Private Property Rights and Right-to-Practice Acts
Comprehensive property rights protection laws were enacted in 1995 in Florida, Texas, and Virginia, and were proposed but failed to be enacted in Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, and South Carolina. These laws: (1) assert landowners’ constitutional rights for ownership and use of their land, (2) provide for landowner compensation for regulatory takings, and/or (3) require economic impact assessments of potentially restrictive proposed legislation or ordinances.
Private property rights protection laws specific to forest and farmland were enacted in Mississippi in 1994 and Louisiana in 1995. These laws: (1) assert landowners’ rights to conduct farm and forestry practices; (2) create a legal remedy for takings at a threshold of 20 percent of value reduction in Louisiana and 40 percent in Mississippi; and (3) in Louisiana, require an economic assessment of proposed laws for takings impact.
Right to farm and practice forestry laws were enacted in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia from 1991 through 2000. These laws: (1) recognize the benefits of forestry to the economy and ecology of the State, (2) provide protection from public and private nuisance actions against landowners conducting forestry operations, and/or (3) limit local governments’ power to enact ordinances and zoning regulations restrictive to forestry.
Right to prescribe burn laws were enacted in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia between 1990 and 1999. These laws: (1) recognize prescribed burning as a legal and ecologically beneficial operation, (2) establish burner training/certification programs, (3) protect landowners from nuisance claims for prescribed burning activity, and (4) limit burners’ liability for damages and injuries.