This is your brain on property rights |

This is your brain on property rights

In their war with nature, property rights proponents remind me of the illegal drugs public service announcement on TV. The one in which young people proclaim “I helped kill a police officer,” and “I helped finance a kidnapping.” The point is made when the contrite rationalizing (of their drug purchases) begins; “It’s my body,” and “It’s not like I’m hurting anyone else.” In the same way, “It’s my property,” and “What I do on my own land is my business” matches this way of dodging responsibility. Without doubt, unbalanced land use harms everyone over the long term as natural resources are depleted or irretrievably lost.

I think the defining moment in the property rights debate came when a candidate’s pickup truck was stolen. The victim had no comment about the thief, but reported “I’m dying to know who his friends are” (The Union, Jan. 9): A revealing and disturbing statement. This timber industry candidate disagrees strongly with environmental preservation. I can guess whom he hoped these “friends” might be. I never dreamed protecting the environment might threaten my relatives and friends by association if this person is elected. Perhaps I was wrong.

James Woods

Penn Valley

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Margaret Burlew: Mining is our history


I am writing in regards to the “Stop the Mines” signs I am seeing around town. Grass Valley is known to be a mining town. If not for the mines our beautiful city might not…

See more