The request read like a routine request to access one’s property to perform an environmental survey, but the response from the property owners was unlike anything you’ve seen in a long time, and should have you laughing out loud by the end of reading it.
According to The Blaze:
Larry and Amanda Anderson received the formal request from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife last month. The reason given by the state for requesting access to “survey the creek on your property” was to look for the “foothill yellow-legged frog.”
According to the letter, ODFW is concerned with declining numbers of the frog’s population.
After considering the request, late last week the Andersons sent a detailed reply to the state agency.
The letter does grant permission for the state to enter the property and survey the creek. However, it also included a litany of requirements needed to be completed (permits, vehicle inspections, stamps, etc.) before any representative would be allowed on the property.
Additionally, once the permits, stamps and inspections had been satisfied, the letter went on to list the only kind of “survey gear” allowed to be used in capturing the frogs, mandating the nets be “made of 100% organic cotton netting with no longer than an 18″ handle.”
Read the transcribed response:
Dear Mr. Niemela:
Thank you for your inquiry regarding accessing our property to survey for the yellow-legged frog. We may be able to help you out with this matter.
We have divided our 2.26 acres into 75 equal survey units with a draw tag for each unit. Application fees are only $8.00 per unit after you purchase the “Frog Survey License” ($120.00 resident / $180.00 Non-Resident). You will also need to obtain a “Frog Habitat” parking permit ($10.00 per vehicle). You will also need an “Invasive Species” stamp ($15.00 for the first vehicle and $5.00 for each add’l vehicle) You will also want to register at the Check Station to have your vehicle inspected for non-native plant life prior to entering our property. There is also a Day Use fee, $5.00 per vehicle.
If you are successful in the Draw you will be notified two weeks in advance so you can make necessary plans and purchase your “Creek Habitat” stamp. ($18.00 Resident / $140.00 Non-Resident). Survey units open between 8am and 3pm but you cannot commence survey until 9am and must cease all survey activity by 1pm.
Survey Gear can only include a net with a 2″ diameter made of 100% organic cotton netting with no longer than an 18″ handle, non-weighted and no deeper than 6′ from net frame to bottom of net. Handles can only be made of BPA-free plastics or wooden handles. After 1pm you can use a net with a 3″ diameter if you purchase the “Frog Net Endorsement” ($75.00 Resident / $250 Non-Resident). Any frogs captured that are released will need to be released with an approved release device back into the environment unharmed.
As of June 1, we are offering draw tags for our “Premium Survey” units and application is again only $8.00 per application. However, all fees can be waives if you can verify “Native Indian Tribal rights and status.
You will also need to provide evidence of successful completion of “Frog Surveys and You” comprehensive course on frog identification, safe handling practices, and self-defense strategies for frog attacks. This course is offered online through an accredited program for a nominal fee of $750.00.
Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you. Otherwise, we decline access to our property but appreciate your inquiry.
Larry & Amanda Anderson
The original request and response letters were posted on Facebook have been shared thousands of times and generated hundreds of supportive comments:
In a conversation with TheBlaze, Larry Anderson explained, the couple’s response, which appears to poke fun at government regulation and the red tape often experienced when dealing with state agencies, was “all meant to be fun.”
Anderson told TheBlaze he “likes the guy (Steve Niemela) who sent the request, ” adding, “he’s a good guy, a really good guy,” said Anderson.
When asked what Niemela thought of the note, Anderson replied, “I don’t know, I better give him a call on Monday,” he told TheBlaze.
It’s sad that the couple’s response seemed very accurate to what would be requested if the situation were reversed. While the government officials expected a simple “Yes” or “No” response, the government would never simply allow you or I to conduct a similar survey without a plethora of permits and licenses and environmental studies.
It will be interesting to see how the government responds to this after being embarrassed. Most likely the couple will face an IRS audit and perhaps even see their land confiscated out of environmental concerns.
What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.