I try to stay away from political issues on this page. But expanding government control of private property is an issue every rural landowner should be aware of.
Private land – government control
An important example of this is the US Government’s abuse of the “public use” element of the eminent domain portion of the 5th Amendment. (See the 2005 US Supreme Court “Kelo” decision). The case involved a local government who forced a private property owner to sell to a private for-profit developer of a project that would increase local tax revenue.
Some people like the idea
But sympathy for this kind of thinking also comes from our own citizens who are increasingly urban and believe in government intervention to address what they define as problems (and vote accordingly).
A current effort in the State of Washington to deny private landowners the right to charge access fees is another example of this. (learn more).
This week I even heard someone advocate for the federalization of all “blue-line” creeks in our country (blue-line creeks are creeks or streams colored blue on a USGS topo map, including branches so small they only flow part of the year). Not exactly sure what “federalization” means but I sure don’t like the sound of it.
Protected property rights & free people
The interest of rural landowners are increasingly “out voted” by people who do not share our belief in private control of private property. I’m a firm believer that our best defense is to educate ourselves regarding the link our country’s founders saw between private property rights and a free people, and to talk openly with friends and family about this issue.
The fight is coming to us! We can fight back or we can roll over and surrender our rights to people who believe THEY should control how you use YOUR land.
Many people use borrowed money to purchase rural land. If…