This Land is Our Land: How to End the War on Private Property

Richard Pombo, Author, Joseph Farah, With
Richard Pombo, Author, Joseph Farah, With St. Martin's Press $22.95 (225p) ISBN 978-0-312-14747-1
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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The authors unreel a horror tale of property owners whose lives and livelihoods were ruined when environmentalists invoked the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to protect the habitats of birds, flies or shellfish; of zoning laws that force people to become loggers against their will; of preservationists who get private land designated as historic sites and thereby, according to the authors, violate home owners' rights. California Congressman Pombo, chairman of the task force dedicated to overhauling the ESA, and former Sacramento Union editor-in-chief Farah advocate reform of the ESA so that property owners will be compensated monetarily when the value of their lands is diminished. Documenting cases of landowners who were financially ruined after being held liable for the restoration of wetlands under the Clean Water Act, they cite a 1994 Department of Interior report concluding that the federal government is the biggest polluter and destroyer of the nation's wetlands. This feisty, forceful manifesto profiles a grassroots property rights movement that seeks to protect citizens against what it sees as an arbitrary, land-hungry government--a movement that in some states is pushing for a return of public lands to local control. (Sept.)
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