Dating for farmers only
The family had successfully rebuffed surveyors on four other occasions, dating back to May 2016.On the morning of June 1, they hoped to do so again and mapped out a strategy.
They want deputies to be lawyers, and we’re not lawyers.”He said the department’s current approach is to direct surveyors to leave properties when landowners object to their presence.“If they want to get on the property, then they need to get an injunction,” and if a judge grants the injunction the department will enforce it, Bowman said.First, Ian Reilly drove to Boones Mill to see whether survey crews were staging, as they often did when working in Franklin County, at the Shell service station and convenience store. Carolyn Reilly had walked through the farm’s bottomland pasture to reach a wooded spot along Teel and Little creeks where the family expected that the crew would venture off a neighboring property to access Four Corners Farm.Mountain Valley has its eye on the pasture, envisioning burying the company’s pipeline across the field where existing lines feed water to troughs meant to keep the farm’s cows out of the creeks.He said surveyor supervisors have been “very cordial” and cooperative when asked to leave properties.If a crew refused to leave, Bowman said, landowners could seek from the magistrate’s office warrants charging surveyors with criminal trespass.About a.m., Carolyn Reilly heard from across Teel Creek the cracking sound of a branch snapping.
Seconds later, the sound repeated.“Here they come,” she said.
If such warrants were issued, deputies would enforce them, he said.
Policies change Law enforcement departments in other counties along the proposed pipeline route have struggled to define their role in survey conflicts.
The Virginia Supreme Court heard two appeals in April related to the law but have not yet ruled.
Initially, Mountain Valley officials told Roanoke County police that surveyors would not enter or would leave private properties for which they had not obtained permission for entry as long as the landowner was present and opposing the work.
A companion said the crew intended to survey the property.