Roni Bell Sylvester is the founder and volunteer editor of Land and Water USA and a former 2014 Republican gubernatorial candidate in the State of Colorado. In addition to being a well-known speaker at the Colorado State Legislature, where she has frequently testified on water and agricultural issues, she is a mother, a wife, a rancher, and a self-described “farm girl”. Roni Bell Sylvester is a passionate champion of private property rights in the United States of America, including the beneficial use of water as a vested property right.
As we dive in to what is happening with water politics and the complicated business of owning and protecting water rights, a mosaic unfolds before our eyes. Roni Bell Sylvester adds a critical piece to this mosaic, elaborating on split estate laws and the water rights issues we original explored with Dr. Angus McIntosh in our 2013 interview (The Water Law Matrix).
In this segment, we discuss the many legal quagmires connected to water, land ownership, and resource complexes, and Roni’s ideas about how to correct and heal the issues caused by federal regulatory interference in state affairs. We also highlight the legal instruments that governments and other entities are using to usurp property rights, and address the issue of foreign entities coming into countries to acquire the water and property rights there.
For the first time, Kim steps out of her role as a broadcaster and into her role as a steward to bring forth the kind of rigorous inquiry needed to open the space and facilitate much-needed results in the area of ensuring access to water and other important resources in the United States. She and Roni Bell Sylvester discuss water courts, the distinction between real and perceived water shortages, Free Trade Zones, and free trade.
As Roni Bell Sylvester says, “Water is the lifeblood of each person on our Earth.” If you’re concerned about the future of private property rights and preserving access to water (and shouldn’t we all be?), this interview is not to be missed.