"Florida Home Buyers Cancel $41 Million in Sales
After Public Access to Preserve is Disclosed" - News Brief, PRFA, August 2007
Pennsylvania, Plans to Condemn Property for a Trail after it
Loses Lawsuit Against Owners"
National Association of Reversionary
Property Owners, Richard Welsh, Executive Director
(The preeminent national
organization defending owners of land through which a railroad
Testimony of Nels Ackerson
Before the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee
on Commercial and Administrative Law U.S. House of Representatives
June 20, 2002
The nation's leading attorney for property owners facing rails
to trails Takings testified about the
"extravagantly wasteful litigation" caused by the failure
of the federal government to set up a procedure
of compensation for landowners where land is expropriated under
rails to trails.
See the National Association of Reversionary Property Owners
web site: link
Rights Update from Washington, D.C." - By Jason Knox,
Esq., Legislative Staffer, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests
and Public Lands, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington,
D.C.; Twelfth Annual National Conference on Private Property
Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 18, 2008)
The environmentalists are using legislation against energy
transmission corridors. They're promoting Heritage Areas
and wilderness designations as "economic redevelopment"
while eliminating good-paying jobs. The urban Taunton Wild and
Scenic River is meant to stop a gas pipeline. The 1,082-page
resources omnibus bill would tie up 2 million acres as wilderness,
including 1.2 million acres in Wyoming to stop use of gas and
oil resources. The National Land Conservation System would codify
Clinton/Gore National Monument designations. Right now, focus
on energy. Make your voice heard on land use issues, project
by project. Freedom of Information requests are a powerful tool.
Stretch of North Country National Scenic Trail Planned"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, January 2008
Property Rights concerns for the 140 mile stretch of the Adirondack
segment of the 4,600-mile North Country National Scenic Trail
include acquisition techniques, exact location, liability, ultimate
ownership, and impacts on hunting and trapping. The plan for
the trail has been moved out of the High Peaks region to a less
scenic area to the south after over two decades of opposition
by the Adirondack Mountain Club.
Country National Scenic Trail - Letter from Thomas L. Gilbert,
Superintendent, Ice Age & North Country National Scenic Trails,
Madison, Wisconsin, to Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property
Rights Foundation of America, Inc., March 31, 2008
In response to Ms. LaGrasse's February 18 and February
25 letters and her article in the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse,
Mr. Gilbert stated that the article recounted the North Country
National Scenic Trail history "quite well."
He enclosed important documents and answered the questions Ms.
LaGrasse raised about trail width, ownership of the trail, and
hunting access, and discussed the trail liability issue.
- North Country National
Scenic Trail - Adirondack Segment - E-mailed response to Carol
W. LaGrasse, PRFA, from Thomas L. Gilbert, Superintendent, Ice
Age & North Country National Scenic Trail, Madison, Wisconsin,
February 19, 2008
This e-mail discusses whether the state or local government,
or the National Park Service would own the Adirondack segment
of the North Country trail, initially and ultimately; what the
width of the land that is owned or managed for the trial will
be; and what the width of the functional walking trail that is
cleared and maintained will be.
Country National Scenic Trail - Letter from Thomas L. Gilbert,
Superintendent, Ice Age & North Country National Scenic Trails,
Madison, Wisconsin, to Peter Frank, Division Chief, NYS Department
of Environmental Conservation, January 4, 2008
Official Park Service comment on the Draft Adirondack Park
Trail Plan for the North Country National Scenic Trail. A particular
point that needed clarifying, was that the 47 miles of "New
Trail" that will need to be built is in addition
to the 27 miles of "Temporary Corridor."
These two categories total 74 miles in addition to the 70 miles
of "Existing Trail" (including "herd
paths"). A future Memorandum of Understanding is
proposed, which would cover acquisitions, administrative policy,
marking the trail, shared-use trails (to ultimately be hiking-only),
and compatibility with range of existing landowners and landscapes.
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Testifies on Proposed 600-Mile Historic Trail" - By
Carol W. LaGrasse, Reprinted from the New York Property Rights
Clearinghouse, Vol. 11, No. 4 (PRFA, Fall 2007)
This article, which should be read in addition to LaGrasse's
full official testimony, describes the proposed National Park
Service 600-mile, nine-state Washington-Rochambeau National Historic
Trail. Revolutionary history and selections from advocates'
testimony are used to show the potential negative impact in private
property rights in New York related to historic landscape preservation.
A brief summary of LaGrasse's full testimony is included.
By Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation of
America, Before the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and
Public Lands of the Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. House
of Representatives Regarding H. R. 1286, Washington-Rochambeau
Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail Designation Act,
October 30, 2007"
The proposed 600-mile Washington-Rochambeau Historic Trail
through nine states from Rhode Island to Virginia poses a threat
to private property rights because of the National Park Service's
pattern of secrecy, lack of true public participation, piecemeal
development, use of municipalities and non-profit agencies as
false fronts, and use of eminent domain (directly, indirectly
through local municipalities, and later to widen trails). Amendments
to H.R. 1286 are proposed to eliminate these deficiencies.
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.
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.
Have Agendas" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA November
Government grants put never-ending streams of money toward
preservationist objectives that diminish private property rights.
Prime examples are National Heritage Areas, regional planning,
trails, and government land acquisition.
- "Brief Comments on Erie Canalway
National Heritage Corridor (Abbreviated Transcript)"
- By Peter J. LaGrasse, Chairman, Stony Creek Board of Assessors
(PRFA, December 9, 2003)
Corridor proponents are concealing the extreme limitation
in the protection from liability for owners where trails are
located. The Heritage Corridor is a plan for a total change in
cultural orientation. Local people will not be able to afford
the taxes. If this scheme succeeds, there indigenous population
will not be able to continue to live in the area.
Inalienable Heritage" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Welcome
Address, Seventh Annual N.Y. Conference on Private Property Rights
(PRFA, Oct. 18, 2003)
Taking a look at the ways our rights are being eroded and
setting history back on a path toward justice. Countervailing
the soft-sell, long-term approach of moneyed interests - conservation
easements, scenic byways, heritage areas, trails - the high-sounding
tools of landscape preservation.
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
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.
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
Rondout Creek Trail Threatens Private Property" - By
Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, May 24, 2003)
The Rondout Creek Access Trail in Ulster County is tied to
a larger project related to developing the 108 mile abandoned
route of the Delaware and Hudson Canal for recreation. The Town
of Rosendale and Marbletown spent $17,500 on planning, but kept
property owners out of meetings, then gave the landowners a toothless
promise to avoid using eminent domain.
Court Orders U.S. To Compensate Missouri Landowners"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, January 2003)
Federal court rules that according to Missouri law, the land
underlying an abandoned railroad in Missouri reverted to the
property owners. The government has to pay the first thirteen
underlyling owners $410,000, with more to follow along the 225-mile
- "Saratoga County
Canalway Trail Shrouded in SecrecyTrail Planned along Champlain
Canal Route through Saratoga and Washington Counties"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, October 22, 2002)
The New York State Canal Corporation, National
Park Service, and the New York Parks and Conservation are very
quietly garnering support for an elaborately planned proposal
with federal funding to build an uninterrupted 26-mile trail
along the active and abandoned Champlain Canal route from Waterford
through Saratoga County, to be followed by another 22 miles through
Washington County to Whitehall. The abandoned and active sections
of the canal pass through or adjacent to private houses and backyards,
businesses, farms, and other private property, but the property
owners are not being given information.
- "One Vermonter's
21-year Court Odyssey"-by John McClaughry (Ethan Allen
Institute, July 2001)
"The Preseault case illustrates how government lawyers
will employ every trick in the legal book to get something for
nothing at the expense of a private citizen."
Trail Poses a Threat to Private Property Owners"-by
Carol W. LaGrasse, The Mercury, Pottstown, Pennsylvania,
June 10, 2001
After losing a court battle where it claimed to have acquired
title to an old railroad right-of way, Montgomery County, which
is northwest of Philadelphia, has begun condemning the property
for a trail. The course of the trail, which is named after the
nearby Perkiomen Creek, follows the old rail bed as well as some
of extensive parkland along the creek. This Opinion piece explains
that Perkiomen Trail poses a threat to private property owners
in two important respects: the construction of the trail route
itself and the broader long-term acquisition plans to gobble
up the private land along the creek and join the waterfront to
the rail bed in a greenway.
- Perkiomen Trail maps
- May 2001
This series of maps obtained from the Montgomery County Department
of Parks, depicts the currently planned route of Perkiomen Trail.
- "The Rails-to-Trails
Movement" - Richard Welsh, Executive Director,
National Association of Reversionary Property Owners, from Proceedings
of the Third Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights