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Sign in a farmer's field near Klamath Falls, OR. The farmers were protesting a federal ruling where water was reserved for three endangered species of fish and was not given to the farmers for irrigation in 2001.

If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

Common Threads NW and The Fourth Corner, brought Wm. Perry Pendley, President and CEO of the Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) here to share his insight and gauge local interest to litigate for our property and water rights, in a federal court of law. Mr. Pendley, addressed several groups and local residents, to share information about the different types of cases which MSLF has successfully litigated in the protection of individual property rights.


This is a brief summation of
Mr. Pendley’ s message, at the two presentations last Thursday:

  • The most direct route to protection of property rights is working locally with your elected officials.
  • It is important to keep your elected officials, judges offering opinions, and agencies aware of negative impacts you have experienced.
  • All of your communications need to be documented and in written form.
  • Always be specific as to any notifications you have received from government agencies, identifying the legislation or judicial decision that has impacted your property rights, and maintain copies of each communication.
  •  If you believe your property has been devalued, contact your local assessor’s office and seek taxation relief. They are well equipped to determine proper property valuation in changing circumstances, and maintain copies of all communication.
  • Legal remedies can be pursued in local, state, and federal courts, depending on the issue you are dealing with. Your property rights issue could fall within one, or several jurisdictions.
  • When seeking legal remedies, each case must be well documented and show that the plaintiff has attempted to find legal resolution within the proper legal channels.
  • Federal cases are brought forward by a person of standing who can show; personal injury or harm, or a taking of their private property.
  • When seeking legal remedy in the federal courts, each case should be narrow in scope and have a broad-based benefit to the public, so as not to be construed as political in nature.
  • Federal cases can take years or decades to resolve.
  • If your case were to be chosen to be heard in the Supreme Court of the United States, consider yourself fortunate, as the Supreme Court hears approximately 1% percent of the appealed cases submitted before them.
  • Lastly, Mountain States Legal Foundation would like to hear from you if you believe your case may fall within these criteria. To discuss the potential for your case, please contact Mr. Pendley at: wppendley@mountainstateslegal.com
    • None of the above should be construed as legal advice, merely information to be considered before taking future action.

In ending the evenings presentation, Mr. Pendley quoted President Ronald Reagan, in a 1980’s speech to Congress, where President Ronald Reagan spoke to Congress about necessary federal budget cuts:

All of us came here because we knew the country couldn’t go on the way it was going. So, it falls to all of us to take action. We have to ask ourselves if we do nothing, where does all of this end? Can anyone here say that if we can’t do it, someone down the road can do it, and if no one does it, what happens to the country? All of us know the economy would face an eventual collapse. I know it’s a hell of a challenge, but ask yourselves if not us, who, if not now, when?

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One comment

  1. The event was very informative.
    The quote Mr. Pendley used was If not now, when. If not I, who.
    Which should be properly credited to Hillel.
    Hillel (Hebrew: הלל; variously called Hillel HaGadol, or Hillel HaZaken, Hillel HaBavli[1] or HaBavli,.[2] was born according to tradition in Babylon c. 110 BCE, died 10 CE[3] in Jerusalem) was a famous Jewish religious leader, one of the most important figures in Jewish history. He is associated with the development of the Mishnah and the Talmud. Renowned within Judaism as a sage and scholar, he was the founder of the House of Hillel school for Tannaïm (Sages of the Mishnah) and the founder of a dynasty of Sages who stood at the head of the Jews living in the Land of Israel until roughly the fifth century of the Common Era.
    He is popularly known as the author of two sayings: (1) “If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?”[4] and (2) the expression of the ethic of reciprocity, or “Golden Rule”: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”[5]

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