Property Rights Foundation of America®

Fourteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights

Photo Gallery Number 2

Property Rights: The Foundation for Land Rights

Prominent attorneys John S. Marwell of Shamberg Marwell Davis and Hollis in
Mt. Kisco and James E. Morgan of Galvin and Morgan in Delmar answer audience questions after their addresses on the extreme course of zoning's effects on businesses and homeowners in upstate New York.

 

Carol LaGrasse's expression of PRFA's appreciation by bestowing a set of bronze bookends to John Marwell and James Morgan backfires, when they clown around after the first set because there was only a single bookend for each. The second set was still in its box.

 

William Perry Pendley, President and Chief Legal Officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation in Lakewood, Colorado, delivers a point in his Keynote Address about the historic oil and gas producers in Allegany National Forest battling environmental litigators and the Forest Service to stop the imposition of NEPA review each time they renew their plans to exploit their mineral rights.

 

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., who is a Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., issues a warning about the nationwide zoning implications of President Obama's June 19 Executive Order establishing the Ocean Policy Initiative.

 

Peter J. LaGrasse, who is the chairman of the Board of Assessors of the Town of Stony Creek, delivered a talk about the uncertainties of the future of the "Adirondack Tax Base." The state's appetite for land is insatiable, and poses a grave threat to the tax base, he warned. Photo: Carol LaGrasse.

 

Wearing a "DEC-Department of the Ethically Challenged" T-shirt, the second notoriously popular T-shirt that he and his friends have designed, Jim McCulley took a break from updating the conference goers on the latest developments in his battle against DEC's compulsive drive to close Old Mountain Road to motor vehicles. His wry smile was deserved: This year DEC was ordered to pay
Mr. McCulley's legal fees.

 

The seriousness of the presentations from the Adirondacks was continued with a talk by Susan Allen, an effort to inform people about a new DEC quietly issued management plan for its forest lands outside the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves. It seems that DEC intends that these lands be treated like wilderness Forest Preserve, also. Ms. Allen is the publisher and editor of the independent "Adirondack Park Agency Reporter."

 

Traveling from Bellevue, Washington, Ron Arnold, who is executive vice president of the Center for Defense of Free Enterprise, entertained the people with his closing address about how to see behind the veil of touchy-feely baby animals and fearful environmental threats to dig out the facts about environmental organizations on the Internet. He is shown holding a copy of his book Undue Influence.

 

Attorney Shiela Galvin of Galvin and Morgan in Delmar urges people to keep fighting the closed-door meetings and threats to free speech by government agencies, all the way from the local town government to the state's APA, during the full-conference "Circle of Ideas" at the end of the day. She was joined by Albert Wassenhove, the roundtable co-chair, who is a well-known Ghent civic leader. He likened the Columbia County land planning board to an "octopus."

 

An expert with many years' experience related to legislation affecting land issues, Kurt Christensen speaks up from the audience about zoning battles. Among actions that he urged people to imitate was to put up a billboard where absolutely no one can miss it.

 

Jim Kelly shared the reasons why he and his wife Susan were successful against the Delaware County Department of Public Works' plan to use eminent domain to rebuild the Halcottsville bridge adjacent to the historic mill house that is now their bed and breakfast. Helped by delays related to the economy and slow legislative approval, his goal was reached, according to the highway officials themselves, because he and his wife carried out a successful international public relations campaign. Without the Kellys going to court, the county rerouted the bridge work enough to spare the building in its bucolic setting.

First Hand Report at Fourteenth Annual National Conference

All photos: Peter J. LaGrasse unless otherwise noted.

Photo Gallery Number 1

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