|Oregon Sherrif Draws
Line in the Sand; Challenges the Authority of USFS in Grant County
Quite recently, the South West Oregon Mining Association was able to obtain a copy of a letter written by Grant County, Oregon Sherrif Glenn E. Palmer addressed to Teresa Raaf who is a Supervisor with the United States Forest Service in the Malheur National Forest.
In his letter of March 31st, 2011, Palmer addresses USFS's lack of jurisdiction to engage in law enforcement within his county and states in part that "your jurisdiction as I see it, is limited to the Federal Building in John Day". He goes on to state that the duties of law enforcement within Grant County will rest solely within the authority and jurisdiction of the Grant County Sheriff and his/her designees and that he feels that the presence of USFS "Law Enforcement" violates Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. Apparently, the United States Forest Service had been attempting to pressure Palmer into signing a "co-operative policing agreement" which would allow their agency to engage in law enforcement activities inside the lines of Grant County, Oregon.
Palmer also states that in the near future, he will also be raising some other issues with USFS's activities in Grant County, including USFS's recent treatment of the local citizenry, illegal road closures, grazing, logging and other concerns that he and his community have.
You may read Palmer's letter to Raaf here.
Palmer, who initially stumbled into a law enforcement career after he was laid off at a local mill, has been Sherrif of Grant County since 2000 and has been particularly vocal about his strong stance on supporting the 2nd Ammendment and the public's ability to enjoy and benefit from the resources of the Public Lands. As this November 2010 interview illustrates, Palmer has a firm belief that restrictions on the use of Public Lands and our natural resources destabilizes our society.
SWOMA would like to thank Sherrif Palmer for standing up for his strong ideals and would like to encourage the reader to pass on a word of support to him for having the courage to take the bull by the horns. Please drop him a short letter addressed to:
Grant County Sheriff Glenn
On April 26th, 2011, Joyce
Riley of The Power Hour interviewed Sherrif Palmer about his decision.
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