Help Turtle Island Preserve: Community Raided For Code Violations

by ziggy on November 21, 2012 -- 47 comments -- Follow

Turtle Island Preserve

Turtle Island Preserve is an educational center that focuses on primitive and traditional living skills, including natural building. They have been operating for 26 years. Recently, they have been subject to a harsh government raid for apparent code violations.

Once again, the government demonstrates complete hypocrisy and hatred in the face of positive change, and my compassion goes out to Turtle Island.

Read their urgent letter below, and support them by signing this petition!

Turtle Island Preserve is in danger. Please read this letter, and, if you feel moved to do so, carefully follow the suggestions for support provided at the end:

Recently, local county government authorities have targeted Turtle Island Preserve, attacking our way of life, and forcing our educational camp to close to visitors.

On the morning of September 19th, eleven county officials (being paid by income tax payer dollars) barged into our living room unannounced, uninvited, and unwelcome. A large caravan of county vehicles blocked our private road, miles away from any public area. The men (some armed) presented a search warrant two and half miles into the interior of our private land, a most intimate zone of refuge where we do not even take visitors, and then spent the next half of the day violating our privacy and photographing our buildings and personal homes. The unwanted invasion team came prepared with topographic maps, aerial photographs, GPS equipment to discern coordinates, laptops, pages of highlighted photographs of unknown origins, and even a county 4-wheeler to more easily get around the property. Much time and tax-payer money had clearly been spent preparing for this deployment against our 501c3 non-profit education center.

The primary focus of this action centers on our buildings and construction methods. The American heritage buildings that we keep alive and teach about are “unacceptable” in today’s modern world. The very building techniques and materials that all of our ancestors thrived with are now being deemed unacceptable and targeted as illegal because they don’t fit into the cookie-cutter code status that is so extremely far from what we are about. The buildings and lifestyle of our working farm and education center teach about true American freedom. The invasive attack was a surreal wake-up call to the illusion of the American myth: “Land of the free.”

Those of you who have visited Turtle Island Preserve know that our structures are unique in that they are built with materials harvested here on the farm and adhere to natural and historical methods. Our buildings are unquestionably structurally sound, but do not fit the wording or application of modern building codes, as the methods used to build them predate the conception of modern building codes. The veteran, licensed engineer we hired to assess the structural concerns expressed by the county stated that our buildings are “Better than code.” If modern, cookie-cutter buildings fit our purposes or needs, we would have built them. But they certainly do not.

To comply with current, modern building codes and regulations, with no variance or allowance for natural, traditional, historical, cultural or educational models, is at the very least a compromise to our integrity, our mission, and our value to the community and the world. If we were forced to function like every other public facility, the values, ethics, and practical knowledge we teach would be lost. Trying to force a modern framework around a facility that is specifically designed to be primitive does not make sense. The methods we teach go back tens of thousands of years. The modern building codes go back only 40-50 years.

For the past twenty-six years, Turtle Island Preserve has been a functioning farm and education center for primitive skills, cultural heritage, and traditional/natural living. We are run by volunteer laborers and administrators, good citizens who believe in the worth of volunteering their time to share natural traditional living in hopes of making life for people more meaningful and our impact on the earth a gentler footprint. Our non-profit education center has brought thousands of people from all over the world, of all ages, faiths, and socio-economic backgrounds and enabled them to develop a personal relationship with the natural world. In many cases, these are people (usually children) who would not have the opportunity to gain that experience elsewhere. What they get here, they keep forever.

Eustace Conway, full-time volunteer director of Turtle Island Preserve for the past 26 years, now faces the threat of criminal charges. That’s right, for dedicating his life to celebrating and preserving American cultural heritage, his American government is condemning his interest in exercising what he believes is an inalienable human right to build and live in the traditions of our ancestors. He said, “If this was a joke or something out of a science fiction novel about corrupt government control, maybe I could laugh about it… but it is very, unbelievably, maliciously true… and I can only cry about it, and ask for the voices of friends to support me and citizens that care about the ‘American Dream’ of freedom to speak up for their rights and interests now.”

Our recent studies show us that there may be no variance for any private, state, or federal interpretation sites that exhibit natural/primitive historic structures or practices. The recent attack on our home and lifeways makes us question the confines of our state building and county codes on our most fundamental freedoms of American heritage, Appalachian regional culture, and a three million year precedent of inalienable human rights concerning structures and living.

We are working with legal counsel and structural engineers to present a clear and thorough assessment of our structures, practices, and mission to authorities who are not personally familiar with Turtle Island Preserve. We have drawn up a petition and begun a letter writing campaign, all of which we’ll present to the North Carolina Building Codes Council on December 10, 2012 in the hopes of educating the council about the unique importance of Turtle Island Preserve and securing a variance for our continued operation without sacrificing our integrity and commitment to historic structures and natural lifestyle.

We need your help in raising a voice. This matter will not be resolved positively without your support. Please help support Turtle Island Preserve by taking the following steps:

1. Sign the petition at

2. Join the letter writing campaign! Write your own letter in support of Turtle Island Preserve, or use the letter included here – just print, sign, and send to the Chairman of the North Carolina Building Codes Council. Either way, be sure to send us a copy of your letter, too. Addresses are attached.

It is impossible to overstate how important your swift support is to the future of Turtle Island Preserve. With the North Carolina Building Codes Council meeting just three weeks away, we need all the voices we can get, and as quickly as possible. Please set aside a few minutes to sign the petition, send a letter, and stand with us as we work to save Turtle Island Preserve.

Keep checking Facebook for updates, and for more information on the Building Codes Council meeting or if you have any questions at all, please email or call our office at 828-265-2267.

In appreciation,
The Staff and Community Members of Turtle Island Preserve

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  • Devon M. Dougall

    Don’t particularly care what government list this puts me on, bring it on you government bastards! This is part of the U.N.’s Agenda 21, for sure. It has all the earmarks. It is partly our own fault for thinking our government – any government – has our environment’s interests at heart. It is ALL about making it impossible for people to grown their own food, live independently and have basic liberties. Educate yourselves, people – Google Agenda 21, look at YouTube information and fight all this false environmentalism in any way you can. Disarm, move the people by expanding “Wilderness” areas and impoverish us with modified food and water (ie: fluoride) is the plan which is already in action and has been for decades. We have been duped by evil and well-meaning but uninformed individuals. Spread the word – before Internet access is limited. This is pure evil.

  • Paul

    There is more here than meets the eye, as usual. Read this article from the Watauga Democrat, the local newspaper in Watauga County, NC, where Turtle Island Preserve is located, and then do some thinking:

    From a distance, it appears to me that Conway has created some local enemies and they have retaliated by calling in the government inspectors. Conway runs a facility that is open to the public and, as such, he is held to higher standards than a private facility. It is one thing to cook meals for your family in your house, but when you start serving meals to the public, a different set of rules comes into play. I’m quite sure that there are plenty of people in Watauga County, NC, who subscribe to the philosophy of minding one’s own business, so bringing in the Agency 21 bogeyman is a typical but not helpful response. The fact of the matter is that Conway owns 1,000 acres and runs a business. He can’t have his cake and eat it too. From reading the article, it appears that Conway has been confrontational with authority and that never goes over well with the State. He could have played his cards differently, but he didn’t. So he is paying the price. You can get away with “illegal” acts for a long time if you don’t draw attention to yourself, but when you spit in the eye of the king, the king will find a way to retaliate.

  • McLeod

    You guys might not like Glenn Beck…but he will help you with this…

  • Being a 501c3 you must go by goverment rules pretaining to a goverment created corp. My suggestion is to privatize.

  • Paul

    Glenn Beck has nothing to contribute to this situation. Privatization does nothing to resolve this situation, either. The problem with you, McLeod and Craig, is that you think that there is no role for government in society. Watauga County has a legal responsibility to protect the welfare of its citizens and visitors to the county. They can be sued in a court of law for not enforcing code violations. You might not like the idea of code enforcement but it exists for a reason – to prevent people from falling ill due to contaminated food or outbreaks of disease caused by inadequate sanitation. Conway is running a business and, as such, he must comply with the rules and regulations that every other business in Watauga County must abide by. You might not like those rules and regulations but if you aren’t a citizen of Watauga County, then you have nothing to say about the matter. Privatization does not mean that Conway does not have to comply with the health regulations of the County. And no, I do not live in Watauga County or even in the State of North Carolina.

  • Devon M. Dougall

    “so bringing in the Agency 21 bogeyman is a typical but not helpful response”
    No, we’ll just pretend that they must have done something really bad and deserved all this. Sorry, even after reading the link you posted I don’t buy it.

  • Sharon Wilson Roth

    Turtle Island Preserve. This is so important for our children to be able to learn how to be useful and participate in ways of sustainability . Most of America have lost these skills and there are not many ways to educate people without efforts such as these provided at Turtle Island. These are things I value and want to know more of myself. It was good enough for earlier generations and no government should have enough authority to control our rights as to teaching our children about how to survive, should there ever come a day that they might NEED to know these things. Shame on other human beings i.e. “the government” for trying to invade every aspect of rights and heritage. Truly, Sharon Wilson Roth.

  • Paul

    Sharon: presumably, in your world, “no government should have enough authority” to do anything that infringes on your rights to live your life as you see fit. That means that you don’t have to pay taxes, you can do 70 down residential streets and run stop signs and red lights with impunity. You can throw your feces out the window as was done in Medieval Europe, you can refuse to have your children inoculated against smallpox and typhoid, you can refuse to drink fluoridated water and so on and so forth. I don’t want to live in your world. Government exists to enforce a mutually agreeable set of rules. The fact that governments don’t listen to the peons any longer doesn’t justify an anti-government rant – it demands that citizens become active in government so that it reflects what citizens want.

  • Bronwyn

    Paul, Little Rock tried to keep us from feeding homeless people. I reminded the people serving food that “Church Picnics” are open to the public here, no registration is required to use the public parks and no health laws come into play because it’s “potluck” and obviously so. Because there are ordained ministers present ( like me) and no money is being charged to attend or buy anything, they had no leg to stand on. Moohahahah!

    I don’t mind a government asking me to be a safe and healthy well person, but only as long as I’m not forced to do so in such limited ways as serves corporate self-interest, as it usually does.

    My guess with the school is that the buildings they built were being used as if they were buildings to code, instead of as if they were examples of those historic buildings. An attorney should be able to find a way for those ordinances to be observed that preserves the purpose of the school without subjecting them to those violations. I’m surprised that they weren’t served notice, first, and given the opportunity to correct the problems beforehand. Maybe they ignored those notices and the matter is simply about making those changes. If they didn’t do their homework in order to find out what those ordinances were, then, the problem isn’t about the safety or not of the buildings, it’s about living well with your neighbors – a different matter, entirely. Sometimes, building “temporary structures” can get one out of those ordinances.

    I hope solutions to those problems can be found that are mutually agreeable. It’s at least in very bad taste and at most illegal for me (for example) to insist that others be the only ones to make adjustments for my lifestyle choices. If I don’t like the ordinances, then I should work for a change. Maybe, exceptions can be made for “educational buildings,” and other such ideas that never came up in town before. Given the meth epidemic and resultant explosive possibilities of real harm to residents and neighbors, maybe some of local fears about what happens in the non-visited parts is justified. Maybe, they’re not talking enough to the locals about what they do on site. These are things that are easily remedied, but communication has to stay open.

    I’m not condoning what law enforcement did or how they did it, since I don’t know everything about what’s going on here. If someone has misled the authorities about what’s actually going on there, it will eventually come out and I hope they’ll be held accountable.

    I was once picked up for a burglary that never happened because someone reported the crime and my description and the cops didn’t check the location, first, before going after me. To their credit, the cops freaked when they figured out what they’d done and couldn’t apologize enough. I was pretty freaked, myself. They did a nice grovel though and drove me home, personally. They never* bothered me after that. I don’t know what they did to the guy who reported it. But I’ve never been harassed by cops since that time, even in other states.

  • Paul

    Bronwyn: Thank you for your calm and reasonable analysis of the situation (though we don’t have many details) at Turtle Island. I do think you are largely correct. Your experience in Little Rock (is that Arkansas?) doesn’t really apply to Turtle Island, though, because you were not running a business, nor were you charging a fee for your services. What really bothered me about the petition was its tone – it was defiant, confrontational, and factually inaccurate in parts. The building code in NC is quite a bit older than 40-50 years, just to point out one inaccuracy. I was struck by the cultish flavor of the petition – it was as if Conway was some kind of God, leading the virtuous in a battle against the Satanic forces of evil, represented by the government of Watauga County. For anyone who doesn’t know, the State has a monopoly on coercion and they have every right to enter private property to do whatever they please, as long as they have a legal warrant to do so and they comply with the guidelines of said warrant. Conway has no leg to stand on, legally, when he protests the unannounced and uninvited arrival of the State.

    If over 3,000 people think Turtle Island is a worthwhile enterprise, then I think the solution is for Conway to step aside and turn over the operation and administration of Turtle Island to an independent board that can work with the Watauga County officials. You are right to note that there is a serious communication problem here. As an aside, I’m not a big fan of government, either, but I am a realist: the State has a monopoly on the use of coercion and individuals will almost always end up losing in a confrontation with the State. It is in Turtle Island’s best interest to come up with a mutually agreeable solution to the issues, which we don’t have a lot of information about, so that this situation can be put to rest. I will hazard a guess that the North Carolina Building Codes Council will win on virtually every point of law in this confrontation. 3,000 signatures on isn’t going to make a whit of a difference. I would caution people to not sign a petition unless you have all of the facts at hand to make an informed decision.

  • Jay C. White Cloud

    Good Evening Paul (et al.),

    I have held my tongue until I could see if the conversation on this thread was going to be civil and open channel. When, in the past, I commented about “turtle island,” I have felt the full force of a cult like behavior, that some present over the place.

    I may not be an expert, per say, on “turtle island,” but I can present these facts:

    I have been working in the Wilderness Education/Indigenous Life Skills profession for over 35 years. I have also been a Historical Interpreter, Park Naturalist and Zoo Keeper.

    I have also, for the same amount of time, been working part and full time as a traditional timber wright, specializing in indigenous folk architecture of the Americas, the Middle East and Asian. I apprenticed with Amish barn wrights from the age of 14 till 23.

    I have been to “Turtle Island,” observed inappropriate venomous reptile presentations and encountered Eustace Conway. He presents many different faces to people, depending on his agenda at the time.

    I would have to support your assessment: if Mr. Conway wishes to have “Turtle Island,” continue as a “Natural and Historical,” interpretative center, he is going to have to open is mind and take feedback from his peers in the field. Unfortunately, I do not see this ever happening. He has presented a face of openness and exchange under the public guise of a 5013C nonprofit, but in reality this was a scheme to create a false tax shelter for him to hide behind. He is the type of “nonconformist,” that give the rest of us “nonconformists” a bad name. Guidance and feedback is not something he takes or abides by. He has alienated more “working apprentices,” than I could list here. He uses people to his own agenda, often working his “live in helpers,” more like slaves than students that came there to learn traditional life skills.

    Personally, I hope the land is not lost to a developer but I do not think he is a very good steward of “turtle island,” and that the state should award the property to an institution that would actual execute the presented mission statement in a real fashion; facilitating what the land really could offer in the way of historical and natural life skills.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Jay C. White Cloud

  • Carmen

    Agree with Paul, Craig and McCleod,

    There is something more than meets the eye here and someone stirred up the ant nest! Go private. Serving food to the public? That brings it to a different level especially in this litigious society. “don’t spit in the eye of the King.”

  • The is a primary principle at play here perpetuated by “Paul”.
    The dogmatic insistence of adherence to rules under the auspices of “public safety”.
    Comparing driving 70 MPH in a residential zone to uninspected home cooking…
    Use of language like “Made enemies”. Right…
    Don’t follow the “rules” and “laws” made by people like Paul and people like Paul (choose) to become your “enemy” and bring the police state down on you. Why?
    They say it is because of the ‘public good’ ‘safety’ ‘health’ potential ‘lawsuits’ etc.
    If they at least understood themselves, if not human nature they would understand that it is their personality type combined with their cultural conditioning and brainwashing. Like a dog with a kennel, leash, a water bowl, food bowl and regular dog training using reward and punishment; without which he cannot function.
    These types of people cannot imagine how others can function without the same structure that they thrive under.
    Any deviation from the said structure/rules/regulations/bylaws and laws sends them into a tizzy. Unable to imagine functioning in a world with any such ‘transgressions’ they feel (personally) threatened. This personality type loves to volunteer to be a hall monitor. Their dream job is plastering parking tickets on windshields having it written before the meter has even run out, sincerely believing they are doing good.
    They see you as the ‘enemy of all things good’ and an ‘enemy of the state’.
    They tell long stories filled with fear of what ‘could’ happen if we let people simply live. If that is not enough then they also attack the messenger using any label possible.
    Rebel, Hippie, Radical, Eco Freak, Shrubbie, Eco terrorist, Law Breaker, Multi Faced,
    etc. Anything other than facing their own fears and examining the culture we have become. A culture that increasingly dictates that any one deviating from the norm will attacked by the system that purports to have our best interests at heart.
    Read this to better understand the Paul’s of the world and what drives them so.

  • PS. There is always “more than meets the eye”.
    These battles for Life, Liberty, Freedom and the “Pursuit of Happiness” have gone on for thousands of years. Columbus “discovering” ‘America’, colonialism and murdering 95% of the inhabitants of the US being quite recent in the ‘course of his-tory’.
    There have been good Kings and evil kings and emperors with no clothes.
    When authority goes too far then spitting them in the eye may indeed be an appropriate course of action, particularly they are blinded by the need to control and dominate, thus not using their eyes to see anything except to maintain dominance and control of people, the land and every living thing.

  • Jay C. White Cloud

    I’m now thinking that maybe what I wrote before was too long and not being read? I’m not a fan of big government, (my full name is Jay Cougar White Cloud, and yes that is my real name,) but I also do not care to live in an anarchist society. I meet way too many folks that give lip service to disliking big government and it’s rules, etc. and they typically are the first to fiddle for there cell phone when I find them in the “bush,” wanting someone to rescue them, or to “cry foul,” when there perceived rights are walked on, (as I have seen done to my family for generations.)

    The topic of discussion was “Turtle Island.” I have already shared my background, which I hope, to some degree, validates a certain degree of expertise on the topic. “Turtle Island,” has needed a thorough “house cleaning,” for sometime. If Mr. Conway wishes to keep his property, he needs to go private or subject himself to the mandates of 5013C status.

    As for all the other unrelated information now seeping into this thread, folks please contain yourself. I would like to see what others thing about “Turtle Island,” not some venting session for unrelated points on big government vs. small.

    Respectfully submitted,


  • Thanks Jay, I did read your entire post.
    I am organic farmer and rarely ever speak to “size of government” so be clear my issue here is heavy handed authority, regardless of who and its “size”.
    Having said that, what do you mean by “house cleaning”.
    Please be very specific. You said “I may not be an expert, per say, on “turtle island,”
    You then spoke predominantly about yourself and your credentials but very few facts beyond “reptile” presentation (based on your standard) and hearsay on a number of fronts such as “apprentices treated like slaves”.
    How much time have you personally spent there?
    How many disgruntled people are we talking about?
    10, 20, 50? and over how many years?
    If he is as you say, why does he have such a following?
    Why has not word of mouth significantly reduced the number of participants?
    And keeping in mind that with this type of operation you will always have detractors, of the hundreds and thousands of people passing through there and benefitting from the experience, what percentage of people do not benefit?
    Finally, what is the authorities issue? Not just what they say officially, but what is really up their ass?
    PS, Many people are tired of bib government, unemployment, being taxed to death etc.
    That is why we have a world wide Occupy movement.
    It is natural for many of us to see this as more heavy handed big government tactics.
    Telling people to “contain themselves” is really unfair, suggests a lack of understanding and a need to control the conversation to suit your agenda.

  • Paul


    As Jay wrote, this post is about Turtle Island, not about government. You apparently did not read this sentence in my comment before launching into a tirade about the “Paul’s” [sic] of the world: “As an aside, I’m not a big fan of government, either, but I am a realist: the State has a monopoly on the use of coercion and individuals will almost always end up losing in a confrontation with the State.” You are way, way off-base engaging in straw man arguments and ad hominem attacks. That’s what Jay meant by “contain themselves”. As outsiders, we know very little about the details of what is going on at Turtle Island. My comments were based on the tone of the petition and the article in the Watauga Democrat. What are yours based on, besides prejudice? I’ll give you some advice, not that you’ll be receptive to it: think before you speak.

  • Paul. You are boring me with your lectures.
    I did “read the sentence” don’t confuse that with not following your protocol.
    You’re not a “realist”. You are quite unschooled in history and unaware that dozens of monopolies and governments have been toppled by the people.
    Ever heard of the war of 1812? You are the one who is “way off base” in your blind, unabashed, relentless support for rules and authority.
    What “ad hominem attacks” do you speak of? Your arrogance and presumptuousness shows further as you proceed to tell me what someone else means.
    Good for you being honest that you can admit that you ” know very little about the details of what is going on at Turtle Island”.
    Your comments on the article come from your very strong bias that is laced with your pessimistic beliefs and your prejudicial world view.
    Mine is based on 30 years of activism and creating real change with the biggest barriers being peoples personalities and belief systems such as yours.
    I’ll give you some advice, not that there is any point as your tone is so smug.
    Use your heart before you speak.

  • Paul

    For those following this thread who do not know what an Ad Hominem or Straw Man argument is, here is a site that may prove educational, for those who want to learn:

    There is an alphabetical list of the many different types of fallacies used in debate. Ad Hominem and Straw Man, the two that Mr. Becker has provided such clear examples of, are listed under “A” and “S”.

    This is the last comment I have to make on the topic of Turtle Island. I hope that the two parties to this dispute can resolve their differences in a manner that allows those who have visited Turtle Island and learned from the programs offered there can continue to do so in the future.

  • Christian

    Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

  • And that folks is yet another classic example of that personality type.
    Rather than having a big picture discussion of what is wrong with our society and culture from a systematic viewpoint, instead he makes the focus what and how some of us messengers present.
    This avoids the discomfort of the real issue…
    That we have lost our way as a species and we feel threatened by individuals and groups who are deviants. Like sheep… deviation from our sheeple brainwashing frightens us.
    We then appeal to our shepherd’s-hired guns-authorities of all sorts to remove the threats. Speaking like automatons and attacking the messenger is the first step of that process.

  • Jay C. White Cloud

    Hello Folks,

    I have come back, one more time, to try and get this conversation back on topic. I really don’t want to see anyone leave this forums conversation, but I do want to stay on topic.


    Thank you for trying to understand my goal and intent.


    I didn’t fully understand your response to me. It did seem rather poignant and harsh. I don’t know you, nor did I mean to seem like I was attacking you or your position. I just, for once on this subject, would like to discuss the elements of “Trutle Island,” that are germane to its current plight. I shared a small portion of my C.V. to validate what little voice I have, about “Turtle Island,” and in hopes of having some credibility.

    I separate “Turtle Island,” from the person Eustace Conway. Mr. Conway breathed life into the children’s camp programming he inherited from his family legacy, and for that I am thankful. That life now lives in “Turtle Island,” and it may be time for Mr. Conway to step aside and let it stand on it’s own, as Paul Petzoldt (one of my blessed teachers and founder of the National Outdoor leadership School-NOLS) did. It was hard for Paul to let go of control in NOLS but he did it, and it has thrived, maybe not in all the ways he wanted, but it did thrive. I believe “Turtle Island,” can also.

    Derek, if you have been there and seen, or experienced something counter to what I have shared specifically about the place and/or Mr. Conway, by all means correct my assertions, I would like to address them specifically. If you have something to share about the living history, natural history and timber framing and rural folk architecture programming as taught at “Turtle Island” or elsewhere, I for one, would really like to hear what you think.

    To all reading this, if I offended anyone, I do sincerely apologize, I just would like to stay of topics specific to the plight that Turtle Island is facing, not “side track,” into our individual political belief systems or views on current political agenda. I know for one, I could go one for hours about my heritage and why I like democratic socialism.



  • Understood and I hear you and appreciate your point of view, where you stand and the fact that you have real world experience as suggested by your “credentials”.
    My interest here is not “timber framing” or “reptile presentations”.
    It is is on the overuse and overextension and heavy handedness of ever burgeoning authority and power of the ruling class through their hired guns.
    I am willing and happy to delve into the minutiae of what is wrong with this particular person/place/organization. Having said that, understanding the details of this particular, specific instance is far less important than seeing, acknowledging and acting on the systemic rot which underlines (HOW) this is being handled; and that there are dozens of parallel situations going on in the US right now.
    The raids by SWAT teams on raw milk groups are but just on example.
    In that sense i am very “on topic” and “on track”.
    If you wish/ feel to hyper focus, that is your prerogative.
    Mine is to address the system and the escalating attacks on citizens and groups that are seen as a threat to the status quo.
    Here again is just one metaphor that demonstrates my concerns and point.

  • Jay C. White Cloud


    I thank you for your response, and I can see that you are passionate about the often “heavy handed,” oversight the government tries to extend in too many cases. I have been at the center of a few of those cases, and each time, I would be standing on your side of the line. However, as a former Marine, and the only one in the history of the United States, (as I was told,) to be honorably discharge while possessing a “summary court martial,” for acting on my personal beliefs, I think I can state hear, “turtle island,” is not one of them.

    You have tried to make the situation another example of the governments, “overuse and over-extension and heavy handedness of ever burgeoning authority and power of the ruling class through their hired guns.” Turtle island, the people of North Carolina and there governmental representatives, do not, in this case fit that description. The details, that for whatever reason you wish to avoid are the reason for the local authority to step in, after request from folks like me. So please if you can’t speak to those details, and the reasons they have lead to “local authorities” concerns over them, find a legitimate venue to share you beliefs about big government. I support you in that and agree that, all to often is the enemy at large, turtle island is not that case.

    If you can believe my credentials to this point and what I have shared about turtle island, then know that the concern, in this case, is with improper conduct by a 5013C operator. I know about turtle island, the petition that is being signed that you referenced and others that do not agree, (myself included,) with that petition. Turtle Island needs to be saved, but not from the people of North Carolina.

  • Dear Jay,
    How is this (Not) “Heavy Handed”:
    On the morning of September 19th, eleven county officials (being paid by tax payers) barged into our living room unannounced, uninvited, and unwelcome. A large caravan of county vehicles blocked our private road, miles away from any public area. The men (some armed) presented a search warrant two and half miles into the interior of our private land, a most intimate zone of refuge where we do not even take visitors, and then spent the next half of the day violating our privacy and photographing our buildings and personal homes. The unwanted invasion team came prepared with topographic maps, aerial photographs, GPS equipment to discern coordinates, laptops, pages of highlighted photographs of unknown origins, and even a county 4-wheeler to more easily get around the property. Much time and tax-payer money had clearly been spent preparing for this deployment against our 501c3 non-profit education center.

  • “The details, that for whatever reason you wish to avoid”. What???
    I said: “I am willing and happy to delve into the minutiae of what is wrong with this particular person/place/organization.”
    Further to that i asked (You):
    “Please be very specific. You said “I may not be an expert, per say, on “turtle island,”
    You then spoke predominantly about yourself and your credentials but very few facts beyond “reptile” presentation (based on your standard) and hearsay on a number of fronts such as “apprentices treated like slaves”.
    I am still waiting for you to present the case for this kind of taxpayer funded madness.

    1) So Jay, please be very specific as to what exactly justifies such a an attack by the authorities.

    2) Where do you get idea that this anything to do with:
    “Turtle Island needs to be saved, but not from [the people of North Carolina].”
    Is that how you see it or are you just using the term loosely from hearing it watching court room dramas?
    When (you) were discharged, was it really “The People” against you?
    Or, was it (you) against the power structure created by the ruling class elite, that guys like you to die to ensure their riches while hiding behind the lie of “democracy”.
    In other words how is this a matter of “The People”?
    When it is so clearly a matter of “The Powers”.

  • A point of clarification for those who fear “Anarchy”:
    A comment by: Ryan Maddox,
    “Nice to see a plug for anarchism on this page. Understanding the roots of our problems is the first step to solutions, and perhaps the greatest antagonist to our development is the notion that we may force others to act according to our will. None of the evils of the agricultural or pharmaceutical system, among all the other statist/authoritarian systems would exist as they do today without the massive state interventionism (subsidies, regulations, etc.) that prop them up. If you want to learn more about this connection, I encourage you to visit the Center for a Stateless Society and read some of the columns by Kevin Carson and other contributors there.

  • Jay C. White Cloud


    I know that I’m not going to change your mind, so unless I see other voices come to this forum to speak; this will most likely be my last entry on this thread.

    I did, in my very first post give some of my concerns about “Turtle Island,” and you made several entries dismissing their importance and rather focusing on the “big picture,” taxpayer funded madness,” “ruling class elite,” “attacks by the authorities,” and “evils of governmental excessive force,” as you put it. Now you want me to be specific…again?

    I have been, and I will again do just that, but before I do, let me say that your tone borders on fanatical and with out a doubt, you have presented clear contempt for my views and me.

    Of course I spoke some, not “predominantly” about myself, as an introduction and validation only, sorry if that offended you in some way. I am not projecting my “standards,” as you put it, and where you gleaned that they are my standards completely eludes me. I have seen in person, heard first had accounts of and watched videos on the web of his venomous reptile presentations, and I can assure you they are not the standard for “dangerous/venomous” animal presentation. I am not trying to hold anyone to “my standard,” as you put it, but the standard that I have to use when presenting this kind animal presentation, for both the safety of the animal and the public. What has occurred at “Turtle Island,” would get most natural history centers, zoos, nature camps, and the like, shut down immediately. North Carolina is one of the states less prone to any type of intervention, in this arena, and that is the reason it has gone on this long.

    No body attacked “turtle island,” and by no means was this a surprise. These actions, taken by the county, have been looming for some time. It is even documented on a ludicrous TV show, that it was coming. Buy the way Dirk, your reference to me to “watching court room dramas,” is condescending, disrespectful, and rude at best. I don’t own or watch TV; I don’t even have a bloody cell phone.

    The other concerns, justified I might add, in the eyes of many local folks around “Turtle Island,” is the “private ownership,” of a 5013C public facility, that is required to conduct themselves to a certain standard of safety in both natural and historical programming, food preparation for the public, public restroom facilities, and architectural construction safety. If you don’t want to be held to these standards; go private and pay taxes; otherwise there are consequences, as Mr. Conway has found out.

  • Dear Jay
    I’m sorry if you feel offended. It seems you read a lot into things.
    My question about “court room drama” was your use of the term “the people”.
    So you are are saying you have never watched tv and never seen a court room drama?
    Then where do you get such terminology? And where did you get the idea that it is
    “The People” vs Turtle Island. Hopefully now you realize they were all real questions, not what you made them out to be.
    “I know that I’m not going to change your mind, so unless I see other voices come to this forum to speak; this will most likely be my last entry on this thread.”
    I am still waiting for you to provide some substance as to what would justify this attack by the ‘authorities’. So far all you have done is repeated the same stuff.
    I have asked you to be very specific and all you have done is cited “reptile handling”
    “safety” and
    ““private ownership,” of a 5013C public facility, that is required to conduct themselves to a certain standard of safety in both natural and historical programming, food preparation for the public, public restroom facilities, and architectural construction safety.” OMG! That is total ‘rules thinking’.
    You have still not provided anything solid, tangible and of substance.
    So your answer basically is: Turtle Island is not following the rules as you follow them.
    And as you, (a rules person) thinks they should be followed.
    And you (as a rules person) feels so strongly about rules and the following of rules (at least in this regard) you believe that this retreat center should have the full force of the law brought down upon them. Sad.
    What is sadder is you have have clue who i am especially in your loose use of the word “fanatical” and you call me offensive….lol.
    Yes, cold ‘rules people’ find my passion uncomfortable.
    Their automaton spock android approach to life cannot compute that much feeling.
    Sadder yet, is that you learned nothing about rules and rules people when they were applied you as a marine.
    Instead you seem to see it as some sort of isolated incident and see yourself as some sort of rebel when you were simply a round peg in a square hole. (not a rebel).
    This would be a tremendously different conversation if you chose (if you can) access your heart and your feelings and understand that you are supporting a sick destructive system, just like you did when you were in the “Marines”.
    Please make an effort to see the connection between your own life experience and that the way you are thinking, speaking, writing and behaving right now, is exactly the same as what your received when you were ‘attacked.’
    It is sad that you are now treating others the way you were treated while quoting, parroting the same types of rules that were used against you.
    All the best to you. and here is the link i hope you will to better understand what i am talking about:

  • Paul


    Here are some additional resources on the Turtle Island issue for you to peruse:

    What I find interesting are the links on the Resilient Family site – an incoherent mixture of sites that on the one hand, espouse anarchism and, on the other hand, espouse Social Darwinism and capitalism at their worst. The site appears to reflect the belief of some that in an increasingly chaotic world, it is possible to have ones’ cake and eat it, too.

    I’m really curious to learn what triggered this incident but I’m not sure that anyone will ever know the truth. On one side, you have extreme right-wing libertarians and on the other side, you have neo-liberals of one variety or another. The controversy doesn’t seem to have died down, at least not on the Internet. It would be interesting to go to Triplett and see, first hand, what’s going on.

    Is this incident a reflection of the cultural and economic divide in Watauga County? The county is the home of Appalachian State University, the wealthy enclave of Boone but it also has the distinction of having a population with 37.1% of the people with a BA or better, a median family income of $31,967 and yet, a poverty level of 24.8%. Very interesting demographics.

    I’ll keep on the lookout for new developments.

  • Jay C. White Cloud

    Hello Dirk,

    O.K. what the heck, you responded, and you apologized. The apology, though short and seemingly having a “but,” in it somewhere “hiding in the wings,” I do believe it was sincere. You are passionate and can be very blunt about you view point, (too blunt.) I suppose I’m at an advantage, because I can see the “mad hater,” or maybe it is the “Cheshire Cat,” behind your eyes, when I look at a picture of you. You do not have that advantage, and can only engage me according to your own preconceived notions of who I am. (That is fare, we all do it, I did it to you, until I “clicked,” on your link, and got to see you in a different light.) I think you are way off base on this “turtle island,” thing, but considering what I have read about you, your work and beliefs; you are the kind of person I hang around with. Hell you’re a “permi,’ like me, so you can’t be all bad. Apology accepted, and yes I can “read a lot into things, I am highly reactive, but that is not a bad thing for some of my activities; (handling venomous snakes, and working as a body guard.)

    No Dirk, I don’t watch, have not watched nor do I intend to watch “court room drama.” I do read a whole hell of a lot though, so that is where I get my vocabulary.

    “You have still not provided anything solid, tangible and of substance.” I have, you just don’t want to except that I have, that’s your prerogative, but you saying I haven’t doesn’t change the reality. As for detail, short of driving back down to North Carolina and publishing a copy of the citation violations all I can tell you and the readers of this thread, is what I have already listed more than once, and they are pretty specific, and they do have substance, I’m sorry you don’t think they do.

    Synopsis of Violations-Public Concerns:

    Failure to provide appropriate waste management facilities for a public facility; my personal experience in three words-“one NASTY outhouse!”

    Well being of captive animals and their presentation to the public. I seen it and it an’t good!

    Failure (I’m still looking for more details on this one,) to comply with appropriate taxation for 5013c. I can’t find his 5013C paper work so maybe, if he plays his card right, he can claim private status and get much of this overturned, but he will still have to pay his property tax. This has been and on going point of contention between him and the county (and neighbors.)

    Proper permitting for his buildings is all out of whack. Trust me Dirk I hat most building departments. I make half my living these days as a Timber Wright, and I seem to spend more time dealing with many of these “chuckle heads” than I would like. When they’re good, they are great and want to know all about timber framing, but when they’re bad, (and that is too often,) they can become the bane of your existence. That said, you do have to take some feed back, and that is sorely wanting at TI with Mr. Conway.

    Now another detail or maybe I should say cultural normative reality for TI and Mr. Conway, he is a “drama queen.” He seems to always make the “mole hill into a mountain.” Take this “attack,” as you put it. I have had to assist in private intervention with folks like him. You think I’m reactionary. Mr. Conway is know to caring guns and knives both, and if I had to send on of the staff I work with there to inspect an alleged violation of public health, I would really want them to have some back up. He has made threats. Is that hearsay, I suppose it could be, better safe than sorry.

    Now for your statement of “rules thinking,” come on Dirk, you think the law of civil society should be just ignored or done away with. You aren’t that much of an anarchist, are you? “The rules as I follow them?” I live in a social group, that group has established some normative behaviors, (no I don’t like many of them and I try changing them all the time,) but I try to role model and change them in the correct way. Not by just ignoring them, manipulation, or intimidation, as has Mr. Conway (et al.) Again, there is nothing to be “sad,” about, because there was no full force of any law brought down on TI, “mountains out of mole hills,” once more.

    For anyone that really knows me, they would never in a million years, describe me as a “cold rules person,” “fanatical,” well that I have been called, and sometime I think people confuse “fanaticism” for passion, perhaps I did with you, but Dirk, let go of the big picture this time, look at the details and what I have shared, I just don’t think this is the case you believe it to be. You want to talk about “accessing you heart,” what about the animals under Conway’s care? Do they deserve some of that heart? I think so. What about the pending bite or accident that occurs from poor facilitation; does that get any though or compassion?

    So please make an effort to see the connections I’m making between the reality and your perception of it at TI. Also, be very careful when projecting what you think a man or woman’s experience is or has been in the military, it is not always a safe place to go, especially if you haven’t been there.

  • Jay C. White Cloud


    Thanks so much for submitting this information and coming back to this thread. I will read the links. You have really picked up on some of the nuances of that part of North Carolina, to describe the demographic as interesting is an understatement, and probably why this is such an unusual and interesting place. Thanks again,


  • Yes, after all the assumptions and accusations it was too hard to squeeze out a full scale-unqualified apology (but yes is was sincere).
    No “mad hater” or “cheshire cat”. (More (very incorrect reading in) on your part)…
    Though i give you lots of credit for knowing and admitting you “read into things (a lot)”
    and are “highly reactive”. Yes life revolves around teaching sustainability.
    I do many paid public talks/workshops every year were people are peeing themselves they are laughing so hard; then i slip in some ‘blunt” facts.
    I suggest i am not “too” “blunt” (“too” is a ‘judgement’ just “too” “blunt” for (You).

    All strengths are weaknesses and all weaknesses are strengths.
    While reactiveness may serve us, there are times when it (as you know) does not).
    The trick is learning to turn it off, like on a date or working with horses.

    Yes, your use of “The People” sounded like American Brainwashing, and mindless repetition to me.
    The average American watches 35 hours of TV per week. And.
    I thought it was a sad an inappropriate use of the term and an example of ‘eating our own’. Even if that guy is rogue and “giving us a bad name” siding with the “authorities”, however well thought out is just ensuring that ‘good’ ‘environmentalists’ are next.
    On that point (You) are “Way Off Base”.

    As for asking for “Details”, I asked for “Details” “With Substance”.
    Quoting ‘rules’ and ‘regulations’ and ‘bylaws’ and ‘laws’ is (Not) “Substance”.
    Again, you have not provided SFA, you are just parroting the authorities and supporting a system that you yourself were and will be persecuted by.
    It is false logic and to your own destruction to, while being mister greenie turning in of of our own because he goes “Too” far for (You).

    People and animals have been shitting and returning those nutrients back to our mother earth for millions of years. Bathrooms and flush toilets are very new.
    About 75% of the worlds population just shit in a bucket or outside in hole.
    China has used their shit for over 5,000 years to grow food.
    As a “permie”, the nutrient loop/cylcle should be basic to you.
    So please get off your Howard Hughe’s highhorse on hygene, sheesh!

    Reptiles that are fed and safe with no predators? OMG! Palatial!
    Only 2 decades ago even the San Diego zoo had tiny cages for tigers etc. and they paced 24/7! Surely you can direct your energy better?
    What about the fact that 95% of the meat consumed in the US is tortured factory animals? Something seems more and more ‘off’ here… What is really going on?
    What in you (really) is compelling/driving you to do this?
    What was done to you that you feel the need to act this way?

    Re. Buildings. Are they full of black mold? Are people sick? Are they collapsing?
    Again, what is your problem? Just don’t go there. Is anyone forcing you or anyone else for that matter to go there and enter the structures? I have been building houses for over 30 years and am a craftsman but have no need to impose my ideals on even hillbilly like structures. Where do you get off? They are not selling real estate to unsuspecting buyers. That is the primary purpose of “building codes”, to protect the consumer and satisfy fire departments in or to satisfy insurance companies.
    So am shocked that you, having some idea as to what you ‘know’ and who you ‘are’ would think and speak this way. It is so incredibly sad and senseless.
    You have become incensed at this guy and how he runs that place and you think you are doing some kind of public service? Really?

    Re. Rules. I own a house, a farm and participate in ‘normal’ society.
    I and thousands of others are grateful that the “Land of The Free” still has the odd place where the tentacles of dominance, development and “rules” have not fully destroyed the last vestiges of what some of us are actually working hard to move forward by going back to what worked.
    I find it sickening and want to to reflect on the real truth of why you feel this need to impose (YOUR) standards and the standards of ‘modern society’ on this retreat center that serves the needs of thousands of people very well, thank you very much.

    There are always “pending” accidents!!!
    How about you go and deal with fight cage, car racing, motocross racing, horse racing, dog/cock fighting and the hundreds of (high risk) forms of entertainment os the general abuse of millions of animals on factory farm? Or is there no “compassion” there?
    Jay, while you (may) be on-“base” you are way, way off on perspective.
    Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    The fact is, you have been in the military and though you seem to have some amazing knowledge, experience and understanding and see yourself as “permie”, you (sound) like a promoter, perpetuator of patriachy and the ruling class; the very thing that the ‘Occupy’ movement is fighting against.
    Please do something. Get some “honest feedback” from people you trust who are unlikely to agree with you.
    Take some mushrooms or something and go out into woods and reboot your thinking brother, and then lets talk. 250 390 5199 and we publish

  • Jay C. White Cloud

    Please Folks, read what I have written. I have tried to stay on task to what is germane to the subject and apologies for getting off of it too often. This conversation has turn into “something,” between myself and Dirk, and I have noted we are now just to ranting voices. Feel free to contact me personally or here on this our “Year In The Mud,” that Ziggy does such a wonderful job of moderating, should you have any questions about TI that you think I could answer, please do contact me.



  • First off, thanks to Ziggy for having us here.
    Also thank you to all of those that have and hold a vision for a brighter future and ultimately a better world.
    Two very powerful elements relative to that are ‘human relationships’ and ‘land use’.
    Turtle Island is an amazing piece of undeveloped land that needs protecting.
    My wish is that we all work together in order to save Turtle Island.
    It is common for people (including me) to get caught up in our passion and get lost in ego, personalities, details and other such distractions.
    What we do want, is that this piece of mother earth is protected from yet more development. In order for that to happen it will take support from individuals, the surrounding community and different levels of government.
    In order to ‘move forward’, and in a direction that ensures this land is preserved as habitat for thousands of species and for humans to learn and grow together; we need to work together.
    May I suggest, with due respect for all his efforts over the years is that Eustace works in the spirit of cooperation with those around him.
    Let us shift the energy and discourse away from Eustace, leader, teacher owner, to:
    “Turtle Island belongs to future generations”.
    How can we ensure that? What is the next step? Mediation? Arbitration?
    Eustace stepping aside?
    My interest is in land and habitat preservation which is essential to maintain our already very fragmented eco system… our web of life which we all need to survive.
    I know there are many that feel this way. There must be some that can go to Eustace with love and respect and in the spirit of oneness and connection in order to move towards solution…. Yes? Are we up for it? Eustace? How about you?
    Yours in Service, Dirk Becker, warrior for our earth.

  • Jay C. White Cloud

    Thank you Ziggy,

    Amen, Brother Dirk, Amen, now the path before us is clear. Turtle Island, it’s preservation, the original mission that Eustace and folk around him wished for. That needs to be the focus. Sometimes Eustace, you must forgo individual needs and ego, to let go and move forward, to protect that which is bigger and more important than ourselves. Eustace, if you truly love Turtle Island, you must understand that it never really belonged to you. As soon as you set in motion it’s preservation for the future, you, with out knowing it, let go of it and gave it it’s own life, one that all of us only get to share and be part of, Turtle Island belongs to itself.

  • Yes, the more position, power and control we have the greater the opportunity!
    Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther are excellent examples, as are many destructive ones.
    In each instance, one has the choice, ultimately, between holding one course or another.
    One course leads to going down in history as a hero, the other a villain.
    In my own battles for two years it has been difficult.
    Every agency was brought upon us.
    First the Ministry of Heath over accusations of poisoning the water.
    Then the Ministry of the Environment amid accusations of endangering the citizenry.
    Then the Ministry of Agriculture for alleged bad farm practices…
    The list is 2 over pages long (in point form…
    We were even banned from the annual county fair.
    This is all to say that Nicole and I have some experience around feeling besieged and attacked repeatedly for over 2 years and to be criticized by the media and even by close friends to our face and countless behind our back.
    This fight has hurt us, our lives, our pocket book, our heath and has almost destroyed our relationship.
    What has and is saving us, is our ability and willingness to work with others.
    This approach led to a community group to form that worked on our behalf.
    Another group formed and raised money.
    This led to some drastic changes in the next election and our story inspired many across North America.
    A major publisher has now asked me to write a book, I have been invited on speaking tours and today I have been asked to give a motivational talk to local first nations.
    *The key to all of this has been relationships and our willingness to work with others,
    in a manner that they they feel compelled to assist,
    are drawn in,
    and take initiative to move our work forward.
    Yours in service Dirk Becker.
    (If you google Dirk Becker farming there are over 3,000,000 hits.)

  • Paul
  • Paul

    More on Turtle Island from The Charlotte Observer. Read the comments – some of them are hilarious! I particularly liked the one that stated that Conway rode into Boone on horseback to protest paying taxes. That guy is a character with a capital “C’.

  • Jay C. White Cloud

    Hello Folks,

    Everyone should read the current news about TI and Mr. Conway. As has already been stated, this should be about TI’s survival, not necessarily Mr. Conway’s vision of it. I know that is a hard thing for some folks to understand, but this is either a “public historical and environmental education center,” or it is Mr. Conway’s private residence, it can’t be both. So I submit, since Mr. Conway stated belief is that the property is for, “public historical and environmental education,” he must make this about that and not himself.

    As I was writing this entry, it was brought to my attention that, “Eustace Conway’s recent legal troubles were amplified on Wednesday when he was arrested on a charge of second-degree trespassing. Margaret Palms, whose property at 2473 Little Laurel Road borders land owned by Conway, made the complaint that led to the arrest, according to the Watauga County Magistrate’s Office- by Anna Oakes.” This just further amplifies things and draws attention away from TI. I do not wish any harm to come to Mr. Conway, but it would seem he is rapidly becoming his own worse enemy. I do hope this does not detract from the real issues.



  • Paul

    Aha! Now, we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. For those interested, go to the Watauga County GIS site:

    type in the parcel owner’s name, and hit the search button.

    Now, click the row (at the left side, where the property number is) and you will be presented with a detailed view of the property in question. On the left side of that page, you will see an icon labeled “map”. If you click on that, you will see an aerial view of the property, along with all adjacent parcels, which you can also get details on by switching from “summary” (at the top) to “map” (near the bottom).

    If you’ve gotten this far, you will see that the parcels adjoining TI are of substantially higher value than the land owned by TI. It appears that what we have here is a class war going on. This is what I wrote from the beginning. Everyone knows the old saying, “money talks and s**t walks”.

    Now, does this mean that developers are after the land TI owns? Not necessarily. The TI parcels are landlocked, for the most part, and are not that easily developed. Plus, the economy is still on its back, in case no one knows. I doubt that there is much of a market for the property. Of course, developers can afford to wait for 50 years to build, since they have access to all manner of tax breaks that ordinary folks can’t have. But that’s another story.

    I agree with Jay – Mr. Conway needs to step out of the picture. He apparently has an abrasive personality and he is crossing swords with the wrong people. He has pissed off some politically connected people and is paying the price. TI is going to go under if he stays in the picture. This dispute can be resolved, but Mr. Conway is not the one to lead the charge. After reading the article in the Charlotte Observer, it doesn’t appear to me that the Building Council is gunning for Mr. Conway – they are open to negotiation and compromise. If Mr. Conway wants to stick to his philosophy, that’s his choice, but I think TI is going to go down in flames if he does so.

  • Paul


    Here’s the link to the news you posted earlier:

    I’d say that “a Boone attorney and real estate agent” is politically connected, wouldn’t you? According to the article, Palms is not the person who called the Planning Department with the initial complaint. That was another neighbor.

    Three strikes and your out, in baseball, right?

  • Jay C. White Cloud

    Good Day Folks,

    Thank you Paul for providing those links and reminding me of something I noted and made comments on when I lived in North Carolina many years ago. Everyone that I know that has acquired land in some fashion, and they want to preserve it, they don’t ever keep it for very long in their name or in many different little parcels like Mr. Conway has.

    I was the Chairman for Strawberry Hill Nature Education Center in Orrtanna Pa. The wonderful woman that founded the center lived on a little parcel of land, in an old cabin until her passing. She grew a meager 6 acres into over 1000 acres, and endowed a sizable amount of money as well to further care for the center, it’s holdings and mission of experiential natural/historical education. This is my “touchstone,” for TI, and the more I have learn and seen over the years, the more I realized that Mr. Conway maybe saying one thing, but doing another.

    If you truly are trying to create what he claims he wants to create, then you do as she did with Strawberry Hill. You break off a little piece of land that you keep until your passing, while you pool all the resources you can to continue the philanthropic work you started. I know others have ask Mr. Conway why he needs to personally own so many lots, unless he intends to become a developer someday. I’ve seen this happen before. An individual creates something like TI, and then when the conditions are ripe, liquidates and cashes out. Is this Mr. Conway’s intent, I don’t know, but he is not doing TI any good with his current mindset and presence there. Own it and claim it as yours or give TI the life you say you want it to have, that is the only real way to protect it from developers, including yourself.

    Respectfully submitted,


  • Paul

    Margaret Palms’ real estate company’s website:

    My apologies in advance for the misspelled “your” in my previous comment. My bad, it should have been “you’re”.

  • Jay C. White Cloud

    Thanks Paul for posting that. A friend had sent that to me while I was writing last nights entry. That is what I quoted from in my entry. Each day that passes seems to shed more light on Mr. Conway, I just hope he is the man he claims to be and does something fruitful with all of this feedback and attention, other than “pissing” of a known land developer! That is not good for TI on little bit.


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