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Property rights

Of Constitutions and Cultures: The British Right to Roam and American Property Law

In 2000, England enacted the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, which provides the public the right to roam on certain private lands without compensation to the landowners. There are many constitutional and cultural-historical issues...

When the Law Is Silent, Trespassers W . . . : Law and Power in Implied Property Rights

In the magical world of Winnie the Pooh, Piglet lives in a house signposted “TRESPASSERS W.” The golden silence that follows the W allows Pooh and his friends to wonder about the sign’s meaning, which Piglet insists honors his...

Justified Trespass: How and Why Recreationists May Sometimes Enjoy America's Private Lands

Editors' Summary: All Americans should have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and wonder that our nation's lands have to offer. Yet while the number of public lands remains somewhat constant, the number of visitors to these places is...

Private Land Made (Too) Simple

In a recent article in the Yale Law Journal, Profs. Thomas W. Merrill and Henry E. Smith express concerns about what they take to be the excessive abstraction of law-and-economics writing on private property.1...

The Potential Role of Local Governments in Watershed Management

The Search for a Local Government Role in Environmental Protection

Protecting healthy watersheds and restoring degraded ones is one of this country's major unmet environmental challenges. Because watersheds do not respect...

The Tragedy of Fragmentation

Among certain academic circles it has become common to assert that owners of private land take care of what they own. One encounters the claim most often in discussions about land-related environmental problems. Unowned lands, resources...

Property Rights, the Market, and Environmental Change in Twentieth Century America

The economic success of the United States over the past century has prompted observers around the world to look to it for lessons on stimulating growth. Compared with many countries, the United States is plainly doing something right in...

Property Rights Legislation: A Survey of Federal and State Assessment and Compensation Measures

Editors' Summary: In recent years, vindication of private-property rights has been the rallying cry of various citizen groups and politicianswho believe that certain regulatory restrictions—especially environmental protection...

Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon: A Clarion Call for Property Rights Advocates

Editors' Summary: Property rights advocates implicitly complained in Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon that a Fish and Wildlife Service regulation that aimed to protect endangered and threatened species...

Property Rights, Property Roots: Rediscovering the Basis for Legal Protection of the Environment

Editors' Summary: Environmental regulation has come under increasing attack from those who argue that governmental limitations on property use violate constitutional restrictions on regulatory takings of property. The author...