch on the Santa Rosa Plateau. Johnson said he lost over $18 million on the property, which the county claims to have seized to protect the endangered kangaroo rat.

Johnson said people in his county, and indeed across the U.S., are becoming concerned about the growing government power over land rights. “There is a growing understanding that this is wrong,” Johnson said. “Everyone understands, even some of the environmental advocates, that this has spun out-of-control.”

Hunter added that Johnson’s case is “a real point of principle. When property rights are discretionary, and a government entity has the power to take it from you, then the danger of political corruption and manipulation of property rights becomes very real.”