The "takings clause" of the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states:
Nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
Now states are entering the fray:
With 50,000 acres of lakes, lava flows and otherworldly rock features that offer a peek into central Oregon’s geologic tumult, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument is one of the more theatrical of the nation’s protected natural wonders.
In the eyes of James R. Miller, who owns a doughnut hole of private land inside the monument, all that volcanic energy just below the surface makes the big caldera a perfect place for a pumice mine and power plant.
And under a landmark property rights law enacted by Oregon voters two years ago, Mr. Miller now says the government must allow him to go ahead with his development or pay him $203 million in compensation.
The article explains that Oregon's new law forces the state to compensate owners when land-use regulations "take" their property. Idaho and Washington have similar measures on their fall ballots.
These actions show again the potential for sensible things to happen at the state level if federal policy does not interfere. So far only Oregon has adopted this kind of takings protection. But perhaps Idaho and Washington will follow suit. And if a few more states join in, that will pressure still more states to consider similar policies.