You may not know the name Donald Rubenstein as yet. But you will. Mr. Rubenstein is going to be the subject of much debate over the coming weeks. His name will probably be appearing on local media outlets.
Donald Rubenstein is the Hearings Officer for Jackson County, an unelected official who sits in judgment of residents and citizens of the county, subverting due process, since it is not a court of law and Mr. Rubenstein has sworn no oath to uphold the Constitution. Much of what Mr. Rubenstein does is make decisions on Land Use applications, like the one submitted to him for the removal of Fielder Dam on Evans Creek. The dam was removed in early August.
As a public official, even an appointed one, he is required to disclose any and all information that could be construed as a Conflict of Interest – this is a veritable sport in Jackson and Josephine counties. In his RFP (Request for Proposal) for the position of Hearings Officer for JaxCo, he made the following statement –
We heartily disagree with that statement. We know of many, many conflicts of interest that may interfere with his ability to be an effective Hearings Officer.
At a public hearing in opposition the the dam removal, called for by the family representative of the alleged owners of the land upon which Fielder Dam sat, Mr Rubenstein made a declaration before commencing proceedings. He stated –
“With respect to my, uh, personal participation I would like to disclose I know two people who are involved in one way or another in this application. Brian Barr, who is the applicant is a gentleman I have met on two, perhaps three occasions. I would hardly say we have a close personal relationship, but he is somebody who I have met and had a conversation or two with, from time to time. And secondly, the second applicant, the Geos Institute has on its board Ken Margolis who is a personal friend, and, uh, uh, whom I have known for a number of years. I can assure everyone I have had no contact with either of these people with respect to this issue, I never will have contact with either of these people with respect to this issue. That, I believe, would be improper. I agree I would have to disclose it if I had. But I have not had contact, I will not have contact with them about this matter.”
That isn't really the whole story of Mr. Rubenstein's relationship with Geos Institute, Brian Barr or a very important person he omitted to mention, Bob Hunter from WaterWatch of Oregon. Mr. Hunter is the catalyst for many dam removals in recent years, including this one.
Upon being asked by Rod Crume, the representative of the alleged dam owners about his relationship with Bob Hunter, Mr. Rubenstein was outraged and stated –
“Mr. Crume, I have made disclosures that are both required by law, and are honest and complete. Whatever contact I may have had with Mr. Hunter isn't relevant to this matter, because he is not a party to this matter. He is not the applicant, and does not appear on any of the filings. He may very well have participated in the work, uh, to remove this dam, but he is not a party, he's not an applicant. Now having said that, I will tell you, and I have no obligation to tell you – and you have failed in your decision, in your, uh, purpose in not offending me. I will tell you that I do know Mr. Hunter. Occasionally, perhaps four times. I am not a personal friend of his, and he, uh, this relationship bears absolutely no bearing on my decision.”
Mr. Rubenstein was visibly flustered by the question; this is obvious in his somewhat rambling choice of words. His statement, we believe, is entirely false. To say that Bob Hunter “isn't relevant” to the Fielder Dam removal project is preposterous. He is the heart and soul of the project, and was the applicant to procure grant funding from Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) in Phase 1 of the project.
So, just how far does Mr. Rubenstein's relationship with these radical enviro groups go?
Very far, indeed. Quite disturbingly far, actually.
POINT ONE –
Mr. Rubenstein is the current Secretary of the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy (SOLC) and has been a member of this group since 2008. The SOLC office is at 84 4th Street, Ashland - the same address as Geos Institute (a climate change alarmist corporation who rake in millions per year to brainwash the innocent and the ignorant.) Geos Institute owns the building according to Jackson County Assessor's Office records.
LINK : Jackson County Assessor's Office Property Data
NOTE: Right now, this address is not searchable – it won't come up no matter which permutation of the address we try. The only way it comes up now is to leave the street blank, type in 84 where it says HOUSE # and hit SEARCH. Click on page 3 of the results. You will see the evidence of the image above.
POINT TWO –
Mr. Rubenstein is the founder of several environmental groups, including but not limited to The Marin Agricultural Land Trust, and the Land Trust Exchange (now named the Land Trust Alliance with 1,700 chapters across the US.) He also founded the Environmental Law Society at the University of San Francisco. He has also been employed by enviro groups, the Land Conservancy and the California Coastal Conservancy. (Confirmation of all these can be found on his LinkedIn page.)
POINT THREE –
Bob Hunter of WaterWatch of Oregon (WaterWatch.org,) an overly-litigious and very aggressive environmentalist group operating in Oregon and California, is a thirty-plus year member of the SOLC and is a past board member (1980s.) Mr Hunter, along with Brian Barr of the Geos Institute, host nature hikes and birding trips (sometimes jointly,) for the SOLC.
IMAGE LINK - Bob Hunter Birding Outing for SOLC
IMAGE LINK - Bob Hunter & Brian Barr Birding Outing for SOLC
Mr. Hunter also received a conservation award from the SOLC in 2015 and attended the 30th anniversary of their first board meeting. Mr. Hunter donates money to the SOLC on a regular basis.
PDF LINK - Newsletter featuring both Bob Hunter Honored and Rogue River Preserve articles
SOLC currently runs a project called Rogue River Preserve. On the “steering committee” of this project are Mr. Rubenstein and Mr. Barr. Mr. Hunter is listed as an “adviser” to this committee.
ARTICLE LINK - Rogue River Preserve - Committee with participants Donald Rubenstein, Brian Barr & Bob Hunter.
POINT FOUR –
In an attempt to obscure the close relationship between Brian Barr, the Geos Institute, and Donald Rubenstein and the SOLC, a false address was listed for the Geos Institute in the announcement for the public meeting regarding the Fielder Dam removal. This meeting was requested by Rodney Crume, representing the owners of the land on which the dam allegedly sat.
The address, 89 Alder St, Central Point is actually the address for the Jackson Soil & Water Conservation District, [JSWCD] [a branch of State Department of Agriculture,] and listed by Google as a County Government Office. This address also houses the USDA Farm Services Agency, Rural Development, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Also housed is the Rogue River Watershed Council, a Non-Profit organization of which Brian Barr is the Executive Director. This is not the address of the Geos Institute, which is, as stated above, 84 4th Street, Ashland. We believe this address was used in an attempt to willfully obscure the fact that Brian Barr's Geos Institute and Donald Rubenstein's SOLC reside in the same building. It should be noted that the 84 4th Street address is not an office building, but a converted, one-story house, owned by the Geos Institute.
Those mentioned in this article are culpable in the poisoning of Evans Creek.
There is no excuse for the lack of EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) prior to removing the dam.
There is no excuse for threatening land owners with ruin should they not comply.
There is no excuse for illegally removing Wimer Dam BEFORE the permits were in place.
There is no excuse for creating the environmental disaster that has been deliberately thrust upon Evans Creek and its residents, both human and animal.
WaterWatch, Geos Institute, Bob Hunter, Brian Barr and Donald Rubenstein – there is no excuse for what you have done, not in the name of ANYTHING or ANYONE, let alone fish.
What Would Jefferson Do? (Much thanks to WWJD? for sharing the FOIA info)
What Would Jefferson Do? (Much thanks to WWJD? for sharing the FOIA info)