6/17/2006

A Survey of the Not So “Willing” Sellers: Washington County (ME) Alliance

By Bo W. Thott

A study by the Washington County (Maine) Alliance shows how the Federal Government uses eminent domain to force property owners to become “willing sellers” under threat of condemnation.

The study was done in response to a disingenuous claim in the New York Times by George Frampton, head of the Wilderness Society and later a high-ranking Clinton-Gore Interior official. Frampton wrote that there is no threat of eminent domain against private land owners by Federal preservationist agencies and accused those of opposing the national environmentalist lobby's arrogant plans for the National Park Service and other Federal agencies to take control of most of rural Maine as “whip[ing] up hysteria” over the threat to private property rights. He dishonestly implied that those forced to sell to the National Park Service had no personal interest in their property and so should be of no concern.

An analysis based on a national survey shows that private landowners ostensibly selling their properties to the National Park Service as allegedly willing sellers are in fact not bona fide “willing” sellers. Rather, they give up their titles to escape the futility of legal expenses against a foredoomed condemnation that cannot be legally stopped.



A complete copy of the study is online at http://willingseller.net

The Washington County Alliance is a grassroots, property-rights organization formed in 1988 in response to due-process violations by the National Park Service in a federal/state secret survey for 10 years of a 20-mile coastal area with a view to designate it a Natural Landmark and thus make it a candidate for a National Park.

Washington County Alliance, HCR 69 Box 336, Cutler, ME 04626