Property Rights – A Basic Freedom

Personal property rights are an essential element of America’s free enterprise system, and North Dakotans get angry when the government (or anyone else, for that matter) doesn’t respect this basic privilege.  Daryl Lies, President of the North Farm Bureau says it best, “Where does the end come when you start infringing on any property rights?”

In wind energy developments, a common theme surfaces from people who oppose wind farms and that theme is summarized in one comment, “I don’t want to look at them.” Forming an argument on “I don’t want to look at them,” should cause all property owners to stop and pause … because what’s next? That one line has the potential to open up Pandora ’s Box.  If the argument of “I don’t want to look at them” gains any strength, soon your neighbors will dictate the color of your barn, the breed of your cattle, what crops you grow, and the type of fence you put up. 

As a property owner, you have the right to do what you deem best for your land, your farm or ranching operation and your family. We as neighbors don’t have to agree with you, but we do have to respect your rights to do what you believe is best for your land and your family. If it’s in your best interest to create a campground along the Missouri River to generate extra income, or diversify your ranch into agri-tourism or add wind turbines on your private property, so be it, as long as what you choose to do is legal. This is called progress.  

North Dakota’s landscape has changed and will continue to change.  We hope neighbors can get along and everyone can embrace change and welcome progress that brings new opportunities into our communities.

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