Property Law Issues Involving Public Rights, Open Space, and Access to Private Lands

APA Pennsylvania Chapter


Wednesday, November 14, 2018
noon - 1:30 p.m. EST

CM | 1.50
L | 1.50

Add to My Log


It is important for land planners and local government officials to understand the nature of public resources within a community as well as the public’s rights to those resources.  Public resources, however, are sometimes owned privately rather than publicly.  The relationship between the private ownership of land and public rights to the use of that private land creates a number of legal issues about which planners, local government officials, and landowners should be aware. 


This webinar will focus on those property law issues that impact the rights of the public to the use of private lands as well as the use of public resources generally.  A discussion of general property law concepts of relevance to this topic including easements, eminent domain, and the public trust doctrine will be addressed. In addition, the rights to public resources that have been granted through Article 1, section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution will be considered. The webinar will then shift its focus to address legislation, and interpretive case law, designed to increase the amount of open space. 


As such, Pennsylvania’s Clean and Green program and the Recreational Use of Land and Water Act will be addressed to specifically focus on the rights that the public has to the use of private lands through the provisions in each of these statutes.  The webinar will conclude with a discussion of access to land from the perspective of the private landowner.  In this section, there will be a discussion of the rights of the landowner to various type of individuals who may be present of the land including trespassers, social guests, and those who enter with a business purpose.  


Ross Pifer

Invited Speaker

Ross H. Pifer is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Agricultural Law Center at The Penn State Dickinson School of Law. Professor Pifer also serves as Director of the Rural Economic Development Clinic at Penn State Law. In the classroom, Professor Pifer teaches courses on Oil and ... Read More

Sean High, Esq

Invited Speaker

Born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Sean developed a strong interest in agriculture while working summers on his grandparents’ dairy farm. A graduate of the Penn State University Dickinson School of Law, he serves as a staff attorney at the Penn State Center for Agricultural and Shale Law where ... Read More

Contact Info

Susan Shermer,