Property rights are intertwined with all other human rights. From works of art to loaves of bread, people produce the things because they are able to own and use resources.
Government exists to protect rights, including the rights to own and use property. Yet power corrupts, and government grasps for more and more control. One of the most powerful ways to increase that control is to extend it to the land we live on.
The Freedom Foundation stands up for property rights and property owners in Washington State. Most powerfully, we empower property owners themselves to build coalitions, confront local governments, and--often--win.
One example of this was an attempt to restrict waterfowl hunting across a broad swath of Thurston County. We helped the Washington State Waterfowler Association, together with other hunters and local land owners, to stand up to the County. Ultimately, officials backed down in the face of massive public outcry. Watch the video to find out more.
Thurston County farmers, facing a looming regulatory threat to their property rights and economic freedom, are pushing back.
This threat which underscores 10 of the scariest words in the English language, Were from the government and were here to help you is a proposed county ordinance that would put some farmers out of business if adopted as drafted.
OLYMPIAToday, Stop Taking Our Property (STOP) Thurston County offered to debate the merits and implementation of the Critical Areas Ordinance and the Emergency Prairie Ordinance in Thurston County with Thurston County Commissioners at a date of their choosing at The Evergreen State College.
Thurston county must periodically review the critical areas as defined by the Growth management act. However, the Growth Management Act does not require the Commissioners to automatically rewrite the ordinance.
Washington state agencies frequently produce scientific studies and guidance documents that have broad policy implications. However, unlike the academic and scientific community, state agency authors are not required to provide their qualifications.
In fact, state agencies hide behind an exemption in the Public Records Act, shielding employees from providing that information.
A proposal from Representative Simpson, Engrossed House Bill 1653 (as amended) under consideration by the legislature would provide needed clarity to local governments in how the Growth Management Act interacts with the Shoreline Management Act. The bill has passed the House and is currently in the Senate.