Property Rights Foundation of America®
Founded 1994

Introduction of William Perry Pendley

By Carol W. LaGrasse
President
Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.

Twentieth Anniversary Dinner
April 8, 2014
The Century House, Latham, N. Y.

To celebrate our Twentieth Anniversary we are honored to host William Perry Pendley, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation in suburban Denver, to deliver the evening address.

Appreciation is felt by many people over the many years for the incalculable difference that William Perry Pendley has made to the property rights and wise use movements in the United States.

During much of the 1990s he came to Washington, D.C., to present a summary of important litigation to the gathered grassroots leaders each spring under the umbrella of the Alliance for America.

He knew so well so many grassroots landowners and public land users that he wrote a book, It Takes A Hero, about those who had bravely fought in the new front of land rights against environmental radicalism. His next book Warriors for the West describes Mountain States Legal Foundation's brilliant battles in the courts for private property owners and users of federal public lands.

Mr. Pendley's book Ronald Reagan, Sagebrush Rebel: Reagan's Battle with Environmental Extremists and Why It Matters Today was just published. Edwin Meese, III, calls it a "must read" for those interested in all that the President accomplished. It tells the truth about Ronald Reagan's policies on natural resources.

The range of Mountain States Legal Foundation's litigation is vast: They champion ranchers and private property owners—whether from wolves, grizzlies or the EPA, defend the right to keep and bear arms.

They fight against discrimination, litigate to support the federal government's fire prevention to protect nearby families or against the federal government when it tries to deny a family access to their home.

One area of Mr. Pendley's litigation had particular meaning to the Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc. This was his lawsuit on behalf of the late Rep. Helen Chenoweth from Idaho to block then-President Clinton's American Heritage Rivers Corridor preservation scheme.

She had taken extraordinary measures to support our opposition to the American Heritage Rivers. The Court rejected Rep. Chenoweth's standing, but the lawsuit helped strengthen the movement against that scheme as well as our work against congressional Heritage Corridor legislation.

The Mountain States Legal Foundation recently expanded its work coast to coast.

We are thrilled with Mr. Pendley's September 2011 victorious defense in the U.S. Court of Appeals of conventional oil producers in the Bradford Oil Field in Pennsylvania. Environmentalists brought a "sue and settle" lawsuit to squeeze the exercise of the long-established private mineral rights within the Allegheny National Forest into the chokehold of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, the Minard Run Oil Company—the oldest family—owned oil production company in the United States—and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association roundly defeated Attorney General Holder's scheme to kill energy development in Pennsylvania.

In February Mr. Pendley announced a lawsuit in State Supreme Court by Mountain States Legal Foundation with local counsel Scott R. Kurkoski of Levene, Gouldin & Thompson in Vestal against Governor Andrew Cuomo, and other state officials and agencies on behalf of a coalition of the 70,000 members of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York.

These property owners are waiting nearly six years for the Governor to complete the studies under the Environmental Quality Review Act related to the development of the Marcellus Shale. This would lead to final environmental regulations to permit landowners to use their land for energy production.

On March 10, the United States Supreme Court handed the Mountain States Legal Foundation a big victory! The court ruled 8 to 1 in favor of Wyoming private property owner Marvin Brandt against the U. S. Forest Service in the "rails to trails" dispute litigated by Mr. Pendley.

This ruling should benefit many property owners where the federal government might claim an interest in the land beneath a defunct railroad to build a trail through their property.

The theme of William Perry Pendley's speech tonight is "Defending Freedom in an Anti-Constitutional Era."

Let's give guest speaker William Perry Pendley of Mountain State's Legal Foundation a hero's welcome to the Property Rights Foundation of America's Twentieth Anniversary celebration.

***

Retired New York State Assemblyman Robert Prentiss, a founding member of our board of directors, whom many of you know, will present the Property Rights Foundation of America's FREEDOM AWARD to William Perry Pendley.

William Perry Pendley's speech

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