The Foundation’s Legal Fund supports initiatives that protect landowners’ fundamental private property rights.

In Talladega County Alabama, the Foundation supported a lawsuit filed to ensure that landlocked property retained adequate protection for easements through adjoining properties, allowing the landowner full use and enjoyment of his timber resources.

The Foundation is supporting a lawsuit in Blount County Alabama where a landowner was harmed through arbitrary and inconsistently applied road weight restrictions that impaired the ability to harvest timber.

In Lynch et al v. The State of Alabama, plaintiffs seek to overtur Alabama’s property tax statutes as unconstitutional. Brought in Federal Court pursuant to the 1965 Civil Rights Act, the lawsuit could result in property taxes increasing over 1,000% by removing the differential assessment and current use provisions.

The Foundation is providing ancillary support to the State’s legal team in defending this lawsuit. Having prevailed in District Court, we must continue to support the suit appealed by the plaintiffs to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

Environmental issues continue to dominate the Foundation’s legal efforts. In , Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. Brown, 640F.3d 1063 (9th Cir 2011), the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a Federal District Court in Oregon that had ruled the Silvicultural Rule (40 CFR § 125.4(j) ) exempted discharges from forest roads from the need to obtain an NPDES permit. The Ninth Circuit ruling has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Foundation (on behalf of the forest industry in Alabama) joined an amicus brief as well as assisting the state’s attorney general in developing an amicus brief encouraging the U.S. Supreme Court to address this issue.

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The Black Belt Initiative

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