It is always easy to go the defense of a fellow citizen when they put out a “call to action” against what appears to be an over-step by the Federal Government and a trampling of the Constitution. In this case, the Bureau of Land Management and the unfolding of events in the state of Oregon.
The Players are the BLM, the Bundy brothers and the Hammonds with a contingent of well meaning Patriots.
The record of the BLM is “clear.” And that is to “clear” people off land the Federal Government wants as it’s very own. The record of the Bundys and the Hammonds are not as clear, as reveled in the attached video from Dutchsinse and the attached News Paper article from The Register-Guard of Eugene, Oregon about the Hammonds. If you are looking for “a choir boy” here, there is none.
February 3, 2004
The Associated Press / The Register-Guard Eugene, Oregon
Fossil, Oregon (Grant County, east-central Oregon) – A Michigan investment banker who has become one of Oregon’s largest landowners has infuriated his new neighbors, cutting off public access to national forests, hunting sites and swimming holes long frequented by rural residents.
Thomas J. Hammond’s approach has left some of the conservative citizens of Eastern Oregon feeling conflicted. “He is pushing his property rights, which is his right,” said state Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, a longtime defender of landowners’ rights. “What it boils down to is some folks don’t know how to be a neighbor.”
Hammond, who has built a million-dollar log cabin in Baker County, would not comment, but his lawyer, Douglas Hojem of Pendleton, responded to written questions.
Hojem said Hammond’s chief concern is forest fires on his land.
“There are also issues of poaching, vandalism, litter and the like,” Hojem wrote to The Oregonian. “My client is not the only private landowner in Eastern Oregon that does not like the liability issues that arise when other people come onto their property.”
Hammond, the 60-year-old chairman and founder of Flagstar Bancorp, shares stock in the company with his family, valued at more than a half-billion dollars. That dwarfs the financial resources of Wheeler County, where he has purchased a large parcel of land.
Wheeler County residents watched their new neighbor put up “No Trespassing” signs on fenceposts and trees warning people to stay off his 70,000 acres. But they didn’t complain until Hammond sank metal posts along Kinzua Haul Road with plans to put a gate across it. At least 200 people have signed a petition to keep the road open.
Kinzua Haul Road winds through the middle of Hammond’s Three Valleys Ranch, the former Kinzua Lumber Co. mill town. The now-empty town and a nearby camp of loggers and millworkers once held more than 1,000 people, making it the largest town in Wheeler County.
Kinzua Lumber owned the land for years and kept it open, allowing public swimming and fishing in the old logging ponds, residents said. And it’s the fastest route to Heppner, which has the only hospital in the area. Through Kinzua, Heppner is 20 miles away. Driving state highways, it’s at least 40 miles.
“I don’t disagree with anybody wanting their privacy, but not when they take it away from the public,” said Bob Loomis, a logger and Fossil native. “I’ll guarantee you it (the gate) will be broken down.”
But bartender Anna Boehlke said Hammond should be given a chance. “Maybe he’s not aware of what it’s like in a small community,” she said. “There is a chance he’s not aware of what’s out there (at Kinzua).”
Hammond’s attorney said in his statement that if Hammond wins the lawsuit and closes the road, he will allow “his good neighbors who actually may need the road for their access” to use it.
The county tried to work out a solution with Hammond but failed, said Wheeler County Judge Jeanne Burch. In March, Hammond filed a lawsuit declaring that the road was his property.
To defend itself in the Kinzua Haul Road lawsuit, the county has had to hire outside attorneys because Hammond’s attorney called the district attorney as a witness. So far, the lawsuit has cost the county about $14,000, Burch said.
Copyright 2004 The Register-Guard
. TLB encourages you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions when dealing with the Government and Main Stream Media.
“A tip of the hat” to Ann Fillmore (an Oregonian) for providing background information for this post.
Flagstar Bancorp, Inc.
2600 Telegraph Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302-0953
Mr. Thomas J. Hammond
Roney & Co.
The company originates single-family mortgage loans and provides a range of retail banking services in southern Michigan. Flagstar also originates, purchases and services residential mortgage loans throughout the United States. The company operates 41 retail loan origination offices in Michigan, California and Ohio.