Green Group Suggested Video Cameras to Spy on Farmer

A lawsuit Boneta filed seeks to halt invasive inspections of her farm by the Piedmont Environmental Council.

An environmental group that stands accused of overstepping its inspection authority and trespassing across a Virginia farm also tried to have video cameras installed to monitor the property.

An officer of the Piedmont Environmental Council proposed that one of that group’s board members “runs a security company and could offer the use of security cameras to record visitors,” according to documents examined by The Daily Signal.

Martha Boneta, who owns Liberty Farm in Paris, Va., last year sued the Piedmont Environmental Council and others because, she said, PEC encouraged Fauquier County officials to harass her with citations of zoning violations and other actions.

As previously reported by The Daily Signal, Boneta says PEC’s inspections have gone far beyond what is required to assure compliance with an easement on the property.

Documents obtained by The Daily Signal show the environmental group sought not only to monitor Liberty Farm through increasingly invasive inspections but also to install the video cameras to monitor visitors.

However, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, a quasi-state agency created by the state legislature to preserve open space, would not go along.

‘Desire to Peep and Spy’

A “stewardship contact log” maintained by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation shows that Heather Richards, vice …read more