Q&A

DEAR NEW FARM:

The state of Arizona and the county of Cochise have shut my organic farm down by issuing illegal, unconstitutional orders that I cannot shoot jackrabbits on my farm that are destroying my crops. We have had our family farm, totaling 50 acres, for 21 years. All the trouble is coming from someone who moved from the city and built a house next to our farm and started complaining about our shooting and our propane scare cannon, lying to the court to get an injunction that prevents me from shooting on my farm. The Game and Fish Department says I have to get permission from the new neighbor to shoot jackrabbits damaging my crops. How can someone move next to our farm and be able to shut us down by denying us the lawful means we have historically used to protect our crops? I wish to file claims against the county and state and sue the lying neighbor, but I need assistance to protect my rights. I am much obliged for any assistance you may be able to provide.

Very truly yours,
Enness Arnold
Circle I Farms
Willcox, Arizona

 

DEAR ENNESS:

Your local Farm Bureau should be well versed in “takings” from farmers that cause potential economic harm, so that’s a good place to start. You should also seek the advice of other organic farmers in your region to see how they may be grappling with these types of issues.

It’s perplexing why the state game commission would give your neighbor the veto power when “historic use” is often the trump card in these situations. Here in southeastern Pennsylvania—where opening day of deer season is still practically a national holiday—rural property owners can put up “no trespassing” or “safety zone” signs, but as long as a hunter doesn’t shoot within 150 yards of your buildings it’s lawful for him to hunt on an adjoining property (providing he has permission). Perhaps some question of your alleged practices is connected to these alleged lies; that’s a matter for the courts.

We hope this helps, and we hope you resolve your problem and are able to patch things up with your new neighbor.

NF

 

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