Save the Sharp Farm of Pocahontas County
History and heritage in Slatyfork, West Virginia.

Letter to The Pocahontas Times from Donna Gibson

Thursday September 21, 2006
The Pocahontas Times

This letter is about the Sharp Farm in Slaty Fork and millions of other families in our country who have been effected by eminent domain.

Eminent domain was adopted in America during the 19th century. Its author was a Dutch jurist named Hugo Grotious who introduced it to Europe in 1625. The content of which was "compulsory purchase" of private lands for public use. It was and still is primarily used in England and Wales.

Our country adopted it as the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, part of which states "just compensation to be paid when property is taken for public use."

Though adopted as a way to benefit the public and cause no harm, history shows this law of eminent domain has been abused by the Federal, State, County and local governments for the benefit of individual interests. Many state, county and local governments have "adjusted" the law to fit their personal gain. When they feel public opinion will go against their personal or "pet" agendas, they can just bring eminent domain into play.

Our state, county and local elected are no different. Snowshoe has seduced and lured them into an underhanded game in order to take their (Snowshoe's) need of a sewage treatment facility OFF the mountain to a site that will not offend the residents of Snowshoe.

What happened to "public use" in the law of eminent domain? This is totally for private gain so Snowshoe could sell out for a better price to Fortress Investments, LLC. Under the guise that "67 residents" of Slaty Fork would be served by this "public" sewage facility, they proceeded to try to take the land of an historic farm, even though state owned land was offered to them with a $500,000 grant so they could put in a bridge to the "free" land. Far fewer residents of Slaty Fork are currently to receive use of this "public" facility. Ask your officials how many Slaty Fork residents are to be served.

This should be about "justice for all" and not greed for a few.

Please call your elected officials and express your views on this and all injustice perpetrated on private individuals by our government.

Please visit and above all, do not be afraid to ask questions of your public servants.

Thank you for helping fight injustice.

Donna L. Gibson