Representative Michelle Fischbach recently introduced the Landowner Easement Act. The legislation by the Minnesota Republican would prohibit the Department of the Interior from entering into a conservation easement with a term of more than 50 years. The bill would also give owners of existing easements the option to renegotiate, renew, or buy out the easement. Fischbach says, “This legislation would stop permanent landgrabs while providing a mechanism for landowners to resolve easement disputes.” North Dakota Republican Representative Kelly Armstrong joined Fischbach to introduce the legislation. Armstrong adds, “Our legislation will put power back into the hands of farmers and landowners, giving them the ability to renegotiate or buy out U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service easements created before 1977.” The Minnesota Corn Growers Association welcomed the legislation, saying the bill protects private property rights by ensuring that government easements are transparent, even-handed, and temporary.
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