IVA sock-puppet defends Moses for violating water law

Aug 4th, 2008 | By | Category: Uncategorized

I never thought I would get the chance to put Moses and Bryan Fischer in the same sentence – especially if it involves water. And I’m not talking about parting the Red Sea; I’m talking about his latest attempt to defend someone who dredged a streambed in direct violation of federal law.

Idaho’s bat-brained leader of the lunatic fringe is shifting his message points away from his favorite topic of queer-bashing and is now attempting to focus on water and energy issues. Fischer, the shaman blowhard who heads the so-called Idaho Values Alliance, is now defending a man who was found guilty of damaging a federal waterway and contaminating it in order to accommodate a subdivision he is constructing.

Fischer, who knows as much about federal water law and environmental compliance as George W. Bush knows about telling the truth, is now trying to make C. Lynn Moses out to be a victim of the big bad government.

Moses was found guilty of three felony charges for violating the 1972 Clean Water Act for knowingly discharging sand, gravel and other fill material into Teton Creek without a permit. He dredged the streambed in order to facilitate the construction of the Aspens Subdivision starting in the 1980s.

Moses was told he could not alter Teton Creek without required permits under the Clean Water Act. But Fischer’s friend ignored the warnings and he went ahead to reroute and reshape the creek. He did this for more than 20 years – dumping gravel, dirt and logs into the creek and deepening the channel.

Yet, Fischer makes Moses out to be a victim on his website by stating: “His crime? Protecting the city of Driggs from flooding.”

Balance that absurd statement against what the Jim Werntz, Environmental Protection Agency’s Idaho operations director told Associated Press: Werntz said federal officials “will meet with Teton County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and homeowners in the Driggs subdivision whose residences may be in danger of flooding because of the illegal stream alteration work done by Moses.”

Fischer even attempts to hoist Moses up as an expert on stream conditions, while overlooking the fact that he was in direct violation of the law! The local dimwit said that Moses “walked the entire length of the creek to evaluate conditions. . .” The stream is known as an intermittent stream because it runs seasonally due to runoff conditions, but according to Fischer we should all trust the judgment of his developer friend, not the law.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said, “We . . . do not necessarily exclude seasonal rivers, which contain continuous flow during some months of the year but no flow during dry months . . .”

Judge Winmill went on to say, “to ignore all demands by the EPA and the Corps that he comply with the Clean Water Act . . . And while his sang-froid (or even contempt) in the face of agency demands may show either courage or foolhardiness, it does not save him from the consequences of his actions.”

This can only mean one thing; Judge Winmill must be an “activist judge” because he ruled against a man who ignored the law in spite of repeated warnings.

To hear Fischer cry about it you would think it’s all the “big bad government” coming after an innocent man who tried to save Driggs from flooding by dredging a streambed.

The ruling also means that Moses will have to obey a 2004 order issued by the EPA that orders him to repair the damage he caused to the streambed and restore the wetlands once he is released from prison.

Fischer’s buddy was ordered in 1995 by the Corps of Engineers to stop his dredge and fill operations in the Teton Creek. Records also show that the feds issued follow-up letters in 1996 and 1997. The developer ignored requirements to apply for the permits in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Moses also violated a 2004 EPA order to stop dumping dredged material into the creek.

Basically, Fischer’s friend decided he was above the law and he got fined. Gee, sounds like something Fischer would be familiar with, doesn’t’ it?

The weekly newspaper in the area, Teton Valley News, reported that a cooperative conservation group known as Friends of the Teton River has to raise money in an effort to undo the damage Moses did to the streambed.

“Friends of the Teton River (FTR) has raised $290,000 towards a one mile long stream channel restoration project on Teton Creek. Grant dollars totaling $175k includes funding from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the National Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the One Fly Foundation (Jackson Hole). Private land owners Floyd Hill and Fran McKibben have provided matching funds of $100,000 towards the improvements.” – Teton Valley News (06/07/2007)

The newspaper went on to say, “The initial damage to Teton Creek was caused by a series of dredgings and alterations to the stream channel. Since the destabilization, a “domino effect” has ensued, with bank loss and erosion occurring in up and downstream directions. Landowners are losing over a foot of bank to the creek each year and face the future potential for flooding, property and habitat loss.”

Moses’ sentence consists of 18 months in prison and a fine of $9,000. He is also ordered to implement a restoration plan for Teton Creek; however, Judge Winmill stayed the sentence pending Moses’ appeal. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the restoration costs at approximately $2.25 million.

Maybe Fischer can use his non-profit political website to pull in some money to orchestrate another media event to bale his friend out of a tough spot. Just imagine the media coverage if Fischer shares a headline with a man called Moses!

Note to Bryan Fischer: Stick to queer-bashing, at least that’s something you’re an expert in!

VIDEO: Friends of Teton River – Teton Creek Restoration Project
“Teton Creek has been heavily degraded by illegal in-stream dredging and channelization by developers, stream dewatering for agricultural use, and destruction of riparian vegetation.”


PrideDEPOT.com editor, independent journalist & LGBT media spokesperson,
Jody May-Chang now writes on "As I See It...Reporting from the front lines

As I See It Jody May-Chang.com Reporting from the front lines

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  1. You are an idiot. He was found guilty for taking those things OUT of the riverbed. Before you get you rainbow painties in a wad maybe, just maybe, try learning the truth instead of blogging your hate and contept for your enemies. Great you hate Fishcer…good for you…..but an innocent man who was ordered by LOCAL and STATE agencies to dredge the stream (which only holds water for 2 months of the year, thus not under the jurisdiction of the EPA) and maintain it. Now he is sent to prison.

    Excuse me….your bias is showing….

  2. Well, Ryan – thanks for your insightful observations. I’m sure the judge is also an idiot. In which case, I’m in good company.

  3. “…Before the jury was dismissed to enter into deliberations at the conclusion of his trial, Judge Lynn Winmill instructed the jury, believe it or not, to disregard every bit of information from 1980 to 2002, including the Corps’ denial of jurisdiction and the mandate from local government for Mr. Moses to maintain the flood channel.”

    Idiots Loving Idiots

    Here’s to you and your “good company”

  4. The man ignored intentionally ignored federal authorities to stop. Apparently, an absolute idiot who feels he is clearly above the law – probably much like yourself.

  5. “The Law” is increasingly irrelevant. That’s because it is increasingly incomprehensible, purposefully obtuse and so complex that even the people who write the meaningless garbage jargon can’t interpret it.

    Your statement that this guy broke the law might mean he is a hero or a bad guy. Hard to say but we all know that most federal “law” is unconstitutional bullshit.

  6. Moses was given every opportunity to to cease and desist his dredging and re-routing of the creek from federal and local agencies and his actions directly caused millions of dollars in damage to other people’s properties…why do some people believe that their property rights are more valuable than everyone elses?
    If he’s such a great person and Christian, by the way, why does he believe he can build right on top of a creek and move the water around however he likes? I would think that Christians would not think that they could improve on God’s design.
    He was not trying to save the town from flooding either- he was trying to protect his property and his property only. There wasn’t only one judge involved in this case either. He appealed all the way to the supreme court and lost- if there were violations of his rights, he had every opportunity to present them in court.
    Remember, he’s a developer- he did all of this for one reason only, MONEY! Let’s not act like he was building orphanages or a huge habitat for humanity project…

  7. The man ignored intentionally ignored federal authorities to stop. Apparently, an absolute idiot who feels he is clearly above the law – probably much like yourself.

    The man intentionally obeyed State authorities to continue. Apparently the Supreme Court says that States have authority over intermittant streams like Teton, because the Feds do not.

  8. The problem here seems to be one of multiple overlapping jurisdictions with some question as to whether some jurisdictions even apply. All of this should have been sorted out in a civil trial at most. If Mr. Moses was in fact found to be liable in some manner, then he could simply be required to repair any damage or pay compensation. That would be stressful enough and full of plenty of opportunity for abuse. However, a criminal case and incarceration is clearly over the top, especially without a definitive finding of jurisdiction and applicable law prior to bringing criminal charges. Citizens always have a right to peacefully dispute the findings and orders of all government entities. The courts should be capable of dispassionately sifting the frivolous from the worthy–or even merely questionable.

  9. I am no fan of Fischer’s group, but this man Moses (yeah, ya gotta love the irony in that one) was screwed. The feds repeatedly acknowledged that they did not have jurisdiction over the creek for a 22 year period. The state and local governments required him to make these dredgings. This evidence was then not allowed to be presented. How is that possible in America if the judge was not an activist judge? Explain that.

    The SCOTUS – on the day of Moses’ sentencing affirmed (through another case) that feds have no jurisdiction over these kinds of waterways. The EPA’s own internal policies NOW say that they don’t have jurisdiction.

    This guy is the poster child of Environmentalism Gone Wild. It’s disgusting.

  10. When the FEDS say stop…for goodness sake stop! Hes not a victim if he got good warning and still continued! I heard the stress of this unfortunate circumstance killed his wife and left his daughter without parents. Him goping to jail and all. Sad…just sad.