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Adverse Possession and Conservation: Expanding Traditional Notions of Use and Possession

52 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2005  

Alexandra B. Klass

University of Minnesota Law School

Abstract

At common law, very minimal actions were needed to establish the 'exclusive possession' necessary to acquire land by adverse possession when the land was 'wild' or undeveloped. This minimal burden to adversely possess wild lands, which is still the general rule today, stands in contrast to the much higher standard necessary to adversely possess developed lands. This article explores why the lesser standard for adverse possession of wild lands remains a threat to many of the millions of acres of land in this country that are still undeveloped. This article then proposes that courts modernize the adverse possession doctrine to expand traditional notions of use and possession in the context of wild lands to reflect the growing need for conservation in today's world.

Keywords: Adverse Possession, Conservation, Environmental Law, Property, Undeveloped

JEL Classification: Q2

Suggested Citation

Klass, Alexandra B., Adverse Possession and Conservation: Expanding Traditional Notions of Use and Possession. 77 University of Colorado Law Review 283 (2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=801210

Alexandra B. Klass (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-625-0155 (Phone)

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