Property rights and the public trust doctrine in environmental protection and natural resource conservationGary Libecap
By Jedidiah Brewer and Gary D. Libecap
What's your opinion on stream access? In the West, private landowners often provide much of the natural resource management at their own expense, which in turn benefits the public with healthy fisheries and prolific game.
Protecting private property rights is critical to protecting environmental resources because private landowners respond to incentives.
Anglers are doing back flips over a recent Utah Supreme Court Decision that makes public all waters in the state and permits recreationists to use streams that cross private property.
The St. Paul Port Authority is pursuing a scheme that could gut Minnesota’s popular 2006 comprehensive eminent domain reforms that protect homes, small businesses, and farms from government takings for private gain.
Secure property rights are central to economic prosperity. It was the emergence of secure property rights that laid the foundation for the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent explosion of per capita incomes.
I’m torn. Some of my fondest Montana memories come from days of fly-fishing publicly accessed streams. In contrast, I’ve also conducted redd counts on one of the state’s most highly contested “stream access” streams and witnessed first-hand the natural resource benefits of privatization.
Property rights advocates have long argued that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) effectively forces a handful of property owners to provide the “public good” of species habitat at private expense.
This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, a case that raises the question of when, if ever, a judicial decision constitutes a taking of private property.