2014: the year of the water wars?

California, and much of the west, is experiencing its third consecutive year of drought. And a recent report on the Sierra Nevada snowpack—the source of much of California’s water—found that it is only 20% of its average depth at this … Continue reading

PLF attorneys discuss Koontz at property rights roundtable

Last week, PLF staff attorney Daniel Himebaugh and I participated in roundtable discussion about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District, and the decision’s potential impact in Washington. The roundtable was hosted by our … Continue reading

Does the Supreme Court’s “raisin” case foreshadow the Koontz decision?

With so many high profile opinions forthcoming from the U.S. Supreme Court this month, it would be understandable if yesterday’s takings decision in Horne v. Department of Agriculture slipped by unnoticed.  It shouldn’t.  As Professor Ilya Somin notes on the … Continue reading

Can the Endangered Species Act’s “take” prohibition take an animal under the Fifth Amendment?

As a result of a recent decision from the Fish and Wildlife Service, the answer is more likely to be yes. Organizations representing owners of exotic wildlife and hunters petitioned the Service to make clear that the provisions of the … Continue reading

Mess-achusetts: state agency attempts to circumvent limits on its power, ignores property rights

William and Marlene Pepin are defending their property rights from the Massachusetts’ Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.  The agency has regulated the Pepins’ property as habitat – prohibiting development unless approved by Division bureaucrats – even though their land could not be … Continue reading

Ninth circuit hears argument on whether interior secretary is above the law

Today, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Drakes Bay Oyster Company presents its case for enjoining the Secretary of the Interior and the National Park Service from destroying its business before its legal claims can even be heard in … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — May 10, 2013

Property Rights — Regulatory Taking Victory The California First District Court of Appeal issued a huge victory for landowners in this opinion in Lockaway Storage v. County of Alameda. Acting on assurances from county planners that a boat and r.v. … Continue reading

California department of fish and wildlife backs off on limiting water diversions, for now

Last December we reported on a court victory for the Siskiyou County Farm Bureau, in which the court ordered the Department of Fish and GameWildlife not to use its streambed alteration permits to regulate water diversions under valid water rights.  While … Continue reading

PLF asks Supreme Court to protect western water rights

Last week, PLF attorneys filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the estates of Nevada ranchers, E. Wayne and Jane Hage. The Hages, and their children, have been fighting for over twenty years to preserve … Continue reading

California supreme court to decide whether fish and game commission should correct mistakes

In December we reported on a California appellate court decision which says that when the California Fish & Game Commission erroneously lists a species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), it cannot correct the mistake.  The case arises out … Continue reading