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North Fork activist challenges BoCC to fire planning commission member

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Lisa Niermann, president of North Fork Valley Community Rights Advocates (NFVCRA), presented a letter to Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes at their Aug. 6 meeting.

Niermann's letter concerns two emails planning commission member Steve Schrock sent, on June 22 and July 4, to fellow planning commission members, area planning committee members, planning department staff, county administrator, and the commissioners regarding an organization NFVCRA plans to use in its training sessions in August, Deep Green Resistance.

Schrock notes in his July 4 email, "This strategy training Direct Action Training with Deep Green Resistance - Western Colorado - is coming to the North Fork Valley in August sponsored by the North Fork Valley Community Rights Advocates group located in Paonia and Hotchkiss. The radical strategy includes, as you will see, public infrastructure sabotage not just non-violent civil disobedience which is promoted as free speech."

Niermann describes NFVCRA as a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, educational and advocacy nonprofit. NFVCRA's mission is to cultivate a safe, healthy environment for all North Fork Valley residents by protecting the community's unalienable rights to clean air, water, soil and food. NFVCRA educates and advocates for non-partisan self-determination, economic resilience and energy innovation.

Currently NFVCRA is advocating for a Community Bill of Rights to be passed as an ordinance in the Town of Paonia.

"We are garnering an amazing amount of support for our Community Bill of Rights, 200 signatures, and counting, from progressives and conservatives alike," Neirmann said.

She added, "One result of the community outreach NFVCRA has been doing is hearing from many people who are feeling un-represented and frustrated. People feel that to be heard, something outside the usual channels is becoming necessary.

"Farmers, ranchers, artists, former oil and gas workers, progressives, Democrats and Republicans alike, have expressed the desire to protest in the form of non-violent civil disobedience. Most everyone understands that this valley only exists because of the water, and they are prepared to protect and keep the water clean and abundant.

"NFVCRA cannot and will not be organizing civil disobedience actions, but because we care about the community, we want to make sure that our neighbors who choose to organize such actions are doing so safely and that they know their rights."

NFVCRA is offering a workshop as part of its educational directive which will cover non-violent civil disobedience, "Know Your Rights" information and community organizing. NFVCRA will bring trainers from Deep Green Resistance, an environmental organization that provides non-violent civil disobedience training, Neirmann said.

For the guiding principles of DGR, visit their website: https://deepgreenresistance.org/en/who-we-are/guiding-principles-of-deep-green-resistance.

Niermann ended her presentation to the commissioners:

"Perhaps this board might like to take a closer look at Mr. Schrock's behavior and decide if it is acceptable for a member of the Planning Commission, and if persons who engage in such behaviors have the integrity to serve on the PC. I am quite sure my commissioners do not want to find themselves in a legal setting, defending such egregious behavior. It certainly does not reflect well on this body's integrity or credibility when dealing with matters in the public interest.

"If members of this board do not agree with the false statements that have been made, the unprofessional behavior, and the disregard for county policy, you can refute these claims, rectify this, and distance yourselves from it all by calling for the immediate resignation of Mr. Schrock."

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