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"As natural landscaping takes root we must weed out the bad laws - how natural landscaping and Leopold's land ethic collide with unenlightened weed laws and what must be done about it"

BRET RAPPAPORT
Reprinted from
The John Marshall Law Review Volume 26, Summer 1993, Number 4
Copyright 1993 by
The John Marshall Law Review



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The John Marshall Law Review

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. THE LAND ETHIC
    1. Ecology
    2. Esthetics
    3. Environmental Ethics
    4. Aldo Leopold: A Pioneer Natural Landscaper
    5. The Judicial Acceptance of The Land Ethic
  3. A HISTORY OF WEED LAWS AND THE BATTLES OVER THEM
    1. Why We Have Weed Laws
    2. What Is Wrong With The Green Lawn And Weed Laws: And Those Who Proved It
      1. Lorrie Otto - The High Priestess of Natural Landscaping Movement
      2. The National Wildlife Federation
      3. City of New Berlin v. Hagar
      4. Montgomery County, Maryland v. Stewart
      5. Little Rock, Arkansas v. Allison
      6. Ladybird Johnson and The National Wildflower Research Center
      7. The Canadian Cases
      8. The "Chicago 5"
  4. THE REASONS FOR AND RESPONSE TO THE NATURAL LANDSCAPE MOVEMENT
    1. The Movement Officially Takes Root
    2. Why The Movement Is Taking Root
    3. What Cities Have Done In Response To The Movement
      1. The Madison "Permission" Law
      2. Modified Local Weed Laws
      3. Promotional Natural Landscape Laws
  5. SOME VILLAGES STILL DON'T GET IT - WHAT TO DO IF YOUR VILLAGE IS ENFORCING ITS WEED LAW AGAINST YOUR NATURAL LANDSCAPE
    1. Natural Gardening as a Fundamental Right
      1. Landscaping as Speech and Art
      2. Landscaping as Religion
    2. Weed Laws as Unconstitutionally Vague
    3. Weed Laws as Irrational In Violation of The Equal Protection Clause and Unreasonable in Violation of the Common Law
      1. Fire
      2. Vermin
      3. Mosquitoes
      4. Pollen
      5. Enforcement of Weed Ordinances Against Natural Landscapes Increases Wind-Borne Allergenic Pollen and Other Health Hazards
      6. Aesthetics
  6. WHERE TO GO FROM HERE - SUGGESTIONS FOR LOCAL WEED LAWS THAT EMBODY THE LAND ETHIC
  7. CONCLUSION

FOOTNOTES

APPENDICES

  1. Model Modified Weed Ordinance
  2. Natural Landscaping Ordinance 932
  3. College Station Texas Proposed Natural Landscape Ordinance
  4. City of New Berlin v. Hagar

BRETT RAPPAPORT

B.S., Indiana University, 1983; J.D., The John Marshall Law School, 1986; Adjunct Professor The John Marshall Law School 1989-1993. A litigation attorney with the Chicago law firm of Schwartz, Cooper, Kolb and Gaynor Chtd., Mr. Rappaport is also a member of the Sierra Club Lawyers Roundtable in Chicago. He has consulted with numerous municipalities regarding revision of weed laws and has spoken at seminars on natural landscaping.

The author wishes to express his appreciation to the many people involved in the natural landscaping movement who contributed to this article including Donald Vorpahl, Chicago attorney James Romanyak, naturalist Lorrie Otto, National Wildlife Federation Urban Wildlife Director Craig Tufts, National Wildlife Federation General Counsel Joel Thomas, Program Coordinator for Treeways and Wildflowers for the United States Department of Transportation Bonnie Harper-Lore, and Wisconsin prairie-ecologist Neil Diboll.

The author also wishes to thank Christine Dekker and Harvey Wright, Jr., law students at The John Marshall Law School, for their research assistance in preparing this article, Paul Gaynor, an attorney, for editing this article, and Laura Naples, Jeri Swinford and Renee Schoenrock, secretaries at Schwartz, Cooper, Kolb and Gaynor, for typing the many revisions of this article.

 


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