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Founded 1994

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Site Guide
An alphabetical listing of articles and information relating to
private property rights issues.

"The Campaign to Save Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower"
- By Gretna Longware, Elizabethtown, N.Y.; Speech to the Ninth Annual Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y. October 22, 2005)
The 80-year-old Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower is the symbol around which local Adirondack people are rallying to preserve their cultural heritage. Mrs. Longware is leading a campaign to stop a State plan to dismantle the tower.
"The Canal Trailway - A Threat to Private Property Owners"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Speech hosted by the Rondout Landowners Alliance, Rosendale, N.Y., September 18, 2003
In addition to danger of eminent domain and liability concerns, canal trails such as the Delaware and Hudson demonstrate the power of the National Park Service, other federal and state government agencies, and wealthy non-profit organizations to institute greenways and landscape preservation on a national scale. Rural communities are threatened.

 Canalway Trails and Canals

- Index page of articles and information about canalway trails and canals.
"C.A.N.Y. Speech"
- By Ted E. Galusha, Region 5 Director, Conservation Alliance of New York (CANY) October 25, 2004
Carol LaGrasse to Testify on National Heritage Areas Before U.S. Senate Committee on
March 30, 2004
- The Senate Energy and Resources Committee has invited Carol W. LaGrasse to testify at their Oversight Hearing on National Heritage Areas on Tuesday, March 30. The Hearing will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the main Energy and Resources Committee Hearing Room, Dirksen 366. The Subcommittee on Forests and Public Lands is the sponsor of the hearing.

 Cemeteries Trapped by Government Re-wilding

- Index page of articles and information about cemeteries that are trapped inside governement designated "wild" areas.
 "The Cemetery at Whitehouse"
- Photo Story by Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, June 2006)
The DEC's radical eradication of highways closes down access to cherished cemeteries, so that descendants and local people who would like to visit, pay their respects, and maintain the graveyards are stymied.
"Challenges to Our Vision"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Welcome Address, Eighth Annual N.Y. Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Oct. 23, 2004)
With our conviction for private property rights, we can counteract the do-gooders who are using environmental schemes to force rural people off their land and using eminent domain to destroy downtown urban neighborhoods.

Champion International Lands and Lawsuit

- Index page concerning lawsuit challenging the acquisition of Champion International lands by New York State.
"Chicago Biosphere Reserve Considered by Steering Committee"
- Chicago Wilderness, a committee involving a coalition of over 160 government agencies, non-profit organizations, environmental groups, and other private entitles, is clamoring for a U.N. Biosphere Reserve to encompass the City of Chicago and 10 counties in southeastern Wisconsin, northeastern Illinois, and northwestern Indiana. — By Wesley Sholtes, Contributing Writer, (PRFA, February 15, 2003)
"Chinese Officials and Researchers Study under Adirondack Park Agency and TNC"
- Reprinted from N.Y. Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 8, N. 4 (PRFA, Fall 2004)
Church in Land Between the Lakes Recreational Area Restored as Memorial to Those Demolished by National Park Service
- News Brief - January 2001.

Citizens Strategies for Defending Private Property Rights

- Index page of articles and information about citizen's strategies for defending private property rights.
"City of Goleta Mobile Home Rent Control Law Struck Down"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, November 21, 2004)
The U.S. District Court of the Central District of California struck down the rent control ordinance of the City of Goleta in California on October 29, 2004 as an unconstitutional taking because it failed to substantially further its stated goal of creating affordable housing. The law kept rents down but raised sale prices, without allowing the mobile home owner to collect a fair portion of the sales premium.
 City Watershed Agreement Poses Problems—Home-rule to Suffer, Much Land to be Bought Up
- by Carol W. LaGrasse, New York Property Rights Clearinghouse,
Vol. 3, No. 3 (PRFA, Aug. 1996).
 A Clear And Crucial Need For Land Trust Regulation
- From Paragon Powerhouse, December 2000, by J. Zane Walley.
"Clearing and Grading Control" Law Proposed
- Town of New Paltz rules would add new layer of restrictions. Elites keep locking out ordinary rural people from using their land. March 27, 2002: By Carol LaGrasse
"Closing the Forest to the People—Eliminating Camps and Motor Vehicle Access: Comments on DEC's Draft Unit Management Plan for the Moose River Plains Wild Forest"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, April 26, 2006)
The New York State Administration is proceeding hell-bent to diminish the Adirondack economy by closing down long-existing access to the Adirondack Forest Preserve. DEC's plan for the popular Moose River Plains would eliminate at least two miles of motor vehicle access roads, one bridge, 6.7 miles of ATV roads (including popular Otter Brook Road), 26.95 miles of snowmobile trails, and 99 campsites.
College Professors Advocate NY Metropolitan Area Biosphere Reserve
- International attention would focus on wetlands. By Carol W. LaGrasse, June 2001.
"Colorado Tax-Exempt Bonds for TNC's New York Land-Grab"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, November 2008
The Nature Conservancy is looking to the Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority to rescue it from the level of interest payments it is experiencing on $45 million that it borrowed to acquire 160,540 acres of forestland in the Adirondacks from paper manufacturer Finch, Pruyn and Co. to flip to the state as "Forever wild" Forest Preserve and conservation easements.
"Commentary on Uncontrolled White-tailed Deer Populations"
- By Nate Dickinson (PRFA, January 6, 2005)
Deer-vehicle accidents with substantial human fatalities and rampant destruction of plants, gardens, and forest regeneration are the natural result of policies in opposition to sound, scientific management when Nate Dickinson was Big Game Leader for New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
"Comments on DEC Draft Comprehensive Adirondack Snowmobile Plan - End the Prejudice and Discrimination"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, Feb. 9, 2004)
As an original framer of the State Land Use Master Plan, former DEC Land and Forests Director Norm Van Valkenburgh just broadcasted his disdain for the public who have a right to enjoy the Adirondacks. DEC should repudiate special treatment for the "environmentalists." Local communities, snowmobilers, sportsmen have rights.
"Comments on the DEC Draft Comprehensive Adirondack Snowmobile Plan"
- By Peter J. LaGrasse, Captain, Stony Creek Emergency Squad, February 9, 2004.
All trails should be built for pickup truck access so that snowmobile access would double as fire and emergency access. Snowmobile access can also be pickup truck access for the disabled and senior citizens.
 Comments on Final Draft Adirondack Park Agency
Proposals for
Amendments to APA Regulations Part I Phase I
- by Carol W. LaGrasse, June 8, 2000.
"Comments relative to NYCRR Proposed Subpart 750-1 and Subpart 750-2, SPDES Permits"
- By Bath Petroleum Storage, Inc. (Letter to Angus Eaton, PE, NYS DEC, Division of Water, May 20, 2002)
These eleven pages of comments about DEC's proposed revisions to the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System rules for discharge to water bodies.
"Committee on Open Government Assists LaGrasse FOIL Request"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, Dec. 29, 2003)
Records of citations of rental properties were sought after small landlords in Ellenville complained to PRFA about numerous petty citations. The Village of Ellenville imposed a $300 "administrative fee" in addition to the statutory 25 cents per copy charge.
A Compilation of the Restrictions on the Property Owner and the Powers of the
Columbia Land Conservancy
as Found in the Columbia Land Conservancy Draft Sample Agricultural Conservation Easement: 2000
- Prepared by: Roland R. Vosburgh, Director of Planning Columbia County Planning Department, January 2, 2001.

PRFA Property Rights Conferences

- Index page concerning the annual conferences of the Property Rights Foundation of America held in Albany, New York.
"Confronting International Animal Rights and Eco-Terrorism"
- By Teresa Platt, Executive Director, Fur Commission USA, Coronado, California, Eleventh Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 13, 2007)
Animal rights and eco-terrorists justify arson and destruction of property, and even killing people, on the basis of saving animals and saving the Earth. These send a message with every crime, promoting fear of speaking out and doing business. Non-profit charities with the stated purpose of animal welfare are teaching young people animal rights terrorism. The IRS should stop tax-exempt charities from promoting crime. Legislation like the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act should be expanded.
Congress Holds Stacked Hearing on Conservation Tax Credits
May 2002: Land Trusts, Members of Congress, Big Industry Testify Exclusively, Big Capital Gains Tax Break would Shift Private Land and Conservation Easements to Land Trusts and Government
- By Carol W. LaGrasse
"Congressional Designs on Your Property Rights"
- By Robert J. Smith, Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy, National Center for Public Policy Research; Adjunct Senior Environmental Scholar, Competitive Enterprise Institute; & President, Center for Private Conservation, Washington, D.C.; Presented at Twelfth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 18, 2008)
The Bush Administration appointed major corporate and land trust figures such as John Turner, Henry Paulson, Gail Norton and Lynn Scarlet, who were enemies of private property ownership and private property rights, instead emphasizing "partnerships" and conservation easements. The Congress is designating nonstop Wilderness Areas, National Parks, National Battlefields, National Monuments, National Heritage Areas, National Scenic Trails, and Wild and Scenic Rivers. However, Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Paul Broun are bright lights for private property rights.
"Congressional Legislation Would Thwart Effects of Kelo Decision"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, July 25, 2007
Reps. F. James Sensenbrenner and Maxine Waters introduced federal legislation in July to rein in the effects of the Supreme Court's Kelo v. New London decision allowing the use of eminent domain to take property from one private party to transfer it to another private party for economic development. The Property Rights Protection Act of 2007 (H.R. 3053) would hold back federal funds for economic development where eminent domain was used. However, the bill contains two exceptions allowing eminent domain for economic development for an immediate threat to public health and safety and to acquire abandoned property that create a dangerous, open-ended exception for "blight," which should be deleted before the bill garners support.

Congressional Testimony

- Index page of the testimony given before Congress by the PRFA.
The connection between 'em
- Noteworthy Article—Agri-News, a national agricultural weekly, carried a reprint of a powerful article by Insight columnist John Elvin that exposed the connection between The Wildlands Project and conservation easements.
Consent Decree
- Theodore E. Galusha, Teena Willard, and Willaim Searles Plaintiffs, -against- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, John P. Cahill, sued herein in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Adirondack Park Agency of the State of New York, Daniel T. Fitts, sued herein in his official capacity as Chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency of the State of New York, George E. Pataki, sued herein as Governor of the State of New York, John Doe, Individually, and State of New York, Defendants, -and- Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks, Environmental Advocates, Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, Graham L. Cox, Lisa M. Genier, Debra Hamilton and Earnest B. LaPrairie, Intervenor-Defendants
Conservation Easement Bill in Pennsylvania Legislature
- Update - June 2001: H.R. 975 Would Cancel Traditional Protections for Private Property, Allow Third Parties to Enforce Conservation Easements - by Carol W. LaGrasse
"Conservation Easement Reform Bill introduced into the Montana House of Representatives"
- Representative R. Maedje introduced legislation into the Montana Legislature in February that would regulate conservation easements. Among the many important proposed reforms, the bill would protect the seller with a two-year cooling off period and prohibit conservation easements from preventing natural resource uses. Full text of bill. (PRFA, February 24, 2003)

Conservation Easements

- Index page concerning conservation easements.


- Index page concerning conservation easements in New York.
Conservation Easements—A Second Look
- Address to Boone and Crockett Club Annual Meeting, Hilton Rye Town, Rye Brook, New York, November 30, 2001, by Carol W. LaGrasse.
Conservation Easements - A Short Explanation of Terms
- Legal terms that relate to conservation easements are explained.
"Conservation Easements-Perpetual Problems"
- By Julia D. Mahoney, Ph.D., Professor, University of Virginia School of Law, Speech to the Seventh Annual NY Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, October 18, 2003)
Conservation servitudes have been used to protect millions of acres of lands. Is it feasible or desirable to bind future generations? Conservation easements are designed "to prevent the reunification of the interest to the property owner."
"Conservation Easements and TDR's: Fifth Amendment Takings through Zoning"
- By James E. Morgan, Esq., Principal, Galvin and Morgan, Counselors at Law, Delmar, N.Y.; Twelfth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 18, 2008)
Transferable development rights, or TDR's, are recognized as a way of compensating property owners when the government takes property rights. But the state valued the TDR's in the Long Island Pine Barrens at a fraction of the fair value, rather than take the property by eminent domain, which would have given the property owners more rights. We are going back to a day when property owners are becoming like feudal serfs rather than property owners. Be prepared to fight for the long-term.
Conservation Easements & Transfers of Seized Farm Land
- A chart of of land seized by through the Farmers Home Administration. Reprinted from Positions on Property, Vol. 2, No. 3 (PRFA, July 1995).
"Conservation Easements: Letter to a Wisconsin Property Owner"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., July 31, 2012
In response to a letter from a Wisconsin property owner about the State of Wisconsin's announced plan to acquire conservation easements on 67,346 forest acres to become the Brule-St. Croix Legacy Forest, from Lyme St. Croix Forest Company, this letter gives some broad outlines of areas where the conservation easement acquisition should be given critical scrutiny, and how to obtain useful information.
"Conservation Easements-One Rancher to Another"
- By Joe Mehrten, Mehrten's Ranch, Clements, California. An exchange of letters bringing out the many interrelated issues, especially conservation easements, infringing on the future of the rural West.
Conservation Easements—Recent Modifications to Traditional Law
- by Richard E. Hitchcock (2002)
Conservation Easements—Their Unexpected Legacy
- by Carol W. LaGrasse.
Conservative and Liberal Senators Jointly Sponsor Bill to Reform Eminent Domain
- State Senators Vincent L. Liebell, a Republican/Conservative, and Suzi Oppenheimer, a Democrat, have jointly sponsored a bill (S. 7192) to improve notice to property owners under New York State's eminent domain law.
"The Corps of Engineers' Columbia River Estuary Fiasco"
- By Jim Starr, Contributing Writer (PRFA, March 2003)
Dredging, tern, and salmon smolt pose conflict. The Corps of Engineers' dredging has created islands from which tern prey on juvenile salmon, but the Corps' doomed approach to reducing predation is heavy-handed and based on fallacy.
Corps of Engineers is abandoning and breaching Missouri River dikes
- News Brief - February 2001.
"Corruption in Trail Funding"
- Linda S. Rowley, Railroad Impact Committee of the Hilltowns (RICH), Tenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 14, 2006)
While fighting a planned bike path through her barn in Haydenville, Massachusetts, Linda Rowley discovered that federal transportation enhancement funding that was exclusively for congestion mitigation and air quality improvement (CMAQ) was being misapplied for purely recreational purposes. She also won a ruling in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that the railroad right-of-way was a road or a way under the Derelict Fee Statute, making it ineligible for federal trail funds because the property belonged to the underlying owners after the railroad was no longer in use.
"Could It Be That the Hudson Valley Heritage Plan is Actually Anti-Heritage?"
- By Nate Dickinson (PRFA, March 2, 2004)
A review of the "Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Management Plan." The National Park Service and its cadre of allied agencies and not-profit organizations lay the groundworks for a four million acre kingdom of eleven counties in the Hudson Valley, where resource protection and land management policies are to be coordinated in a viable regional plan.

Counteract the Kelo v. New London decision
"Model Resolution

- By local Government to Enact a Town Policy and to Petition the State Legislature to Protect Private Property Owners, Including Homeowners and Small Businesses, from Eminent Domain for Economic Development" - PRFA July 2005

Courage Takes All
Big City Backed Down for Brave
Carmel Couple
- The entire coalition of Watershed Towns capitulated but
one home-owning couple stood their ground and won!
Court Rules that LaGrasse Had No Right to Challenge New APA Rules
- Albany County Supreme Court Justice Joseph Cannizzaro ruled on November 26, 2001 that because Carol LaGrasse did not have standing to challenge the legality of new APA regulations that went into effect in January 2001.
"The Craze of Environmental Irrationality"
- By John Berlau, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.; Eleventh Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 13, 2007)
Environmentalism is dominated by disdain for human life, grounded in Rachel Carson's vilification of DDT and thus arguably causing more deaths from malaria and other insect-borne diseases than from any other cause during the twentieth century. A recent local example of this disdain for human life was the death of Alfred Langner from exposure while trapped in his car for 2 days after an auto accident, unable to reach help because his cell phone had no reception on the Interstate Northway because environmentalists banned cell towers.
A Critical Look at Conservation Easements
- Speech to Tompkins County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, Dryden Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, Dryden, New York. By Carol W. LaGrasse, October 26, 2000.
"Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area on Hold"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, March 23, 2004)
A dangerous bill to impose federal regional land use control in 14 counties in New Jersey, possibly expanding into New York and Pennsylvania, has National Park Service impetus but is lurking for over 1-1/2 years in Committee.
Culture for Elite Consumer Consumption
-by Carol W. LaGrasse, reprinted from Positions on Property, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Jan. 1995).

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