MINDS @ UW-Madison

Who owns natural resources in the United States and Canada?

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Author(s)
Marchak, M. Patricia
Publisher
Land Tenure Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Date
1998
Subject(s)
Right of property Canada; Right of property United States; Natural resources Canada Management; Natural resources United States Management; Natural resources Social aspects North America; Tenure systems North America
Series
Working paper, no. 20. North America series
Abstract
Property rights are social definitions; they exist as long as the society is willing to enforce them. If enforcement is missing, they cease to exist. The reasons for changes might be market conditions, popular sentiments, scientific knowledge, new technologies, lobbying, or legal battles. Biotechnologies are already having profound effects on how we organize property rights for natural resources. Resource rights change as our understandings and sentiments change. This paper presents a general overview of property rights in natural resources, with particular reference to water and land and emphasizing that rights are what a society is willing to grant and enforce. If companies, individuals, groups, or the state are not managing and stewarding resources in sustainable ways, their authority should be challenged. Rights are social inventions, and society can abrogate them.
Description
iii, 11 p.
Permanent link
http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/21967 
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