Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dear Premier Redford; A Public Confession of Trespass

David W. Mayhood, letter to the Editor

On 17 January 2012, your government declared a portion of public Highway 774 in the Castle River Country off limits to the people of Alberta to allow logging of our forests beyond public scrutiny. Two days later, your government got around to informing Albertans about the closure by means of small notices nailed to trees only within the prohibited zone.

Under the terms of the closure, “access to and occupation of the development area by individuals that are not specifically authorized under the Public Lands Act is prohibited.” Persons who violate the order “are deemed trespassers pursuant to section 47(1) of the Public Lands Act and any improvements created by those persons are the property of the Crown.”

The clearly-stated advice from your Albert Forest Service enforcement officer is that “technically” those using the highway are in breach of the terms of this closure. Accordingly, improvements that highway users bring into the zone are automatically confiscated by your government as the property of the Crown.
By now, thousands of innocent Albertans are guilty of trespass under this absurd order.

I, too, hereby willingly confess to violating this public order. On or about 0730h Mountain Standard Time, 21 January 2012, I did intentionally drive into the closed zone of Highway 774 without receiving prior permission. I parked my vehicle off the highway but within the Forbidden Zone. I then proceeded to the nearest tree bearing what turned out to be a copy of the above-mentioned closure order. I read that order. I observed that I was within the Forbidden Zone. After considering the nature of this order and discussing the matter with a person at the site for quite some time, I eventually returned to my vehicle and I drove away. Under the terms of your government’s order, I am forced to admit that I committed trespass, and that the Crown has now automatically confiscated the improvements I created within the Forbidden Zone.

As a token of my willingness to face this charge and accept its consequences if convicted after due process in courts of law, I am forwarding under separate cover, sealed in polyethylene, one pair of freshly-cleaned jockey shorts. The garment was one I was wearing when I committed the “trespass” above. I am reliably assured that this piece of clothing constitutes an improvement, at least in comparison to what would have been the case had I not worn it. Nor can there be a quibble that I did not create it. I wore it as an undergarment rather than as, for example, headgear — an incontestable act of creativity.

I insist that your Alberta Forest Service agents charge me with trespass under the terms of their inane closure order, for the “crime” of driving in a safe and courteous manner on a public highway, and for insolently daring to read your government’s Notice of Closure within the Forbidden Zone, the only place where it was posted. I intend to fight the charge vigourously with all of the resources available to me.

David W. Mayhood


  1. Phil Burpee26/1/12

    Truly, we have now passed through the Looking Glass. That which was real has become surreal, and Alison 'the Red Queen' Redford is heard to be puzzling aloud............

    "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."

    When the conundrum becomes too taxing for her overwrought noggin, she reverts to type: -

    "Off with their heads!"

    Mr. Mayhood's gaunchies must surely be a fitting riposte to a government that has imbibed a few too many cups of the Mad Hatter's tea.

  2. Anonymous27/1/12

    I find it distasteful that underwear comes up in the letter. If he actually did such an action as mail it, I would find it abhorrent.

    I may have agreed with his points about posting letters of intent or action within an area considered to be "forbidden", but his claims regarding how he mailed shorts stops me from being sympathetic to his cause.


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