January 28, 2023

Anti-Foraging Bill Sponsor Doesn’t Want Bill to Pass

Yup! After all the hubbub about turning Mainer’s into hardened criminals for randomly picking a wild berry, the sponsor of a bill to ban foraging, while at the same time criminalizing anyone who might happen to be berry picking while carrying a weapon, has told the Department of Conservation Committee, he doesn’t want the bill to pass.

It’s nice to see that some can eventually see the stupidity of their ways. Thanks!


Stay Off My Land You SOB Part III

Part I and Part II

Silly debate continues in Maine over a proposed bill, LD 128, that would implement fascist/totalitarian tactics on anyone picking a wild berry, or such, on private land without permission from the landowner. The link to Part II above, will give readers a chance to read the proposed bill as it is currently written.

Okay! I get it! I’m a Maine landowner. I cherish my rights, what few I have left, as a landowner, but do I want to cut off my big nose despite my ugly face?

George Smith, a Maine outdoor writer and activist, continues to whine about the crap he’s taking from people because it is his own creation, i.e. LD 128. He writes in his column: “It is very irritating to find that someone has grabbed the fiddleheads or mushrooms off my woodlot before I got to them. And clearly, anyone who is on my land to commercially harvest something ought to be required to have my permission.

“Some critics have suggested any landowner who feels this way should post their land No Trespassing. But that is exactly what I don’t want to encourage, because it would hurt those of us who hunt, fish, and otherwise enjoy privately owned property.”

Obviously he and I look at a half-filled glass differently. I have two basic issues with his approach. The first issue is that there are already laws that exist about stealing private property. Would crafting another useless bill prohibiting anyone from foraging for wild edibles, actually stop anyone? Americans are notorious idiots, incapable of thinking rationally, as this has been programmed out of them. They therefore keep piling on laws, and more laws and even more laws, exemplifying the perfect conditions of insanity, thinking just one more law surely will stop the criminal. I might even argue that this same activist would argue that making laws prohibiting the ownership, by lawful citizens, of guns, will do nothing to stop a criminal. How is this different?

The second issue is one about landowner responsibility. Smith says he doesn’t want to post his land to keep trespassers off, because he wants to continue to have the privilege of accessing private land to hunt and fish. What does he expect? This might be a bit of having your cake and eating it too.

When any person owns something, if they intend to responsibly care for it, requires doing all things necessary to protect it according to your value system and hopefully not the values dictated by other people. If I should decide to buy a perfectly restored antique auto, and one of my top priorities is to make sure the body and paint remain unblemished, it would be irresponsible of me to drive it after a snow storm in the salt and sand. It might even require me to build a garage to store it in. Will these efforts stop somebody from stealing my car? Yes, there exists strict laws against auto theft. Do making more laws help?

If Mr. Smith values his wild edibles on his own land that much, it is then his responsibility to protect them. It is fools folly to think pushing another bill through the Legislature would actually protect his wild edibles, no more than posting his land would. Sometimes, with land ownership, depending on one’s values and priorities, that ownership demands the owner do things he might not like. In addition, many landowners are not concerned if someone is picking wild edibles. As a matter of fact some of the landowners are quite pleased that the tradition continues. Totalitarian tactics of forcing lifestyles and/or political ideals onto other people doesn’t seem a neighborly thing to do to those who don’t care and would just as soon not be bothered with every Tom, Dick or Harry knocking on their door seeking written permission to pick wild food.

I recall teaching my children when they were very young that they were the ones responsible for themselves and not to depend on others. I also taught them that sometimes life seems unfair but we have to learn to deal with it in the best and most reasonable manner. We cannot always have everything just the way we want it – and that door swings both ways.

If it is so upsetting that even after a bill and another bill, and yet another bill is crafted to bar private land access for any reason, as well, you’ve gone to the trouble of posting your land, and still people enter your land and take things, perhaps land ownership is too large a responsibility.

I think this is more of a case of a landowner taking responsibility for what they have and how they value that ownership, than wasting the Legislature’s time pushing for yet another law that will do absolutely nothing to protect a patch of berries, mushrooms or fiddleheads.



Stay Off My Land You SOB Part II

It’s absurd if you think about it and I predict in time it will become even more absurd. What am I talking about? I’m talking about a Maine proposed piece of totalitarian law, LD 128 (shown below as it currently is written) that would require anyone to obtain written permission from the landowner to forage for wild edibles, whether for personal or commercial use. If you happen to be wearing a sidearm at the time of your “arrest,” you’ll go to jail and have your birthday taken away from you. Adding that bit to the legislation makes you wonder exactly who the SOB was behind such a stupid bill.

I had written previously about this proposal back in December 2016, stating that there already exist laws on the Books that provide the legal means of keeping people off your private property. I pointed out that a better approach would be some kind of education program that helps people understand about respecting the landowner and seeking permission before deliberately entering private land for the purpose of foraging for wild edibles, or for any other purpose.

There are other serious repercussions such a bill would cause. As is explained by Maine Sen. Paul Davis, “I wouldn’t want to see somebody that was out brook fishing catch a trout, pick a few fiddleheads to go along with the trout, have a gun with him and get arrested for a felony.”

Outdoor writer, V. Paul Reynolds says that, “Don’t kid yourself, LD 128 will be the death knell for those of us in Maine who enjoy gathering wild edibles.”

It would do even more than destroy the long-time tradition of foraging for wild edibles. It is also the beginning of what Mainers would recognize as “reverse land posting.” This has been voiced by the current Executive Director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, David Trahan. At present, private land in Maine is open for access unless the landowner legally posts his land. Hunters and some other outdoor sportsmen understand the vital importance of maintaining that access and as such have gone out of their way to educate the sportsmen to always get permission before hunting, etc. Of course, in the example given by Sen. Paul Davis, one might end up fishing a stream and in the process enter onto someone’s land where things like fiddleheads are found. This can only be complicated by existing laws in water rights of way.

At the end of this piece, I’ve posted and made available, the current proposal. Already the sponsor of the bill is trying to bail himself out, because the bill is extremely totalitarian, and change the wording to include only commercial harvesting of wild things. In addition, looking over the bill, someone took the lazy man’s approach to this bill and it appears they didn’t really fully understand what the intent of an amended existing bill would do….or did they?

LD 128, as written, is nothing more than amending the current law on the prohibition of stealing Christmas trees. Anyone with half a brain should be able to understand that there is a huge difference between stealing millions of Christmas trees, to satisfy the Pagan’s, false religion, and rummaging through the forest looking for mushrooms, fiddleheads or dandelion greens.

Now to my prediction. Judging by the direction this country is headed, I would suspect that the fascists in government will see this is an opportunity to pounce in order to further tax the worker drones, while appeasing the large landowners. In this case in Maine, the Maine Woodlot Owners favor this bill. So what might this “pouncing” look like? First, anyone wishing to “forage” for wild edibles would need to be licensed. A license would have to cost at least the same amount as a hunting or fishing license would. If you are from out-of-state prepare to pay in excess of $100.00 to pick up a handful of dandelion greens for supper.

But, before you can get the Foragers License, one must take a course from a registered and certified professional forager, i.e. Environmentalist. This may or may not cost the forager money.

For each trip into the forests, by first obtaining written permission from the landowner and paying said landowner a fee, the amount of which is up to the landowner but there would be a tax paid to the government as part of the fee, each “harvest” item would have to be tagged and registered with the state…another tax and fee. Mind you having such regulation would not change anything as it pertains to the landowner, fearful someone might be getting something to eat off his land. Crooks, who steal now, will continue to steal. But don’t go look!

Sound ridiculous? Well, it isn’t. This is exactly what the same clowns calling for bills like LD 128 want to see as far as land access goes – paying to play on private land and giving the landowner the freedom to charge whatever amount the market will bear and limiting access to only the chosen few…who have the most money.

The future.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://tomremington.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Maine-128-SP-47-item-1.pdf” title=”Maine 128 – SP 47 item 1″]