The power to condemn private property in the public interest (with just compensation, of course) is a fundamental power of government.

Some states, including especially Wyoming, have actually allowed this fundamental power to be exercised by private entities, organizations that may very well not have the interest of the citizens of the state in mind.

Anger is growing is the state’s land and water is being torn asunder, and there might be fireworks in the new legislature.

Read Brodie Farquhar’s “Energy/Ag Alliance Fractures over Eminent Domain.” New West.

Addition on Jan. 2.

Some people may wonder what does this have to do with Wyoming Wildlife? The answer is “plenty”. The prevention of this battle, this alliance from breaking up, this war from breaking out, is why they try to divert sportsmen and ranchers in Wyoming onto the subject of wolves. The outcome means billions of dollars of gains for some and losses for others. That’s why is it nice to have people talking about the loss of a couple hundred thousands of dollars of livestock lost to wolves.

Like Barnum said, “there’s a sucker born everyday.” At least many Wyoming politicians believe that.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project and the creator of The Wildlife News.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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