A word of encouragement: though you may think this winter may never end, our upcoming Spring Meeting in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, at the historic Grove Park Inn, April 24–27, is just around the corner. Once again, we are excited to hold this meeting with our colleagues from the Public Contract Law Section and are looking forward to opportunities to get to know each other better through joint programming, meetings, and receptions, all held at the historic Grove Park Inn. Our agenda for that meeting is included in this edition of the State & Local Law News and on our website.Some of the highlights will include:
- A panel exploring the chemical spill in West Virginia and ash dumping in a North Carolina river and the subsequent impact on the states’ water resources. That panel will be organized and presented by our Emergency Management/Homeland Security and Environmental Committees.
- A panel based on the resurgent field of urban (and suburban) agriculture in our nation’s cities and communities and how land use regulations can encourage the wise use of land to support our local food supplies, while respecting the rights of adjoining property owners. This panel will preview our Section’s upcoming book on urban agriculture and will feature some of that book’s chapter authors.
- A panel analyzing the issue of heirs property in all areas of the country, but particularly in the South, and involving property owned by descendants of African-Americans who became owners of land during Reconstruction or later and passed on their interest in that land through intestacy, rather than through wills. The program will look at abuses of that ownership state by third parties wishing to exploit the fractured ownership for their own purposes and will offer insight on possible strategies to protect those lands, based on successful efforts by heirs property advocates.