Skip to comments.MONTANA FIRST STATE TO BAN FEDERAL AGENCY LAND PURCHASES
Posted on 05/07/2003 8:22:53 AM PDT by GotDangGenius
HELENA- Montana became the first state in the nation to prohibit the sale of state owned land to the federal government.
This is an accomplishment I am very very proud of, said Representative Rick Maedje (R) Fortine about his amendment to House Bill 223.
House Bill 223 authorizes the state land board to sell school trust lands that are not producing income from grazing, timber, mining, or oil and gas. The measure was dubbed the state land banking bill and it also allows the land board to purchase more productive lands in its place.
I dont disagree with the underlying purpose of the bill at all. Its entirely appropriate for the State Land Board to look for better timber, mining, and grazing lands for the schools, said Maedje, but there was a serious unintended consequence- the present state lands could wind up in the hands of the federal government, and that is entirely inappropriate in Montana.
There are approximately six million acres of school trust lands in Montana. These lands were originally granted to the state by the federal government when Montana agreed to statehood. Congress mandated the lands be used solely for generating income for schools.
In the hearing on HB 223 before the House Natural Resources Committee, Bud Clinch, Director of the DNRC, said, It is my fiduciary responsibility to generate income for our schools from these lands. Director Clinch added, This bill allows the Department the flexibility to increase income for the schools.
Representative Maedje, who sits on the House Natural Resources Committee said during executive session deliberations on the bill, I am not prepared in any way, shape, or form to see a single acre of state land wind up in the federal governments hands. Not only does the federal government fail to pay taxes on land it holds, but even the PILT payments (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) it promises us never come through. Worse yet, Montana has had nothing but serious problems in the last 30 years with virtually every acre the federal government claims to have jurisdiction over in this state. Selling the feds our state land is like rubbing salt in a wound.
Representative Maedje, an outspoken opponent of federal land ownership in Montana, believes the federal government has overstepped its Constitutional authority in the last 30 years, and offered his amendment as a means to reign in federal agencies in Montana.
House Bill 223 came through the Natural Resources Committee, and I saw the real opportunity to add a friendly amendment to the bill to begin to stop federal land acquisitions in our state, said Maedje.
Maedje referred to Article I, Section 8 of the federal Constitution, which restricts Congress: to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings.
Maedjes amendment to HB 223 amends Montana Code Annotated 77-2-306 to read: State land may not be sold to the federal government or to any agency of the federal government, except for the purpose of building federal facilities and structures.
The bill made it to the Governors desk with Maedjes amendment intact, but not without a fight.
Representative Chris Harris (D) Bozeman, blasted Maedjes amendment on the floor of the House arguing that Iraq could buy this land. North Korea could buy this land, but our own red white and blue federal government cant buy this land. This is wrong.
Frankly, Maedje said afterwards about Rep. Harriss comments in the floor debate, ...and I say this within the tangible and real context of unabashedly asinine decisions made by federal agencies which unnecessarily hurt rural natural resource dependent communities-- Representative Harris might have been unintentionally right. I indeed wonder if the constitutional rights of Montanans could be any more abused by a North Korean dictator than they are by our own federal agencies. That may sound stunning to those who havent suffered because of federal land policies, but it is closer to the truth than one might want to contemplate.
Maedje offered the following remarks after Governor Martz signed HB 223 into law:
The Constitution never intended the federal government to increase its land holdings or jurisdictional influence without the consent of the people of a state. Regrettably, over the last 30 years the federal government has overstepped its authority, and its abuse of that authority directly conflicts with the economic vitality, character, and traditions of the people of Montana. Montanans have been patient. We have tried to work with federal agencies, but we have intelligently arrived at the conclusion that federal agencies have little or no incentive to abide by the federal Constitution.So, we're now going to help them get back on track.
This amendment to HB 223 is the first step in a calculated effort not only to put the brakes on federal land acquisitions, but in future legislative sessions, we will take intelligent, lawful steps such as this to roll back federal land holdings and jurisdictional authority, Maedje said.
Montana is the first state in the nation to prohibit the federal government from purchasing state lands. This is an historic step for any state to take, and federal agencies should be well aware that Montana will continue to assert our rights as a state, and we take this issue very very seriously. Maedje added.
I arrived at that conclusion a long time ago.
OUCHHH! Bravo, good people of Montana!
Another agenda of the whacked out, constimatooshin studyin' right wing camo wearers, shot all to hell by senseless hyperbole.
At least Americans now know who our real enemies are.
One thing at a time. This was difficult enough to put into law.
You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. There is legislation coming, such as that in Texas and New Mexico which strips NGO's engaging in such things of their tax exempt status, prohibits the transfer of private land to the feds using NGO's, and requires that any NGO having transferred land to the Feds is required to be responsible for the COMPLETE payment of property taxes--- RETROACTIVELY.
Montana is just getting started.
Story developing... stay tuned
Still, this is truly historic. Looking forward to more statements from states like this.
M.C.A. 2-1-202. Jurisdiction over lands purchased by United States -- reservation of rights to state. Pursuant to Article I, section 8, paragraph 17, of the constitution of the United States, consent to purchase is hereby given and exclusive jurisdiction is ceded to the United States over and with respect to any lands within the limits of this state that are acquired by the complete purchase by the United States for any of the purposes described in paragraph 17 of the constitution of the United States. The jurisdiction must continue as long as the lands are held and occupied by the United States for the described purposes. The state reserves the right to serve and execute civil or criminal process lawfully issued by the courts of the state within the limits of the territory over which jurisdiction is ceded in any suits or transactions for or on account of any rights obtained, obligations incurred, or crimes committed in this state, within or outside of the territory. The state also reserves the right to tax persons and corporations and their franchises and property within the territory. The state and its inhabitants and citizens reserve the right to fish and hunt and the right of access, ingress, and egress to and through the ceded territory to all persons owning or controlling livestock for the purpose of watering the livestock. The state reserves jurisdiction in the enforcement of state laws relating to the duties of the department of livestock and the department of environmental quality and the enforcement of any regulations promulgated by the departments in accordance with the laws of the state. Jurisdiction does not vest until the United States, through the proper officers, files an accurate map or plat and description by metes and bounds of the lands in the office of the county clerk and recorder of the county in which the lands are situated. If the lands are within the corporate limits of any city, the map or plat must also be filed in the office of the city clerk of the city. The filing of the map constitutes acceptance of the jurisdiction by the United States as ceded. History: En. Sec. 1, p. 52, L. 1893; re-en. Sec. 43, Pol. C. 1895; re-en. Sec. 24, Rev. C. 1907; re-en. Sec. 25, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 25, R.C.M. 1935; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 155, L. 1939; amd. Sec. 102, Ch. 349, L. 1974; R.C.M. 1947, 83-108(part); amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 418, L. 1995.
I am right behind you...
I might be movin' to Montana soon
Just to raise me up a crop of
Raisin' it up
Waxen it down
In a little white box
That I can sell uptown
"Montana" by Frank Zappa
Gone Hunting for link
Good show Montana!
What are the chances that this little doozy is being funded with dollars provided by the NRA supported CARA legislation?
INTRODUCED BY LAWSON, COONEY
BY REQUEST OF THE BOARD OF LAND COMMISSIONERS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
AN ACT CREATING THE STATE LAND BANK FUND; REVISING THE LAWS RELATING TO THE SALE OF STATE TRUST LAND AND THE DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS; PROHIBITING THE SALE OF LAND TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; AUTHORIZING THE BOARD OF LAND COMMISSIONERS TO ACQUIRE LANDS FOR THE FINANCIAL BENEFIT OF TRUST BENEFICIARIES; PROVIDING A STATUTORY APPROPRIATION FOR THE FUNDING OF STATE LAND BANK FUNCTIONS, INCLUDING THE ACQUISITION OF TRUST LANDS; PROHIBITING CREATION OF RIGHT OF ACCESS; PROVIDING A DEADLINE FOR LAND SALES UNDER THE LAND BANKING PROCESS; REQUIRING A REPORT TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COUNCIL; AMENDING SECTIONS 17-3-1003, 17-7-502, 18-2-107, 77-1-109, 77-2-301, 77-2-306, 77-2-309, 77-2-323, 77-2-328, AND 77-2-337, MCA; REPEALING SECTIONS 77-2-307 AND 77-2-312, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.
A House of Commons-style "Hear! Hear!" Good for them!
well I might.... ride along the border
with my tweezers gleamin' in the moonlight night
And then I'd.... get a cup of coffee
and give my foot a push
just me and the pigmy pony
over by the dental floss bush
Certainly having another freedom minded state as a neighbor is a good thing.
So ban them too from buying the land. Is that so hard? Or maybe we should get the federal government to own every square inch of this country? Hey, we wont have any private property rights, but that way North Korea wont be able to buy that three bedroom house next door in the suburbs.