Skip to comments.State legislators: Hey, you know what we really need right now? More federal land!
Posted on 04/15/2014 5:04:59 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
I should probably go ahead and get it out of the way and say that, unfortunately, I agree that Cliven Bundy is legally very wrong in refusing to pay federal grazing fees and instigating a potentially violent standoff with the Bureau of Land Management — but that being said, that does not mean that the law of the land he is opposing is a good one.
As I have written before, the fact that the federal government currently owns a full third of the surface area of the United States is nothing less than a scandal that directly results in countless economic opportunity costs as well as inefficient, uninformed management practices and environmental degradation. For decades, eco-radicals flying the banner of “environmentalism” and “conservation” have been using the auspices of the federal government to slowly take lands out of the hands of private individuals and rural communities and instead put them in the hands of a politically-driven, top-down gigantic bureaucracy wielding the hammer of regulatory power, usually in the name of saving the sage grouse or something.
The “conservationists” that have been advocating for the subsequently restrictive land-use policies and wilderness designations tend to believe that commercial activity and free enterprise (as it pertains here, that means drilling, mining, logging, grazing, etcetera) are fundamentally and necessarily at odds with fostering environmental quality, and generally would really like to see human beings relocated almost entirely into cities.
The federal government hasn’t even designated the requisite cash it takes to properly manage the property it already owns, resulting in a major maintenance backlog, and yet it is constantly acquiring more land — largely via the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which President Obama has oh-so-proudly declared he will fully fund to the tune of around $900 million a year. Perhaps instead of using that money to acquire more land and thus expand those restrictive land-use policies, the feds could instead use that money to better steward the existing federal estate? And hey, while they’re at it, perhaps they could actually sell off some of the federal estate, or even just relinquish some of it to state control, the better to service that $17 trillion debt in which we’re floundering? Maybe?
Alas, expanding those restrictive land-use policies is kinda‘ the goal for these progressive “environmentalist” types. Federal land management essentially means political land management, and they’d like to keep it that way. A timely case in point:
A group of 230 state legislators on Tuesday encouraged President Obama to brush aside Republican opposition and designate more public lands as national monuments.
Public areas in the United States are valuable for tourism and outdoor recreation, the lawmakers said, but the threats of mining, logging and drilling put the lands at risk.
As legislators, we encourage action from Congress to protect these landscapes but, as you know, for the last three years Congress has passed just one bill to designate new wilderness, they wrote. …
They want him to declare the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico and Boulder-White Clouds in Idaho as monuments.
Your administration can deliver a bold agenda for permanently protecting our most critically important cultural and natural heritage in your remaining years in office, they wrote.
Here’s the letter, and yes, they do actually say that not designating these monuments increases “the risk of mining, logging and drilling,” whilst applauding the president’s support for the LWCF. The fact that decades’ worth of the federally-directed prevention of thinning activities like grazing and logging has directly resulted in unnaturally dense forests that have been erupting into the explosive wildfires we’ve lately been experiencing, was not mentioned (because, of course, they’d like the shift the blame away from themselves and onto climate change). Nope — for these guys, ushering more land into the federal estate is just another tool through which “environmentalists” can exert their whims, deter fossil-fuel investment, squash rural economies, and shepherd more people into urban areas.
Fedgov has no right to property
States have rights and individuals have rights
A worthy perspective. Of course the Dems want people to live in cities, that is their power base. More specifically, they want increasing population in the Mountain West to be located in cities for that reason.
Bundy is mucking up this important issue with his hare-brained arguments and by being a scofflaw.
I think the same would be good for Washington. Its property should extend no further than the District of Columbia, with a few exceptions such as military bases and border control.
Here in Michigan many of our state and National parks often abut each other and now the national parks have “Buffer management areas” that include large areas of the state land.
Our state laws allow economic activities like oil and gas extraction on state land but these federal buffer management areas are closing them to that economic activity.
Bundy and his ancestors had surface rights to the land since 1877. His ancestors established these rights when they settled the land. These rights are recognized by state and federal law, and the Feds tried to buy his surface rights about 10 years ago. Even if Federal gov owns the land, that does not mean that they can confiscate or displace the previously established surface rights.
If someone owns a piece of land with an oil well on it, and the oil rights are owned by someone else, that person cannot sell the land and include the oil rights. So if the Feds took ownership of the land, they cannot by fiat, take the surface right w/o compensation as indicated in the 5th amendment.
I don’t see why this is so controversial that even so-called conservatives are having trouble with it. I guess they cannot envision a time when the land was open for the taking to settlers.
Its time for a showdown. The Feds have to give it up. Public land should be in private hand or the state’s hand.
agitate at the state legislature
fedgov has no rights only enumerated powers
Rosa Parks broke federal laws, too, and if she hadn’t, she’d still be sitting in the back of the bus! Man’s laws cannot override God’s laws. Period!
Arrgh! If the authority is not enumerated, it is not 'the law of the land'. Nowhere is the government given the Constitutional authority to hold lands inside a state for any purpose other than for buildings designated for the common defense.
Nor is there any to force a State to cede wide swaths of land as a condition for becoming a State.
“I agree that Cliven Bundy is legally very wrong in refusing to pay federal grazing fees and instigating a potentially violent standoff with the Bureau of Land Management “
I expect no less from the gutless neo-con troll at Hotair. I’ve never trusted that SOB worm. He stinks up every post here on FR. Remember, this neo-con turd supported Romney with money and blood. He’s one of Rove’s butt-boys.
This issue wasn’t on the public radar until Bundy and the militias put it there.
So even if it’s a losing battle for him, Bundy did this country a solid bringing to the forefront.
The courts don’t seem to agree with you.
State legislators in western states want more federal land, because they want to sit on their behinds and collect all of revenues from tourists. Western NIMBYs want the same, because they’re generally spiteful against neighbors—especially new neighbors.
That’s true, the Federal courts ruled against Bundy. But, of course, the Federal court also upheld the fugitive slave law, segregation, Japanese internment, and most recently 0-care.
BTW, everything that Hitler, Stalin and Mao did was legal.
The courts don’t agree that abortion is murder of an innocent unborn child. Their opinions since Roe v Wade have often been decidely inaccurate.
Two types of judges: Those who follow the original intent, and the ones who just make it up. The latter has been gaining in numbers.
I wouldn’t agree to armed resistance in response even if I disagreed with the courts in this case.
The Feds choose to act is my concern. As a citizen, I am supposed to be their boss. I do have a responsibility with respect to how they do their jobs.
Last I heard trespass was not a capital offense, and neither is debt. The authorities threatened lethal force on men, women, and children regardless of whether the were armed. That's an unwise choice; a punishment far in excess of the crime had they carried it out.