Rancher's Bill to Limit Use of Eminent Domain and NIMBY



A State Senator seeking to limit eminent domain has provided precisely the answer that a property rights advocate may not desire to hear. Simply stating "not in my backward" is not necessarily an appropriate argument in favor of limiting eminent domain. No one wants something in their backyard.

This "not in my backyard" answer is analogous to the king who watched all his citizenry have catastrophes occur, simply stating "not my problem" over many years. Then, the king goes on a boat trip and the captain of the ship starts drilling a hole at the bottom of the vessel and the king says "that’s a problem for all of us".

The issue of not having an eminent domain proceeding which has no legal basis to occur is not simply based upon "not in my backyard".


Sen. Jim Guthrie, a Republican rancher from McCammon in southeast Idaho, said the legislation would stop government entities in Idaho from using eminent domain for trails, paths, greenways, and walking, running, hiking, equestrian or bicycling use.

"I'm in favor of greenways and walking paths. Just don't take my land to develop it," Guthrie said.

If a government entity offers a landowner a fair price for their land and they agree, that's fine, he added. "But I don't want to have my property pried from my fingertips."

Guthrie said his bill is needed in light of several high-profile eminent domain cases around the country where condemnation was used for purposes other than genuine public infrastructure needs.


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