This is an interesting case in Private Property Rights. Let’s pretend you owned some forested land in northern Minnesota; you had been receiving property tax breaks in exchange for allowing the public to hunt and snowmobile on your land. Then one day the State has serious budget issues from mis-management and pulls away your tax breaks. Would you continue to allow free access to your private land?
Maybe or maybe not, that would be a personal choice. After all, it is YOUR land.
That is the situation that Molpus Woodlands Group finds itself in. They own 286,000 acres of forested land in northern Minnesota and had their tax breaks removed that were in place for allowing recreational use on their land.
This could be a really interesting case depending on where it goes. I would assume a percentage of the public that had been using the land for hunting and snowmobiling for years will feel entitled to continue to use the land for free. It could also get really interesting because a couple of State Snowmobile trails run through the property.
It is really easy to fall on the wrong side of Property Rights cases. Property Rights are one of the most important rights we have and it needs to protected. We can’t take Property Rights away from any person or entity without jeopardizing Property Rights for everyone. It is a very slippery slope.
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