From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Bush Admin. Needs To Save Users at Lake Berryessa Now!

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 
E-mail: alra@landrights.org or alra@governance.net 
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003

Bush Admin. Needs To Save Users at Lake Berryessa Now!

Thank you to all who have called and written. You’re doing a great job.  The
Bush Administration is hearing from you.  So is Congress.  They need to hear
more.  Keep the pressure on.  Keep making those calls.  Send those faxes.

The BOR seems incapable of managing people.  Throughout their history they
have not really wanted to manage people, they wanted to flood something.   They
have become an anti-people agency.

The Bureau of Reclamation shows no signs of any willingness to be a good
neighbor or to find a solution to this mess they have created at Lake Berryessa.

Armed guards continue to interdict people trying to get to their mobile
homes.  BOR has taken possession of the entire Pleasure Cove Resort without the clear authority to do so.

It’s amazing the stuff they are doing.  Believe it or not, BOR has prevented people from receiving propane for cooking and heating.  

BOR is now trying to claim that the property at the resort is “just” personal.  They ignore the huge business investment.  They ignore the investments made by many
people who have mobile homes and docks.  They fail to see how cutting off access is a threat to private property.  The agency seems clueless.

BOR continues to threaten Steve Petty, the small business owner of the
Pleasure Cove Resort on Lake Berryessa with loss of his business and
personal private property.

The Bureau of Reclamation is saying they will announce shortly the name of a new operator for Pleasure Cove Resort with no intention to pay Steve Petty for his assets, major improvements and investments, as required by Public Law 96-375.  

Yet they are driving out all the people who pay rent to keep all seven resorts on the lake open.  They cannot have it both ways.  The seven resorts cannot survive if BOR drives away everyone who uses them.  BOR appears to be run by lifelong bureaucrats who live in government housing and who have never been involved with private business and have little understanding how the economy works because they are insulated with taxpayer paychecks.  

This battle involves many more people than Steve Petty and his family.  His
facility includes hundreds of private rental users who have trailers, mobile
homes, docks and other assets.  All are locked out.

The summer season is here, public access is being denied, and recreation plans are left midair.   Steve Petty’s facilities and preparation to serve the public are idle.  Bureau of Reclamation missed the date to name an interim concessionaire. Hundreds of people are left out with regular reservations not fulfilled.  BOR came in unannounced and took control including all the account and reservation books. 

Word is that Bureau of Reclamation is planning to open the resort temporarily “for Memorial Weekend” themselves.  Then they’ll close it up again.  Essentially that would mean the public would have No store,  No snack bar, and No fuel or supplies.  Staff, product and services will be missing.  BOR is turning into Mickey Mouse.

Steve Petty needs to be managing Pleasure Cove Resort NOW!  Any new concessionaire would then have to pay Steve Petty for his improvements.  At the very least, the resort should be open with an orderly transition process with the public served and contracts honored.  BOR is circumventing due process and fair business practices.  And the whole business is costing American taxpayers $250,000 a month instead of the profit they would normally receive.   All while threatening hundreds of other stake holders.

This is the second time in two years BOR has caused a huge business
interruption.  When the original owner died, they requested that Steve Petty to close for three days to allow BOR to take control.  He cooperated.  They then took
five weeks leading up to Memorial Day before they would allow Steve Petty to
reopen.  All this is causing hardship to people who own mobile homes, docks and other facilities.  The BOR seems completely unable to manage Lake Berryessa in a fair and reasonable manner.

Trailer owners are restricted to their residence. If they choose to leave
the resort with any items, those items may not be brought back.  Seasonal
residents are trapped.  Nearly 200 other users are locked out with 2,000
more in jeopardy.  The 200 have received notice to vacate by this fall even
though the Reservoir Area Management Plan allows them to remain till May

Fear is a bad thing.  BOR is threatening all mobile home, dock owners and other users on the lake with losing their rights and access.  They are all living in fear that they will lose everything of value they have at Lake Berryessa.  But we’re confident that by working together as a team they can fight back and win.   American Land Rights has led many successful campaigns to save users of Federal land across the country.  This is a battle Federal land users cannot afford to lose.

This BOR police action cannot be allowed to stand.

*** Action Items***  (bury these officials in calls, faxes and e-mails.)

***Please carry out at least one action item each day beginning Friday, May
20th and all next week.   Your calls, faxes and e-mails are already making a
difference. You are sending a message to the Bush Administration.  We’ll
keep you posted as events move forward.  Remember, by standing up for the
victims at Lake Berryessa today, they’ll be there to fight for you tomorrow.
The key is to keep the pressure on.  Don’t let down.

This has the feel of the Klamath Lake backlash.  It was members of American Land Rights Association who started the effort at the Klamath irrigation floodgates which led to that huge and successful effort.   The battle grew incredibly big and ALRA was only a small part of the overall effort as time went on.  But it shows what happens when people get fed up.   The people on the Klamath took back control.  Now it is your chance.

-----1.  Call, Fax and E-mail -- Secretary of Interior Gale Norton
(202) 208-7351 – FAX: (202) 219-2100 - gale_norton@ios.doi.gov

-----2.  Call, Fax and E-mail – Deputy Lynn Scarlett
(202) 208-4203  -- FAX: (202) 208-1873 – lynn_scarlet@ios.doi.gov

-----3.  Commissioner of Bureau of Reclamation – John Keyes
(202) 513-0501 – FAX:  (202) 513-0309 – jkeys@usbr.gov

-----4.  Mark Limbaugh – Deputy Commissioner of Reclamation
(202) 513-0540 – FAX: (202) 513-0309 – mlimbaugh@usbr.gov

-----5.  Call, fax and e-mail your local congressman.  Call any Senator or
Congressman at (202) 225-3121.  Ask for their fax and e-mail. Ask them to
request an investigation by the Resources Committee in the House and the
Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the Senate.  Ask them to request
that funds for Lake Berryessa management by BOR be cut until the
Administration reins in   this out of control agency.

-----6.  Call and fax the Resources Committee –Water and Power
Subcommittee – Kiel Weaver -- (202) 225-8331 – FAX: (202) 226-6953

-----7.  Call and fax Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee – Water
and Power Subcommittee -- Kelly Donnelly -- (202) 224-4971 – FAX: (202)

-----8.  Send a short letter to the editor of  any newspapers in your area.  The BOR will be putting out propaganda. You want to build support in your local community and those near to Lake Berryessa.  Please keep the letter to less than three paragraphs and don’t make them long because people won’t read them.

-----9.  People in California should write Napa County Supervisors to
request their support.  1195 Third Street, Suite 310, Napa, California 94559.
The phone is (707) 253-4386.

***Here’s your message:

-----  Insist that the Bush Administration officials listed above get
involved and take action to save Steve Petty and other users at Lake
Berryessa.  This land grab and police action must be stopped.

-----  No private property should be taken without compensation.

-----  The BOR must follow Public Law 96-375. (see below)

-----  BOR must return management of the Resort to Steve Petty / Pleasure
Cove Resort Asset Management Group (It must be done quickly – the only way
it is possible for the resort to open by Memorial Day weekend).

-----  BOR must stop the removal of long-term tenants.

-----  BOR must stop the discrimination against long-term users and
motorized watercraft.

-----BOR must throw out the present plan to cut down or eliminate public use
and access by the general public, long-term site permittees, boaters, and
dock owners.

-----Bush Administration officials must require the Bureau of Reclamation be
good neighbors at Lake Berryessa.


(Some new information and changes but most duplicated form previous e-mail so any new readers who receive this message forwarded can be fully informed)

Are you a private property owner?

Do you use motorized watercraft?

Are you a water recreationist?

Are you a Federal land user?

Do you have a permit to use Federal land?

Are you a small business owner-operator?

Answer any of these questions yes and you need to pay close attention to
this land grab and abuse by the Bureau of Reclamation at Lake Berryessa in
Northern California.  It threatens all private and public use of Federal

There is a plague spreading across the Federal lands.  It is a battle for
the future of recreation access in Federal areas.  What happens at Lake
Berryessa will play a role in deciding whether access is allowed and
encouraged by the Bureau of Reclamation and other agencies where you live.
Or instead, will it be blockaded and severely limited as it appears to be

Gabe Friedman, Napa Register (California) writer said, “the future of the
lakeshore has engendered a spirited feud between trailer owners and
Berryessa area businesses on one hand, and the Bureau and environmental
activists on the other.”

The Bureau of Reclamation is planning to eliminate 1,300 permit home sites
(trailer and mobile home sites) and hundreds of docks at Lake Berryessa,
California.  Many hundreds of people could be forced to remove their
seasonal homes.  The BOR, pushed by exclusionary special interest groups, is
trying to eliminate people from Lake Berryessa.

BOR wants to reduce motorized watercraft from over 3,000 to 700. All seven
resorts at the lake are in jeopardy.  An entire economic ecosystem around
the lake is threatened including lots of small businesses. This man made
lake is 26 miles long and 3 miles wide.  Special interest groups want to
lock it up selfishly for themselves.

The holders of the 1,300 sites have been given notice they will likely have
to get out.  Some by the end of the year.  They all rent space from the
seven resort owners.  The resorts are not economically viable without the
rental spaces.  The BOR knows -- no resorts, no real public use, no
services, no supplies.

All this is to carry out a BOR plan to reduce access, close trailer and home
sites, severely reducing motorized boating to a fraction, remove docks, lock
out boats and generally bow to pressure from special interest groups make
the lake more like a Wilderness area.   This process is happening all across
the country.  That’s because the greens are a very loud and vocal minority.
But Lake Berryessa is a poster child for BOR bad behavior.

Steve Petty, a small business owner of a little resort on Lake Berryessa has
been locked out of his facility which includes hundreds of other users.  The
BOR sent in armed guards to take possession without the clear authority to
do so.

Seventy-three long term recreation site permittees and renters and over 100
dock owners have also been locked out.

The Bureau of Reclamation came in and locked down the entire Pleasure Cove
Resort ignoring the law and contractual agreements.  The only barrier to
continuation was a disagreement over a bond that was under active
negotiation.  The original owner got sick and sold most of his assets to
Steve Petty.  He died before he could convey his concession contact.

The BOR got impatient. BOR is using this as a chance to remove Steve Petty
and undermine the other resort owners through their aggressive action.
Incredibly, Petty was applauded by BOR just three years ago for spending his
own money to clean up a site the BOR said would cost over one million
dollars for cleanup.

BOR wanted to teach the resort owner permittee a lesson and send a message
to the other six resort owners as well as resort owners nationwide that they
better follow the BOR line quickly and without resistance or they will pay
the ultimate price.  They better not speak up or complain.

Steve Petty has operated for several years with official BOR temporary
concession contracts until all the details of the new contract could be
worked out.

This appears to us to be a deliberate attempt to drive this resort operator
off Federal land and take his personal property.

To add insult to injury, the father of Steve Petty and the few other
seasonal residents are to some degree trapped.  They can leave the resort,
but if they do they cannot bring back anything they take with them.  They
are restricted to their home site and are not allowed to go outside or set
foot on Federal land beyond the scope of their home site without an armed
guard to go with them.

Petty’s father has a golf cart which he needs to get around and he has been
prevented from using even that.  After our first e-mail, BOR is allowing
Petty’s father to use the golf card but must have an escort if he goes to
his own storage shed.  No guests are allowed to visit these lake residents.

Believe it or not, all those with private property, or motorized watercraft
at the Pleasure Cove Resort are trapped too. They’ve been told they can
leave with materials or supplies, but those materials cannot come back.

If they take a boat on the lake, the boat cannot return. There are six other
resorts on Lake Berryessa, all of whom now have to fear that if the BOR is
successful getting rid of Steve Petty, owner of the Pleasure Cove Resort,
BOR will come after them.  Under the proposed plan for Lake Berryessa, that
looks likely.

The fundamental issue is the attempt by the Bureau of Reclamation to cut the
number of boats and mobile home sites on Lake Berryessa down to a few
hundred from the present thousands that are allowed.  The BOR has become
anti-people.  They plan to do that by cutting off access to services and
supplies which all come from seven resort owners.  Where is the Bush

Public access is going to be reduced.

1,300 trailer and mobile home sites will ultimately be eliminated.

Recreation access is being reduced or eliminated.

Campsites will be reduced.

Motorized watercraft will be drastically reduced.

People are going to be locked out.

This is an attempt by the BOR to outdo what the National Park Service is
doing in Yosemite -- drive the people out.  In Yosemite, thousands of
campgrounds have been closed, parking spaces lost, and soon, visitors will
have to see the park in busses.  The Park Service says it is crowded.  You
bet.  They made the crowding much worse.

Now other agencies are following the special interest dogma by trying to
reduce access of people to their natural resources.  These are the same
people who want to remove Forest Service permit cabins, close all the Forest
Service roads, cut off access to your forests, drive rural people into the
cities and are trying to gain control over the nations recreation lakes and
other Federal lands.

If the Bureau of Reclamation gets away with this atrocity, then everyone who
uses a recreation lake or has a permit on other Federal lands will be far
less safe.

What all this means is by standing up for Steve Petty and the hundreds of
other affected families and small businesses at Lake Berryessa, you stand up
for private property, recreation, access, boating, docks and public use
where you live.

It’s possible the Bush Administration does not know the BOR is out of
control at Lake Berryessa.  They need to hear from you.   This kind of abuse
of private property and private citizens cannot be allowed to continue.
This is not what the Red States and Red Counties voted for.

Please forward this message as widely as possible.  Many people do not
carefully examine their e-mail.  While this message has a lot of information
duplicated from  the message you received a few days ago, it is vital to
forward it anyway to vastly improve the chances people will see it at least

What BOR is doing is such a huge threat that anyone who has to deal with the
Federal government needs to read this.

Your friends, neighbors and business associates need to know about this
threat to private property and Federal land use.  The Bush Administration
needs to know that the public is not going to give them a pass for this kind
of abuse.  Getting hurt by people who are supposed to be your friends does
not make it feel any better.

Public Law 96-375 October 3, 1980 - 96th Congress - An Act
Portion appropriate to Lake Berryessa

Sec. 5 	(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the
Interior is authorized to enter into new negotiated concession agreements
with the present concessionaires at Lake Berryessa, California. Such
agreements shall be for a term ending not later than May 26, 1989, and may
be renewed at the request of the concessionaires with the consent of the
Secretary of the Interior for no more than two consecutive terms of 10 years
each. Concession agreements may be renegotiated preceding renewal. Such
agreements must comply with the 1959 National Park Service Public Use Plan
for Lake Berryessa, as amended, and with the Water and Power Resources
Service Reservoir Area Management Plan: Provided, That the authority to
enter into contracts or agreements to incur obligations or to make payments
under this section shall be effective only to the extent and in such amounts
as are provided in advance in appropriation Acts.

	(b) Notwithstanding any other laws to the contrary, all permanent
facilities placed by the concessionaires in the seven resorts at Lake
Berryessa shall be considered the property of the respective current
concessionaires. Further, any permanent additions or modifications to these
facilities shall remain the property of said concessionaires: Provided, That
at the option of the Secretary of the Interior, the United States may
require that the permanent facilities mentioned herein not be removed from
the concession areas, and instead, pay fair value for the permanent
facilities or, if a new concessionaire assumes operation of the concession,
require that new concessionaire pay fair value for the permanent facilities
to the existing concessionaire.

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