Property-rights activist rallies state Republicans

Helen Chenoweth-Hage, left, talks with Gov. Kenny Guinn during the Republican Licoln Day Dinner held at the Carson Nugget Friday. Photo by Brian Corley

Helen Chenoweth-Hage, left, talks with Gov. Kenny Guinn during the Republican Licoln Day Dinner held at the Carson Nugget Friday. Photo by Brian Corley

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Drawing from the experiences of history and of her husband's family ranch, Helen Chenoweth-Hage, the executive consultant for Stewards of the Range, reiterated Friday night the importance of private property.

Chenoweth-Hage was the keynote speaker at the Carson City Republican Party Lincoln's birthday party at the Carson Nugget.

Chenoweth-Hage, a former U.S. representative from Idaho, was introduced by Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City.

"She made it fashionable to talk about the West, the intermountain West," Amodei said of her term in Washington.

"This country became great because Americans are able to hold private property," Chenoweth-Hage said. "We're able to dream dreams, to have visions."

Those dreams are in danger today, she said, because "in the 80s we began to let our guard down, we began to take for granted what we had fought for.

"There's an unseen green army fighting every day," she said, attacking the emotional arguments of extreme environmental groups.

"Ours' is a battle for truth."

Chenoweth-Hage addressed a stellar gathering that included Gov. Kenny Guinn, many state officials and prominent members of the Nevada Republican Party.

The dinner and fund-raiser included a silent auction and an attempt at auctioning a mink coat valued at $6,000. The luxurious 3/4-length mink had no takers to the befuddlement of the auctioneer and the disinterest of the diners.

In her keynote speech Chenoweth-Hage bemoaned the plight of ranchers all over the West who are harassed by government and "green bigots" who "grant to themselves what they deny others."

More and more ranchers are selling, "too tired to fight anymore," she said.

Her own husband, Wayne Hage, recently finished an 11-year legal battle over water and property rights for his ranch against the Bureau of Land Management. Two weeks ago, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims reaffirmed his water, ditch and forage rights on the BLM property while denying actual ownership rights.

The battle cost $1.4 million, paid partly by donations to Stewards of the Range, an organization to engage in property rights battles.

"The true environmentalists are your neighbors, those who take care of their yards, their ranches," Chenoweth-Hage said.

The Hage family moved to Nevada from Sierraville, Calif. ,"because they loved the land," she said.

The battle for property rights is essential, she said.

"It's a battle for truth. We need to focus on what made this nation great.

"Property rights are the cornerstone of civil liberties," she said adding that it started with the Declaration of Independence.

"While we can fight big wars, little wars wreck our neighbors who are being destroyed by overregulation. We all need to fight."

Chenoweth-Hage reiterated the importance of one vote by citing historical elections and laws decided by one vote, concluding with the single Supreme Court vote that extended the last presidential election to Republican George W. Bush.

She noted the battle fought in the past by the United States when many of those who came back, came back "limbless, sightless and even mindless."

"Can we afford to get tired?" she asked, rallying the crowd to action in the next election cycle. "Study the Republican platform and let's go forth."


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