Her working career began shortly after
her sixteenth birthday, with almost five years of enjoyable public
relations work as a grocery store cashier, supplemented with work doing
accounts payable and receivable for an electrician, filing and billing
for both an insurance and a fence company, and having the impressive
title and humbling wage of an “assistant trainer” for an Arabian
Calling herself a dry sponge for
knowledge, Julie amassed a sizable library of non-fiction, notable for
its patriotic thread wending through the books on American History,
biographies and autobiographies.
twenty-seven years behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, plying the
nation’s roads as a lady truck driver and accruing over three million
accident-free miles. For
twenty-two of those years, she had a dual career as a pedigree
researcher, breeder and trainer of purebred Arabian horses carrying a
high percentage of the blood of the genetic sport,
*Raffles, a tiny but prepotent Arabian stallion bred in England,
but with the blood of the Arabian desert running hotly in his veins.
winter of 1998-99, Julie and her neighbors were apprised of the fact
that they were living in a “Study Area,” for what was purported as a
“proposed United States Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife
Refuge.” At public
meetings, they were told that, if the project did not have “public
support,” it would not continue.
From the three grassroots public opposition groups who formed to
stop the process, and the hundreds of “NO DARBY REFUGE” signs that
dotted the 54,000-acre landscape, it was readily apparent that local
public sentiment was decidedly anti-refuge.
From the first day that Julie learned of
the proposed wildlife refuge, she “could hear the clock ticking,”
meaning that time was of the essence in learning all available
information and disseminating that information.
In March 1999 a neighbor gave Julie a
nine-year-old computer with “8 mgs of RAM.”
The computer-illiterate Miss Smithson soon learned the basics of
her new knowledge tool, and the fondly nicknamed “dinosaur,”
although far too slow to “get on the Internet before timing out,”
was still useful for composing articles and letters to the editor, and
sending and receiving e-mail. For
Internet searches, she had to make a drive “to town,” to a local
was made when the book, Undue Influence, by the notable author Ron
Arnold, was purchased and read. “Following
the money trail” seemed the best way to discover why the United States
Fish and Wildlife Service was not “going away.”
In a late evening call to Mr. Arnold, Julie learned the amazing
and troubling news that grants had been given to The Nature Conservancy
by such non-governmental organizations as The George Gund Foundation
(1989) and The Columbus Foundation (1992 and 1994), among others, to
study the area in which Julie resided. The eyebrow raising wording of the grant applications:
“For Darby Biosphere Reserve, including hiring Riverkeeper for
citizen-based protection of the Big and Little Darby Creeks.”
Having no idea of the meaning of “Biosphere Reserve,” Julie
was shocked by Ron Arnold’s response:
“It means you are in deep trouble.
That’s a United Nations designation!”
statement, more than any other, began Julie’s quest for knowledge,
“tools in the toolbox of the mind.”
She learned that The Nature Conservancy had a list of “Last
Great Places,” of which they proudly proclaimed her neighborhood to be
one. She also learned that
the distinction of being on that list was dubious, because every Last
Great Place was also a United Nations Biosphere Reserve, or Bioreserve.
With the United Nations serving as the “umbrella” of the
governments of the world, they were truly a foreign government in their
own right. Having
America’s resources become collateral for a foreign government, to say
of how or if America could use those resources, was and is a source of
legitimate concern. Now the
ticking of the clock was more insistent and louder than ever!
1999 a website was formed: http://www.nodarbyrefuge.org
-- now http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org
-- by a sixth generation farm owner whose property lay within the Study
Area. The boundaries had
yet to be established, so no one could be certain of USFWS’ intent
toward their home and land, but the entire Darby Creek watershed was in
It was during
this time that Julie made some major lifestyle changes.
She resigned her twenty-seven year career as a truck driver and
sold her beloved Arabian horses. The
decisions were not difficult for her to make, in view of the
alternative: being forced from her home by USFWS and its seventy
partners. “The Founding
Fathers put everything they had on the line -- even their lives -- for
our country,” she explained. “How
could I do any less?”
The idea for
the workbook evolved during early 1999.
The language used mystified Julie and other people that attended
public meetings sponsored by USFWS and other agencies.
The printed material available was also “Greek,” and
unfathomable by even those who were paid to implement it.
The need to put together a glossary became apparent, and Julie
began work on it in every spare moment.
The work you are viewing is her first book.
native, Julie lives in the rural west-central area of the state near
London, enjoying life with her Blue Heeler dog companion. Julie is
available to speak on property rights issues.
It is her hope that her words will provide an inspirational
template for others who are seeking a way to put their thoughts into
Julie Kay Smithson
213 Thorn Locust
London, OH 43140-8844
voice/message (no fax)