Property Rights Foundation of America®

Speech from the Ninth Annual National Conference
on Private Property Rights

Litigating for Private Property Rights—A Western Perspective

Harriet M. Hageman, Attorney, Hageman and Brighton, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Good morning and thank you. I am going to start my discussion this morning with a few quotes that I think are very relevant to the private property rights discussion.

The poet and novelist, E.E. Cummings, said that private property began the instant somebody had a mind of his own. John Emerick, an English historian, said that "a people adverse to the institution of private property is without the first element of freedom." And finally, according to the economist, Milton Friedman, "Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own; nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property."

It is this last quote that probably means the most to me in terms of what I do for a living and how I was raised and the reason that I am standing before you today. Before I get into the specifics of some of the lawsuits that I have handled and some of the battles that I have fought in terms of dealing with private property rights, I would like to first describe some of my background. I am not doing this just because I think that it may be of interest. I am doing it because it really does, I think, epitomize and put a framework around the issues that we are dealing with. And I think that, when I bring it into the work that I have done, it will describe for you why I see the importance of private property rights not just being related to individual liberty but relating to the actual health and welfare of our country, our future, our children, our grandchildren, our environment, and our economy. I don't want to talk in the abstract. I want to talk in the personal because the reality is we are here because we are concerned about personal property private rights.

I grew up on a ranch near Fort Laramie, Wyoming, which is a little town of about 350 people 100 miles north of Cheyenne. The year before I was born, my parents purchased their first ranch. I was the fifth of what would eventually become six children. They financed close to 90 percent of that ranch and, in fact, it is not yet paid for today. I was talking with my father last week, and he said that you don't ever really pay off real property. You just continue buying more and expanding and doing what you need to do for the benefit of your family, your children, your grandchildren, your future, and for your community. They put everything they had into that property. It represented their future and it represented the future of their children. It represented our identity as Wyomingites, as ranchers, as stewards of the land, and it continues to do so to this day. Our very existence as a family was dependent upon the success of that ranch, and I can assure you that there were many times that it was literally touch and go—when sheep and cattle prices were low, when the rain didn't come, when my father was bucked off a horse and broke his back, when the coyotes and mountain lions killed the lambs and calves, when Cottonwood Creek flooded and wiped out all of our fences. But the fact is that it was worth it. However, we gave up a lot in terms of being able to purchase that property and remain on that land. We didn't have a television, we didn't have a telephone. We were fairly isolated from the rest of society. Most of our clothes were homemade. I guess I would describe it the way my little brother did for his eighth birthday. He was asked what he would like to have and he said, "boots in a box," because he had never had a new pair of shoes in his life. But we all learned to drive when we were about 4 years old, we learned how to fix fence, we moved cows, we fixed water gaps, we pulled wells, and we pulled cows, and that was pretty much our daily existence.

By investing in that property, my parents also invested in their children's lives and in our future and in the lives of many others. They sent all six of their children to college, they adopted or took legal guardianship of three other children, and they raised over 40 foster children over a 25-year period. And they invested in more ranches. There are now 28 people in my immediate family. We are lawyers, we are teachers, we are ranchers, we are board members. My father has been in the legislature for 25 years. Prior to that, he was on the board of the school district. We are involved in our communities, and we are involved in our children's lives and our grandchildren's lives. My father is 75 years old, and he still works full-time as a rancher. I have two brothers and a brother-in-law who are also in the business and have gone into substantial debt to purchase real property and raise the children to be stewards of the land.

Through ranching and farming, my family has protected large tracts of land as open space, they have developed water resources, and they provide food and habitat for huge elk, deer, and antelope herds, as well as for wild turkeys, for snakes, for pheasants, ducks, geese, coyotes, mountain lions. Pretty much any kind of species you can think of that you would find in the western United States, we raise. We raise these because we provide the water resources and we provide the land resources. Their existence and their future as well as that of the next generation are all dependent upon our stewardship of these private property resources.

It is that motivation that is so aptly described by Milton Friedman that has provided this country with its unrivaled prosperity, with our educational systems, with our recreational opportunities, and with the wherewithal to protect our environment, which we have done and we continue to do.

One of the things that my family started on our ranch many years ago was an archeological school for troubled children. There are many troubled children who come to our ranch and over a three- to four-month period they are again isolated, as I was growing up. They are not allowed television, they are not allowed cell phones, they are not allowed i-pods and the other type of electronic equipment, and they have teachers who work not only on the archeological issues but also catching them up in their school subjects, such as math or English or whatever it may be that they need help with.

My father has opened his ranch to many people throughout our entire community. They do many things out there. People will go camping on our ranch. People hunt on our ranch. Our ranch is used for the community and it is used for the community good and it has been, as I said, an extremely important part of our existence.

It is with that background that I got into the water and natural resource issues and why I became the kind of attorney that I did. What I have seen is that there are numerous threats to our private property rights. Those threats are not just individualistic in the sense that they would affect my family when someone comes in and attempts to either limit our use of our property or take the property outright. It also affects our communities. It affects our environment. It affects our educational system, and it affects the future of our children.

I don't know how much you all know about Wyoming, but I will give you a few statistics before I go directly into the comments about the types of lawsuits and battles that I have fought.

Wyoming is the ninth largest state in terms of territory. We have almost 98,000 square miles, but we are also the least populated state. We are right at 500,000 people. Our largest city, which is Cheyenne, where I live, has a population of around 60,000. Approximately 50 percent of the surface's state in Wyoming is owned by the federal government—BLM, National Parks such as Yellowstone, Forest Service lands, etc. Another substantial percentage of our mineral estate is owned by the federal government. We have numerous federal projects that were built pursuit to the Reclamation Act such as Pathfinder Reservoir, Seminoe, Guernsey, Glendo, Big Horn. I can go on and on and on. Resource use management and development is studied and analyzed probably more in Wyoming than in any other state. On any given day there are literally hundreds of environmental analyses going on—EIS, Environment Impact Statements, Section 7 consultations under the Endangered Species Act, Resource Management Plans, Forest Management Plans, etc., etc., etc. You would think that, in light of that federal footprint, both the federal government and others would leave private property out of it, but that is not the case. In fact, what we have seen is a trend that is increasing in intensity and in numbers literally on a daily basis in terms of efforts to focus on private property use and management. The result is that it is affecting all of our rights.

I am going to describe for you two examples today under the Endangered Species Act as to how private property rights are being substantially impacted in Wyoming, and then again I will talk a little bit about what my law firm has done in terms of addressing those issues.

Both of these are offered to you to show how the Endangered Species Act is being manipulated, not for the purpose of benefiting endangered species, but for the specific purpose of limiting management and use on private property. I will describe for you what has been done in terms of all the limits that there are and the encroachment on our private property rights.

I will first talk to you about the Preble's Jumping Mouse. Has anyone here ever heard of the Preble's Jumping Mouse? Ah, we have a few hands raised in the audience. Then I would, also, like to talk about the federal government's decision to bring the Canadian gray wolf into Wyoming. How many of you have heard of the Canadian gray wolf? Many more. I could give you many examples. These are just two of them.

What I wanted to first talk about is the Preble's Jumping Mouse. The Preble's Jumping Mouse was identified in 1954 as a separate subspecies of jumping mice based upon examination of three skulls and eleven skins. The importance of that subspecies designation relates to the operation of the Endangered Species Act. If a mouse or a wolf or whatever is identified as a separate subspecies, it can be entitled to particular protections under the Act. While that 1954 study could not in any way be considered scientifically sound or even worthy of note, that little mouse came in awfully handy in the late 1990's when there were several environmental groups that wanted to stop development south of Denver in the Castle Rock area. They figured that, by forcing the Fish and Wildlife Service to designate the Preble's Jumping Mouse as a separate subspecies and hence entitled to protections under the Endangered Species Act, they would be able to stop that development. So based upon that 1954 study and claiming that they couldn't find very many of those little puppies, the Fish and Wildlife Service specifically designated the Preble's Jumping Mouse as threatened. They then began to identify the critical habitat or the recovery area.

In identifying that recovery area, the Fish and Wildlife Service designated three types of habitat: I will just identify them as habitat A, B, and C, with C being the largest block of land. Because so much development had already taken place in the Castle Rock area, they were unable to find very many large tracts of land, very many areas of habitat that could be designated as Habitat Type C. So for the first time in Endangered Species Act history the Fish and Wildlife Service crossed state lines into Wyoming and designated four counties encompassing thousands of acres of land as part of the Preble's Jumping Mouse recovery area. What was significant about that designation was that it was undertaken to provide mitigation for the development that had taken place in Colorado. Property owners in the state of Wyoming were required to provide mitigation for development that was occurring hundreds of miles to the south, which was the next milestone related to the Preble's Jumping Mouse.

Southeastern Wyoming is predominately privately owned, not federally owned. The western half of Wyoming you will see as having the federal lands; the eastern half of Wyoming is again predominately privately owned.

So they did two things with the Preble's Jumping Mouse. They crossed state lines to force the private owners in Wyoming and citizens of Wyoming to provide mitigation for activities that had taken place in another state. Second of all, they started imposing substantial restrictions upon private property use and management within the state of Wyoming. They did so without ever having found a Preble's Jumping Mouse in the state of Wyoming. Never have they found a Preble's Jumping Mouse in Wyoming.

So they come up to Wyoming, they designate the critical areas, four counties in southeastern Wyoming, and then they start imposing restrictions. We can't burn our irrigation ditches. We are required to use chemical application. Well, I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of putting chemicals on the ground. That is not something that I think is environmentally sound. Start impacting fence building, start impacting our municipalities' ability to divert water out of the rivers and the streams for purposes of providing supplies to their citizens. They figure that to date the Preble's Jumping Mouse has cost over $100 million in development costs associated with mitigating the impacts that we would potentially have on that particular mouse.

Here is the kicker. The only way that you can determine whether a mouse is a Preble's Jumping Mouse or some other type of mouse is you have to kill it. And you have to measure its cranium. So during the meetings where they are going to be designating critical habitat and they are identifying these areas where they are going to impose some restrictions, someone asked what I thought was a very common sense question of how are we ever going to recover the species if you keep killing them? The Fish and Wildlife representative had the audacity to say we had never thought of that.

Anyway, one of the proposals they had in terms of protecting the Preble's Jumping Mouse is that they were going to require all the land owners and ranchers and the people in the communities to put leashes on their cats. That was one of the land use restrictions that they came up with. So, because the measuring of craniums of mice is subject to interpretation, they never could really determine whether a mouse was a Preble's Jumping Mouse or not. So, as Wyoming was going through this process and dealing with these mitigation requirements, there were people who would say, well, this mouse is a Preble's Jumping Mouse and someone else would say, no, it is not. The cranium is the wrong size. Then the Fish and Wildlife Service came up with the idea that they were going to do nuclear testing but that cost a million bucks a pop so that seemed to be even a little rich for the Fish and Wildlife Service. Throughout this entire time Wyoming had taken the position that the Preble's Jumping Mouse was not a separate subspecies—that the 1954 study was scientifically invalid and it was not a separate subspecies. So the state of Wyoming commissioned a study and for $80,000 the state of Wyoming had a DNA test done. Guess what that DNA test showed! It was not a separate subspecies. The Preble's Jumping Mouse is a mouse is a mouse is a mouse is a mouse is a mouse. It was not a separate subspecies, but keep in mind that because it has been listed under the Endangered Species Act it remains so to this day.

In the meantime, even though the Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to de-list the Preble's Jumping Mouse, it has not happened yet. We do not know when it will happen. It has been over a year since we received the final report demonstrating that it is not a separate subspecies, and in the meantime all of the restrictions remain in place. So when people are attempting to do certain things on private lands or even public lands such as a state school section or something in southeastern Wyoming and in certain areas of Colorado, they have to go through the Endangered Species Act and they have to mitigate their impacts. For example, if they want to build a development of ten to twenty acres or forty acres or a hundred acres, they have to buy mitigation lands for the benefit of a mouse that does not exist.

This all seems absurd, but it gets worse. I would also like to talk to you about the wolf. In 1994 the Fish and Wildlife Service brought the Canadian gray wolf into Wyoming. It was not a native species to Wyoming and, in fact, it is different. The species that was native to Wyoming was called the Rocky Mountain wolf. But, because we don't have any more Rocky Mountain wolves, they went to Canada, picked up a bunch of Canadian gray wolves, and in the dead of night, literally, with no notice to the governor of the state of Wyoming, released wolves into the Yellowstone National Park area. Now, one of the things that it is important to keep in mind is that the gray wolf is neither threatened nor endangered in terms of definition. They exist by the tens of thousands in Canada. They don't exist anymore in New York City. They don't exist in Chicago. They don't exist in Denver. They are many areas where they don't exist anymore because we do. But that doesn't make them threatened and it doesn't make them endangered unless you are the Fish and Wildlife Service.

What is interesting is that, with the Preble's Jumping Mouse, one of the primary reasons that it was listed and the reason that it imposed the restrictions on us was because it was a separate subspecies. One day I was visiting with the attorney for the solicitor's office, and I made the comment about them bringing wolves into Wyoming, and I said, you know, you didn't even bring the right species into Wyoming. The Canadian gray wolf is not native to Wyoming and you know that. And she said, a wolf is a wolf is a wolf. And I said, and a mouse is a mouse is a mouse. She didn't agree with that one. I think what that demonstrates is the hypocrisy of the Act and the way that it is being manipulated, again, not for the benefit of species but for the purpose of restricting land use, which is really what it has become. I describe it as a zoning ordinance.

The recovery goal for the gray wolves was done pursuant to a recovery plan. They wanted to bring the gray wolves into Wyoming and you know what? Wyoming agreed. Wyoming said, you can bring the gray wolves into Wyoming, but we need to have some restrictions, because the reality is we have ranchers and we have wildlife and we have people who live here and we don't want to destroy what we have for the benefit of your bringing wolves into Wyoming. So they put together a recovery plan. They put together and they did their NEPA analysis, they put together a final rule, and here is what they came up with. They wanted 300 wolves within a tri-state area. That was Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The recovery goal was 300 wolves. The recovery goal was approximately 100 wolves per state. The recovery area for Wyoming's purposes was in northwestern Wyoming. They needed 3,000 continuous square miles. Wyoming said, hey, that's fine. We have got a lot of space here. We have got National Parks. We have wilderness areas. We have roadless areas. We have Forest Service lands. That's fine. You can bring them in here and these are the rules that we will abide by. So that was the rules under which they brought the wolves into Wyoming. And part of the reason again was to make sure that they could protect private property and livestock.

Since that time, Wyoming has agreed to protect over four times that area of land for the benefit of the gray wolves. We are protecting and we have agreed to protect over nine million acres for the benefit of the gray wolves. Guess what? It isn't enough. They won't allow us to go forward with managing the wolves because they say the recovery area is now the state of Wyoming.

One of the other guarantees that the Fish and Wildlife Service gave us was that they would have an effective control and management plan in place to minimize impact upon our wildlife and upon our livestock. I also want to give you a few other statistics that I think are important. Prior to wolf introduction, Wyoming was the home to one of the preeminent moose herds in the lower 48. We are also home to one of the preeminent elk herds. Wolves travel 100 miles a day. Although we had always been told that wolves are self-limiting, where the numbers of wolves are self-limiting because only the alpha male and the alpha female would reproduce, our history and our experience demonstrate that is not true. In fact, they told us what we would be dealing with would be a reproductive rate of three to four pups per wolf pack. We are experiencing twelve to sixteen pups per wolf pack. Approximately two months ago, the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that there were over 900 wolves in the three-state area, but they also admit that they substantially under-estimate the number of wolves that are in the area. And the reason that they do is because they used to have a radio-collaring program in place and so they will only count packs that have at least one radio-collared wolf within the particular pack.

The problem is that a couple of years ago they were caught releasing some drugged wolves. A rancher up in northwestern Wyoming came upon the scene of a helicopter out in the middle of his calving pasture and three wolves lying out on the ground that had been drugged and been brought in. He brought trespassing charges against the Fish and Wildlife Service, against the federal government. A federal court threw that case out saying you cannot bring a trespassing action against the federal government, but he did not find they had not trespassed. And, in fact, that was the guy's calving pasture at the time that they had the wolves lying out on the ground. Their argument was, we were just collaring the wolves, we didn't know if it was private or public lands. For goodness sakes, they have GPS all over the place. They knew exactly where they were. They brought those wolves in there.

They have since discontinued the collaring program, so they now don't know how many wolves that we have. We estimate at a minimum we have 400 to 500 wolves in the state of Wyoming alone. Now here is what is important.

Each wolf each month consumes a minimum of two large animals. It is fairly easy to do the math. We are losing a thousand animals a month to this wolf introduction program. Those are the large ungulates, cows, elk, moose, but you also have to keep in mind that wolves kill for sport. They are one of the few other mammals that actually do. I have seen some photographs of the kind of slaughter in the elk feed grounds that I think would sicken most people, for example. The elk no longer will use the elk feed grounds in Northwestern Wyoming because they realize that when they went in, they just turned into lunch. The Fish and Wildlife Service has completely refused to manage and control the wolves although the NEPA analysis and the recovery plan all stated that they would have an effective control program in place. They have since abdicated that responsibility. They will only control or use a management technique if they can confirm a wolf kill—if it is actually confirmed. They can find the animal, the downed animal, and they can confirm it is a wolf kill. I just gave you some statistics about how big Wyoming is. Wyoming is a very, very big state, and if you have an animal that has been slaughtered by a wolf, you have got maybe 24 to 48 hours to confirm what it is before other scavengers, before weather, and things like that will impact the ability to determine the reason it was killed.

The other important point is that the Fish and Wildlife Service has always refused to compensate ranchers for their livestock losses associated with wolf depredations. But the Defenders of Wildlife in a PR campaign—that's what my position is on that—stated that they would compensate for confirmed kills. My clients, the livestock producers in western Wyoming, can show that for every confirmed kill they lose between eight and ten head of livestock. So for every 100 head of confirmed livestock kills we have lost 1,000 head.

I will give you an example. Actually it is higher than that. I have a situation where one of my clients, Jim Magagna, who is the executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, has some sheep in western Wyoming. Earlier this year a wolf pack moved in and denned on his lambing ground. And there was a lot of controversy about it because we kept telling the Fish and Wildlife Service, you have got to move these wolves. We are moving 10,000 head of sheep into this area in two weeks. We cannot have a denning wolf pack. Fish and Wildlife Service said, we do not do anything that is proactive, but if they kill any sheep, we will come in and kill them. I thought that that was a real interesting response. Well, a couple of weeks ago, in fact, they did kill them. They went in and they killed 30 head of sheep. You know how many were confirmed as being killed by wolves? One. Fish and Wildlife Service went in there and none of these sheep had been consumed. This was one of the sport killing incidents. They were able to confirm one sheep because they said it was in water and it froze and they were able to determine by looking at it that it was in fact a wolf kill. But the fourteen more they said were probably killed by wolves but the other fifteen they have absolutely no idea what happened. So that is, we are talking about confirmed kills of less than fifty percent.

Here is the other irony about this. Here is what happens when this kind of ecological manipulation or social manipulation occurs. The ranchers in northwestern Wyoming are not sitting back to watch their livestock slaughtered. They are selling out. But they are not selling out to other ranchers. They are selling out to developers, because it is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. I don't know how many people have been to Cody, Wyoming, or Jackson or Dubois or Lander or those areas, but it truly is just spectacular country. What they are doing is those ranchers are selling out to developers. So the real irony of these things is that we are losing open space. We are losing migration corridors. We are losing our wildlife. We are degrading the environment all, for the benefit of a species that is neither threatened or endangered.

The second irony is that we are losing our elk and our moose herds. So the legacy of the wolf in Wyoming is going to be less open space, more housing developments, urbanization of one of the most beautiful areas on earth, more congestion, and a decimated moose population. Just to give you an idea statistically, you have to have a reproductive rate for moose of approximately thirty to forty percent to have a self-sustaining population. We are down around thirteen percent. We know that they are wiping out our moose population. Our moose are very, very territorial. They do not more away. The elk will. The elk are moving out of Yellowstone. The elk are moving out of Teton County. The elk are moving into other areas. I don't know to what extent they are going to be able in the long term destroy our elk population, but we do know that they are going to destroy our moose populations.

So what has really happened is that, in addition to all that I have described, we have got serious trampling of private property rights. The wolves are moving, they follow the prey base, and so they are moving into private property areas. They are wiping out livestock. And not only are they killing livestock, but they are also impacting the rancher's ability to put weight on their livestock. I was visiting with one rancher one day. He said he had a herd of about 150 cows out in one pasture, and he said that they just ran and ran because those wolves were on them nonstop. So even when they were able to protect themselves from actually being taken down by a wolf, he was unable to continue operating because he had so much weight loss.

What has happened with both the Preble's Jumping Mouse and the gray wolf is that we are expending enormous amounts of money on alleged endangered or threatened species, not for the purpose of benefiting or protecting a species, but literally for the purpose of limiting land use not only on state or federal lands, but on private lands as well. By doing that we are actually diverting money from those endangered and threatened species that could actually be benefited. With the wolf there are close to 1,300 species listed under the Endangered Species Act. The gray wolf is number 24 in terms of federal expenditures. They spend millions and millions of dollars on this program every year, but that is because I would argue that the program is unsuccessful. I think many people would argue that it is highly successful because it is doing exactly what they intended to do, which is to limit private property use which is to limit the use of our other resources.

What do we do? Hageman and Brighton files lawsuits. I enjoy that and so I would also say to Mr. Gile, I apologize for some of the experience that you have had with attorneys because I can assure you there are other attorneys out here who really do fight. And I know that you know that. We fight very hard for these because these are battles that are extremely important to what we do. We fight our lawsuits and we fight what is going on with this and you can look at my biography. I have fought the roadless rule, I have fought many, many water issues to make sure that we can protect our uses.

Several years ago, my business partner and I realized that filing these lawsuits is not necessarily the best way. We decided that we need to get in at the front end of this. My partner and I created what is called the Wyoming Conservation Alliance, although we are changing the name to the Conservation Alliance because we are moving more regional and national actually more quickly than we intended to. The purpose of the Conservation Alliance is to monitor what is going on in the federal government and in the state government in terms of water and natural resource issues. So what we do is we review the Federal Register every day. How many of you here review the Federal Register every day? How many of you have ever seen the Federal Register compiled in one place? This is one week of the Federal Register! And it was a slow week because it was Christmas, so they only had four days. That is the federal regulations that are going on. Now, these will deal with so many other agencies. They deal with the Department of Education and many other agencies. We focus on those agencies that affect water and natural resource issues—the Department of Agriculture, the EPA, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Interior, and I could go on and on and on. We monitor that every day. Then we have members and we notify them of every thing that is going on in the state of Wyoming that may impact water or natural resources, because what we want to do is we want to get in on the front end. When the Preble's Jumping Mouse was listed it was before anyone in Wyoming even knew it was on the radar. Nobody even knew that the Preble's Jumping Mouse was being considered for listing.

We need to get in on the front end. Everybody in this country needs to get in on the front end because what is going on is our Congress may pass statutes, but it is our agencies that hurt us. These federal regulations are so onerous and burdensome in such situations and so far outside of what Congress ever intended those laws to be. This is where we have got to be fighting this battle. Mr. Blackman had commented on this federal regulatory process and how critical it is. It is critical. These agencies and what is going on in these agencies affect every single one of us every day. And we can fight these battles and we can fight the roadless case and the Preble's Jumping Mouse and the wolves and I can have those high profile cases, but this is where so many of those decisions are being made, and this is where we need to be out there protecting our rights.

Just to give you an example of the agency impact in this country, in the Department of the Interior there are 350 appointed positions; there are 76,000 career employees. They have to have something to do. And this is what they do. So what we have found is that by getting in at this level and by submitting these comments, we can actually make a difference. We have done it at the state level and we have done it at the federal level, and we are starting to see, I don't know that I can say, I would like to say we are starting to see changes, but we are starting to see people pay attention to us. They are looking at the WCA. We actually had a federal agency become one of our members so that they could figure out what was going on.

I want to leave you with one final comment about the environment. There are many people who, because of who I work for and what I do, would argue that I am not out there protecting the environment, and I can assure you that is what I do every day of my life, because I protect open space, I protect ranchers, I protect the ability to preserve those resources and to protect our water resources and to protect our water sheds.

If you want to see what happens when you take away private property rights, simply go to Romania fifteen years ago. And I don't know how many of you remember when they overthrew Ceausescu in 1989. When they overthrew him and had a trial and he and his wife—they both received the death penalty that was carried out I think the next day. When they went into that country, if you will remember, the devastation, the environmental devastation and destruction of that country was sickening. The smoke stacks. It was unbelievable, in addition to the fact of all of the children, remember, in the orphanages. All of the children that had been taken away, they were called Ceausescu's children, because their families did not have the resources to raise those children, to keep them, to feed them, so they put them in the orphanages and they laid there in those beds for year after year without anyone ever holding them. And the environmental degradation. That country didn't believe in private property rights. That country didn't believe in protecting the rights of its citizens, and they destroyed themselves. The leaders of that country destroyed them. That might be an extreme example, but it is something that happened within the last sixteen years. If we need any incentive whatsoever to protect private property rights, if we need any incentive at all, all we need to do is look at our own environment because if we don't protect private property rights, we can't protect our environment.

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