NPRI’s Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation announced today it is seeing damages on behalf of a Christian camp over damages caused by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Patch of Heaven camp is located on 40 acres in Amargosa Valley in the middle of Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.
CJCL says the federal agency in the fall of 2010 illegally rerouted two streams that historically flowed through the church camp run by Cuban immigrant Victor Fuentes. Just weeks after altering the spring-fed streams the a rain storm overflowed the new levees, flooding the camp and causing extensive damage.
Fuentes said he tried to get relief from the government but got nowhere. “The government acts like a separate entity from the people — they are there, and we are here,” Fuentes said.
In addition to the structural damage, the overall value of the camp property has fallen because the water source that attracted visitors is gone and the land is now in a government-created flood plain. Visitor volume has fallen off.
Fuentes and his wife operate the camp for the The Ministerio Roco Solida Church (Solid Rock Church).
“I came to this country because I didn’t want the government’s hands on me,” said Fuentes. “I fled that government. That’s not the government I wanted to find here.”
Patch of Heaven was once advertised as:
“A place where you can breathe fresh air, feel peace, love and tranquility.
“Is for those who want to have a personal and deep experience of prayer and reflection in a peaceful climate surrounded by God’s beautiful creation.
“Youth, college, and adults groups alike will enjoy the scenic beauty surrounding the camp.”