Eco-terrorists Incite Culture Of Farmer's Fear

Nor' east Thinkin'

Environmental zealots justify self-written laws and use legal intimidation and court costs to incite fear by farmers

Published on: February 14, 2012

Last July’s “Food for Thought” column was headlined: “America suffers ‘litigious pollution’.” It noted the growing legal legions employed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council and others.

These groups “have become so bold that they now pose a greater threat to America’s economy than armed terrorists. Because of this growing ‘sue-‘em’ society, even state and federal agencies have been forced to legal-up their staffs.”

Today, I must add there’s evidence that these legal legions are pursuing new “law” by judicial precedent and outright intimidation. They are no longer satisfied to let state and federal laws stamped by Congress, guide environmental enforcement. And it is spurring a growing fear within farm communities

That’s exactly what continues to happen with the Riverkeeper Alliance’s pursuit of Alan and Kristin Hudson, owners of Hudson Farm near Berlin, Md. Despite the fact that the Hudsons are complying with Maryland environmental regulations, Waterkeeper and its legal crony, University of Maryland’s Environmental Law Clinic have dragged the Hudson family and co-defendant Perdue Farms through the court system for close to two years – losing on most or all of their contentions, only to appeal to a higher court.

The Wicomico County Young Farmers and Ranchers, the Maryland Farm Bureau and Perdue started and the Family Farmers Legal Defense Fund to raise funds for what they call the Waterkeepers’ practice of bankruptcy by litigation. They say the Waterkeeper Alliance continues their lawsuits until people are forced into bankruptcy before the case ever reaches a courtroom and they want to raise sufficient funds for the Hudsons to continue to fight their legal battle.

Now, the Hudsons and Perdue face a March 12 trial date.

Stay tuned. I’ll be addressing this subject in more detail in the April issue’s “Food for Thought” column. In the meantime, I would really like to know what you think about this phenomenon.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Environmentalists recognize most farmers are trying to utilize BMP’s to reduce their impact on water quality. As a result, farms that are in compliance with current regulations and practicing good stewardship have nothing to fear. Environmentalists are willing to litigate when government regulators fail to perform their job and do not enforce existing laws such as the Clean Water Act. According to press reports, water samples taken from the Pocomoke River were off the charts with E. coli, N, P & K. One of the issues involving the Hudson case involves whether or not integrators have some responsibility for the litter of their livestock and therefore should help the family farmer with environmentally sound waste / nutrient management. The Bay and tributaries are public treasures as well as economic engines like agriculture. Both can coexist with genuine efforts to do so.