Laramie, WY 82071
- Nick Dranias, Goldwater Institute
- Professor Jason Robison, Wyoming Law
Controversies over jurisdiction and management of public lands are building. Whether grazing rights disputes in Nevada or New Mexico, alarm over federal disinterest in long recognized local partnerships for management of multi-use lands, BLM review of millions of acres to balance factors like environmental justice, and complaints of forest maintenance hazards, states are increasingly concerned. Western states contend that return of public lands to state control would generate a North Dakota-like renaissance of jobs, access to resources, and economic activity. Several Western states are investigating the legal basis for challenging federal retention of these public multi-use lands as described in state charter enabling acts. The state of Utah now has statutory authority to sue the federal government for return of its lands in January, 2015. How sound is the legal case, and what are the economic implications for the Western states -- as well as the country in general? What are the environmental policy issues and is state stewardship of these lands best?
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District is one of the most significant and decisive victories for property owners in decades. In broad terms, the Court’s opinion recognizes that the Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution places strict limits on the all-too-common municipal practice of exacting money from land-use applicants to fund unrelated public projects. The decision holds that the government cannot use the land-use permit process to compel landowners to give up land, money, or any other property as the “price” of obtaining development approval, unless the government can show that its demand is necessary to mitigate some harmful impact caused by the proposed land use....[Read Now!]
The United States Supreme Court issued three notable takings decisions during the October 2012 term in Koontz v. St. Johns Water Management District, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States, and Horne v. Department of Agriculture. Our experts will discuss these opinions and the questions that they leave unresolved ahead of the 2013 term.
Our experts discuss recent developments in property takings and public use law in state legislation, and state and federal judicial decisions. Among other issues, they also discuss the broader context of these developments in relationship to the history of judicial and legislative attitudes towards property rights.