Government Stops Private Enterprise
- I'm not sure where to take this request, but I thought I'd forward it to the group to see if anyone can help Peter Knop slay this government dragon. As an action item, it is a "roll-up your shirt sleeves and come out swinging" sort of challenge. It appears that some ignroamus bureaucrat needs a bit of common sense driven into his head. I suspect that the land managers involved are slimy with run-amok environmentalism, the kind that just doesn't like to see people use their own land for profit (but at the same time, the kind that enjoy to tax the landowners out of existance). If you can help, please send an e-mail directly to Peter Knop <peterknop@...>. If this request is deemed "not action," please forgive my intrusion with it, and let's not flog the issue any further.
Originally posted on a bamboo plantation discussion board: [What is "off-topic" material? Well, the group rules give guidelines, but I suppose discretion can and should be exercised by the moderators. My apologies if I have erred, but in this case I thought the content relevant. Mounding is a standard strategy when planting bamboos in places where they are likely to have "wet feet" for periods of the year. It is common in the wet tropics of Australia, where its use on agricultural lands is not restricted by government regulation. Perhaps the group can assist Peter to get around his problem ... GK]
Reply to Peter Knop <peterknop@...>
I hope this is not off topic, but we have begun a large educational bamboo garden with some side production of shoots and poles in northern Virginia. We are looking to switch our farm from its long time history of pulp, lumber and more recently Christmas trees, choose and cut, into higher value crops with different seasonal needs. Timber and pulp are simply not economic anymore due to land values and taxes, so we are converting some land into bamboo production, and other into Christmas trees.
Our problem arises because we have terrible clay soils and are almost flat, so none of the high value Christmas trees like Fraser or Douglas will grow with wet feet. We decided to build long mounds which would provide surface drainage to grow these trees and the county (Loudoun) came in and is trying to stop us as they say building mounds is not agricultural and we are zoned only for agriculture. State law says agricultural engineering is permitted. So we need help, expert testimony, that basically says water does not run uphill, and surface drainage will provide proper environment. (where we have slight slopes, we can grow these trees). We must file our court papers opposing the county motions in January, for an April court date.
If we lose our Christmas tree business, we loose our main source of income, which will sink our bamboo operation, as so far bamboo has cost us money and will continue to do so for the next few years as we increase our plantings. We believe that the educational aspect of the operation will be very significant and have started all sorts of projects which are aimed at children (the real future of bamboo) and less so at adults. And being located only three miles from the new air and space museum at Dulles Airport (which has millions of visitors, half children), and only 35 minutes from the White House in downtown Washington, we are sure there will be plenty of people to come and visit.
So if anyone on this group is a forester within driving distance of Northern Virginia or knows someone, this would be an enormous help. We hope someday to have over 100 acres of bamboo on the family farm. The farm is now run by the 4th generation and no one in the family wishes to sell, eventhough there are plenty of buyers.
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