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…“We went out to the mine and the owners were two little guys that had been in the Second World War,” a California park service employee recalls at a retirement celebration for Mojave National Preserve Superintendent Mary Martin in 2005.
The employee brags about how the veterans’ mine was appraised by the federal government at $40 million, and acquired for a paltry $2.5 million.
“We did get it appraised and we did acquire it for $2.5 million which I stole the money from Washington to acquire it,” the employee in the video admits, adding that it’s sometimes hard to bamboozle property owners due to the agency’s reputation.
“’Lands’ isn’t always supported because we’re the ‘bad guys.’ We come in, and we take this land. And we always take it for less than it’s worth.”
Later during the celebration dinner, another park service employee reveals that the acquisition of more than a hundred thousand private acres in the Mojave National Preserve were procured under Martin’s leadership, who he labels the “acquisition queen.”
“Acres acquired under the acquisition queen’s regime, 111,550.54 acres,” an employee announces in an extended clip of the dinner.
The employee then shows two other numbers, 5.66 and 106,375.36, which correlate with the park where Martin would be relocating, the Lassen Volcanic National Park.
He indicates that the larger number is the acreage of Lassen National Park, while the smaller number is acreage privately owned.
“If you own those 5.66 acres, would you be sweating right now?” the man jests referring to Martin’s acquisition power.
The employees’ jaw-dropping admissions amid joyful applause, smiles and celebration over the confiscation of two World War II veterans’ and others’ private land goes to prove the federal government is not at all concerned with “land preservation” and focuses mainly on predatory land grabs.
View a more extended clip of the dinner