Who has the right to use a piece of land, whether by private citizens or by the United States government, came back into the news recently. Several Arizona congressmen authored a letter petitioning the White House to remove the national monument designation from four different areas of the state, opening them up for many possible uses.
This issue highlights just how complicated it can be to work around land use regulations, even if many groups support the restrictions. National monument designations are championed by large portions of the public, since they preserve many of our nation’s unique geographic treasures and provides protection to many types of wildlife.
However, for the communities in and around national monuments, the story is often more complex. In the case of the four monuments noted in the congressmen’s recent letter, all of them were designated such under the Clinton administration of the 1990s, and some of the communities around them have complicated relationships with the relatively new restrictions over how they can or cannot use the land.
In the letter, the congressmen mention that the designation represents government overreach, and creates untenable restrictions on the state’s ability to use and regulate the land internally.
If you have a conflict involving a land use regulation, it is important to fully understand the scope of the regulations and how you might successfully work within them or, in some cases, petition to have the regulations changed or removed. An experienced attorney can help you examine the pertinent laws and create a strategy for moving forward with your project.
Source: Arizona Daily Sun, “Congressmen favor eliminating 4 Arizona national monuments,” July 13, 2017