Natural Resources:

Bison and the Public Trust

Bison and the Public Trust

Originally published in The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, June 3, 2013 – Property rights trump ‘public trust doctrine’ in Turner bison dispute — In its report on Judge Holly Brown’s dismissal of a challenge to the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks agreement with Ted Turner on the management of Yellowstone Park bison (May 12, 2013), […]

Public Access vs. Private Rights

Public Access vs. Private Rights

Originally published in The Great Falls Tribune, May 12, 2013 – On April 29, before hundreds at Montana State University in Bozeman, the Montana Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of PLWA vs. Madison County, a case pitting private property against public access to the Ruby River. Only once during 90 minutes of […]

West Linn’s Big Dig

West Linn’s Big Dig

Originally published in Northwest Connection, March, 2013 Vulcan First Officer Spock of the Starship Enterprise had a great repertoire of pronouncements, but none more famous than the words he uttered with his dying breath in The Wrath of Kahn: “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” That’s exactly the Star Trek spin […]

Fires in Federal Forests

Fires in Federal Forests

Originally published in The Oregonian, October 28, 2012 – Barry Point wildfire highlights shortfalls of forest management The devastation is incredible. Ignited by a lightning strike on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the Barry Point wildfire near Lakeview ran for about 30 miles, burning more than 10 miles into California. In places the fire was more […]

The Plight of Irrigated Agriculture

The Plight of Irrigated Agriculture

Senator Doug Whitsett’s Newsletter of October 2, 2012 – The combined annual economic output of agricultural production, food processing and related services from irrigated agriculture exceeds $128 billion in the seventeen western states. The economic output from irrigated lands attributable to the beef cattle industry ranks either first or second in fourteen of those seventeen […]

Environmental Protection Up in Smoke

Environmental Protection Up in Smoke

“When the wildfires that are burning millions of acres in the West are finally smothered by winter snows, environmentalists undoubtedly will blame climate change. They might look in the mirror instead.”  So writes Terry Anderson, economist and president of Property and Environment Research Center, in today’s Wall Street Journal.  People in the Pacific Northwest will […]

Bag Bans May Have Unanticipated Health Costs

Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) scholar Jonathan Klick reports on a study finding significant health effects from using reusable cloth grocery bags.

Thank Uncle Sam (with some help from Mother Nature) for Food Price Inflation

Thank Uncle Sam (with some help from Mother Nature) for Food Price Inflation

The combined effects of widespread drought conditions, and ill-advised government interference in the free market, have created the potential for a perfect inflationary storm for domestic food prices. Over the past quarter century, the United States has averaged an annual increase of just less than 3% per year in the cost of food. Last year, […]

Free the American West

Free the American West

Originally published in the Los Angeles Times (March 7, 2012).  Reprinted here from Free Insight (July 25, 2012) By: Robert Nelson Like much else in government, U.S. public land policy is a vestige of the past, established in 1910 when America’s population was just 92.2 million and a Western state such as Nevada had only […]

Property Rights and the Tragedy of the Commons

Property Rights and the Tragedy of the Commons

By Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law This essay originally appeared as a blog post on TheAtlantic.com on May 22, 2012 and Free Insights. Thanks to Megan (McArdle) for inviting me to spend some time over […]

Wind & Subsidies at Steens Mountain

Wind & Subsidies at Steens Mountain

The Oregonian reported yesterday that two environmental groups have filed suit to stop a proposed wind farm just north of Steens Mountain.  This report from 54 40 or Fight includes the map below showing the location of the proposed wind farm in relation to Steens.  One thing to remember is that this would not even […]

Our Natural Gas Future

Our Natural Gas Future

The price of natural gas has fallen from $15 per 1000 cubic feet in 2005  to $2/1000 cf today.  A few years ago their was local controversy over a liquified natural gas import facility on the Oregon coast.  Now the controversy is over a natural gas export facility.  What’s going on, and how likely is […]

In lieu of taxes, Congress should pay real value to fund rural timber counties

In lieu of taxes, Congress should pay real value to fund rural timber counties

Originally published in The Oregonian — April 29, 2012 – Several rural Oregon counties are on the brink. Two solutions have been proposed — one new, one old. The old idea is to get another extension of direct federal payments under the Secure Rural Schools Act. This may yet happen, though it is currently derailed […]

Oops, We Missed Earth Day

Oops, We Missed Earth Day

But not to worry.  Here is a thoughtful piece by the “skeptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg in today’s Wall Street Journal.  And for more sensible reading, check out this Earth Day piece by PERC Senior Fellow Bruce Yandle.

Going After the Oil Market Manipulators

Going After the Oil Market Manipulators

Is the cause of rising gas prices illegal manipulation of oil and gas markets?  President Obama thinks so, and he wants to spend $52 million going after the bad guys.  In announcing his plan, and seeking Congressional support, the President offered no evidence of any illegal manipulation, but he’s confident it is out there somewhere.  […]

Legal Help for Farmers: An Oregon Model

Legal Help for Farmers: An Oregon Model

Originally published in The Baltimore Sun — April 13, 2012 – Why shouldn’t law clinics help farmers?  State-funded university programs are weighted in favor of environmental activism – Maryland state Sen. Richard Colburn is fed up with the University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic’s lawsuit against a local chicken farm. But rather than try to […]

Dear Whistleblower, You’re Fired

Dear Whistleblower, You’re Fired

EXPERT WHO PUBLICLY CHALLENGED THE SCIENCE OF THE KLAMATH DAM REMOVAL LOSES HIS JOB — This story was first reported on I Spy here. Dr. Paul R. Houser is the whistleblower who was recently fired by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) for publicly expressing his concerns regarding the integrity of the science being […]

Bobby Jindal on Obama’s Energy “Policy”

Bobby Jindal on Obama’s Energy “Policy”

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, argues that President Obama’s policies are a drag on the U.S. economy.  He proposes these changes: Create a more predictable environment for exploration and production Open new areas to exploration, particularly where there is bipartisan local support Make it clear that his administration will not […]

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