Skip to comments.Town hall meeting Friday challenges federal land ownership
Posted on 09/08/2013 11:26:30 AM PDT by Hildy
BULLHEAD CITY Almost half the land in Arizona 48.1 percent to be exact is owned by the federal government. Nevada leads the nation in federally owned land with an astounding 84.5 percent. And the feds own 45.3 percent of the land in California.
The federal government controls more than 50 percent of all the land in the Western United States a third of all land in the entire land mass of the United States, said Ken Ivory, a Utah state senator and president of the American Lands Council.
Ivory has assumed a leading role in the fight to get federal lands transferred to the Western states. He said he believes it is an opportunity for the states to generate more income from oil and mineral rights, funding education, creating jobs and growing local and state economies and tax bases.
According to the Institute For Energy Research, theres $150 trillion in minerals locked up in the federally controlled lands, Ivory said. According to the Government Accountability Office, theres more recoverable oil in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming than the rest of the world combined, locked up in federally controlled lands.
Locally, a town hall meeting will be held this week to address the issue of transferring federal land to state control. Ivory will speak at the meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday in the Mohave County Board of Supervisors Auditorium, County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St., Kingman.
With the transfer of land from federal to state control, Ivory said he sees economic opportunity not just for the West, but for the entire United States.
We dont have to be the worlds largest debtor nation. But prosperity requires production, he said.
North Dakota controls all of the access to its lands and it gets 100 percent of the mineral royalties. Utah and Arizona, we control hardly any of our land, and we only get 48 percent of the mineral royalties and under sequestration, they were cutting 5 percent of that back, Ivory said.
The goal is to compel Congress by negotiation, legislation or, if necessary, litigation to honor the same statehood promise for Western states to transfer title to public lands that it kept with Hawaii and all states east of Colorado. The federal government owned 90 percent of the land in many states east of the Mississippi River, but now owns 5 percent, Ivory said.
Five Western states have already passed transfer of public lands legislation Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
The U.S. Constitutions property clause says Congress has the power to dispose of these Western territorial lands, Ivory said. So its clearly within Congresss power to dispose of them. They made a policy change in 1976 and said, Were going to hang onto them forever. Well, they can unchange that policy at any time thats killing Western communities.
He brought up another argument in favor of states controlling their land.
In Arizona, for example, do states really have to ride out federal mismanagement of the forests until the forests are all burned to the ground? Clearly, the notion of federalism, this governing partnership where the states are obligated to take care of health, safety (and) welfare, would imply the states have a duty to step in and thin those forests to protect the environment, protect the animals that are being burned, to protect the watershed thats being destroyed.
Ivory cautioned that transferring federal land to Western states is a long, complicated process.
Were a hundred years getting into this mess and so its not going to be something where you flip a switch and get out of it, unfortunately. But we have five states that have passed legislation and theyre now moving and studying the economics and the logistics of transfer and what a transition for that would look like.
Mohave County has joined the American Lands Council because We believe that the federal government has crossed the line between simply managing land to an oppressive and possible illegal policy of sealing off land for any and all public use, said Mohave County District 2 Sup. Hildy Angius, R-Bullhead City. We have seen this in their non-stop use of the Endangered Species Act, to the halting of uranium mining to the very unpopular reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf. Because we have so little land that is privately owned, our tax base is low and everything suffers, especially education. It appears that the Western states have finally banded together to tell the federal government enough is enough and the Mohave County Board of Supervisors supports that movement.
We believe it is critical to the future of our county and our state to stop the federal government before it is too late.
Its a huge educational effort, Ivory said. Theres nothing unconstitutional or impossible about it. The only thing that we lack is knowledge and courage.
For more information, go to the American Lands Council website at: www.americanlandscouncil.org.
If You Go
What: Town hall meeting about federal land ownership
When: Friday, 6 p.m.
Where: County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St., Kingman
Who are we kidding?
As long as we are REQUIRED to pay property taxes or else lose our homes, the GOVERNMENT owns ALL property here in the good ol’ US of A.
That's only if you compare the theoretically recoverable oil shale in these areas to the "proven reserves" of conventional oil in the rest of the world. Ignoring that many areas in the rest of the world also have oil shale deposits.
Property taxes go back to before the Founding. Just saying.
It would be good to release the land to private owners, but I fear the global corporations would buy most of it up, like they have so much of the farm land, I’m sure corporations like Monsanto would be all over it, oil conglomerates et al.
HAHAHA....the federal government (especially under D regimes), has been locking up the already federal land by creating Wilderness areas out of them as fast as they can for decades, but it has been accelerating since clinton. The amount of “Wilderness Study Areas” in Nevada is staggering. They ain’t givin’ a square centimeter back.
We’re going to try. We’re dying here in Arizona. The latest is the Mexican Gray Wolf. The areas they can’t put them, they want to control so they can manage them. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. And then, when there’s no money left, they’ll kill them just like they are doing with the desert tortoises. They are not even secretive about it anymore. They are out to close off all public lands to humans.
Forcing the federal government to release all lands back to the states is the first step in shrinking it. Think of all the Departments that can go away once they no longer control the land: Fish & Wildlife Service, Forest Service, BLM, Dept of the Interior, etc., etc., etc...
Guess who is exempt from property taxes and codes.
Gooood Afternooon NSA
Or United American Socialist Republics UASR
Were a hundred years getting into this mess and so its not going to be something where you flip a switch and get out of it, unfortunately. “
This is one of those things that people like to say, that sounds good but doesn’t really mean anything, except that in most cases the person saying it doesn’t really want to do the thing proposed or actually lacks any faith that it can get done.
Look at the Wetlands act...if there's a drop of water...then there's the birds like the stupid owl and the critters like the stupid frog.
Consider the root of the phrase “real estate” where “real” is derived from the same root that gives us the word “royal”, to mean all estates belong to the royal sovreign thus tribute was paid for the privilege of residing there. That’s why property taxes go back before the Founding, not that the concept gains any validity for its long history. Also, just saying...
The “royal” etymology of real estate is not beyond dispute.
Here’s the best comment I’ve found. Apparently the Oxford English Dictionary says the word real in this case derives from “res” (thing), not “rex” (king).
OED isn’t accessible online for free, so I couldn’t check the comment.
“...is owned by the federal government.”
I believe it’s owned by the United States. The Federal Government is not the United States.
From English history: Until the reign of the Viking, Cnut, in the early 11th century, freemen could hunt anywhere, restricted only by the exclusive right to hunt associated with land ownership (”ratione soli”.)
During the reign of Cnut, the king withdrew certain lands from free common access and reserved them for his own use, maintaining them primarily for exclusive royal hunting purposes or “chases.” Hunting in the Forest provided a substantial share of meat, nuts berries and wild edibles for the king, the nobility and their retainers.
In later reigns, it became a practice for kings to “forest” occupied areas. By virtue of “sovereign ownership” of all land, kings claimed the right to assert exclusive hunting privileges. Essentially, these were severed as a separate estate in the land and retained or granted severally. At one time, it has been estimated that almost one-third of the country had been converted into “royal forest.” by royal proclamation. Regulation of the hunting of game rested upon the theory of the Crown’s “sovereign ownership” of land and resources associated with it.
The Latin term “foris” actually referred to exclusion from the application of the ordinary law and not to a wooded land. A separate system of “Forest Laws” and enforcement mechanisms were introduced by the Normans, which set forth permitted use and dealt savagely with violators. English common law, equity and associated rights did not apply to crimes committed in relation to “forested” lands.
The forest laws included such harsh penalties as execution or blinding for interference with the king’s beasts, especially deer and wild boar. The harshness of these laws and the enlargement of “forested” areas became one of the issues dealt with in the Magna Carta, limiting forest jurisdiction to lands as had existed in 1199 and denying the king the right to extend the borders. Forest provisions later became separated into the Parva Carta (Little Charter) or Forest Charter.
Gives a whole new meaning to our National Forests.
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