The tension between the effort to preserve environmentally sensitive areas and the property rights of individuals will be the subject of a University of Oklahoma conference, "Environmental Protection and the Politics of Property Rights," scheduled April 26.
The conference, free and open to the public, is set from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Conference Room B of the Oklahoma College of Continuing Education forum building, 1704 Asp Ave. on the OU Norman campus.
Featured speakers will be James Huffman, dean of the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore.; John Echeverria, general counsel of the National Audubon Society in Washington, D.C.; and Andrew Sawyer, assistant chief counsel of the California Water Resources Control Board. Others include Drew Kershen, OU Earl Sneed professor of law; Zev Trachtenberg, OU assistant professor of philosophy; and Baxter Vieux, OU associate professor of civil engineering. The conference will explore the delicate balance between public and private rights when the environment is at stake. On the one hand, environmental regulations are sometimes seen to interfere with private property rights, raising the question of the extent to which the majority can dictate to individuals how they can use their land. …