|Josephine County Sheriff
Gil Gilbertson Questions The Authority of USFS
On May 5th, 2011, Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson issued a letter to the United States Forest Service similar to the one recently issued by Sheriff Palmer of Grant County, Oregon. In his letter, Gilbertson expressed utter disbelief that USFS told him to submit a FOIA request if he wanted any information pertaining to a recent legal complaint he (Gilbertson) received from a local miner and SWOMA member regarding long standing harassment and other issues by USFS. The letter is the latest of several official correspondences between Gilbertson and the USFS after he had studied a copy of an executive summary titled "The Mining Law: The Extent of Federal Authority Over Public Domain", which was authored by the leadership of the South West Oregon Mining Association (SWOMA).
In his most recent letter, Gilbertson throws down the gauntlet, stating in part "As the CLEO of this county, elected by the citizens, saddled with the expectation and responsibility to safeguard their rights, I fully intend to uphold the laws against any threat, inappropriate or unlawful actions against them."
He goes on to say that "the issues of illegal road closures, grazing, logging, minerals, taking land under the auspices of "Monument" status, citizen complaints against (USFS) LEO agents, high unemployment and other socioeconomic issues we all face today; coupled with the uncooperative nature presented by USFS are causing me great concern".
Speaking at a meeting of the South West Oregon Mining Association at Pottsville near Merlin, Oregon on May 6th, 2011, Gilbertson made the contents of his recent letter public and mentioned that he had been discussing this issue and sharing information with Sheriff Palmer of Grant County. He also indicated that he was also rallying the support of not only other Oregon Sheriffs, but also several in Northern California and hopes to organize a roundtable meeting with his counterparts to address these issues in the near future.
We would like to encourage miners living elsewhere to submit a copy of "The Mining Law: The Extent of Federal Authority Over Public Domain" to their own county sheriff and to encourage them to join Sheriff Gilbertson in his stand for local sovereignty, property rights, local economy and other issues.
SWOMA's officers and membership would like to thank Sheriff Gilbertson for his courage and continued commitment to protecting the rights of those he represents.
Please take the time to write to Sheriff Gilbertson to show your support for his position on these matters.
involving the authority of the United States Forest Service inside Josephine County, Oregon
Click the image to listen.
Also watch We Are Change,
Medford interview Gil Gilbertson in March of 2010.
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