As President of 3PR I would like to respond to this email (below) from Frank Kirkland which I consider a cynical misrepresentation of the position that the environmental plaintiffs have taken in the law suit and mediation process.
I feel confident that the partial settlement that we negotiated with Mosaic allowing their workers a 4-month reprieve and preserving two bayhead wetlands from extinction in the very branch that runs through Frank Kirkland’s property was a beneficial deal. Frank Kirkland himself said at the last 3PR meeting that those two bayheads were the only remaining source of baseflow to the branch. Now they shall become part of a permanent conservation easement. The easement will also buffer the McClellan’s property from mining.
These are “substantive” benefits – something that cannot be gained from an EIS. If the middle court’s decision to impose a preliminary injunction on the S. Ft. Meade Mine Extension is overturned on appeal, then, at the very least, we have saved two bayheads from mining. If the appeals court upholds the injunction then Mosaic will have to return to the negotiating table and sacrifice more wetlands in order to continue mining.
Yes, the environmental plaintiffs have continued to meet with a Mosaic representative to continue to explore the possibilities for further partial settlement agreements in the event that the preliminary injunction is upheld. There have been two such meetings (at Appleby’s) and as a result of them we have obtained some written information in response to questions we have asked about Mosaic’s mining operations, reclamation standards and timing, hydrology, conservation easements, water recycling, and gyp stacks. We will continue to meet with Mosaic as long as we consider the information they share to be useful for our purposes.
“Why go to court if you are going to go behind closed doors and work up deals with the industry…? ” I think I’ve explained that… because court decisions are subject to appeal and can be overturned. Mediation is a process by which you can use the leverage that you have at least temporarily gained to obtain some enduring results. And, by the way, the mediations were carried out by telephone conference calls – not “closed doors” – and were recommended by our legal council, Mr. Huber, whose experience and advice we trust.
The S. Fort Meade Mine Extension preliminary injunction doesn’t mean that we’ve snuffed out the phosphate mining industry forever. It means the environmental plaintiffs have a brief window of opportunity during which we have gained the upper hand in the court system and can use that momentum to our advantage if we are willing to participate in the mediation process. Although the mediation process isn’t mandatory it was proposed by Judge Adams prior to his decision to order the preliminary injunction. At that point Mosaic refused to mediate because they were confident, I suppose, that the court would decide in their favor. I’m sure they were bitterly disappointed. From the beginning the environmental plaintiffs, however, did agree to mediate. It was only after the preliminary injunction and Mosaic was at a disadvantage that they saw mediation as a useful option. In mediation both sides are willing to gamble knowing that they are going to have to sacrifice a long term objective for an immediate gain.
The Mosaic strategy has been to lay off their workers in response to the preliminary injunction on the S. Ft. Meade Mine Extension, thereby attempting to turn public sentiment against the environmental community and the court. Our willingness to exchange wetland protections for jobs disarmed that strategy and secured wetland protections that directly benefit Frank Kirkland and others.
Unfortunately the delight Frank Kirkland derives from deriding his own leadership outweigh his ability to apprehend the good that we have done.
On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 10:27 PM, frank kirkland
The forward motion of phosphate mining is guaranteed by the people wasting time, money and court uses.
It seems that fear corruption reaches every corner where people are given any authority or power, crippling the chances for anything good
We have watched helplessly as local and state authorities work the back room scams and plots that support the Industry and squash the people in their tracks with the medias who profit highly from the phosphate industry ads as do politicians.
this scenario I see reaches even deep in the environmental world as groups are formed and grow its leaders soon become as corrupt as government agents, going green is the motto, if you can’t make it honestly do it how ever you can “Just seek Money and or Power”
I now learn that we have people in high places playing what I consider illegal rolls in our mist (the very people supposedly fighting for us in the court system), these people are becoming the same as most politicians and Lawyers they are making close relations with the enemy, which include under cover negotiations between Mosaic officials and the plaintiffs, these people may have good intentions but in reality the have no place trading away our rights at their uninformed discretion and with out our consent.
Why go to court if you are going to go behind closed doors and work up deals with the industry that is not the wishes of the people who were used to form the case around, why introduce evidence to the court which puts you in some what control or gives you leverage, then in the heat of mediation be pressured by less than factual in put from the other side and a Mediator who is highly paid to sway the case into settlement of some sort. (Mediation can come from court order or both sides request, but in neither case is settlement mandatory)
These people are easily blind sided by the pro’s from the industry who are well experienced at deception, the actions of this commity will be costly to the case in many ways, such as saying to the Army corps its ok to mine before you get the EIS, It speaks along with the back room exchanges still going on between Mosaic and some of our people that we are easy,well trade a pime cow for a pig with lipstick, We are saying EPAs opinion is not valid, It says we don’t care if this case sets the way future cases will fall, knowing full well we can’t preform in lower corts where the industry is favored, above all it sais the groups are just plain not willing to stand for anything. (Run cowards run)
Our fate is in the hands of people who will only suffer from after shock of mining we are the people who are on the line that will be hit in the face with a ton of immediate crap, and we are the people who have fought the fight while many of the leaders were using our work to take our rights away and make the news as if they had done something special, well this is true it takes all to get to certain points but then the glory seekers go bananas and make stupid decisions.
so all you people that suck up to the dollars and no since white collars enjoy what they hand you for your time and money, every dog has his day this included us all.
where I go from here is very much in question but it dam sure want be with the likes of the heart of the groups involved with this federal suit I have enough enemies with out encouraging more, yes some of the people I met and worked with have a special spot in my heart but some have moved to another spot close to the rest of my main pains.
Make all the fun of this you want but keep in mined we reap what we soy and that includes bad and good, so sowing to corruptness will be accounted for the same as sowing to good even if good is not always the clearest path. (Its bad enough to make mistakes, but to continue that track after warning it becomes stupidity.)