As an Idaho property owner, I have closely followed the Sacketts’ case against the Environmental Protection Agency and find the Jan. 21 column by retired Corps of Engineers bureaucrat Michael Doherty breathtaking in its hubris and detachment from reality.
In his opinion, the Sacketts are suspect for not paying enough for the lot; it’s a wetland because he recognizes it as such; they are “uncooperative” and “should quit complaining about regulations and the agencies (who) enforce them;” they are ideologically motivated – those agencies, after all, “work for us” and “bend over backwards to help alleged violators.” Furthermore, the million-dollar-plus fines against them “are typically used by agencies with limited enforcement resources.”
Had he informed himself on this case, he would know the Sacketts paid a reasonable price at that time for a modest lot in an established subdivision. No EPA coordinates showed it as a wetland. He himself, in a corroborated statement, declared it to the Realtor as a buildable lot. Furthermore, the Sacketts wanting to have their constitutional property rights protected constitutes an “ideology”? And, laughably, we are to believe the EPA has “limited resources?”
Even former regulatory agency apparatchiks are entitled to their opinions, but not their own facts.