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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...

Snyder v. Ohio Department of Natural Resources

The Ohio Supreme Court held that a mineral rights owner may be able to strip mine portions of a state wildlife area. The state and the mineral rights owner entered a contract granting the owner “all mineral rights, including rights of...

Key Operating & Equipment, Inc. v. Hegar

The Supreme Court of Texas held that an oil and gas company may use a road on landowner's property to access its underground mineral rights. The company held an interest oil and gas rights under the landowners' property in addition to...

Broussard v. Dow Chemical Co.

The Fifth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a landowner's suit against a chemical company for damages stemming from natural gas well operations. The company operated the well in the late 1960s and early 1970s under a mineral lease that...

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...

PPL Montana, LLC v. Montana

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed a state court decision that Montana may charge rent from an electric company that owns dams on the Missouri, Madison, and Clark Fork rivers. The Montana Supreme Court held that title to the riverbeds...

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...