Property Rights Foundation of America®
Founded 1994

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

"The Passing of Old Gilboa"
- By V.D. Mattice, Kingston, N.Y., September 1921
A poem by a former resident, poignantly recalling the obliteration of the village of Gilboa in the Schoharie Valley, submerged for another reservoir for New York City.
 Pat Callahan Stands Up for Private Property at CARA Hearings
- Congressional Update - June 2001 - President of American Association of Small Property Owners Offers Unflinching Testimony for Preserving Private Property at the June 20 Hearing on H.R. 701
Pataki's Good-bye Kiss
- Op Ed, January 7, 1998.

Paul T. Johnson's Small Landlord's Commentaries

"Paul T. Johnson's Commentaries"
Infringements on the rights of small landlords in Ellenville, N.Y., by Paul T. Johnson, an owner of rental properties (printed by permission).

PCB Dredging Threatens Upstate Landowners

 - Index page of information about the proposed dredging of PCB's in the Hudson River.
"A Perception of Cultural Preservation"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Reprinted from Positions on Property, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Jan. 1995, PRFA)
The National Park Service's practice in twentieth century parks such as Buffalo National River in the Ozarks, Shenandoah National Park, and Great Smokie Mountains National Park is to include cemeteries in "wilderness" areas and prevent their upkeep, prevent people from visiting cemeteries by prohibiting motor vehicle use by mourners and descendants, and to compound the visitation difficulty by allowing roads and paths to deteriorate.
The Perkiomen Trail—Maps
- Eight maps depicting the currently planned route of the Perkiomen Trail in Pennsylvania.
Perkiomen Trail Poses a Threat to Private Property Owners
- The Mercury, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, June 10, 2001, by Carol W. LaGrasse.
"Perpetuity is a Long, Long Time"
- By Clarice Ryan, Bigfork, Montana, Letter to the Editor, July 4, 2004
Pew took a public misstep
- Letter in the Agri-News, President's Corner, May 25, 2001 by Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.
"Pew Charitable Trusts took a public misstep in their letter to the editor published in the May 11 issue of Agri-News by attacking columnist John Elvin's theme that conservation easements are connected to The Wildlands Project. Pew's image may be significantly tarnished by their self-created negative publicity."
"Plan for Scenic Byway in Greene County Arouses Controversy"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, December 2002)
Athens Councilman Fred Dedrick has held up designation of Route 385 as a Scenic Byway because he fears that property rights will be infringed by sign prohibitions; a mandated management plan to be prepared by non-profit environmental groups; new zoning and land acquisition to protect the Scenic Byway and integrate it with the County Open Space Plan; and the lure of grants.
The Planning Board—A Threat to Private Property Rights
- Comments on the "Public Notice" by Town of Ischua Alleging "Confusion" about Implementation of a Planning Board and Zoning Board - By Carol W. LaGrasse, January 2002.
"Planning - Good or Bad"
- Book Review by Nathaniel R. Dickinson (Property Rights Foundation of America®, April 2008)
The Best-Laid Plans, How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future, By Randal O'Toole (Cato Institute, 2007)
In this surprising review of a popular conservative title, rather than focus on the issues of land use planning, urban renewal, smart growth and the like, where the author explores the need to reduce government's excessive control over people and the diminishment of their freedom, our reviewer analyzes the author's approach to planning with respect to wildlife issues, where more, rather than less, planning is needed.
"Plan to Win"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights Foundation of America® Position Brief, April 2008)
You are faced with a challenging situation. In order to defend private property rights, you must plan to win. Victory can only come with a multi-front approach. First, describe your goal. Next, objectively list all tactics that your could employ to reach that goal. Finally select the tactics that appear feasible, make a tentative plan, and go to work.
"The Pleistocene Park Project—Removing Civilization from North America"
- By Robert J. Smith, Adjunct Environmental Scholar, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Speech to the Ninth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 22, 2005)
Environmental scholars proposed in August 2005 to restore the ecosystem and all the large animals that roamed North America at the end of the Pleistocene Ice Age, replacing extinct mammals with Asian and African counterparts, including elephants, lions, cheetahs, camels, wild horses and a giant tortoise, while eliminating human beings from ten states from Canada to Mexico, from the east edge of the Rockies to just west of the Mississippi River. This is just the latest of radical environmental proposals that are viewed as credible and explain what the environmental leadership is about.
"Porn Disclosure Subjects APA to Continuing Ridicule"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 10, No. 1 (PRFA, Winter 2006)
After the story exploded across upstate New York and the wire services that Adirondack Park Agency Director Daniel Fitts was using the State computer for porn, he was forced to resign. The region reacted with "Adirondack Porn Agency" T-shirts, a house-sized "NO APA" sign, and other ridicule. The replacement director, Richard Lefebvre, was accused of sending pornographic e-mail to women at his previous post as chairman of the Hudson River Black River Regulating District.
Positions on Property 
- A listing of articles from our premier publication Positions on Property.
"Post-Submission Memorandum to Correct the Record before the Court of Appeals"
- Bath Petroleum Storage, Inc., et al. v. New York State DEC, et al., New York State Court of Appeals (Civil Appeal No. 01-02144, Nov. 19, 2002)
This unusual paper corrects several blatant misrepresentations in the DEC's opposition brief that, if relied upon by the court, might improperly prejudice its determination in the request for appeal. In making the corrections of factual matter, Bath Petroleum quotes the factual determination in Livingston County Supreme Court's Decision, the administrative procedure, and the litigation record.
"Practical Experience with the U.S. EPA—Arbitrary Regulation of Small Oil Producers"
- By Steven Kennemuth, Olean, New York (Sixth Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights, PRFA, November 16, 2002)
Pre-Filed Testimony of
Carol W. LaGrasse,
June 5, 2002
- Cold Brook Properties/Keith McHugh, Adirondack Park Agency Project No. 2000-158, Proposed Single Family Dwelling on Lens Lake, Stony Creek, N.Y.
 Supplementary Pre-Filed Testimony of Carol W. LaGrasse June 5, 2002
- Cold Brook Properties/Keith McHugh, Adirondack Park Agency Project No. 2000-158, Proposed Single Family Dwelling on Lens Lake, Stony Creek, N.Y.
Pre-Filed Testimony of
Carol W. LaGrasse,
June 5, 2002 — Part 1 - the Letter List
- Cold Brook Properties/Keith McHugh, Adirondack Park Agency Project No. 2000-158, Proposed Single Family Dwelling on Lens Lake, Stony Creek, N.Y.
Pre-Filed Testimony of
Carol W. LaGrasse,
June 5, 2002 — Part 2 - Analysis of Letters
- Cold Brook Properties/Keith McHugh, Adirondack Park Agency Project No. 2000-158, Proposed Single Family Dwelling on Lens Lake, Stony Creek, N.Y.
"PRFA is Forced to Defend Its Freedom of Speech"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, January 2007.
The Warrensburg Town Board tried to slip through a severe sign ordinance at the end of the year that would have prohibited the big sign with the symbol "NO APA" and the PRFA web site URL on Ted Galusha's house on Route 9. The townspeople got angry.

Prentiss argues against EPA dredging plan
- As printed in: Your Opinion Matters—Colonie Spotlight, January 17, 2001.
Prentiss courageously led charge
- Op Ed by Carol W. LaGrasse in The Troy Record, October 24, 2000.
"Preservation Group Straps Massachusetts Farm Couple"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Spring-Summer 1997, PRFA)
Bankruptcy court appeal may be the final chapter for Marie and Joseph Hill, an elderly couple who are being evicted from their scenic dairy farm in South Dartmouth on Buzzard's Bay, after losing a battle with a local preservation group, FORM.

Preservation vs. The Future of the North Country

 - Index page of information about preservation vs. the future of the North Country in New York State.

Preserving Private Lands in Private hands

 - Index page of information about preserving private land in private hands.
Pres. Bush Executive Order for Cooperative Conservation - August 26, 2004
- Pres. George W. Bush directed the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency to promote cooperative conservative conservation, emphasizing local participation. he directed agencies to take appropriate account of and respect the interests of
persons with ownership or other legally recognized interests in land and natural resources. His directive requires an annual report on the implementation of the order by each agency to the President
's Council on Environmental Quality. It sets the stage for a White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation in one year.
"The President Exhibits Character on Earth Day"
- By Nathaniel R. Dickinson (PRFA, April 23, 2004)
Earth Day has its roots in the scare-mongering of pseudo-science. The environmental movement is spearheaded by numerous well-heeled, ultra-liberal groups whose concern for the natural world is somewhere out in the wings.
"Press Release Essentials — How to Write an Effective Press Release"
— By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, June 2002). Practical information to make good press releases.
Previously-Undisclosed EPA Document Identifies 12 Upper River Communities for Hazardous Waste Sludge Facilities—
CEASE Demands Investigation Into Hidden Document
- CEASE press release, February 5, 2001.
Principles of Humility, Self-Sufficiency and Kindness Reign in Lapp Family
- Mennonite Property Rights Activist and Family Have Helped Many—But the tax-man and labor law enforcers have other rules
(reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 4, No. 2, Spring-Summer 1997).

 Prisoner's Rights - National

- Index page of information about prisoner's rights in America.

 Prisoner's Rights - New York

- Index page of information about prisoner's rights in New York.

Privacy - National

- Index page of information about privacy issues in America.

 Privacy - New York

- Index page of information about privacy issues in New York.
"Private Conservation of Wildlife in Africa"
- By Brian Seasholes, Speech to the Sixth Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, November 16, 2002)
The creation of property rights to wildlife in southern Africa caused wildlife to burgeon on private lands. In Zimbabwe, the black rhinoceros, lions, elephants, and imperiled wild dogs migrated to conservancies, where they multiplied.

Private Conservation

- Index page of private conservation on the national scene.
"Private Conservation — Proven Environmentalism"
- by Robert J. Smith, President, Center for Private Conservation, Keynote Address to the Sixth Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, November 2002)
This engrossing discourse on ornithology and other wildlife is meant to convey the good news that private landowners and private associations are almost always better stewards of the land, resources, and wildlife than government coercion and government ownership.
"Private Land Not Part of Preserve"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Letter to the Editor, Published in the Hamilton County News, June 1, 2004
Maintaining the three million acres of private land in the six million acre Adirondack region is essential to preserving the local economy and culture.
Kelo v. City of New London:
"Private Property At The Mercy Of Government"
- By John McClaughry, Ethan Allen Institute, Reprinted by Permission. (This article appeared in most Vermont newspapers shortly after the ruling.)
According to the June 23, 2005 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Kelo v. New London, government can take the property of A by eminent domain and turn it over to B whenever it thinks that B will pay more in taxes.
"Private Property protected from Bureau of Land Management employee retaliation"
-Reprinted from Wyoming Agriculture (February 2006) with permission of the Wyoming Farm Bureau.
On January 11, 2006, the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that employees in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cannot retaliate against a ranch owner for refusing to grant the agency a right-of-way across his private land. Harvey Frank Robbins sued under RICO, saying that BLM employees used the power of federal regulations to try to extort a right-of-way across his private land in Wyoming. The case will go to jury trial in Cheyenne.
"Private Property Protection Act"
"Takings" legislation was introduced early 2005 into the New Mexico Legislature. HB 1090, the Private Property Protection Act, would require compensation for any actual deprivation of use of property, or for any reduction in market value of the property for the uses permitted at the time the owner acquired a title interest.

Private Property Rights

- Index page of private property on the national scene.
"Private Property Rights—Freedom in the Balance"
-Keynote Address by John Fund, The Wall Street Journal, Tenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 14, 2006)
"Often the best template by which to judge a member of Congress is not whether they have an R or D behind their name, not whether they say they are a conservative or say they are a liberal, but what their philosophical impulses are towards Kelo."
"Private Property Rights of Farmers: Updates in Takings and Related Case Law"
- By Jeff Williams and Leah Hurtgen, New York State Farm Bureau (Sixth Annual Conference on Private Property Rights, PRFA - November 16, 2002)
A broad overview of significant recent cased that have occurred in New York State and in other parts of this country, which affect agriculture and other land-intensive business such as logging and will touch individual property owners: Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (122 S. Ct. 1465 (2002); the victorious Palazzolo v. Rhode Island and related historic cases; Town of Lysander v. Hafner (New York State Court of Appeals, October 18, 2001); the disappointing Long Island Pine Barrens v. Town of Riverhead; the California case Pronsolino v. EPA; and another Ninth Circuit case Borden Ranch v. Army Corps of Engineers.
"A Professional and Intellectual Journey"
- Book Review by Nate Dickinson (PRFA, April 13, 2004)
A review of Give Me a Break — How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media by John Stossel, Harper Collins, 2004
The Program of the Sixth Annual Conference
November 16, 2002
- The schedule of times and speakers.
"Property Laws are Callous, Bureaucratic"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Letter to the Editor, Published in the Post- Star, Glens Falls, N.Y., July 24, 2003
Older women are the victims of property maintenance regulations. It's not surprising that a Hudson Falls building inspector would abuse his power under such a callous ordinance.
Property Owners' Victory!
- Press Release, November 17, 2000 - DEC Withdraws Controversial Saratoga County Wetlands Maps.
Property Rights and Wetlands
Speech to the New York Wetlands Forum
Syracuse, New York
- by Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., March 23, 1999.
"Property Rights Around New York"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc. (Speech to the Building & Realty Institute of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Region, White Plains, N.Y., September 11, 2008)
On the anniversary of 9/11, the insidious attempt to repeal new building code protections of high-rise office occupants that were the culmination of the work of the best minds in fire protection and engineering points to the true need for government that would protect the economy and property rights of New Yorkers by dealing with dictatorial historic preservation, NIMBY obstruction of local development, utility obstruction, warrantless rental inspections, overzealous wetland protection, free-wheeling eminent domain, and limitless preservation-oriented land acquisition.

Property Rights - National

- Index page of property rights issues in New York and on the national scene.
Property Rights Battle Cry: Field Hearings for CARA
- Congressional Update - June 24, 2001: American Land Rights Association's campaign for local hearings gathers steam- By Carol W. LaGrasse.
"Property Rights Bills in the New York State Legislature"
- By Jeff Williams, Assistant Director of Government Relations, New York Farm Bureau - Speech to the Seventh Annual Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, October 18, 2003)
The New York Farm Bureau's 34,000 grassroots members succeeded in defeating a mislabeled "canned shoot" bill, which had no acreage limitation. Open burning and light pollution (fugitive lighting) bills threaten farmers. Tax exempt reform legislation could relieve undue burdens on property owners.

Property Rights - New York

- Index page of property rights issues in New York.
Property Rights Foundation criticizes Land-Use "Reform"
Resolution proposed by the Albany and Pace Law Schools is platform for New York State growth management law
- Article by Carol W. LaGrasse from New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 3, No. 1 (PRFA, Jan. 1996).
"Property Rights Foundation of America Asks U.S. Supreme Court for Fair Hearing for Litigants"
- PRFA, August 31, 2004
Chander and Ashima Kant's house worth $199,000 was disposed of by Montgomery, Md., for $6,020 to pay a disputed bill, but the courts haven't allowed the Kants to have a hearing on their claim of discrimination. PRFA has filed a friend of the court brief before the U.S. Supreme Court because the federal rules are meant to allow litigants to bring issues before the court so that they are prevented from losing suits where they would otherwise win.
"Property Rights Foundation of America Submits 'Friend of the Court' Brief to U.S. Supreme Court opposing New London's 'Private Eminent Domain'"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, September 2004)
Connecticut's highest court allowed New London to condemn properties owned by Susette Kelo and others to transfer them to a private developer solely for the purpose of economic improvement. The property owners have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a hearing and PRFA has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of their petition.
"A Property Rights Garden of Childlike Verses"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, December 2006)
"Rub-a-dub, dub/ Three men in a tub/…Turn them out, knaves all three." Nursery rhymes, the language of children, lay bare the traits of government today.
"Property rights group raises concern about occupancy tax law"
- by Mike Mender (Post Star, Glens Falls, N.Y., January 16, 2004 - Reprinted by permission of the Post Star)
Carol LaGrasse, president of Property Rights Foundation of America, said, "The thing we're most concerned about is the aspect of forfeiture." She said that Warren County's law would allow the county treasurer to go after someone's property if the county felt that there was a prospective bankruptcy.
Property Rights: From Magna Carta to the Fourteenth Amendment - A Synopsis
- By Bernard H. Siegan an immediately acclaimed analysis of the importance of property rights in the Anglo-American constitutional tradition.
"Property Rights Legal Foundation Inaugerated"
Attorney Madeline Sheila Galvin announced at the Seventh Annual Conference on Private Property Rights that the long-envisioned Property Rights Legal Foundation was incorporated in September. The primary purpose of the non-profit organization is "to promote freedom, property rights, civil rights, [and] constitutionally guaranteed rights." (PRFA, Oct. 18, 2003)
"A Property Rights Primer — How to Educate Yourself"
- By Susan Allen, Keene Valley, N.Y. (PRFA, December 10, 2002)
Don't rely on others. If you have been hit with a property rights issue, "you need to become very knowledgeable in a very great hurry." This primer by an expert tells you how to gather information about government programs and land ownership without any prior background.
"Property Rights-Related Bills in the New York State Legislature"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, May 13, 2004)
Descriptions of 13 bills in the NY Legislature that benefit property owners, including wetlands tax abatement, statute of limitations on APA Act, tax exempt non-profit reform, forestry tax exemption reimbursement, separate wetlands assessment, wetlands homeowner's relief, citizen's wetlands expertise fund, wetland owner just compensation, authority reform, and eminent domain notification reform.
"Property Rights—The Court of Appeals of New York"
- By Stuart R. Shamberg, Founder, Shamberg Marwell Hocherman Davis & Hollis, P.C., Seventh Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, October 18, 2003)
"In 2002 the Court of Appeals sent a very clear message to all of the courts in New York that they were not to substitute their decision for the determination of the local zoning board if there was any evidence in the administrative record to support its decision." In environmental law, in the case of Bath Petroleum Storage v. DEC, the Appellate Div. - 4th Dept. reversed the Supreme Court in Livingston County, in effect sanctioning endless information requests by an administrative agency requiring the applicant's agreement with the agency's conclusions.
"Property Rights, Trails, & Open Space Preservation"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Speech to the Comprehensive Planning Advisory Committee, Town of Ballston, June 22, 2005
Private property rights were fundamental to the founders and protected other rights, but a brief chronology shows that U.S. Supreme Court rulings dealing with zoning and open space have both eroded and protected these rights. Trails threaten private property owners with liability and other problems, but reversionary title is protected.
"Property Tax Reduction Proposal — A Western New Yorker's Approach"
- By Stephen N. Hunt (July 4, 2003)
Property tax changes are needed to stem the area's population loss and general economic stagnation. As opposed to tax support for specific industries, general relief for all property owners who do improvements to existing properties would deal with the aging commercial and residential real estate in poor condition, while feeding an engine for business growth.
 Proposal for a Single-Family Log House on Lens Lake Road, Stony Creek
 - Staff Presentation to the Adirondack Park Agency Commissioners and photo montage.
"The Proposed Law of the Sea Treaty: A Threat to Private Property Rights"
- Lawrence Kogan, Esq., J.D., LLM, The Institute for International Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development (ITSSD), Princeton, New Jersey, Eleventh Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 13, 2007)
The Law of the Sea Treaty is the largest regulatory treaty ever conceived, but has just missed ratification by the United States. Instead of clarifying maritime law, it would change it fundamentally. Freedom of navigation would be hindered, because it is capitalist. Deep-sea mining rights would not go to miners, but would be redistributed. Environmental rules based on "sustainable development" and the "precautionary principle" would supersede private property rights, even within the United States, because pollution could theoretically flow to the oceans.
"Proposed National Heritage Areas — 104th Congress — 1996"
- Reprinted from "American Heritage Areas," Positions on Property, (PRFA Jan.-Apr. 1996)
"The Proposed Rondout Creek Canalway Trail-Defending Property Owners"
- By Joseph Havranek, Rondout Landowners Alliance, Seventh Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, October 18, 2003)
A classic of successful activism. FOIL Requests revealed that the true intent of the local project in Rosendale and Marbletown was a 108-mile trail linking the Hudson and Delaware Rivers. The Rondout Landowners Alliance got the information to the people and went on the offensive.
Protecting Private Land in the Northeast
- Excerpts of speech by Charles S. Cushman from Proceedings of the Fourth Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights (1999).
"Protecting Private Property-Prospects in the 108th Congress"
- By Michael Hardiman, Hardiman Consulting, Washington, D.C., Speech at the Sixth Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, November 16, 2002)
Mr. Hardiman sees a strong chance for improvements to the Endangered Species Act, to require sound science to list new species, and an excellent chance that the estate tax, whose biggest supporter is the land trusts, will be permanently repealed.
Protecting wetlands and landowners' rights
- "Commentary," Times Union, Albany, N.Y., September 22, 1999, article by Carol W. LaGrasse.
Public Notice to the Town of Ischua
- A notice to clear up the "confusion" regarding the implementation of a "Zoning Board" and "Planning Board" by the Town of Ischua, New York.
Publications List 
- A listing of some of the publications available from PRFA.

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