Public Good and Private Magic in the Law of Land Trusts and Conservation Easements: A Happy Present and a Troubled Future

26 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2007

See all articles by Federico Cheever

Federico Cheever

University of Denver Sturm College of Law (deceased)

Abstract

The laws that provide the framework for the national environmental regulatory structure remain in a perilous and apparently perpetual reauthorization holding pattern in Congress. State legislatures appear unwilling to undertake environmental protection where the federal government no longer will. But someone establishes a new private land trust, committed to scenic, historic or ecological preservation on an average of once a week.

The land trust movement furthers the public good in ways that other more public aspects of the environmental protection movement cannot because it possesses a private magic. I use the word magic for its two meanings, the art of producing illusions . . . by the use of sleight of hand and the art of producing a desired effect or result through . . . techniques that presumably assure human control over supernatural agencies . . . I leave to the reader whether the private magic of land trusts and conservation easements is simply legal sleight of hand or the operation of some occult controlling principle of nature.

Suggested Citation

Cheever, Federico, Public Good and Private Magic in the Law of Land Trusts and Conservation Easements: A Happy Present and a Troubled Future. Denver University Law Review, Vol. 73, p. 1077, 1996. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=956595

Federico Cheever (Contact Author)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law (deceased) ( email )

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