posted by

Willing Seller Willing Buyer
(Reprinted by permission of Bo W. Thott, Washington County Alliance, Cutler, Maine)

5. THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN

The Park Service is capable of buying a truck, or a campaign hat for a ranger but cannot buy private land inside a greenline or Park boundary in the accepted meaning of the term BUY. Selling and buying is between parties on equal terms of equality but the Park Service “buys” by extortion; it has the power to force a contract on the “seller” and that authority cannot be renounced (Appendix 4).

Every group of society - business, manufacturing, bureaucracy, social clique - develops a jargon with special meaning to the initiated but not well understood by the outsider. When the Park Service (and other land agencies) needs a term for a landowner willing to relinquish title to his property to avoid undergoing condemnation in court, it is understandable that he is referred to by the common term of SELLER instead of a more accurate but awkward description such as ACCEPTER for example.

A problem arises when Park Service officials are using their jargon term SELLER outside their circle, understood by the public in the generally accepted meaning of a free agent conducting business. A clever Park promoter even coined the slogan WILLING SELLER/WILLING BUYER, falsely implying that the two parties are on an equal footing. This slogan has developed into a mantra recited at hearings and discussions on Park expansion for the deception of legislators and the general public.

The Frampton claim (Appendix 1) that private land inside a federally protected area is largely safe from condemnation seems to be based on statements made in misleading, federal and preservationist jargon. The result of this study indicates that the claim is false. Regrettably, the address lists needed for the study of the Forest Service and Fish & Wildlife methods have been denied us.

See next part (6. Conclusion)

Back to:

Willing Seller Willing Buyer - Summary & Table of Contents
Eminent Domain - National National Park Service - National PRFA Home Page