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,
Circle I Farms
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.
us with comments, suggestions and questions.