The Virginia State Constitution: A Reference Guide

By John Dinan | Go to book overview

Article XI
Conservation

The Conservation Article is comprised in part of a provision that stems from the 1902 Constitution (section 3, regarding natural oyster beds), in part of provisions that originated in the 1971 Constitution (sections 1 and 2, regarding natural resources and historical sites), and in still another part of a provision approved by voters in 2000 (section 4, regarding the right to hunt, fish, and harvest game). In providing for a separate Conservation Article, drafters of the 1971 Constitution were taking a path followed by a growing number of states in the last four decades. However, in declaring in this article that it shall be the policy of the state to protect its natural resources, Virginia constitution makers followed a particular approach, which differs from that of states whose constitutional provisions guarantee a right to a clean and healthful environment.


SECTION 1. NATURAL RESOURCES AND HISTORICAL
SITES OF THE COMMONWEALTH

To the end that the people have clean air, pure water, and the use and enjoy-
ment for recreation of adequate public lands, waters, and other natural
resources, it shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to conserve, develop,
and utilize its natural resources, its public lands, and its historical sites and
buildings. Further, it shall be the Commonwealth's policy to protect its atmo-
sphere, lands, and waters from pollution, impairment, or destruction, for the
benefit, enjoyment, and general welfare of the people of the Commonwealth.

This section first appeared in the 1971 Constitution, and, together with the next section, has been referenced in various environmental-protection statutes enacted

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The Virginia State Constitution: A Reference Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Part I - The Constitutional History of Virginia 1
  • Part II - Virginia Constitution and Commentary 33
  • Article I - Bill of Rights 35
  • Article II - Franchise and Officers 75
  • Article III - Division of Powers 94
  • Article IV - Legislature 96
  • Article V - Executive 116
  • Article VI - Judiciary 137
  • Article VII - Local Government 152
  • Article VIII - Education 166
  • Article IX - Corporations 182
  • Article X - Taxation and Finance 192
  • Article XI - Conservation 212
  • Article XII - Future Changes 218
  • Schedule 225
  • Bibliographical Essay 227
  • Table of Cases 241
  • Index 249
  • About the Author 257
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