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Nevada rancher wins property rights battle

In Reno, Nevada this week, the estate of a rancher was awarded $4.2 million by a federal judge after “ruling that the U.S. Forest Service committed a constitutional ‘taking’ of his water rights during a decades-long dispute over livestock grazing on federal land.” The rancher, Wayne Hage, who died in 2006 and was also a property rights activist, had owned the Pine Creek Ranch since 1978 and first filed a claim in 1991. In a 2004 interview before his death, Hage told the Associated Press that the case “could have a dramatic impact on Western state’s rights and the proper jurisdiction of federal lands in the West.”

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