Kathryn Ciano on the Rails to Trails Threat to Property Rights


Train tracks
Beau Lawrence foter

Rails to Trails is a government program to convert abandoned railroad tracks to recreational trails. Sounds great, except that the tracks run over private property, and the private landowners haven't been paid for this permanent land grab. In fact, the federal government is trying to turn conditional 19th century easements into permanent takings. A case before the Supreme Court this term, writes Kathryn Ciano, demonstrates the program's problems.