How Long Is Forever?

TitleHow Long Is Forever?
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2009
Corporate AuthorsAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics,
Date Published01/2009
PublisherAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsbusiness , BUSINESS ethics , ENVIRONMENTAL ethics , PUBLIC administration
AbstractThe Lowham family in 1993 placed a conservation easement on their property and donated the easement to Johnson County. The easement granted the county the right to restrict the property to agricultural use and prohibit its subdivision. Six years later, the Dowd family bought the ranch and began farming the land, until the energy company that owned the mineral rights to their land began drilling for natural gas. The Dowd family now claims that the fragmentation and contamination of their land compromised its viability for agriculture. They pleaded that the drilling activity effectively made the conservation easement meaningless, because the impact of the drilling activity was no different than if it were to be developed for residential use - exactly what the Lowham family didn't want. In 2002, the County Commission agreed with the Dowds and voted unanimously not to sell the easement to the Dowds, but simply to abandon it.
NotesAssociation of Practical and Professional Ethics National Cases 2009
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