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The Ann Dail Story.


 Anne Dail wanted to harvest timber on a 37-acre tract of her land in York County, Virginia. A widow, Dail wanted to use the income from the timber harvest to pay her property tax debt and maintain the forestland for her children. But county zoning authorities are requiring her to submit extensive reports and environmental evaluations that are so costly that she can not afford to harvest her own timber.

When Dail decided to harvest the timber, she was very scrupulous in making sure she was in compliance with all relevant environmental regulations. She hired a professional consulting forester to ensure that she complied with all state laws. She notified the Department of Forestry of her harvesting plans.

Even though she was following all state requirements, York County officials told her she would have to submit a comprehensive "forest management plan" and set aside substantial amounts of her property as "buffer zones."

The county argues that it has the right to restrict or prohibit development in the name of protecting the environment. According to the Southeastern Legal Foundation, which is representing Dail, the county's land-use ordinances requires Dail as well as other property owners to pay for engineering reports, water quality impact statements, natural resources inventory and a forest management plan for review and approval - or disapproval - by the zoning administrator. Dail simply cannot afford to comply with these onerous requirements.

A state trial court ruled that the CCC had no jurisdiction over Buckley's land and awarded her thousands of dollars in damages. On appeal, however, the state courts reversed the damages award while still ruling that the agency had wronged Buckley. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear her case.

In 1998, she filed a lawsuit to enjoin the county from enforcing a county code, ordinance or any regulation that imposes acreage limitations, buffer zones and other restrictions on her property. Her lawyers argue that the county zoning ordinances are preempted by state law which prohibits local governments from placing additional regulatory burdens on foresters.
Source: Southeastern Legal Foundation

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