Federal regulations have been a burden on Western states for decades. The continuous growth of the administrative federal government has made the taking of private property through regulation one of the greatest threats to property rights. Laws like the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act place significant limitations on private property owners, and such limitations constitute a “taking” – even though the government doesn’t confiscate any physical property. Rather, a regulatory taking represents a taking of the use and some portion of the value of private property through regulation. Public land regulations imposed by the Bureau of Land Management and National Forest Service deprive Western states of energy development and economic growth.
The Coalition for Self-Government in the West recognizes government’s pivotal role in implementing and enforcing regulations. However, it is our belief that these laws should not be imposed by politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., but rather by those who intimately understand the issues we face – our state legislatures.