By Glen Morgan | Freedom Foundation
Last month, residents there decided to work together, defy the iron fist of the local federal bureaucrats at the U.S. Forest Service and help a neighbor named Tony Nicholas, a 75-year-old disabled Vietnam veteran, access his historic small mining claim.
Many of these volunteers had never met Nicholas before, but they knew that he was being treated poorly and dishonestly by the Forest Service, and they were not willing to stand idly by twisting their hands in despair.
This is what citizen action looks like.
The story began about four years ago, when a small rock slide covered the entrance portal to Nicholas’ mine and, based on Forest Service rules and bureaucratic obstruction, he was forbidden to clear the slide debris with heavy equipment.
In addition to inventing new excuses and red tape to delay Nicholas’ rightful access to his claim, the agency also decided to seize his trailer and related equipment located at his mine, valued at $68,000.
at Freedom Foundation.