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As part of this ongoing story, let me talk about how the present Directors of the Aspen Springs Metro District (ASMD) have prosecuted the shepherd in Unit 5. They hired a young lawyer who, through intimidation and an immature style, thought to gain, for lack of a better description, a quick kill, since the District could out spend the shepherd, and he had no legal representation. For the lawyer, I’m guessing that there is more than just the win to gain, but a reputation, by having the lawyer’s name on the case that would attack the State’s open range, free grazing and fence out laws. The Directors must have felt that if they could rapidly deplete all the Respondent’s resources, they could force him to sell his stock and his residence to pay the resulting fines. Would there be something for them to gain by this? There are a lot of suppositions as to the motivation.
This action by the Board was approved by the five of them, even after a large turn out of land owners at the meeting had told them not to do it. A hint of a special interest? You tell me.
I’m sure there are readers that are just tuning in to this series of letters. The shepherd’s property, in fact his back porch, abuts onto what the Directors describe as the “Green Belt”, though it’s described in the County Assessor’s records as a “Golf Course”. It is public land, owned by the District, not the Directors, with a surplus of grass that goes uncut and fallow. Nothing is being fenced out. The injunction that the Directors, through the lawyer, requested of the County Court, would force, by threat of a contempt charge, him to keep his sheep out. A few of the local residents were more than ready to sit off to the side, just waiting to take pictures, threaten to hit the sheep with their vehicles if they strayed out onto the roads, and in one case, may just have, in the dead of night, opened the gates to the shepherd’s small paddock, waiting for one of his sheep to stray. He was forced to drive his sheep to other places that wouldn’t accidentally have any of them wander onto the “Green Belt” and drawing a contempt charge.
The crux of this letter is that one of the lawyer’s focus, that’s stated on the firm’s website, is “Animal Law”. I don’t know about you, but that gives me the impression that they defend animal rights, and prosecute cruelty to the same. Yet, because the sheep couldn’t find enough food, the shepherd lost seventeen lambs last spring. Seventeen, young, animals. If this isn’t cruelty, and contrary to the mission of this lawyer, I don’t know what is. It is hypocrisy in one of its cruelest forms.