Re: Land rights (part II)

From: Michael B. Hubbard (
Date: Fri Jul 27 2001 - 22:22:44 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "I William Wiser" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2001 4:56 PM
Subject: Land rights

> Here is a question that has bugged me off and on for years.
> What ways of handling property rights and especially land rights
> seem most reasonable for people who value individual liberty
> and the well being of people in general?

Contracts. Legal binding documents are for the most part a good thing and
better by far than most govermental enforcement...

<adverse possession snipped>

> This works fairly well for small items and stuff that involves
> a lot of labor. But what about large tracts of land, mineral
> rights, etc. If a small bit of land lays unclaimed and you claim
> it, work it, build a home on it etc. it makes sense to me that
> it becomes yours and stays yours as long as you do not forfeit
> it by abusing your neighbors in some way.

You're actually into a couple of issues here. Mineral rights, water rights,
air rights, etc, usually belong to whoever actually owns the real property,
unless they have been previously sold to another interested party. Large
tracts of land are handled legally in pretty much the same way small tracts

> I don't want to speculate on this to much because it may have
> been worked out well by others but I would like to have some
> clear conception in my mind. I think this makes for an important
> political issue. Whose land rights do I see as valid and what sort
> of land rights ideas do I want to propagate.

Land rights can become an important legal issue, usually manifesting in the
areas of environmental law and zoning law. These are the areas that are
primarily used by the goverment to restrict the free and unfettered use of
land for any purpose. (It's worth noting here that restrictive covenants are
another issue and usually involve a private agreement between idiviuals that
is then enforced as a contract.)

> If governments can legitimately claim land rights they have a right
> to do a lot of other things too. If the U.S.A. corporation or the


> California corporation owns the lands they claim, they may be
> entitled to charge fees, percentages, etc. for passing through their
> land. I doubt they do because something does not seem right
> but I want to have a better understanding of these issues.

I'll try at this one... if you're talking about the state goverments or the
Federal goverment, the right to use properties owned by these bodies are
typically payed for in taxes (at least in my part of the country). If you're
talking about incorpoated businesses, a business has just as much right to
own land (and therefore charge for it's use) as an individual.

 <I have nothing even remotely coherent to remark on this snipped section>

> I suspect groups of people have seldom work these things out
> formally. Perhaps rules have evolved as part of common law.
> More likely people just go and do what they think will work
> for them or what they think they can get away with.

Both of the above.

> Anyway, I'm open to discussion or suggestions for good reading
> material.

The best suggestion I can give if you have a real interest in this is to
look into a general real estate course and then follow up with a real estate
law course.

(neither a lawyer nor a real estate agent, but I've seen both at regular

> Thanks,
> Will
> I. William Wiser []
> Life Extension and Quality of Life Consultant

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