Landowners Want Money for Rail Trail Development

By: AP
By: AP

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Two Kansas landowners have sued for compensation after the government converted old railroad lines into
recreational trails on their property.

For nearly three years, the government held a rail easement for an abandoned track on 11 acres of Butler County land owned by Jerramy and Erin Pankratz. The couple learned this month that a federal judge will consider whether the government should pay them.

A McPherson County cattle rancher might need help from Congress to get paid for a former railway converted to a trail on his 300-acre spread near Lindsborg. A federal court in Georgia two years ago dismissed a similar claim, saying the land wasn't taken until the railroad stopped running -- not when the trail was built.

But two bills in Congress would retroactively change the law so the Kansas rancher and the other landowners could get paid.


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