National Heritage Areas In Center of Property Rights Debate

<p>With more and more land receiving federal protection as National Heritage Areas, property rights activists are butting heads with the preservationists they say are taking rights away from landowners.</p>
December 10, 2007, 11am PST | Nate Berg
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"A new front has opened in the long-simmering dispute between conservationists and property-rights activists as Congress has increasingly given federal protection to lands dubbed 'National Heritage Areas.'"

"With no official formula for their creation, the areas are designated by congressional action and overseen primarily by private, nonprofit community groups. The nonprofits also have roles in managing land use in the areas, which range from a section of abandoned steel mills on a riverfront in Scranton, Pa., to a stretch of the Hudson River between New York City and Albany."

"But historical preservationists are encountering opposition from conservative activists, who see the rapid growth in congressionally created heritage areas as a backdoor way to restrict property owners' rights to develop their land as they see fit."

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Published on Friday, November 30, 2007 in The Washington Post
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