When Mike and Chantell Sackett asked us (Kagel Environmental, LLC), to perform a wetland assessment of their personal homesite property located at Priest Lake, Idaho, we agreed to their request since we had already traveled to northern Idaho to provide expert testimony at a federal trial whereby Sackett's neighbor, Jack Barron, had been criminally charged for allegedly filling 4 acres of wetlands associated with the construction of his retirement home. Upon digging several soil [test] pits on the approximate .6 acre Sackett homesite, it became clearly evident to us that the major portion of Mike and Chantell's property was NOT a jurisdictional wetland. To their demonstrated courage and resolve, their unshakable belief in our professional [wetlands] opinion, and to the credit and excellent legal representation by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a unanimous Supreme Court handed down a serious spanking to the EPA as a consequence of their "high handedness" against private property owners everywhere. My firm anticipates a return to the Sackett homesite to complete a more comprehensive identification and/or delineation of jurisdictional wetland resources later this year in hopes of helping Mike and Chantell to reach final, and satisfactory resolution to a nightmarish ordeal that unfortunately is far from unique to the Sacketts'. By the way, after an 8-day trial whereby EPA and Corps of Engineers wetland experts tried to convince a 12 member jury that his entire 4-acre homesite was jurisdictional wetlands, the jury determined that Mr. Barron's wetland consultants demonstrated stronger scientific evidence to the contrary, and Barron was therefore acquitted of all 4 felony counts upon which he'd been indicted.This was interesting to me because I had been wondering why the EPA started looking at the Sacketts' property. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Kagel's firm is able to help the Sacketts reach a final resolution in their case.
EDIT 4/28/12: Here is a story about Jack Barron's plight.