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The Evolution of Resource Property Rights$
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Anthony Scott

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198286035

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198286035.001.0001

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Forestry on Private Lands from the Medieval to the Modern Era

Forestry on Private Lands from the Medieval to the Modern Era

(p.448) 12 Forestry on Private Lands from the Medieval to the Modern Era
The Evolution of Resource Property Rights

Anthony Scott

Oxford University Press

Some Norman forests were directly controlled by the landlord, and some were a part of the shared manorial common lands. The latter were held and used for timber or pasture by the tenants and freeholders and eventually cleared completely. Modern rights to forested land were formed in the landlord's own woods, for hunting and recreation, fuel supply, and leasing to a timber contractor. The rights of many lords were restricted, tied up in settlements requiring that the timber be left intact. In law the timber stand was attached to and so part of the land. By dealing with a contractor, did an owner thereby also sell his interest in the land, lease the land with a right to remove its timber; license the contractor to enter and remove the timber, or sell the trees only? All disputed cases showed that the answer somehow depended on duration of the right. A leading case in 1957 found that if the trees were still growing, they were part of the land but if they were mature they were chattels merely warehoused on the land, to be dealt in separately. Turning to the exclusivity characteristic, it is shown how nuisance law and government intervention were adapted for forest fires. The chapter turns to two neglected property-right opportunities. One concerns multiple-owner, multiple-use forests: the adaptation of specialized forest rights for price-mechanism selection among competing land uses and products. The second is to broaden the existence of ‘tree tenures’ so that forest landowners can lease out the right for a holder to bring on successive stands of timber.

Keywords:   private forests, royal forest, forest law, tree tenure, duration, exclusivity, forest fire, agreement tenure, forest management, tree tenure

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