In the blog, Martin refers to Lopey as an “outlier lawman” and criticizes his stance against state and federal environmental regulations, saying “Lopey has explicitly stated his disinclination to enforce state and federal laws that pertain to environmental protection.”
Martin cites Lopey’s leadership in Support Rural America rallies and townhall style public meetings - featuring panels of rural sheriffs discussing their grievances with state and federal actions - as examples of political activities that fall outside the usual line of duty for a county sheriff.
“The most disturbing aspect of Lopey's campaign,” states Martin, “is his apparent belief that he has the right to interpret as well as enforce the law. By deciding what regulations are ‘appropriate’ for Siskiyou County, he has overstepped his authority to an alarming degree.”
Martin also takes issue with Lopey’s position on the role of government regulation in the decline of the timber industry in northern California.
Martin asserts that the industry crash was the result of overharvest of old growth trees that first created a boom and later resulted in a bust when stands were wiped out. Though, he does concede that “a rational argument can be made for opening up the national forests to regulated selective logging to thin stands and provide some merchantable timber.”
According to Lopey, Martin’s assertions about the status of northstate forests - among other points - is incorrect.
“It is not accurate or truthful to state that we have no mature trees in Siskiyou County,” Lopey told the Daily News.
“I have read and been told by reliable sources that our forests have 10 times the fuel build-up that is normally acceptable in forestry policies of the past and currently,” Lopey said.
Lopey maintains that improper forest management is a public safety issue - and therefore falls within his purview - because it leads to catastrophic wildfires that destroy lives, homes and property.
In Lopey’s opinion, “the USFS is besieged by so many special interest groups and bureaucratic policies it is too difficult for them to make significant adjustments.”
In fact, according to Lopey, his efforts that
fall outside of the commonly excepted role of law
enforcement are all related to issues of public