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A farmer faces $2.8 million fine after he bought 450 acres of land and began plowing it

A farmer faces trial in federal court this summer and a $2.8 million fine for failing to get a permit to plow his field and plant wheat in Tehama County.

A lawyer for Duarte Nursery said the case is important because it could set a precedent requiring other farmers to obtain costly, time-consuming permits just to plow their fields.

“The case is the first time that we’re aware of that says you need to get a (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) permit to plow to grow crops,” said Anthony Francois, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation.

“We’re not going to produce much food under those kinds of regulations,” he said.

However, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller agreed with the Army Corps in a judgment issued in June 2016. A penalty trial, in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office asks for $2.8 million in civil penalties, is set for August.

Francois contends that farmers are exempt from the Clean Water Act rules when they plow. The government disagrees.

“Even under the farming exemption, a discharge of dredged or fill material incidental to the farming activities that impairs the flow of the waters of the United States still requires a permit, because it changes the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters,” the U.S. attorney wrote in court documents.

The government wants Duarte to repair the wetlands and replant certain plants.

“A plain reading of the rules says you don’t need a permit to do what he did,” Francois told the Record Spotlight. “How do you impose a multimillion penalty on someone for thinking the law says what it says.”

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121 Responses to "A farmer faces $2.8 million fine after he bought 450 acres of land and began plowing it"

  1. MDS says:

    Ill tell you what I think….I think you didn’t post what the law says so how the hell am I supposed to think anything. All I know is you said it said….and that said said nothing.

  2. Marie says:

    You can’t really ask what people think without providing the exact wording of the rule/law and information about the land that was plowed and the waterway that was effected. You’re asking for people to react to an empty story if you don’t give the details. It’s a pretty poor writing form.

  3. Rebecca Wilson says:

    This case is a disgrace to the American people! Permits to plow your own land?? This country is falling apart if this is what it has come to in America if our farmers are being harassed for plowing his field.
    Permits are absolutely ridicules demanding this from our farmers! This case needs thrown out and the permits required are crazy. Leave our farmers alone they grow our foods and work like dogs for pennies

  4. Jennifer says:

    This is flat out stupid, if you don’t let farmers farm their land, where do you think food will come from? My next question is, why are you acting on the usually minimal actions caused by plowing and do nothing about the devastation caused by Roundup and other poisons!???@

  5. Kristie Dupey says:

    This is government out of control. There should not be a permit to plow and there should not be government control over farmers.

    • neil graves says:

      the farmer should need a permit only to place a pumping station to draw water from the river\water source but what he does on his own property is his business

    • Mike says:

      This gov’t has been screwing the People for quite a while.

      May 1933, Congress passed a bill that paid farmers who produced things like wheat, dairy products, tobacco and corn to reduce production and kill off portions of their livestock in order to end agricultural surpluses and boost prices. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_Adjustment_Act

  6. cyndy says:

    Yes it is wrong and are theyvtrying to run the farmers out if so this country will starve

  7. melinda sims says:

    Well, in the eyes of the law, plowing the field alters how water flowes in that field. You have to have irrigation for the crops to grow adiquetly so in the laws eyes, in order to grow crops successfully you need a permit to alter water flow. Tho that fine is pretty outrageous.. especially for a first time offense. I would contest it just so the law could be rewritten under a special clause so other future farmers don’t get screwed over like this gentleman.

  8. Steve Rader says:

    A farmer should not have to get a permit to plow his fields or plant it . This is the stupid regulations our government imposes . He bought the land it is his to do with as he wants . Remember those farmers feed us all .

    • Mattie says:

      God forbid ‘it’s theirs’ to do what they want’ ;they already knowingly pour deadly toxins on the land which poison the whole ecosystem and that includes our waterways. They plant GMOs and yes they feed us: toxic laiden foods which are causing mass genocide, so unless they are going to farm organic I can see where the government is coming from. HOWEVER the government is the worst culprit and a master of genocide who’re in bed, close up and intimate with the drug companies who’ve caused the mass pollution of our water with their pharmacuticals and aforesaid herbicides and pesticides. Why do you think they’re allowing Nestle to drain waterways dry??So’s when the crap hits the fan the so-called elite will be stocked up to high heaven with a commodity which will be more precious that gold or precious stones.Also if he intended to farm organic then just watch and you’ll see the governments doing everything in their corrupt power to ensure organic farming is outlawed.

    • Mike says:

      This gov’t has been screwing the People for quite a while.

      May 1933, Congress passed a bill that paid farmers who produced things like wheat, dairy products, tobacco and corn to reduce production and kill off portions of their livestock in order to end agricultural surpluses and boost prices. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_Adjustment_Act

  9. Arnold says:

    It could ad a lot of fosfate from the fertilizer runoff storm water.

    • Tom Thumb says:

      You fucking dumbass. You plow the field, the waster goes down, you don’t plow, the water runs off. Are you a farmer mr. Arnold?

  10. Arnold says:

    It could add a lot of fosfate from the fertilizer runoff storm water.

    • Woody says:

      Do you mean phosphate? Because “fosfate” does not exist, it is not a word. All Major two-component fertilizers provide both nitrogen and phosphorus to plants. These are called NP fertilizers. The main NP fertilizers are monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and diammonium phosphate (DAP). The active ingredient in MAP is NH4H2PO4.
      Therefore if you mean Phosphate, then yes these actions could potentially elevate concentrations of nitrogen and phosphate in local waters. However, it seems you have simply missed the basic premise of this article, which is to stir up anger and get people worked up over the excessive fine imposed on this farmer.

    • Harley says:

      Fosfate?

  11. Frsnk says:

    Interesting, the author held back on mentioning the property is a wetlands area until the end.

    • Mike says:

      There is no difference in terms of taste, texture, uses, and so forth between dryland and wetland wheat. The one important difference is that the wheat from the wetland areas tend to give higher yields, because they receive more water.

  12. Bruce says:

    Seems the government found a easy to make money off a hard working individual.

  13. Michelle Strickland says:

    If it’s zoned agricultural, no permit should be required.

  14. Kevin says:

    This sounds ridiculous there must be more here.

  15. Kenneth King says:

    Crazy. He should have dug line trench to install a gas/oil pipeline. They would have gave him 2.8 mil with no permits required.Fucking Government’s wasn’t concerned about digging contamination on the DAPL line.

  16. Christine says:

    Are they kidding? Farmers work very hard to get their crops planted in time to harvest. Do you want us all to go hungry? This is totally unnecessary. Please let them do their jobs and freed America.

  17. Mas Noyb says:

    This is just the first of many NEW WORLD ORDER Steps to control food supplies to the people, and to ultimately control the people and the world. People need to stand up and start fighting for their rights and liberties, our the NEW WORLD ORDER will happen!

  18. Valency Campbell says:

    I think it’s ridiculous! Just another way for the government to get their hands on more money!

  19. Ryan harvey says:

    Dumbest shit I’ve ever heard

  20. Brian Kocher says:

    I hope the politicians starve to death.

  21. david says:

    this I why we need trump

  22. Katie says:

    I don’t agree with the large amount of the sum, but I definitely agree that he was wrong. If it messes with the surrounding environment, he needs to fix the wetlands and replant what he destroyed!

  23. John L Hoh Jr says:

    The Swamp needs to be drained. This is ludicrous.

  24. Kate Davis says:

    Absolutely outrageous. It already costs farmers far too much to produce the crops that we need with far too many BS regulations. We are the ones who need safe, clean food which takes not only significant time and effort but a fair amount of funds. This permit is going to be the harmartia of this country. We ought to fight this and that land owner ought to be compensated for time wasted. Please publish.

  25. Connie rauch says:

    I don’t see how the government can charge someone for do what is expected of them ( i.e. farming farm land) when it’s not against the law. There are better ways to spread the word when changing laws. FIRST CHANGE THE LAW. Then put the info on media for everyone to read/ watch. Fair is fair.

  26. Jonathan says:

    This is a case of GoverMENTAL overreach, and the gov can’t even follow the rules without making up there own. This is a case not unlike the western ranches fighting off the govt but with one difference. The western ranch, the fbi stepped in and assasinated Roy Finicum, because of his resistance to the govt. I’m happy that this guy made it to court, allbeit a kangaroo court as far as the govt is concerned.

  27. Todd Christiansen says:

    Too much government. This is crazy.

  28. Donna says:

    What’s next penalties for our flower beds and lawncare ….. Things are getting ridiculous what happened to good old common sense

  29. Bruce Runion says:

    Another over reach of goverment yet if wanted to open a rock and sand quarrel they would give you a bonus for allowing sand to destroy your stream I see it all the time in Missouri

  30. Bonnie says:

    This is a bunch of bull! You own property, you should be able to do what you want with it! The government is turning more communistic by the day!
    We have been taxed, regulated and permitted to death! Leave us to live as we choose!

  31. althea Quinton says:

    That is the opposite of what the Corps have been doing all over the pipeline areas. They have destroyed mote wetlands and graveyards than any other farmer. Plus they have lied or been bought off by oil companies.

  32. Betty says:

    It is ridiculous to require farmers to obtain a permit to carry out their farming. The farmer knows more about what the land needs than the government! It smacks of the way the USSR methods of farming….too much government! We don’t have enough real farmers as it is! Government is killing farms with all their requirements!

  33. Raymond Danner says:

    Typical government thinking. It’s really dumb to fine someone for doing what he’s supposed to!

  34. Woody Woodard says:

    This is ignorant of our government. Actions like this will bankrupt farmers and cause the price of produce and crops to skyrocket to where working class citizens can’t afford them

  35. Angelo Iacomini says:

    This is ridiculous we might as Well give the country back to England

  36. Paul R Ford says:

    Judge Kimberly J Mueller should be removed from being a judge she is not what America is about if a farmer has to get a permit just to grow crops on his on land there is something really wrong with this country maybe she should have to get a permit to eat

  37. John O'Brien says:

    Just another bit of American Madness you’ll never have reliable food production with That madness

  38. Todd Howell says:

    I think this is ludicrous. Farming is a hard enough existence without having the Federal government crawling up their ass about tiny little rules and regs and trying to line the governments pockets with OUTRAGEOUS fines !

  39. EDWIN Moore says:

    I think the so called Government has gotten too big for their britches, hopefully President TRUMP will straighten these dumb asses out, this Country needs farmers more than we need dumb asses in Government!

  40. Patricia E says:

    $$ mongers rule sad situation remember FREEDOM means FREE in the hands of We The People not owned taxed regulated by USA Corporatocracy Terrorists. This applies to all farmers across this country that are illegally taxed and regulated by a government that no longer represents We The People but the $$ monger big corporation govt ;(. Live FREE GROW America great. Not again but NOW.

  41. Doug Rieck says:

    This is completely stupid. Farmer owns the land, period! No permits are required to plant, grow and harvest a crop.
    Sounds like an environmentalist is being dumb again.

  42. Aaron Daniel says:

    That’s our fucked system hard at it again

  43. Jake says:

    Yes farmers have plowed the land for years I can understand getting a permit, example as in having to redirect a stream or creek to plow a plot but to be fined for doing something that happens on a daily basis what is the world coming to now days just plain moronic if you ask me

  44. Joy Cleckley says:

    The is total cow manure!!! A farmer feeds America and doesn’t need a permit to plow his own fields. Who do these beaurocrats think they are. This will send him into bankruptcy. America is supposed to be land of the free. Is this just for a select few, sure does seem like it!!!! America wake the hell up and see the corruption!!!!!!

  45. A says:

    I think it’s time for more farmers to learn new techniques for growing crops. No till and minimum tillage is the way to go. Our topsoil is our greatest asset and it doesn’t make any sense to plow and cultivate the land so it can be washed away from wind and rain. The erosion also contributes to damaging our water ways. Another benefit of reduced tillage is saving fuel as well as reducing skill compaction, due to fewer trips across the fields. Do some research and update your farming methods. Be part of the solution, not the problem.

  46. Bobby Fore says:

    If no one wants to put Hillary on trial for her crimes because of “lack of intent” then this farmer deserves the same pass.

  47. Jeff Wease says:

    Let them son of a bitches get hungry and see what happens.

  48. Buddy says:

    If he is in ca. Then pay the fine the gov that runs ca. Is the worst

  49. Jann says:

    if there were permit restrictions relating to being able to farm his farm ground they should have been presented at the time of closing. He might have a case against the RE company for failure to disclose restrictions.

  50. Graeme says:

    Sounds a bit like the out dated and antiquated civil amendment of the rite to bear arms. Move into the 21st Century. If it wasn’t for someone, in this day and age, who actually wants to be a farmer he faces roadblocks. Maybe that is too much to ask. Can you at least move into the 20th Century.

  51. Ss says:

    It sounds as though the nursery company destroyed a wetland. Since there are specific guidelines defining what a wetland is…just as there are guidelines defining what a navigable waters is. Ignorance of the law doesn’t give you pass to break the law.

  52. Rico says:

    Yet government can run pipelines through water ways. Yet government can spill said oil and who knows what else and not get fined.

  53. Deborah Bridge says:

    I thought theClean Waters Act had been over turned!!

  54. Laurena says:

    need a lot more information before judging or commenting on this. there just isn’t any real info here and I am all about supporting local farmers.

  55. Nathan Miller says:

    This is a prime example of too much red tape and regulations taking away from the American people. We need to rise up and take back our country.

  56. Timothy says:

    Last time I check this was America. It’s pretty sad that we are free but can not do what we want with what we purchased are no longer a free country.

  57. Dave says:

    Bull shit i would dump a big load of cow shit on that judges front door step

  58. Tommy neet says:

    I would tell them to kiss my butt and I would get all the rest of the farmers to quit farming for a couple of years just to see how the county hurts with out the revenue

  59. Karen T says:

    So this guy knowingly buys land that is subject to the wetlands laws, and he knows that he will need a permit to do anything that could affect the wetlands, and he destroyed some wetlands when plowed, knowing he was doing it. The writer of this article leaves a lot of information out. and people comment without knowing anything at all about the facts of the case. The case began in 2012 when John Duarte, who owns Duarte Nursery near Modesto, Calif., bought 450 acres about 10 miles south of Red Bluff. Duarte planned to grow wheat there. Because the property has numerous swales and wetlands, Duarte hired a consulting firm to map out areas on the property that were not to be plowed because they were part of the drainage for Coyote and Oat creeks and were considered “waters of the United States.” Duarte’s attorney conceded that some of the wetlands were plowed but not significantly damaged. He said the ground was plowed to a depth of 4 to 7 inches. Duarte’s wheat was planted but not harvested because in February 2013 the Army Corps of Engineers and the California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board issued orders to stop work at the site. The agencies claimed Duarte had violated the Clean Water Act by not obtaining a permit to discharge dredged or fill material into seasonal wetlands considered waters of the United States. Duarte sued the Army Corps and the state, alleging they violated his constitutional right of due process by issuing the cease and desist orders without a hearing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office counter-sued Duarte Nursery to enforce the Clean Water Act violation. Farmers plowing their fields are specifically exempt from the Clean Water Act rules forbidding discharging material into U.S. waters. However, the tractor was not plowing the field, according court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento. Rather, it was equipped with a ripper that had seven 36-inch shanks, which dug an average of 10 inches deep into the soil. Duarte disturbed portions of the property that included wetland areas, the U.S. attorney alleges. The ripping deposited dirt into wetlands and streams on the property in violation of the Clean Water Act, according to documents filed the U.S. attorney filed. Two endangered species involved, as well (chinook salmon and fairy shrimp). Even under the farming exemption, a discharge of dredged or fill material incidental to the farming activities that impairs the flow of the waters of the United States still requires a permit because it changes the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters.

  60. MJ says:

    As someone who lives in an area where a lot of people can’t drink the water from their own well because it’s been contaminated with agricultural runoff, I don’t think it’s a terrible idea to ask farmers to get a permit before the start poisoning the water. But I do agree that farmers need to be completely aware of this law, it needs to be made more clear.

  61. Kristen Mooney-Young says:

    All of the people screaming about starvation and let the farmer do their job. Obama set this law into affect during his presidency. I wonder how many people still feel that all the land needs preserved. It’s now costing our farmers their way of life.

  62. William says:

    sounds like Socialism and Communist to me!

  63. Pax Anderson says:

    Questions to resolve: If a field floods is that enough to declare it a seasonal wetland? Also, if you apply that logic to the Great Plains, something like 50% of the plains are wetland. Additionally, was the wetlands declared as part of the sale? If so, what was the declared buffer zone? If not defined, he should have gone right to the boundary. If was declared, what were the terms set in the deed? If not declared, who decided boundaries and did those boundaries to apply to previous owner? Failing those points, that’s the reason for the Ag Exception in the clean water act. And, it is well spelled out in the Clean Water Act. Also, defines the enforcement agency as EPA, not Army Corps of Engineers. Army Corps of Engineers only applies to navigable waterways and flood control.

  64. Eric says:

    Two words, dust bowl.

  65. Carrie says:

    Hard to form an opinion without the exact law stated. However, if there was a wetland area there before the landowner plowed, perhaps it was subject to permits due to environment /wild life conservation?

  66. Les Boon says:

    There’s too many Government controls over what the farmers do and by turning land back over to the Indians not a good deal because soon we won’t have any say

  67. Brandon says:

    My grand dad was a farmer his hole life. And the permits are for gov to get more money out of you And so they know what ur doing. Yes they have to have there hand in every damn thing so it gets f!@# up. R gov is so mest up. They need to get the budget fixed so r schools dont suffer. Thats all they care about is the money. How about they cut there own wage in half and pay the taxes and give it to our farmers an schools.

  68. Mike says:

    I would venture to say…… I think Monsanto has been the driving force behind this Crap Law.

  69. Mark says:

    It’s California, nothing would surprise me.

  70. Panda says:

    So let me get this straight. A farmer bought a chunk of land and is being fined 2.8 million dollars for NOT getting a permit .
    OK. I will agree with the government on this if and a BIG IF they ( the government ) is willing to go to the plowed and make sure that the soil has been tilled to a correct depth fit for the seeds that are going to be planted. Then return and verify that the seeds have been and covered to a set minimum code standard. On a set schedule return to make sure that the crop is being watered with the correct amount required and meeting the correct growth rate. Nearing the end of the season have the second final inspection for veriifaction that the crops are ready for harvesting and give approval. After the harvest has been performed the final inspection of the field(s) to make sure the proper standard of stock cut to earth height is within code allowances. Finally have the inspector sign off on the permit and thus completing the permit agreement.
    It’s another cash grab by the bone heads in a power position that have nothing better to do then think up stupid ways to interfere with day to day life. Its the only way they can justify there megar lives.

  71. Bob says:

    Dumbest fuckin shit ever

  72. Rosalie Dann says:

    I think its a moneymaking scam. Why would land be for sale if the farmer is not permitted to use it ? If it is to be a wetlands reserve then DON’T SELL IT. If what earthly use to a farmer is a piece of land which he may not utilise as he sees fit , whether that is for crops or for stock. ? The answer is , NO USE AT ALL – unless of course he is merely a Philanthropist of great independent means.

  73. Lori Price says:

    I believe there is probably no runoff of water of any kind near any farm that large that could hurt the efforts of water purification. Who are they trying to kid? Somebody’s feelings were hurt somewhere along the line. Things just don’t seem right for the government to be picking on this one person! Really? There’s got to be more to it than this!!!

  74. Bill miller says:

    I think this story is fake news. Whatever happened to Who, What.When,Where, any Why?

  75. 1984 says:

    I bet he did not file a form 27b/6 to get permission to apply for a permit, either.
    That in itself is probably another $3 million dollar fine.

  76. lady di says:

    These kind of bogas charges and wastefull court costed to the taxpayer would end if the JURIES voted NOT GUILTY> It they cannot find jurors to convict these bogas cases they have no choice but to throw it out and taxpayer funds go to more resourceful programs. www,fija.org … learn your jury rights.

  77. Briana says:

    As I farmer there is no opinion to be had without more information. There are quaestions though.
    Was the land he plowed protected under conservation?
    Was it a wetland area? (It’s said they want him to plant native plants and fix the wetland)
    What are the county laws on wetland?
    State laws?
    What are the specifications that require the permit?
    What does the permit grant/entail?
    This article is a vague one sided phone call meant to obtain reactions of outrage. Many farmers are fantastic stewards of the earth, but many are not. While if it is as straight forward as this little post would like to portray it than it would be huge threat on the livelihood of farmers, and our food system as a whole, but you really can’t tell by the information given

  78. Michele Whitewolf says:

    I agree this fine and the entire situation is totally ridiculous, but not for the same reasoning many comments or suggestions may be thinking.

    After 40 + years of one party dominating our political system even when not in the majority, brings us to this situation. We have allowed the game of having people writing laws and making rules who 1) have no skin in the game, 2) desires nothing more than to aid painting anything our government does as wrong. How could we expect laws from people who don’t live by any laws them selves.

    Big money has tanked our givernment dictating policy’s that.all
    Ways favor the corporations while putting our backbone independent opperators of small business out of business.
    Agro corporations have stolen nearly all of the farm lands through corrupting our necessary regulatory system. By writting bad laws the blaming the cooperative other party, Corporations are able to enslave the American people with . Corporation based government. Corporations are not Democratic in there operation, they a model of dictatorship and do not give one hoot.who they kill or run down, to get what they want

    We have now become a Banana Republic who’s only moral Compass is the dollar sign. I am afraid we.as a nation will like old China of the.late 1800.s be divided into zones of influence.
    Once decided we will fall and the men who betrayed us will move to any place they want, leaving the rest of us to live like the third world.country we.are becomming. And most of us cheer on one side or another in our sports programed brains, betting on a winner take all rigged game where we all loose.

    Jeasus of the good book did not teach or lay down his mortal body to the hell he suffered before that body perrished, to defend a kill them all, let God sort them out, belief system. If so he could have any time ended the entire Roman empire and no one would ever have known they ever existed.

    What would Jeasus do, not arm himself to the teeth and go ape shit on his enemies, he would have turned the other cheek. That’s where the healing begins and the one way out for our beloved country. If we fail there will be no potty for our foolishness, we will be mocked and forgotten. And our world will not cherish the deaths of all of the people would gave there lives to keep this country free. Will will be spitting in there face calling them stupid. What I would give to see President Teddy Roosevelt walking into the capital building, he would teach those people what Conservative really means.

  79. Colin nunn says:

    Many permits and compliance requirements are grossly unnecessary and need to be looked at. Aside from that, a fine of $2.8M is absolutely, outrageously ridiculous! These scenarios are simply a means for the government bodies to make bank, since they’re so good at wasting money!

  80. Bernice A Shepard says:

    This is just plain bullshit! The end result here as I see it is so the government can but more wheat from China so they can poison us. Farmers have been farming their lands for years with no permits. Let this man farm, make a living, feed his family and those of our country. Stop bringing food in from foreign countries. I find it very hard to find fresh fish that is caught in the United States. Therefore, I don’t buy fish as number one, there is no taste to it, and number two, the product coming from China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Saigon, and the like of these countries, will poison us. Check out how the Salmon is farmed in China. Just look it up. It is grown in vats of human waste. NOW tell me do you want to eat that???????

  81. Keith Gann says:

    They did say something and that was wetland which means leave it the fuck alone. More destruction of nature’s precious ecology and environment. Wetland is amongst the most important ecosystems we have, with more than of them already wiped out.

  82. Ac says:

    I think some of these people’s comments are just asinine. I bet you all like food. Gee I bet you all need food to survive. So go ahead and slam the farmer that produces your food and side with the government that don’t give a hoot if you live or not as long as you pay your taxes.

  83. Realist says:

    Who ever is seeking penalty towards this Farmer should not be allowed to eat any Food produced in the US. Leave, you are not wanted here, besides I see no wet lands in that picture and as far as affecting water by plowing, Prove it!! When are land owners adjacent to Oceans and Bays gonna be forced to step up and do their part to clean water and prevent erosion. All it takes is 8 mile per hour wind or a passing boat and you have erosion. They should be forced to Bulk Head all property bordering title waters.

  84. Donna Allgaier-Lamberti says:

    I don’t know the full back story here, only what was in the article. But we ALL have a responsibility to know the laws and regualrions and restrictions and so on whether we are a farmer, a homesteaders or a property owner. When I hear some one say (as an excuse), “But they didn’t tell me.” I think poppy cock! It is my responsibility and it is your responsibility to find out, to know and to abide the laws. Now know that I am not against farmers, my grandparents were farmers but we all have a responsibility to know and follow the law regardless of our situation. But to give this farmer (if this is indeed true) a pass because he is “feeling America” is a lame excuse for self-responsibility. He could be planting soybeans for ethonol….

  85. Margie says:

    i agree this is the most stupid thing I have ever heard. We allow all kind of toxic spraying and GMO’s.
    We have idiots making the rules in this country.

  86. montagna_lunga says:

    US Attorneys appointed by Obama appointees, is it any wonder why people start talking about a “deep state” when this kind of lunacy is imposed at a federal level? #MAGA
    Oh, and “III”

  87. Guy Daley says:

    Too many naive, gullible people falling for faux news. We’re not getting the full story in this article. It was engineered and designed to get kneejerk reactions from naive, gullible, inexperienced people and it worked. See above responses.

  88. B rishel says:

    How can any of you say that this is outrageous without knowing more details than this. The article says he purchased the land then plowed. To say any farmer can buy any land and plow it up is insane. The article does not say how the land was zoned. To say that anyone can plow up any land they want is also insane. What if a farm bought a few city blocks of downtown ny city. Should he or she be able to plow and plant crops? I think there may be alot more to this case than what is said. If it’s zoned ag. I feel the farmer is in the right. If not than I think he may be in some trouble here. Get all the information before going off half cocked about the gov this or that. And on another note farmers get help from the gov more than any other business so dont get to stirred up. As they should get more help because they keep us alive

  89. Toes says:

    Cool your jets, all y’all who are hot under the collar about this click bait title and article. To quote other commenters, search the net on “”Tehama County Wheat Farmer” to get some facts. The guy plowed up wetlands in areas he knew were protected (having commissioned experts himself to make that determination).” And “There’s always more to the story. ALWAYS find other sources and get the whole picture.
    “…However, according court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento, the tractor was not plowing the field. Rather, it was equipped with a ripper, with seven 36-inch ripper shanks that dug an average of 10 inches deep into the soil.””
    http://www.redding.com/story/news/2017/05/29/congress-weighs-farmer-facing-2-8-million-fine/352718001/

  90. Jean says:

    If all farmers quit farming due to the governments insane rules & regulation…just how are you (the Government) going to provide food for the United States?

  91. Kim Fial says:

    In NJ if the land lays fallow(unplowed) for 5 years, and there are wetlands or streams within a certain distance of the plowing area, a permit may be required or plowing may not be permitted st all. Don’t know about other states.

  92. Allen says:

    Exactly. We need more info.

  93. RANDY BLAKE says:

    Well that’s what you get when the government & the Eco freaks around

  94. Roald Severtson says:

    Aside from the legal aspects of this issue, plowing has been destroying our country’s soil resources for centuries and will destroy our civilization as surely as it has destroyed almost all past major civilizations since the invention of the pough. The plough is the enemy of sustainable agriculture. It causes erosion and destroys the biome in the soil that insures it health and ability to support sustained yields. The movement to tillage-free agriculture is well underway in the US. It produces higher yields and costs much less than “traditional” methods that use petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides. The scientific case is conclusive. See the trilogy books by David Montgomery (https://www.amazon.com/David-R.-Montgomery/e/B001ILOA5G/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1) to convince yourself.

  95. Harley says:

    You mean native Americans…right? Because it was never England to begin with…smh

  96. Dan says:

    Many crops need permits to grow plants. If you grow weed you need a permit and it costs money. Most every county has some permit needed to commercially farm most crops, do grading, erect a greenhouse etc

  97. Curtis says:

    Before we all start anew revolution maybe more facts are needed? Was this already wetlands when he bought it and did not know about all the regulations that go with it. I see a lot of land that looks like it is being wasted or in need of improvement to grow a good crop. Some people have land that they could not make good use of because of poor drainage or no drainage. Some don’t realize how easy it can be to drain a field with a plow. Did he know anything about wetlands restrictions or did he care ??

  98. Mike says:

    They act like this is the first time the American gov’t has stepped in to regulate what’s produced. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_Adjustment_Act

    Want to believe anything else, that’s your privilege.

  99. Maria king says:

    The Government should worry more about what Homeowners in cities and in neighborhoods put on their yards because if you add it all up they do more damage to our water supply and waterways more then ALL the Farmers ever do in their lifetime. I’ll find the stats on it and post it here in a bit.

  100. Jeff says:

    Just have the same justice department that “investigated” Hillary, over see this case.. He should get off scott free then. Surely this farmer didn’t INTEND to break the law.

  101. Karen Dyal says:

    This is nothing new. Yes, if you clear up land, even if it’s your own land, you are required to complete certain paperwork in order for a determination to be made as to wetlands on your land. Natural Resources Conservation Service makes the determination. If wetlands are determined, then you will not be able to plant in that area. It doesn’t mean that the whole farm is considered a wetland. The farmer is given results of the finding. It’s very important that they read the info on the form and the small print. The biggest mistake made by the farmer is that they do not read the results of the determination. Most farmers are aware of the requirements of their responsibility. If they have any dealings with the Farm Service Agency then they are aware. If found in violation, they could lose benefits they may be eligible for on the farm in question and all other farms they may lease. Hope this provides some clarification.

  102. Jarin says:

    I think it’s a whole bunch of BS!!Along with a $2.8million fine??You’ve gotta be a real special kinda stupid!You know the guy can’t afford that or even payments,Which will force him into selling,Which means you lose another farmer that works their self into the ground to provide for idiots like you regardless!

  103. Duane Breault says:

    I would like to see the regulation as well. But I highly doubt I would agree with it, if it did state, a farmer can’t plow his own land without getting a permit to plow. That seems a bit crazy. Like building permits to build on your own land. It’s just a way for local government to steal a little more from the common public. I would say the fine is a tad bit hefty. Give the poor farmer a break. Your already telling him what to do with his land and when he can plow. Don’t take his land from him too. Think you already did enough of that with the native Americans. With no regrets. Crazy.

  104. Joe says:

    He plowed wetlands. That what he did. Bought it and did no research. Everyone knows you can not plow wet lands and just say fuck the eco systems fuck everyone I’m going to make a buck.

  105. gary says:

    All land is owned by the governing body with the power to defend it. Title isn’t ownership, but merely a bundle or “rights of use”. We know we cannot raise pigs and chickens in a condo for example. The laws do not permit it. We can’t build things without permits and that is controlled by zoning laws. We need permits to harvest timber, build a stock pond, let cattle graze on open range. Seems getting permits to farm is par for the course.

  106. Billy BOb jo says:

    The Corps has over taken so much public land it needs to really be scaled back.. We the people pay taxes for them to manage it and over manage they have done.. I am one that is a big enviromental advocate but think they have taken their power over public lands too far.. Here where I live they have fenced off every piece of land next to their man made lake barring access to 90 percent of the lake they constantly flood and drain.. Which I don’t think a few people going on there in the summer is really going to hurt it.. but no we pay them to bar us from using it .. The corps needs some reins reading this I see it is time to start the process..

  107. Pam says:

    Outrageous fine…not sure of the law whether it’s for real or not….but government has their nose inn enough of our business already…permit to farm or to plant will be the death of what few farmers we have left! Sad situation…people better learn how to grow their own!

  108. Tony says:

    Wetlands? A nursery, bought “farmland” in the “wetlands?” …. Someone was laughing when they sold it! … Wetlands is the land between a water and land that may sometimes flood, and had it’s own “ecosystem”. It’s useless. I know of Golf Courses in and around “Wetlands” and there is no one allowed in that area. It’s regulated and is off limits to people and equipment.
    I don’t think you can alter “wetlands” and they may have done it, knowing that it would not be “permitted” by the Army corp of engineers. It’s like an environmental ‘Buffer zone” for the farm chemicals to filter. I don’t know if it’s effective, but I’m aware of it.
    It seems like over regulation, but property maps have it shown as “wetlands” and you aren’t supposed to muddy the water… That’s why we pay lawyers to do land purchases..That’s an expensive mistake.

  109. Mr T says:

    Based on this typical article that lacks details I’m sure there’s more to the story

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