In a landmark decision that is as uplifting for property rights advocates as it is devastating for land trusts throughout the United States, the Virginia Supreme Court on February 12 overwhelmingly ruled in favor of a small Loudoun County winery in its multi-year battle with one of the nation’s most powerful environmental groups. By a 5-2 margin, the Virginia Supremes upheld a lower court decision that Chrysalis Vineyards’ plans to upgrade its facilities did not violate the terms of a conservation easement on the property held by Wetlands America Trust (WAT), on behalf of Ducks Unlimited (DU). The case, Wetlands America [...]
Cronyism once again rears its ugly head, as Big Conservation seeks to infringe upon the rights of American property owners to use their land lawfully for profit and for the benefit of customers who make their businesses grow. This time. it is a small Virginia winery, but next time it may be you wanting to add a barbecue pit or even a hot tub. Hopefully, the courts will side with the property owners this time -- but we must be eternally vigilant against these interlopers who seek godlike status in our society.