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Defend Rural America to hold workshop on federal land use

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Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:03 am, Wed Oct 17, 2012.

San Joaquin County-area officials along with representatives from Del Norte and Siskiyou counties, plus Arizona, will discuss what they say is the danger that rural communities face from state and government agencies.

The public workshop will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday to train people about what authority the federal government has concerning land use. At 3 p.m., several speakers, some from San Joaquin County, will give presentations hosted by a rural Northern California organization known as Defend Rural America.

It will address government regulation, lawsuits, environmental laws and what organization officials call “assaults on property, water, timber, mining and fishing rights” — which could threaten to turn rural communities into ghost towns, according to a news release.

Speakers will include Escalon winery owner Dave Pechan, Stockton water attorney Dante Nomellini Jr., Ted Hadzi-Antich of the Pacific Legal Foundation, California Forestry Association Vice President Steve Brink, Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson, Richard Gierak of Siskiyou County, Doyel Shamley of Apache County, Ariz., and Kirk MacKenzie, founder of Defend Rural America.

The event will be held at the Lodi Grape Festival’s Cabernet Hall, 413 E. Lockeford St., Lodi. Attendance is limited, so registration is encouraged. For more information, call co-organizer Laurie Wallace at 209-601-2140 or visit www.tinyurl.com/8ly56uz.

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