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State of California (Shasta, Nevada, Placer, Siskiyou, Lassen, Plumas, Butte, Modoc, Sierra Counties) June 5, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Property Rights

By David Edwards

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 1

This information is provided by the candidate
Property Rights

At a candidates debate night one of our assembly district candidates stated that his grandfather homesteaded the land that he still owns and farms on and that he was concerned about government interference with his and all of our individual property rights. I thought about how in elementary school we learned that Columbus discovered America.

The truth is Columbus accidently ran into a Continent that he had no idea existed and that Continent was already inhabited. There were people here who were killed so their land could be taken. If property or for that matter water rights emanate from the oldest claim or usage then we have a problem. Indigenous peoples were here long before Columbus or any other Europeans and the Indigenous Peoples were not the first to walk our lands and swim in our rivers. Before the Indigenous Peoples were horses, bears, bison, lions, salmon an entire sustaining ecology.

A second thought about property rights. Consider your neighbor burning a pile of tires and the smoke settling in your yard. He is on his property. Or, if you have a stream running through your property and your neighbor upstream dams the stream and sells the water to Las Vegas.

Our land use ethics cannot be based on or abused by individual personal property rights. We need to design usages for our watersheds that include the needs of both the human and non human life, regardless of who owns the property. I believe nobody has the right of property usage that adversely affects the property beyond his boundary lines or the environment. The requirements or rights of nature, wild lands and wild life must be recognized and supported.

I believe in the end it is to all of our benefits to clean up our watersheds, have clean water in our rivers, create and install methods for migrating fish to navigate to their original spawning grounds. Restore our forests and manage them intelligently just as farming must be done intelligently eliminating poisoned run off, and erosion.

Nature depends on diversity to survive. We are a very small part of nature and we depend on nature for our survival. Our assault on nature with our practices of irresponsible forest management, industrial farming and mining, and water and air pollution is killing the nature we depend on for our survival. We need to stop this insanity.

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