Ownership, Property, and Sustainability

What is a landowner’s responsibility to habitat preservation? In the past, owning land meant arranging it for one’s own use, but this in turn generally resulted in destroyed or degraded habitat. In today’s world, loss of biodiversity has become a public concern. Does the landowner now have an obligation to manage his land differently? Can habitat protection be superimposed on a private landowner? Joseph Sax explores these questions in his lecture on the interconnections of ownership, property, and sustainability.

This lecture was given on March 11, 2010, at the 15th annual symposium sponsored by the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment at the S. J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah.

Joseph Sax has taught environmental law, water law, public land law, and property rights at the University of Colorado, the University of Utah, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley. He served from 1994 to 1996 as counselor to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. He is the author of numerous books, including Defending the Environment, Mountains without Handrails, and Legal Control of Water Resources.