Excerpts from...

Positions on Property Masthead

Vol. 1 No. 1—The Return to the Stone Age of Government
 

PRFA introduced Positions on Property with a still-unparalleled description of the capacity of present-day environmental government to control private property. Focusing on the State of New York, the historic issue exposed the overarching land-use on a state, federal and international level, complete with a pie chart, time chart, and centerfold map. Seven years later the information in this issue is powerfully accurate. Another first was a discussion of the public trust doctrine in a property rights publication. In addition, a separate article exposed the fact that the Rockefeller charities paid the salary of the head of the State greenway agency.

Article on web site:

 
   
Vol. 1 No. 2—The End of the Long March—Environmentalism’s Iron Grip
 

The second issue of Positions on Property began with a powerful article that one nationally prominent conservative speaker still re-reads before he delivers every one of his speeches. The article conveys the capacity of the iron grip of environmental regulation to microscopically intrude and control the totality of life. A centerfold illustrates “The Monstrous Tool of Power,” which remains incisively accurate in its selection of the vehicles for environmental control.

The supplement, “Surgically Removing the Aorta of America,” describes the threat to private property rights posed by the Mississippi River Corridor, the most insidious of the National Heritage Corridors, or Areas, proposed at the time. Other articles are “Land Grab U. S. A.” about the national Park Service National Heritage Corridor plan, including the first published list (on a map) of the scope of National Heritage Corridors; an article about the impact of the Columbia River Gorge Commission, the model program for the Heritage Corridors; and “The Glory of Environmentalism—Re-wilding The United States of America,” the first article published by any conservative or property rights organization about the Wildlands program.

Articles on web site:

 
 
 
 
 
 
   
Vol. 1 No. 3—Come Into My Parlor—The Executioner of Small Towns Weaving a Net of National Land-Use Controls
 

This issue describes the ways in which the National Park Service has been an enemy of private property owners, with summaries of the National Natural Landmarks program, trails, greenlining, “partnerships” in heritage areas, the National Register of Historic Places, U. N. Biosphere Reserves, and Administrative Units of every nature from Recreation Areas to National Battlefields. A separate article tells about how NPS betrayed the promised that were made to sell the Alaskan National Park System to Congress. Charts and diagrams illustrate the enormity of the system and the efficiency of the land acquisition and land-use control campaigns. In addition, the “willing seller” myth is challenged.

Charts, diagrams and articles on web site:

 
 
 
 
 
   
Vol. 2 No. 1—A Little-Known NPS Program: Biosphere Reserves—The International Vanguard of Rural Depopulation
 

This issue presented an overview of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve program, complete with the an explanation of their power to be used as an influence for depopulation and a background on the designations that became controversial in a few such localities. The issue was useful in the defeats of the proposals for Biosphere Reserves for the Catskill Mountains and the Ozark Highlands. A centerfold article, “A Perception of Cultural Preservation,” exposes the cultural, historical and religious desecration of the local cemeteries in the Buffalo National River. The National Parks and Conservation Association is exposed as “The Quintessential Non-Profit Shadow Government” in another short article.

Articles on web site:

 
 
 
 
   
Vol. 2 No. 2—Perverting the Trust—Private Charitable Land Preservation Organizations as Government Acquisition Agents
 

This groundbreaking issue shows that, in “betraying our constitutional heritage of private ownership of property, the land trusts are key players in the perverse movement of land to government ownership.” After the main article, “Perverting the Trust,” an article entitled “High Finance” gives special emphasis on land trusts in the Hudson River Greenway. The article notes that the Open Space Institute was established to receive case settlements in Clean Water Act citizen suits by Natural Resources Defense Council. A local town assessor is quoted extensively about the impact of Open Space Institute on the tax base. Next comes an article “Not-Profit Land Acquisitions in the Hudson River ‘Corridor’,” which correlates land acquisitions to planned regional reserves connecting a string of highlands from New Jersey through Connecticut. A centerfold chart, “Mobilizing on an Issue” elucidates the deliberate intergroup mobilizing on any single issue by the environmentalist machine. An article, “Financial Hardball,” describes some of the questionable ethics of government bonding to non-profits. Charts and inserts include “GIS—The Government Environmental Eye,” “American Farmland Trust—A look at a Lesser-Noticed Land Trust,” “The Slick Not-Profit Land Trusts: The Public Face v. The Insider Reality,”
and more.

Articles on web site:

 
 
   
Vol. 2 No. 3—A Microcosm of Corruption: Unrepentant Congress—Ideological Usurpation of Government to Destroy Family Farms
 

The title article tells the “Bart Dye Story” of how a 130-year-old family farm became entrapped by the bureaucracy created by Congress to supposedly help farmers. This article was instrumental in bringing about reforms in the farm law prohibiting the Secretary of Agriculture from imposing wetlands easements on farms during buy-back from the Farmers Home Administration, now the Farm Services Agency. The article shows the flimsy excuses that the Fish and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the Farm Services Agency, uses to acquire farmland from the family farmer, or to encumber the farm with conservation easements that diminish the equity to the point that farming is foreclosed. Continuing the focus on the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the centerfold article exposes the Northern Forest Lands Plan, which was designed originally to follow the Columbia River Gorge Commission with a regional interstate zoning agency under the auspices of the U. S. Forest Service. The final article, “Environmental Pac Man,” describes use of acquisitions for the Finger Lakes National Forest to establish a larger core area and corridors as part of a re-wilding plan. The article is unique in that Carol LaGrasse, a licensed professional engineer, mapped disconnected and more obviously related purchases using tax maps, and projected short-term inner and outer acquisition domains, as well as the long-term acquisition domain to assist and inspire the local communities to stop the previously undisclosed plan.

Articles on web site:

 
 
 
 
  Centerfold on web site:
 
   
Vol. 2 No. 4—The Seamless Garment: The United States Constitution—The Culmination of Human Rights Law
 

This issue celebrates the United States Constitution and the traditions of Judaism and Christianity of a just God who led his people out of bondage and promises them freedom and full human dignity. Beginning with “The Campaign to Nullify Private Property Rights,” the issue traces a path through today’s environmentalist and other governmental threats to our system of justice: “Assaults on Private Property, Due Process and Other Constitutional Protections in the Course of Criminal Enforcement,” “ Favoring Select Groups With Unconstitutional Law,” “Environmentalism’s Drive for Power,” “The Fifth Amendment,” “The Right to Representative Government,” “Predatory Jury Awards,” “Equality Before the Law,” “The Sixth and Seventh Amendments,” “Access to the Courts for Redress of Grievances,” “The Fourth Amendment—Privacy and the Right to be Secure Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures,” “The Ninth and Tenth Amendments,” “Land Designations,” “Land Designations and Sovereignty,” “The First Amendment,” and “Environmentalism’s Threat to the Constitution.”

Article on web site:

 
   
Vol. 3 No. 1—A Back Door to Federal Zoning: The American Heritage Areas—Natural riparian corridors are a key to national wildlands preservation effort
 

This entire issue is devoted to the Congressional American/National Heritage Area program, updating the extent of the program and the actual Congressional designations that have taken place and are in progress. The issue discusses linear preservation programs of other types, such as scenic byways, rails-to-trails, coastal zones, and the like, explaining the regulatory diversity involved in the corridors program. The broader explanation in the context of “land bridges” and wilderness corridors to connect pristine areas in the “wildlands” program is brought out, observing that land-use planners and the powerful historical preservationists are leading the program while involved in a symbiotic relationship with environmental extremists to protect corridors without sharing the extreme wildlands vision. Charts, inserts, and a map show “Congressionally Designated National heritage Corridors,” “National Heritage Areas Now Under Federal Study,” “Proposed National Heritage Areas,” “The Danger of Designations—Long-Term Steps Toward Iron-Clad Zoning at Local level Fostered and Mandated by National and Elite Powers,” “National Heritage Area Proposals for New York State,” “Tryon County, New York. Where did you say that was?”, “The Juggernaut of Private Not-for-Profit Interest Groups,” “The Regional Regulatory and Advocacy Infrastructure,” “Government Feeding Itself: Heritage Area Players—Major Federal Agencies Involved,” and “Amendments Considered for Protection of Home Rule, National Sovereignty and Property Rights.” The issue is a library of information about the American/National Areas program, and is also a resource to understand the Clinton American Heritage Rivers Initiative that was declared because of the effectiveness of the national property rights movement in blocking the generic American/National Heritage Areas program in Congress. The centerfold depicts Lady Liberty locked in a legal dungeon with rats eating the precious United States Constitution.

Included on web site:

 
 
 
 
   
Vol. 3 No. 2—New Crimes, New Power: Building & Zoning Codes (double-sized issue)
 

This extremely popular issue of Positions on Property has since been reprinted and is in continuing demand for the succinct, practical information it contains. Opening with Carol LaGrasse’s reflections about the pervasive use of graft inherent to the system of building code and zoning enforcement, the issue includes two flow charts about the endurance test faced by an individual winding his way through the system. Ten pages of informative charts describe the infringements on freedom and inequities in common aspects of zoning from interest groups to illegal searches, to entrapment, excessive punishment, squelching home occupations, architectural and historic rules, vehicle storage laws, mobile home ordinances, and on and on. There is an article “Face to Face” about “What to do when personally Confronted by Unjust Zoning, Building Code & Nuisance Laws” and another article “The Better Way” about “Defeating and Repealing Zoning, Building Code and Unconstitutional ‘Nuisance’ Rules Before They Affect You personally.” Another strategy articles is called “Realistic Strategy Choices.” Key rulings by the U. S. Supreme Court are outlined in “A Short Zoning Glossary.” A closing article is entitled “The Government Building Managers Have You—Now and Forever.” “Defending Car Collectors” tells about Jack Down and Citizens Against Repressive Zoning, a key national organization dedicated to the rights of car hobbyists. “A Childhood to Remember” tells the story of the gentle life in College Point, where I grew up; unfortunately, every lovely activity and occasion recalled in the article is now illegal.

Articles on web site:

 
 
   
Vol. 4 No. 1—Heritage Rivers: Elites Only
 

This issue is the most complete publication available about the Clinton American Heritage Rivers Initiative. In addition, it includes a section on U. N. World Heritage Sites, with a list of existing and tentative sites in the United States. The centerfold displays graphically how the designation of an American Heritage River Corridor can be expected to create a cycle of induced economic failure and restoration to ‘nature’ that feeds itself with continued regulation and land transfers, while rural land is gradually concentrated in the hands of government and elites. A feature article, “Tourism Not Welcome” describes how Hanalei American Heritage River in Hawaii is being used to manipulate a non-existent “community” into a false consensus and block use of the river for established tourism. The last section of the issue is devoted to the FERC hydroelectric dam relicensing process, where elite preservation groups led by American Rivers are working to acquire “land for dams” and even to have dams dismantled. the final article is a summary “How-To” about participating in the FERC process. American Rivers was the main group cited by Clinton when announcing the American Heritage Rivers program. In addition, PRFA published a directory of the American Heritage Rivers and the battery of appointive officials ensconced in many federal departments, which Representative Helen Chenoweth subsequently entered into the Congressional Record.

Articles included:

 
 
 
Vol. 5 No. 1—Land Trusts Threaten Private Property: Conservation Easements—Easy Government Money - Future Problems
 

Additional requests quickly gobbled up every copy of this issue and the first reprint is now almost gone. After an opening to the effect that conservation easements are a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the issue follows with “The Myth of Private Conservation,” “Conservation Easements – A Threat to Private Property,” “The Myth of ‘Voluntary’ Action,” “Preserving the Land for Productive Use in Perpetuity – A False Promise,” “The Question of Preventing Subdivision and Development,” “Over-exploitation of the Land – A false Threat,” “Preserving Rural Communities – The False Promise of Conservation Easements,” “‘Opening Up’ Access to Rural Holdings – Another False Promise,” “A Questionable Benefit to Industry,” “Conservation Easements – A Question of Taxes,” and “In Conclusion – The False Promise of Conservation Easements.” Also included is the checklist for conveyance to a land trust, “Informed Consent.” Discussion about the future of land under conservation easements would not be complete without inclusion of an article about the fires on government land during 2000; the Los Alamos Fire is briefly summarized in the context of the threat of fire to 39 million acres of federal land. The Positions on Property closed with a short article about the lawsuit challenging New York State’s acquisition of 139,000 acres of land from Champion International Corporation, including 110,000 acres of conservation easements.

Articles on web site:

 
 
 
 
   

Order copies of Positions on Property

PRFA Home Page

© 2008 Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.
All rights reserved. This material may not be broadcast, published, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.