Another Off-Grider Shutdown: History Channel’s Mountain Man Targeted by Government Zoning Officials

After 26 years of living off the land, and teaching scores of people about the American Heritage way of getting back to nature, Eustace Conway, who was featured on featured on The History Channel’s Mountain Men, has been forced to close his nature school.

Eustace Conway

Eustace, who purchased a large amount of land outside Boone, N.C., has been using his land to teach people how to live closer to nature. But now, thanks to government officials who don’t agree with his lifestyle, Eustace is being forced to fight for his way of life and to keep his school open.

Like many of the stories we’ve covered over the last couple of years, Eustace is another in a long string of people who are being “zoned” out of existence. From the heartbreaking story of Andrew Wordes, who took his life after code enforcement teams seized his home, to the Off-Gridders in California who are being illegally forced back on to the grid, what’s happening to Eustace seems to be a calculated attack on anyone who dares live a self-sufficient lifestyle.

It’s really sickening when you look into what’s really going on. We have government officials across our land who are threatening people, arresting them, and forcibly taking their land; and for what?

When did it become acceptable for the government to intimidate someone off their land? When did it become acceptable for the government to tell us how we can live on our own land? These aren’t people living in some urban area, where you might be able to make a case for zoning ordinances; these are people who live in rural areas of the country on large plots of land.

In the case of Eustace Conway, this is a man who lives on a large plot of rural land who isn’t doing anything to disturb anyone in any way. Yet county officials have literally shut him down and told him he can’t teach people how to live off the land unless he makes changes that would go against his way of life.

Here is his Story:

Government Crack Down on Self-Reliance and Liberty

Uncle Sam Propaganda Poster

While some dismiss these cases as localized issues, I believe they’re part of a larger movement to control the way Americans live. What we are seeing here is a coordinated attack on traditional American values and an all out assault on the self-reliant lifestyle.

I think evidence of this can be seen:

Shirts of Liberty
The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide


  1. He needs to try a different approach, don’t charge anything for the school and just accept donations. Set a minimum for the donation like the amount he was charging for the class.

    • Something to keep in mind, is the fact a donation is exactly what it says–a donation. You may not deny access to a function if you ask for a donation, if someone wishes to enter without donating, you allow them in. A case in point, while a member of a Home Builders association we always had a home show for a fund raiser. we asked for $1 donation to enter the show. Each year a well healed couple came to our show and refused to donate, we were powerless to deny them entry. 100% of the donations we received were in turn used to provide scholarships to graduating students, one each, for the three high schools in the two counties our organization served.

  2. Don’t kid yourselves, it’s all about money. Some rich investor most likely, wants to put condos up o n his land and the county sees tax dollars, Not to mention that the county is not making kick back from Duke power and the water supplier from his place being connected. Regardless if he uses the power or water, he would have to pay a fee to have this connected. The more people he teaches, the less money the county gets. It’ all about control and control is money.

  3. well…after reading the comments… I can honestly say ‘thank god I don’t live in the USA’.

    Childish comments, name calling, political agendas, accusations of racism???

    It seems the USA is so caught up in each individual asserting there thoughts, with no room allowed for debate that the no one is aware of what is right in front of them!

    It doesn’t matter … with what your president is inviting into the country… only unity will stop it…and no-one will unify because THEY are RIGHT.

    Have fun with that.

  4. Are there any off the gridders that don’t sound like paranoid,shut in psychos? I like the idea of it but not the ideas of them. Maybe your crazy ramblings are why your always under “attack”!

  5. A Person LIVING off the Grid should be able to live on their land w/o any interference from the Government as long as you are paying your taxes & not causing any harm to others or the land/Streams.

  6. Eustice, we all feel for you, one thing you have on your side is that buildings built prior to the codes do NOT have to be brought up to current code unles 50 percent of valuation is exceeded during a remodel this is national code yet if you are public the governing agency may have jurisdiction on this, Put up no trespassing signs and go about your business, if you make money from the school, that building or area for the school may need to be up to code to satisfy them only. If your schooling is free they should not be able to do any thing about it, some people have nothing better to do than cause discuss, sounds like your county wants a larger tax base

  7. I feel as long as they aren’t trying to sell this to someone, they have the God given right, to live as they have chosen to live. May God Bless you all, and God be with you through it all.I am proud to see folks living life w/o all the modern necessities as the world sees it..

  8. Have you contacted Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund? ( Pete is fantastic and this is just the type of situation he handles. Please check him out! I will be praying for you!

    • If you know that gentleman, maybe you can call him and tell him to get in touch with Eustis. I would be more then happy to donate to his legal defense fund.

  9. And that’s why people are stocking up on guns and ammo some day the government is going to step on the wrong person and war we’ll break out

  10. Leave the man alone. He is not doing anything that is hurting anyone. Just like always the Govt. telling us all how to live and what to do that fits in with their standards. If people want to go to his school to see how our ancestors lived what in the world is wrong with that!! I would love to go there and see all the amazing things that he could teach me. I watched the Mountain Men show and loved it. I think it is amazing that people want to go off the grid and live off of nature. I guarantee his buildings are better built than anything that is thrown up today!! Again leave the man alone!!

  11. Leave them alone! Stop doing this to people! Taking people’s rights to a beautiful way of life such as his own. You should’ve seen how we used to cross our creek on our farm….on a log!

  12. Whether or not he’s guilty of code violation or if code violation is guilty, I will say this about this extensive comment string… I’m extremely impressed with the amount of passion which is on display here.

    You are all to be commended for your passion about this subject. I’m proud to count you my country-folk!

    Please, however, refrain from attacking one another. Remember, we are all, whether on-grid/off grid, independent/or sheep, still fellow Americans and we need to pull together…

    So, please continue to argue this topic and share your ideas, but please also try to strike a cooperative approach.

  13. How can the government say that a person living in that way is wrong or not a right way of living? Just because a person can survive on his own without the help from anyone does not make it wrong or harmful in any way, The government needs to stop trying to control people’s lives and start controlling the government better. Their doing an awful job at that, anyone that can live the way Eustace Conway lives would be by far better off and more healthier living off the land. The food he grows, if people would research, is much better for you where as the food that the government controlled is far more unhealthy and cancerous than the way of Eustace Conway. I don’t think it’s about the way Eustace Conway lives at all or anyone else capable of living that life style. I believe the government wants to control everything including our freedom and lifestyle of the American people. People are loosing their freedom to make their own choices and perty much freedom of religion. Long story short, Eustace Conway, I totally support you 100% and the government should too but Eustace Conway don’t hold your breath on that. The government is for the government not the American peoples freedom, Eustace I hope you the very best in life and this situation.

  14. I didn’t get the sense that the government was trying to shut down his way of life rather than shut down because of codes of running a business did he actually accept money to run this business of his or is he just doing it to teach others the off grid or way in self-sufficient miss of living off the land. Like any other business that anybody operates in the United States there are rules regulations codes to follow I think that is what the government is getting at here I really hope the government doesn’t shut down the show mountain men it is one of my very favorite shows and I appreciate the people in it as people not actors their actual people

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