You are here: Home / Conservation / Conservation Defense / Conservation Defense News / Landowner Jailed for Easement Violation

Landowner Jailed for Easement Violation

June 15, 2011 | Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Attorney’s office obtained a preliminary injunction against a Washington State man who was also briefly jailed and fined last year for violating a state court order that he stop offering zip line rides in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

The US Attorney wants Derek Hoyte to pay damages for building six zip lines without permits and in violation of a conservation easement on 80 acres he owns. Hoyte was fined $1,000 and jailed for five days for violating a prior order from the county to stop operating public zip line tours. He was released after he paid to remove the lines.

Then, Hoyte reinstalled zip lines on the property and is constructing a suspension bridge without permission. The Forest Service says Hoyte has built roads and cut trees on the 80-acre parcel he owns in violation of a conservation easement the Forest Service obtained from prior owners. Prosecutors demanded that Hoyte pay for damage to the land and pay triple damages for trees he cut. The injunction prohibits Hoyte from running any zip line tours, building roads, cutting vegetation and continuing work on the suspension bridge.

Hoyte also owns 5 acres just outside Washougal city limits. Hoyte installed the lines on his family farm last year and began operating Heritage Farms Canopy Tours.  Pre-trial activities are just beginning and no trial date is set. The parties are discussing a settlement but have not reached any agreement.

Document Actions
Bookmark and Share
Conservation News
Heroic Defense of the Land and Ethics

April 9, 2015 | Land Trust Alliance | Washington, D.C.

Taming the Wild Deed

March 16, 2015 | Land Trust Alliance | Washington, D.C.

The Power to Innovate

February 18, 2015 | Land Trust Alliance | Washington, D.C.

eNews Sign-up » More News »
Support from land trusts

Christian Freitag, attorney-at-law and executive director at Sycamore Land Trust (IN), says "I view Conservation Defense Insurance as another step the land trust community is taking to keep our promises. We claim that we will help people protect their land in perpetuity. With this program, the public can be more confident than ever that we take that commitment seriously."


Greg Gamble, executive director at Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (CA), says that "this is one of the most helpful things that the Land Trust Alliance could attempt for its members, and I have greatly appreciated the professional, thoughtful, fair and inclusive process that you have led."


1660 L St. NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036 ©Copyright 2015 Land Trust Alliance

Privacy Policy | Photo Credits | Site Map | Contact Us