I appreciate your concern for Tipi Village, and for handling disagreements in a civil and collaborative way. I also hold those values. This has been very painful for us and I’ll share why I think we did the only thing that we could have done under the circumstances.
In Feb and September of this year, we purchased two parcels of the Mosby ranch for the purpose of establishing an organic farming and land regeneration research and education institute. During May and June, Ande and Kayla livedon the first parcel we purchased before moving up to their summer site, since they had to move off of the Mosby property. As we got to know them we appreciated their vision of wanting to live in harmony with the land, but even then there were many uncertainties about the practicality and legality of their return to the second parcel we were buying from the Mosby's.
In order to explore all options, we volunteered a considerable amount of time, energy, and money in a thorough and lengthy research of Jackson county law relating to living in a Tipi. Jackson county law is clear in defining Tipi living as a form of camping, and camping on privately owned land is allowed for a maximum of 30 days in any 6 month period. Unfortunately, we were unable to find any way that Tipi living could be legal on this land for more than the 30 days in six months. This made it clear that we could not give them permission them to return to the land in violation of the law, since they had already stayed more than 30 days in the past six months.
We then told Ande and Kayla that we couldn’t legally give them permission to move back to the land, because we weren’t willing to violate the law. They disregarded our concerns, and appeared determined to return anyway, so we had to inform them that if they moved back without our permission in a way that violates Jackson county regulations, we would be required to call the authorities, because if we didn’t, we would be in violation of the law. We had a number of meetings with them, but of all of their options, they seemed determined to move back on the land.
We hold a lot of values in common with Ande and Kayla, have grown quite personally fond of them, and support their mission of bringing back low impact living on the land. But the one area where we disagree is about the willingness to break the law. In the end their dispute is more with Jackson County law than it is with us, but we became stuck in the middle. Sadly, when they decided to move back to the land without our permission, and in violation of the law,we believe that they chose an option that is not only disruptive to everyone concerned, butdestructive for the future of low impact living on the land. We wish them well, but cannot be party to breaking the law.
Of course you might feel differently about breaking the law, and you might have made another decision if you were in my situation, but I hope from this you can at least why we made the decisions we made. They were carefully considered, with input from our council and elders who were unanimous in the decisions, and based on exhaustive research into the situation.
I’m happy to hear any thoughts and feelings you have after reading this.
This is my response to him:
Hello Rod. Thank you for the note. I am very interested in sincere communication. I do hope we can find that one day. In the mean time, i will respond to your message. I do feel differently about breaking the law, specifically when to not do so comes at the cost of our integrity. It was once against the law to harbor runaway slaves. It was once against the law for Native people's to dance, sing or speak their language. Law is meant not to protect or serve the people, but to protect and serve the rulers of the people. If you think for a moment that laws of land ownership and county codes against living on the ground are at all different than laws supporting slavery, you should ask Ande and Kayla how their shackles felt differently.