RESOURCE USEResource management is properly the responsibility and right of the legitimate owners of land, water, and other natural resources. We oppose government control of resource use through eminent domain, zoning laws, building codes, rent control, regional planning, urban renewal, or purchase of development rights with tax money. Such regulations and programs violate property rights, discriminate against minorities, create housing shortages, and tend to cause higher rents.
We advocate the establishment of an efficient and just system of private water rights, applied to all bodies of water, surface and underground. Such a system should be built upon a doctrine of first claim and use. The allocation of water should be governed by unrestricted competition and unregulated prices. All government restrictions upon private use or voluntary transfer of water rights or similar despotic controls can only aggravate the misallocation of water.
We also advocate the privatization of government and quasi-government water supply systems. The construction of government dams and other water projects should cease, and existing government water projects should be transferred to private ownership. We favor the abolition of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers' civilian functions. We also favor the abolition of all local water districts and their power to tax. Only the complete separation of water and the State will prevent future water crises.
We call for the homesteading or other just transfer to private ownership of federally held lands. We oppose any use of executive orders invoking the Antiquities Act to set aside public lands. We call for the abolition of the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Forced surface-mining of privately homesteaded lands in which the government has reserved surface mining rights to itself is a violation of the rights of the present landholders. We recognize the legitimacy of resource planning by means of private, voluntary covenants. We oppose creation of new government parks or wilderness and recreation areas. Such parks and areas that already exist should be transferred to non-government ownership. Pending such just transfer, their operating costs should be borne by their users rather than by taxpayers.