Tales of Tyranny: Joe Remenar’s “Illegal” Wildlife Habitat

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about Joe Remenar, a former special agent who had retired from the Department of Justice where he’d worked in drug interdiction. After retiring, he purchased a small property and home not far from the Canadian border in Whatcom County.

Enjoying the views out his back deck, Joe decided to improve the wildlife habitat on his property. He didn’t apply for a grant or take taxpayer dollars. He just spent his own time and money to improve the habitat for the birds, amphibians, insects, and other critters by building a pond. He was careful in his pond construction. He did not interrupt the flow of a stream (also known as an “instream flow” violation). State Fish and Wildlife biologists even reported that his pond was a clear and obvious wildlife enhancement project.

He was justifiably proud of his accomplishment, and it changed a field with little habitat into a pond with nesting geese, feeding grounds for great blue herons, and other wildlife in the area. But Joe made one crucial mistake: he did not get permission from the Central Planners at Whatcom County. For this crime against bureaucracy, Joe was going to be punished.

Whatcom’s Central Planners, led by Lyn Morgan-Hill (no relation to this author), demanded that Joe destroy the pond and habitat in order to save the wildlife. Going a step further, they decided Joe should also have to pay one of Whatcom’s “preferred” consultants, who would create the plan on how to best destroy the pond. This solution was one only a dedicated Central Planner could invent and justify.

Like most people who care about the environment, Joe doesn’t want to destroy the wildlife habitat on his property. He wants to save it, but the central-planning mindset at Whatcom County has only one plan, and it’s not required to make logical sense.

Inflicting harm on property owners like Joe Remenar and caring little about the consequences is just part of the job for today’s Central Planners. To them, it makes sense to destroy the environment in order to save it – even at the expense of responsible property owners and helpless creatures.

You can link to the website for the Whatcom County Council by clicking here: (Keep in mind, a few of these council members don’t support this harassment of Joe Remenar)

You can call the Whatcom County Council office at (360) 676-6690

You can go to the website for the Whatcom Central Planning Department by clicking here:

You can call the Whatcom County Central Planning Director at (360) 676-6907, or send him an email at pds@co.whatcom.wa.us

Glen Morgan
Property Rights Director
Freedom Foundation

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One response to “Tales of Tyranny: Joe Remenar’s “Illegal” Wildlife Habitat

  1. Tales of tyranny shows specifically that the Dept of Ecology, County and State is totally out of control. People do GOOD which is what we want, but because it wasn’t under their CONTROL it is BAD. Seams to me it was on PRIVATE PROPERTY. Shows me they just want your land with you off of it. What a sick government we really have.

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