The Use and Abuse of Property Rights in Saving the Environment
1 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference Journal 373, 2012
31 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2012
Date Written: September 29, 2012
While freedom and property may be inseparable, the temptation to sacrifice one or the other to seemingly more critical societal goals is ever present. In the past century, the environmental-related limitations on property have progressed from zoning to advance the social welfare, to utilitarian conservation to preserve the human environment, and more lately to the preservation of the environment for its own sake. With each step, property rights have been impacted further. From the imposition of zoning, to regulatory restrictions on the use of property, and to the mechanism of conservation easements, the control of property by the owners of property has diminished. If freedom and property are truly interrelated, there may be troubling implications on the future of freedom.
Keywords: property rights, environmental regulation, conservation easements, zoning
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