Thursday, December 10, 2009

With Great Power. . .

I was blown away when I read the following:

"When we buy and sell land we are really buying and selling certain rights of use to the land, rather than the land itself. And rights are always balanced by responsibilities. Therefore, having the right to a certain piece of land should always come with specific responsibilities, such as social, economic, and environmental stewardship. When we begin to understand this, we will begin to structure our economy and our laws differently."

Read the full article here.

The idea of owning land and yet not having carte blanche to change it is perplexing to many landowners. I first learned about this issue years ago when a family member told me about his wetland property, which he was not permitted to develop. Another family member once griped to me that he wasn't permitted to shoot wildlife with impunity when it crossed the borders of his little kingdom. Now that I have my own piece of wetland, and my own (edible) wildlife wandering in, I understand their perspectives better. But I am also now in a better position to say that no, even though we have paid for the property, that shouldn't give us the right to ruin it.