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Politics Forces Jones From Position

An officer of the Stanislaus Farmland Trust has resigned after a stir over a column he wrote about land-use politics. Bruce Jones has been secretary of the fund since it was

founded in June 2000. Jones wrote last month in The Modesto Bee that saving farmland should be a key issue in Stanislaus County elections. He also called county Supervisor Ray Simon

pro-development and noted his March opponent, Mike Birch, stresses saving farmland. County officials warned the group could lose its tax-exempt status if it gets involved in elections.