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

LaGrasse Testifies Before U.S. Senate — UNESCO biosphere reserves are hostile to future of designated regions
- Press Release, May 28, 1999.
"LaGrasse Testifies Before U.S. Senate Against National Heritage Areas"
- Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Spring 2004)
At the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing chaired by Sen. Craig Thomas on March 30, 2004, Carol W. LaGrasse pointed out how this greenway program threatens private property rights, after the General Accounting Office issued its report, and the National Park Service and various Heritage Area officials and experts testified in favor of the program.
"Land Acquired - But Wait, Access Closed"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, PRFA, Summer 2006)
New York State's announcements when acquiring vast tracts of private land for the Forest Preserve promise more access for the public, but over decades, more recently over a very short time, the campsites and access roads are being closed and the land is being cut off from hunters and other recreational users that do not fit the mold approved by extreme environmentalists.
"Land acquisition push gains steam"
- by Carol LaGrasse, reprinted from Hamilton County News, Feb. 18, 1992
An array of programs created by environmental preservationists are aligning to effectively promote government acquisition of Adirondack land. (This February 1992 article, posted in May 2009, sheds light on two decadesso farof land acquisition policy.)
"Land for Dams," Habitat Protections, and Dam Removal
- Dam Relicensing - A Crucial Arena of Environmental Activism - The Time for Property Owners and Local Officials to Get Involved.
"Land Grab by Conservation Easement"
- By J. Zane Walley, Speech, Sixth Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Nov. 2002)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is enlarging the Everglades by using its canals to raise the water level in Dade County, Florida - flooding an 8.5 square mile area where over 500 families live, ruining the avocado orchards and other farms, and making the area uninhabitable. Transferable development rights are also imposed to return the land to "Wildlands."
Land Grab U.S.A.
- by Carol W. LaGrasse, from Positions on Property, Vol. 1, No. 2, Supplement (PRFA, May 1994)
"LAND Responds to Minnesota Governor's Plan"
- By Chuck Damschen, LAND Past President (Reprinted by permission from Landowners Association of North Dakota, January 2004, p. 3)
LAND expresses concern over Minnesota Governor Pawlenty's expanded Conservation Reserve Enhancement Plan. Landowners are having negative experiences with perpetual easements. LAND favors short-term easements that can be renegotiated on a regular basis.
Land Trusts 
- An index page of information about land trusts.
"Land Trusts as Developers - Oppose Use of Private Land, Unless It's Their Development"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA Background Brief, July 1998.
Is the future of development in "environmentally sensitive" areas heralded by the Beacon Waterfront Development Project of Scenic Hudson land trust?
 Land Trusts in the Hudson River Greenway—High-Finance
- by Carol W. LaGrasse from Positions on Property, Vol. 2, No. 1, Apr. 1995.
 Land Trusts - Pirates of the Shawangunks
- Speech by Eric Francis Coppolino from Proceedings of the Third Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights (1998).
Land Trusts Threaten Private Property
- Conservation Easements, Easy Government Money—Future Problems by Carol W. LaGrasse, introductory articles excerpted from Positions on Property, Vol. 5, No. 1, July 2000.
"Landowner Access to Great Sacandaga Lake is Squeezed"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from NY Property Rights Clearinghouse, PRFA, Fall 2003)
Conflicts raged over the Hudson River - Black River Regulating District. The District tried to raise access permit fees over 300%. Access permit holder John Barber's Hunt Lake Holding Company sued to keep his lake access location, which the District changed without notice.
"Landowners United to Defend Private Property Rights"
- By Mark Nix, Executive Director, South Carolina Landowners Association
Columbia, South Carolina; Speech to the Eighth Annual Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y. October 23, 2004)
This speech includes good advice for all property rights groups, including: Form alliances with homeowners associations, churches, and other groups to defend property rights. Frame the issues to be understood. Warn people that government is "taking away your property's value," instead of about "zoning." Get the news out to your members at least once a month.
Law Gone Loco
- In the Hands of Environmental Extremists and Elitist Bureaucrats, the Well-Intended Endangered Species Act has Gone Loco. By Don Fife.
"Laws cost proprietors their livelihood — DEC liens for fuel-tank-leak cleanup costs putting some out of business"
- By Thom Randall (Post Star, Glens Falls, N.Y., August 1, 2002, page 1, reprinted by permission)
After a only ten telephone calls, Post-Star reporter Thom Randall discovered five general stores in the lower Adirondacks facing DEC-imposed fuel leak cleanup costs of between $191,000 and $550,000, whether or not the current owners caused the pollution. Four of the five general stores with DEC liens, in Hadley, Starbuckville, Johnsburg, Wevertown, and Olmstedville, are closed. The State seized both the store and home of the storekeeper in Starbuckville, and the devastated owner died of a heart attack a few years later.
Lawsuit Challenges New York State's Largest Land Acquisition
- The State Failed to Abide by its Own Rules, by Carol W. LaGrasse, from Positions on Property, Vol. 5, No. 1 July 2000.
Lawsuits Attack Property Seizures
- Update - March 2001:
Institute for Justice Campaigns Against Condemnations to Transfer Property to Private Owners.
Legislative Reforms to Preserve
Private Ownership of
Productive Rural Lands
- Land Trusts and Conservation Easements.
"Legislators are Hurting Small Businesses with New Smoking Ban"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Letter to the Editor, Adirondack Journal, July 26, 2003
The State of New York is punishing small businesses by banning smoking in bars and restaurants, but avoids tackling one of the most important dangers of smoking, the high radioactivity of cigarettes.
"Lens Lake Shoreline Owner Rejects Unworkable APA Permit"
- News Brief, Reprinted from New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Summer 2003
Lest We Forget
- Reflections on Unconstitutional Government in New York - State environmental zoning agency follows family to bankruptcy court.
Letter from Congressman John E. Sweeney, February 27, 2001
- Regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to order the dredging and landfilling of PCBs from the Hudson River.
Letter from Robert K. Davies -Director, DEC Division of Lands and Forests, to Adirondack Explorer, January 13, 2004.
"[S]nowmobiles are an allowable use in non-wilderness areas of the Adirondack Forest Preserve
[T]he dangerous and inflammatory rhetoric used by Mr. Van Valkenburgh in his article is counterproductive
Such cavalier mention of booby-trapping snowmobile trails should be strongly renounced by everyone who wishes for a civil public process."
 Letter from the U.S. Department of the Interior, June 18, 2002
- To Carol W. LaGrasse, from Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary, Policy, Management and Budget.
"Letter in Opposition to Article VI Sign Standards"
-By Thomas J. Birkholz, Secretary, & Carol Birkholz, Chairwoman, Warren County Conservative Party, Public Hearing, Warrensburg Town Hall, December 28, 2006 (Used by permission)
The First Amendment provides, "Congress shall make no lawabridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." In 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Missouri city law prohibiting signs at private residences. The unanimous decision rejected the ordinance in City of Ladue v. Gilleo, writing that residential yard signs were "a venerable means of communication that is both unique and important."
Letter in Opposition to Tax-exempt Bonds for The Nature Conservancy to Acquire Land in the Adirondacks
- By Howard Aubin, Councilman, Town of Black Brook, N.Y., E-mail to Frederic H. Marienthal, Attorney for Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority, November 25, 2008
Requirements of IRS Code Sec. 147 for local government approval have not been met. In addition, The Nature Conservancy contacted an elderly couple this summer to buy their property and when the couple refused to sell, the Adirondack Park Agency threatened the couple with a $2.962 million fine. "Giving such a bond to the Nature Conservancy only helps them to terrorize more people within the Adirondacks."
"Letter Presented to U.S. Representative Scott Murphy at Stony Creek Mercantile Urging Federal Assistance against Obstruction of Access to Housing by the APA & DEC,"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., August 20, 2009
Carol LaGrasse presented a letter to Congressman Scott Murphy urging him to consider using the federal fair housing law to tackle the restrictions of the Adirondack Park Agency and the land acquisition by the Department of Environmental Conservation, which are the prime factors making housing unaffordable in the region. At the meeting, Mr. Murphy said that he'd think about the idea.
A Letter to Christine Todd Whitman
- From the PRFA regarding the dredging of PCB-Laden Mud from the Hudson River.
Letter to DEC in Support of Revised Conservation Easement Allowing Hunting Camps to Remain on the Champion Lands
- From Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation of America, to Robert K. Davies, Director, Lands and Forests, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, E-mail, December 27, 2009
Letter to the Healthy Forests Initiative, Forest Service, USDA, from Carol W. LaGrasse
- This letter urges approval of President Bush's Healthy Forest Initiative with proposed categorical exclusions from NEPA to expedite the reduction of excessive fuel buildup in the National Forests. (Jan. 30, 2003)
Letter to Honorable Pat Roberts, Chairman, House Agriculture Committee, from W. L. Harris, Holcomb, Mississippi, September 22, 1995.
- This letter describes how rice farmer W. L. Harris, after recovering from severe financial problems common during the 1980's, tried to exert his lease back - buyback rights, but the Farmer's Home Administration (now the Farm Services Agency) placed wetlands easements on the 1004 best acres, prohibiting him from doing anything but paying taxes on the land.
Letter to Judge Maria Villa,
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
 - November 9, 2001, Re: Adirondack Park Agency Project No. 2000-158
"Cold River Properties" Proposed Single Family Dwelling , Response to letter by Adirondack Park Agency Counsel, Dated October 24, 2001.
"Letter to Kit Kimball, Director, Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Dept. of Interior"
- From Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, March 2002)
This letter gives ideas for reform to incorporate in DOI's five-year strategic plan. Wildlife restoration and land acquisition should take place under transparent processes and be privatized, eliminating corporatism between government and non-profit organizations. Management of DOI land should promote private property rights, while protecting human life, adjacent lands, rural communities, wildlife and the environment, to produce raw materials, provide recreation, and reduce eco-colonialism.
"Letter to Gov. Pataki signed by 33 of 37 female APA employees stating that the APA is not a 'hostile or chilling environment for women'"
(Adirondack Park Agency, September 12, 2005)
Letter to Sen. Robert F. Bennett
Letter in opposition to the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Act - by J. Boyd Mickel, a Spring City Council Member.
 Letters to the Editor
 - Key Points for Success. How to write a successful letter to the editor. By Carol W. LaGrasse
"Leveling the Playing Field"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, June 2006)
"The property owner should form a relationship with his or her representative. The most effective citizen is the one who has worked long and hard to participate in government, and is well known to the elected representative."
"Liability for Recreational Uses of Private Property - New York State Protections Leave Landowners Vulnerable"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights Foundation of America Background Brief, January 2004)
In spite of the NY General Obligations Law's protections for public-spirited property owners, the law's exceptions and court decisions show that owners have liability to recreational and other users of their property where trails and recreational access exist.
"Liability to Private Property Owners - Comments on the DEC Draft Comprehensive Adirondack Snowmobile Plan"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Queensbury Town Hall, March 3, 2004
DEC's scheme to move snowmobiles out of a new central Adirondack "core area" to the periphery and to private land bodes ill for private property owners, who face additional recreational use liability.
"Litigating for Private Property Rights — A Western Perspective"
- By Harriet M. Hageman, Attorney, Hageman and Brighton, P.C., Cheyenne, Wyoming; Speech to the Ninth Annual Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y. October 22, 2005)
Threats to private property rights affect our families, our communities, our environment, our educational system and the future of our children. With the Preble's Jumping Mouse and the introduction of the Canadian gray wolf into Wyoming as examples, the Endangered Species Act is being manipulated, not for the purpose of benefiting endangered species, but to limit management and use of private property.
"Local Assessors Fight State Pressure to "Consolidate'"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, April 2008.
The executive and legislative branches of state government are applying pressure to eliminate local elected assessors, as a first step toward wiping out the office of town assessors and absorbing it into each county Office of Real Property Tax Services. Local elected assessors around New York State have gotten the picture and are up in arms. Other offices of local government are also threatened by recommendations of the Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness, established by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, with a very receptive legislature.
"Local Citizen Organizing to Defeat Eminent Domain"
- By Michael Cristofaro, Resident of the condemned Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London, Speech to the Ninth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 22, 2005)
The Cristofaro family gave up their first house to eminent domain, supposedly for a levee, but a private development was built there instead. They refused to move when the City's New London Redevelopment Agency condemned their second home, and fought their way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where their case, Kelo v. New London, was defeated. Michael Cristofaro speaks about the injustice of eminent domain at every opportunity and is campaigning for the City Council.
"Local Historic District Abolished in Monterey, Virginia"
- By Leo M. Schwartz (Virginia Land Rights Coalition, January 15, 2003)
After a successful political battle led by property rights activists, the Monterey Town Council voted on December 19, 2002 to abolish the town's historic district, one of 200 local districts in Virginia. The spokesman for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in Richmond, commented, "Our
department is not aware of any other local government in Virginia that has dissolved its historic district."

Local Property Rights Organizations

- A listing and brief description of property rights organizations in New York State.
Locoweed Closes 48,000 Acres of Alogones Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Park
- by Don Fife (Feb. 2002).
 Long Fight Heats Up—Who Gerrymandered the Maps?
- Pine Barrens Litigants get to "Discovery" in Five-year-old Lawsuit.
 "Long Island Pine Barrens Lawsuit Argued in Albany County Supreme Court"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, March 2002)
Walt Olsen's property in limbo, tax foreclosure and land trust hover. Judge Malone probes "unequal treatment" issue.
 Long Island Pine Barrens
- Index page of information about the Long Island Pine Barrens.
Long Island Pine Barrens - Property Owners' Takings Lawsuit in Federal Court
- Speech by John J. O'Connell from Proceedings of the Second Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, 1996).
Long Pond Tract Permit Deliberations Photo Gallery
- A Photo Gallery of the APA deliberations regarding the Long Pond Tract permit
Long Warwick Zoning Battle Ends
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, February 2002)
Farmers give a little in dispute with urban emigres. Town drops key parts of farm preservation plan, including "Purchase of Development Rights" and "Open Space" zoning.
 The Los Alamos Fire
- by Carol W. LaGrasse, from Positions on Property, Vol. 5 No. 1 (PRFA, July 2000).

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