American Land Rights Association

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The American Land Rights Association (ALRA) is a Wise Use organization based in Battle Ground, Washington. The group describes itself as "dedicated to the wise-use of our resources, access to our Federal lands and the protection of our private property rights."[1]


The organization was founded in 1978 by property owners in the community of Wawona, California,[2] located within Yosemite National Park.[3] It was initially named the National Park Inholders Association; it describes its mission at that time as "to protect private property landowners from unwanted acquisition by the National Park Service".[1]

The group changed its name to the National Inholders Association (NIA) in 1980. In 1985, it added a number of grazing permittees on federal land to its membership roll. In the early 1990s, it championed the cause of mining claimholders. In 1995, the organization was renamed the American Land Rights Association (ALRA).[1]

ALRA and other Wise Use organizations were most politically active in the 1990s fighting land use restrictions by the Clinton administration.[citation needed] With Republicans in control in Congress and the White House in the 2000s, ALRA had more friends in Washington;[citation needed] this allowed them to exercise some power over the administration's appointments. A notable case was that of John Turner, a friend of vice-president Dick Cheney,[4] who was under consideration for the #2 position in the Department of the Interior.[5] ALRA and other property-rights organizations opposed Turner's appointment because of his position as president of the Conservation Fund, which an ALRA release asserted was "dedicated to threatening, dividing and isolating land owners and small towns".[6] President George W. Bush chose not to appoint Turner, instead selecting mining-industry lobbyist J. Steven Griles.[5]


ALRA cooperates with broad-based conservative organizations on land-use related issues.[7][8][9] It sponsors the Land Rights Network, a nationwide mail, phone, fax and e-mail lobby outreach network.[citation needed] It also organizes the League of Private Property Voters, which has published a vote index since 1990, scoring members of Congress on votes relating to regulations on private property rights and restrictions on use of federal public lands.[10] The League promotes some general conservative causes unrelated to land use as well: for example, their 2007 ratings of U.S. Senate members were based on ten votes, one of which was a measure to prevent restoration of the Fairness Doctrine on radio and television.[11] ALRA has also sent representatives to testify before various governing bodies.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b c "ALRA Mission and History". ALRA website. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  2. ^ Cushman, Chuck. "Yosemite Alert." ALRA Action Alerts. 2003-03-31. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  3. ^ "The Redwoods" (vacation-home rental website). Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  4. ^ Mcallister, Bill. "Interior politics take odd twist over top posts". Denver Post. 2001-02-04. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  5. ^ a b Seelye, Katharine G."Bush Is Choosing Industry Insiders to Fill Several Environmental Positions". New York Times. 2001-05-12. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  6. ^ Eckles, Susan. "Interior Department: the Good, Bad, and Very Ugly". American Land Rights Association: Land Rights Network. Quoted in full at 2005-12-01. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  7. ^ "American Land Rights Association". State Policy Network. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  8. ^ "American Land Rights Association (ALRA)".Policy Experts. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  9. ^ "Land Rights Group Supports Bush Tax Plan". E-Wire press release. 2001-03-05. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  10. ^ "League of Private Property Voters". American Land Rights Association. 1998-10-16. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  11. ^ "2007 Private Property Congressional Vote Index". League of Private Property Voters. February 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  12. ^ "Hearings: Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water". U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. 2003-06-17. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  13. ^ "National Trails Act: Testimony by Chuck Cushman". American Land Rights Association. 2005-07-26. Retrieved 2010-01-08.

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