The Land and the Law in Conflict

“This land is your land, this land is my land, except when it is BLM land…”

That little ditty simply doesn’t carry that same quality of meaning with the additional phrase, since that land is under federal jurisdiction, yet oddly qualified as Public. The issues surrounding the Rights to use such “Public” lands become quite contentious when the claims, or intentions, of the underlying law itself, are politically murky at best. The amount of land off-limits to the westerns states and the “People” is much more significant than mere resource issues alone. This Federal Public Land map is quite the eye opener….

Sub-surface map U.S.

In the action against the Bundy Ranch, the underlying claim by the BLM is one of simply protecting those poor, desert tortoises, but that assertion is actually quite weak when considering the lack of positive evidence, of that claim, prior to the action itself. Has the BLM really attempted to preserve the habitat of the turtles? Why, how can it be that there are any turtles left at all, if the cattle, presumably,  have been destroying that fragile desert habitat for the last hundred years? The damning absurdity ignored by the BLM is what that those tortoises prefer to eat — the dung of cattle, and is arguably the only reason why there any left on those very lands period.

—–“THE PLIGHT OF THE DESERT TORTOISE A SURROGATE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE” by Cliff Gardner—-

—–“Cow manure is 12 percent protein. This is twice the protein content of green grass and five times the protein content of dry grass. Nagy and Medica emphasize the deleterious affects of an excess of potassium in the tortoise diet. Tortoises don’t excrete potassium in urine as other animals do because they retain their urine to conserve moisture and avoid dehydration. They could precipitate potassium and get rid of it as solid waste, but this takes uric acid and uric acid requires protein and their diet is deficient in protein. The required protein would have to come from catabolizing their tissues. If cows are on the range, they can supply tortoises the needed protein.2

–“Also, a report produced by Resource Concepts Inc. in 1969, involving the Johnson Valley Allotment, now part of the California Desert Conservation Area, where there has been no livestock use for 18 years also saw a 70% decline in tortoises.51

Conclusion:

–“What most people don’t realize is that, although unwritten, the primary objective of both the Forest Service and the BLM has been, and continues to be, the elimination of all private interest on federally managed lands. And nowhere, have they been more successful than right in Clark County.

–“According to the current May 1992 Draft Stateline Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, of the original 55 separate grazing allotments once active in the Stateline Resource Management Area only 23 remain active today. And of those 23, only five remain as year-around permits. Of those five, two owners are now in negotiation with the Nature Conservancy for possible sale, while a third operator has indicated he will be forced out of business this spring.

–“What it boils down to is, that even though the original goal of the BLM as stated in the Taylor Grazing Act, was to stabilize the livestock industry, they have made it so difficult and expensive to operate, that most ranching families have been forced to abandon their permits.

–“In the article Mr. Ross quotes Nevada Department of Wildlife estimates of approximately 93,720 tortoise in the State of Nevada. Mr. Ross also writes: “In addition to these free living populations, there are over 40,000 tortoises kept as pets within Clark County’s urban areas.” If Mr. Ross’s figures are correct, then thirty percent of Nevada’s tortoises live in Urban areas. How then, can the agency people claim that development destroys the tortoise and its habitat? How can these people say that man is driving the species to extinction, when in truth tortoises thrive in an urban environment?

–“Recently I visited with a young Las Vegas resident that had grown up on the outskirts of town. Ron said that soon after his father had built their home, there were seventeen different tortoises that took up residence in their yard. And why not, everything the tortoise needed was available to them, green and lush feed, plenty of water, and an occasional flower to eat. Ron said that over time they gave most of the tortoises away to other people, but still have four or five resident tortoises that live in their garage and yard year around. But no longer are tortoises allowed to remain on the land that is to be developed.

–“Currently, before anyone can build a new home, they must first pay an exorbitant fee for a tortoise expert to come and remove any tortoise that may be on the property. And if I understood the procedure correctly, if the collected tortoises are not adopted in seven days, they are put to death. So who is really destroying the tortoises? Why doesn’t the government just leave the tortoise on the property where both the new owners and the tortoise can live in harmony? Is the government really protecting tortoises, or are they just forcing people to pay additional money into their already fat coffers?”—http://www.gardnerfiles.com/Desert%20Tortoise.pdf  [I highly recommend reading the entire paper just for the historical aspects alone.]

There are several counter-claims as to what is really at the heart of the BLM’s action. Such questions when researched for answers, lead to some very interesting facts not getting deeper media attention. From an article posted 2011/12/19/ “Solar energy project near Laughlin: Who is subsidizing whom and with whose money? by Thomas Mitchell, provides the following:

—–“ENN Mojave is a Chinese company that proposes to build a solar panel manufacturing plant and a solar farm using said panels on 9,000 acres of currently county-owned (read: taxpayer-owned) land. The firm is being represented by former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Dick Bryan.

–“Congratulations, Clark County residents, you are about to become full-fledged violators of international free trade agreements. But instead of subsidizing American companies that go broke, you’re subsidizing a Chinese firm, some of which have been known to go broke.”–https://4thst8.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/solar-energy-project-near-laughlin-who-is-subsidizing-whom-and-with-whose-money/

Another article shed some more light on the business dealings referenced above:

—–“Now, questions surrounding family ties are flaring again in Nevada around the Senate majority leader. He and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert.

–“His son, a lawyer with a prominent Las Vegas firm that is representing ENN, helped it locate a 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) desert site that it is buying well below appraised value from Clark County, where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission.

–“The Langfang, China-based ENN Energy Group hopes to build what would be the largest solar energy complex in America. The site chosen with Rory Reid’s guidance is in tiny Laughlin, Nevada, a gambling town of 7,300 along the Colorado River, 90 miles south of Las Vegas.

–“The deal spurred local controversy. Separate appraisals valued the land at $29.6 million and $38.6 million. The commission agreed to sell it to ENN for $4.5 million.”–http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/31/us-usa-china-reid-solar-idUSBRE87U06D20120831

From the Clark Country records:
–77
Approve, adopt, and authorize the Chair to sign the resolution for sale of ±9,000 acres of Clark County-owned real property in the Fort Mohave Valley to ENN Mojave Energy, LLC. (For possible action) http://agenda.co.clark.nv.us/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=775&doctype=agenda

In addition, more information linked to these sources:

—–“A Chinese billionaire is teaming up with the most powerful man in the U.S. Senate to build a solar plant in a dusty corner of Nevada, even as officials accuse China of driving energy companies out of business by dumping cheap components on the American market.

–“ENN Group (ENNGZ) plans a manufacturing and generating facility worth $5 billion, more than all Chinese investment in the U.S. combined last year, in Laughlin, Nevada, a town pockmarked with foreclosed properties and the skeleton of a 14-story resort abandoned when the project went bankrupt.

–Company founder Wang Yusuo, one of China’s richest men, has joined with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to win incentives including land 113 miles (182 kilometers) southeast of Las Vegas that ENN is buying for $4.5 million, or less than one-eighth of the $38.6 million assessors say it is worth. The project has produced legal work for Reid’s son, Rory, a lawyer at a Las Vegas firm that gave the Nevada Democrat more than $40,000 in the past three election cycles.

–“For Clark County, where 70 percent of homeowners owe more on their homes than they are worth, furloughed construction workers rely on food banks at local union halls, and unemployment is 13.1 percent, the project could singlehandedly diversify a stagnant economy.

–“I can’t tell you how many tours I’ve given people over the years trying to get them to see Laughlin as an attractive place,” said Brady, who has managed the town since 1995 on behalf of Clark County.

“This is counter to most logic,” said Thomas Maslin, an analyst at IHS Emerging Energy Research in Washington, D.C. “It doesn’t make sense in terms of supply and demand. The likely rationale is that because they’re building on public land they need to justify somehow the price through job creation and high- tech manufacturing.”–http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-03/solar-jobs-join-harry-reid-to-chinese-billionaire-in-price-drop.html

A more recent disclosure:

—–“A BLM document entitled “Cattle Trespass Impacts,” directly states that Bundy’s cattle “impacts” solar development, more specifically the construction of “utility-scale solar power generation facilities” on “public lands.”

041114document1

041114document2

–“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle,

–“In the wake of the Bundy Ranch controversy former senior adviser of Harry Reid Neil Kornze was just named Deputy Chief Director of the BLM Wednesday. Awkward time for the placement right?”–http://appalachianareanews.com/busted-bundy-ranch-siege-really-about-harry-reid-backed-solar-power-stations

How the removal action is being handled:

—–“The latest BLM count, conducted by helicopter in December, logged 568 cattle scattered across a 90-mile swath of federal land in the Gold Butte area, north and east of Lake Mead’s Overton Arm, but previous surveys have placed the number at more than 900.

Crews on the ground and low-flying aircraft will be used to herd the animals into corrals and stock trailers.

Access to the area is being restricted to “ensure the safety of the public, federal employees and contractor personnel,” the Federal Register notice states.

It goes on to designate two locations outside the closure area “available for members of the public to express their First Amendment rights,” though only one of the locations — picked at the discretion of the government — will be available at a time.

[Some comments from the article cited which articulate the opinions of the matter in dispute.]

—–“First: “Nevada, and other states, agreed as a condition of statehood to disclaim forever “all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States.”

—–This language was part of the enabling act creating the states and was incorporated into their constitutions; therefore the state laws asserting title to those federal lands appeared to contravene their own constitutions.”

—–“”Bundy has said he doesn’t recognize the federal government’s authority to tell him what to do on land his family has used since 1877 but does not own. He said will “do whatever it takes” to protect this cattle and his property rights….”

—–“Sorry there Bundy, but, you don’t have any property rights. You do not own the land your skinny worthless cattle are on. You and your family have used the land….used, not owned. Answer this question Bundy, could you sell your skinny, malnourished, underfed cattle without having to ship them to a feedlot first? No, because all you would taste is the scrub brush that they eat out there for free….

—–“Freeloader=Bundy”—–

—-“Edward Patrick :
–“When the land was homesteaded Nevada state law gave property rights to the Bundy ranch and others. The Federal government came later on and said that Nevada law means nothing to them and forced the ranchers to start paying fees to use the land. Most ranchers ignorantly went along with this not realizing that there rights and Nevada laws were being trampled.

–“The Bundy’s and many other ranchers about 25 years ago realized this and made a stand. All the other 52 ranchers in Clark County were forced by the BLM to sell or compromised to the point of extinction. Mr Bundy was the only one who did not compromise and he has lasted this long because of this. 52 down to 1 who really is the endangered species. Yes, you are right, the people of Nevada wanted to become a state bad enough that they let the Federal government blackmail them it an unconstitutional land grab. The feds said we will let you become a state of you give us 85% of the land. The people at that time went for it. This does not change the fact that through the Enabling Act it was illegally and unconstitutional. THE PEOPLE OF NEVADA HAVE THE RIGHT TO GOVERN THE LAND WITHIN HER BOARDERS.”—-http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/emotions-run-high-blm-closes-600000-acres-cattle-roundup

All other aspects of the “wheeling and dealing” aside it is really all about that “unappropriated public land” and why the Federal has first rights and last rights to any and all spoils:

—–“Federal Land Acquisition

–“Federal land ownership began when the original 13 states ceded title to more than 40% of their “western” lands (237 million acres between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River) to the central government between 1781 and 1802.

–“Federal land acquisition from foreign countries began with the Louisiana Purchase (530 million acres) in 1803 and continued via treaties with Great Britain and Spain (76 million acres) in 1817 and 1819, respectively. Other substantial acquisitions (620 million acres), via purchases and treaties, occurred between 1846 and 1853.

–“The last major North American land acquisition by the U.S. federal government was the purchase of Alaska (378 million acres) in 1867.

–“At its inception, the federal government did not own land in the original states of the Union.  Rather, ownership of lands between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River was ceded by the original states, and additional states were formed from those lands.3 West of the Mississippi River (except Texas), lands were primarily acquired by the U.S. federal government from foreign governments, as was Florida (which was acquired from Spain). The means by which the federal government came to own its lands can affect which laws govern the lands’ management. The public domain lands, primarily those obtained from a foreign sovereign, typically are governed by different laws than are lands acquired from states or individuals.

–“As noted earlier, the General Land Office was established as part of the Treasury Department in 1812 to oversee the disposal of the public lands through land sales, homesteading, grants to railroads, and to States, and other means.  The Office’s Division of Forestry was responsible for the forest reserves beginning with their establishment in 1891, but in 1905 this division was transferred and merged into the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Forestry to form the new U.S. Forest Service.36

–“The General Land Office remained in the business of principally overseeing the disposal of many of the remaining federal lands and maintaining federal title records and documents.The U.S. Grazing Service was created in 1934* to administer many of the public lands for livestock grazing under the authority of the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934.37 [A very busy year for land and gold manipulations.]

–“Although the act referred to managing those lands, “pending their disposal,” the act implicitly began the shift in federal law toward ending disposals and retaining lands in federal ownership. This act was intended to remedy the deterioration of the remaining public lands apparently due to overgrazing and the drought and depression of the 1920s and 1930s. It was the first direct authority for federal management of lands which previously were freely available for transient grazing, and reflected the significant decline in homestead entries.

–“In part because of controversies over its management efforts, the Grazing Service was terminated in 1946 by merging it with the General Land Office to form the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).38

–“The future of the public lands, including the issue of retention or disposal, was debated in three Congresses following the release of the PLLRC report. Finally, enactment of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) formally ended the previous disposal policy, expressly declaring that the national policy generally was to retain the remaining lands in federal ownership.40

–“The “Sagebrush Rebellion” was a collection of unsuccessful state and local efforts, beginning in 1978, to assert title to federal lands or force their divestiture.It also included efforts by the Reagan Administration and in Congress to divest of many federal lands, which also proved unsuccessful.

–“Section 102(a) of FLPMA states: “The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States that — (1) the public lands be retained in Federal ownership, unless as a result of the land use planning procedure provided for in this Act, it is determined that disposal of a particular parcel will serve the national interest.” [This is ass-backwards to the original language factual intentions—PUBLIC interest is not national by private purpose.]

–“FLPMA also amended any previous management authorities and public land and resource laws and repealed most land disposal laws. Section 702 repealed the many statutes and sections authorizing homesteading, although the effective date of the repeal was delayed for 10 years in Alaska. Section 703 similarly repealed (and delayed the effective date in Alaska) most other statutes authorizing land sales or transfers. FLPMA did authorize the sale of some specific tracts of public lands “at a price not less than their fair market value” under conditions specified in the act.”

–“Act of October 21, 1976, P.L. 94-579; 90 Stat. 2743, codified at 43 U.S.C. §§ 1701 et seq.Section 103(e) of FLPMA also defines public lands as “any land or interest in land owned by the United States … and administered by … the Bureau of Land Management, without regard to how the United States acquired ownership, except” for the Outer Continental Shelf and lands held in trust for Native Americans. This reflects BLM administration of not only the remaining public domain lands, but also many lands acquired under various authorities,such as the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act (Act of July 22, 1937, ch. 517; 50 Stat. 522)”—http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/crsreports/index.asp

A more recent effort to resolve the underlying issue:

—–“Resolution Demanding that Congress Convey Title of Federal Public Lands to the States

Summary:

–“This resolution urges the US federal government to extinguish title and government jurisdiction over public lands that are held in trust by the US federal government and convey title and jurisdiction to willing states in which the federal public lands are located as was promised in congressional resolutions in 1780, the Land Ordinance of 1784 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, among others. Currently, huge swaths (over 50 percent) of the land in our nation’s western states are controlled by the federal government making it impossible for states to tax this land to fund education, grow state economies and generate high-paying jobs.

–“Further, federal control prevents the states from accessing the abundant natural resources contained on these lands. This resolution seeks to remedy this situation; such efforts are not unprecedented. In 1828 the then western states of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida successfully wrested control of their federally held lands from the US federal government. This resolution seeks to provide the same legal framework for today’s western states to do the same.

–“WHEREAS, the promise and duty to dispose of the public lands originates from a “solemn compact” among the States in 1780, during the Revolutionary War, whereby the States ceded their “claims” to all western lands to the national government on condition that it timely dispose of the lands to create “distinct republican states with the same rights of sovereignty, freedom and independence as the other states” and to use the proceeds, as there may be, to pay for the War and the resulting national debt;

–“WHEREAS, this “solemn compact” established a “claim” for the United States to pay the national debt and “claims” for all States that western lands be timely disposed of only to create equally “distinct republican states;”

–“WHEREAS, the records of the constitutional debate make clear that Article IV, Section 3, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution (the “Property Clause”) grants Congress “the power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the Territory and other property belonging to the United States;” merely for the purpose of preserving the status quo of the “solemn compact” of 1780 regarding the federal government’s promise and duty to timely dispose of the western lands to create distinct republican states and to only use the proceeds to pay the national debt;

–“WHEREAS, the Property Clause also establishes that “nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular State” viz. “claims” on the part of the United States for raising revenue to pay the national debt and “claims” on the part of all States that the western lands be timely disposed of only to create equally distinct republican states;

WHEREAS, the federal government had previously controlled for decades as much as ninety percent (90%) of all lands in States such as Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida;

–“WHEREAS, these states joined together and persistently pressured Congress to honor their statehood promise and “solemn compact” for the timely disposal of their public lands;

–“WHEREAS, the Resolution of Illinois of February 2, 1829, which is illustrative of the numerous resolutions from this assembly of States, decried that any delay on the part of the federal government in disposing of their public lands “operates as a virtual infraction of the compact” and further, that “Should the present oppressive system continue, and no amelioration take place, it will not be denied that this question is susceptible of being presented in so grave an aspect as to involve considerations of the deepest magnitude, and demand the most serious and enlightened reflection of those charged with the interests of the confederacy.”

–“WHEREAS, the Public Lands Committee Report of the 20th U.S. Congress, dated February 5, 1828 found “If these lands are to be withheld, which is the effect of the present system, in vain may the People of these States expect the advantages of well settled neighborhoods, so essential to the education of youth . . . Those States will, for many generations, without some change, be retarded in endeavors to increase their comfort and wealth, by means of works of internal improvements, because they have not the power, incident to all sovereign States, of taxing the soil, to pay for the benefits conferred upon its owner by roads and canals. When these States stipulated not to tax the lands of the United States until they were sold, they rested upon the implied engagement of Congress to cause them to be sold, within a reasonable time. No just equivalent has been given those States for a surrender of an attribute of sovereignty so important to their welfare, and to an equal standing with the original States.”

–“WHEREAS, recently, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared that Congress does not have the authority to unilaterally change the “uniquely sovereign character of a State’s admission” into the Union, particularly “where virtually all of a State’s public lands are at stake” (Hawaii v. OHA, 2009);

–“WHEREAS, even more recently in the Affordable Care Act decision, the U.S. Supreme Court admonished “The Framers thus ensured that powers which ‘in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people’ were held by governments more local and more accountable than a distant federal bureaucracy” and that “The independent power of the States also serves as a check on the power of the Federal Government: ‘By denying any one government complete jurisdiction over all the concerns of public life, federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power.’” (NFIB et al. v. Sebelius, No. 11–393, June 28, 2012);– http://www.alec.org/model-legislation/resolution-demanding-that-congress-convey-title-of-federal-public-lands-to-the-states/

Now on the other side of this “Resolution” so proposed by the “American Legislative Exchange Council” is yet another very large and active group which opposes their efforts:

—–“Rather than being managed so that all Americans can enjoy them, turning our public lands over to states would result in their management on the whims of governors and state legislatures, who in the West are often quite conservative and tend to ideologically favor limited regulation and private profits. According to one state lands commissioner, these bills would be “catastrophic” to the public lands that Americans know and love.

[Would that include all the land forever contaminated as used for atomic testing? If western States had complete control of their “public” land would they have agreed to such destructive testing? NO other state was used like Nevada for atomic testing and that cannot be just a coincidence. Whose whims of management decided for so many such “public” land was to be disposed of by radioactive destruction?]

reca1

–“Clashes between states and the federal government over their respective authorities have long been a regular feature of our politics, especially when it comes to issues regarding control over federal public lands in the West. More than 700 million acres of federal public lands, including national parks, national forests, and national monuments, belong to all Americans, and are tremendous economic generators—the Department of the Interior stimulated $385 billion* in economic development and more than 2 million jobs in 2011 alone. At times, conflicts over ownership of the federally managed parks, forests, refuges, and other properties have grown into a regional cause in the West, as they did during the “Sagebrush Rebellion,” a political movement demanding the turnover of federal lands to the states that arose in the 1970s but eventually fizzled out in the late 1980s.[*Who actually receives those billions?]

[1872 Mining Law allows the following:

• Thanks to federal law established during the administration of Ulysses Grant in 1872, Nevada gold producers pay no federal mineral royalties whatsoever. And of course, the corporations mining Nevada’s gold pay no Nevada state corporate income tax.

• Barrick paid $5 per acre when it patented approximately 1,000 acres of public land in Nevada that contained more than $10 billion in recoverable gold reserves, under the 1872 Mining Law.

• An estimated 424,000 acres of public land in Nevada – an area more than half the size of Yosemite National Park– have already been sold to private interests for either $2.50 or $5.00 per acre. This subsidized sale of public lands is allowed under the federal 1872 Mining Law.

The General Accounting Office reports that multi-national gold mining conglomerates refuse to provide figures for the amount of gold and other minerals they take from public lands belonging to all the people. But it is estimated that $2.4 billion hardrock metals alone are taken from public lands every year.

• EPA estimates that more than 40 percent of western watersheds have been contaminated with mine waste. U.S. taxpayers took on $2.6 billion in Superfund and other federal cleanup of mines in the past decade — and are on the hook for an estimated $50 billion more.

• Trans-national mining conglomerates took $8.76 billion in gold from Nevada in 2011, and paid a total of $104 million to the state general fund under the mining tax, an effective tax rate of 1.187%. In 2010, they mined $6.64 billion in gold, and paid $71.7 million in taxes, an effective tax rate of 1.079%. (Nevada Department of Taxation)

Three of the five largest mines in Nevada are foreign-owned. The second largest mine in the world, and the most profitable mine in the world, is owned by Barrick corporation, based in Canada. This single mine will exceed $1 billion in profits in 2012, having reaped $500 million in the second quarter and $313 million in the third quarter of 2012 alone.

• Barrick pays next to nothing in taxes on the huge windfall profits from the world’s most profitable gold mine—paying a mere 1% on gross production value in taxes to Nevada’s General Fund in 2010, according to the state’s 2010-11 net proceeds of minerals tax (NPOM) bulletin.”—-http://www.planevada.org/nevada-mining-fact-sheet/

Now back to the ranting of the “americanprogress.org” which touts itself as protecting the public from the wrongful ideas of genuine state determination of land use….

–“We are now seeing yet another iteration of that hardy but misguided western impulse. These state legislative efforts are nothing more than corporate-backed messaging tools that can be traced to conservative front groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, and Americans for Prosperity, as we discuss further below. The proposals run directly contrary to abundant evidence that Americans and westerners support federal management of their public lands and value the economic benefits those lands provide, especially when they are protected from mining and drilling and are used instead for recreation and other more sustainable purposes. [What other purposes exactly….?]

–“In the past year, legislatures in seven western states—Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Idaho—have passed, introduced, or explored legislation demanding that the federal government turn over millions of acres of federal public lands to the states. If successful, these bills could be disastrous: Rather than being managed for the benefit and use of the American public, these lands will instead be managed in whatever way each state wants to use them—which generally means maximizing private profits through mining, drilling, and other resource extraction. [Nice bit of irony here considering the profits of foreign mining companies operating under the federal leash.]

–“These lawmakers are waging a losing battle that amounts to little more than political grandstanding to rally their extreme conservative base and feed an anti-government narrative. Such bills contradict the majority of public opinion in these states, as well as economic realities and constitutional precedent dating back to the mid-19th century. ALEC and Americans for Prosperity have been fanning the fire under these efforts to “reclaim” federal public lands. ALEC is a conservative corporate front group funded by fossil-fuel interests such as the Koch brothers and Exxon/Mobil that develops model legislation for state legislators to introduce in their legislatures, and it has endorsed many of the bills turning public lands over to the states. As the Associated Press reported, “Lawmakers in Utah and Arizona have said the legislation is endorsed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that advocates conservative ideals, and they expect it to eventually be introduced in other Western states.”

–“That should come as little surprise, considering that one of ALEC’s “model bills”—those that it drafts and develops to shop to various state legislators—is the “Sagebrush Rebellion Act,” which was “designed to establish a mechanism for the transfer of ownership of” non-state lands “from the federal government to the states.”

–“Despite what conservatives want to think, the western public understands that there is a role for the federal government in managing public lands and doesn’t want to see the land turned over to states or private interests. [The duplicity here is astounding.]

Economic arguments don’t pan out

–“Another key argument that proponents of such bills make is that the federal government is “locking up” public lands that could be used for economic development such as mining and drilling. To make this argument more appealing, some of the bills transfer a portion of the funds from selling or developing lands to state public education funds and send the rest to relieve the national debt. As Utah Rep. Ivory put it, “If we unleash those resources in a responsible, sustainable manner, that’s a matter of national employment. That’s a matter of national economic GDP growth; that’s a matter of national deficit and debt reduction.”

[Thus, the argument so reviled is disputing the original intention; 1780 regarding the federal government’s promise and duty to timely dispose of the western lands to create distinct republican states and to only use the proceeds to pay the national debt; Instead off goes the net-profits to foreign capitalists purposely, and minimally TAXED in a fair and responsible manner… to support the people in those States in question.]

–“Finally, it is important to keep in mind that these attempts are unconstitutional, according to case law dating back to the 1800s, and therefore will only serve to waste state taxpayers’ money. Each of the state attempts to force Congress to turn over public lands references the state’s enabling act—the language that made it a state to begin with. Proponents say the federal government has not kept its promise to give the public lands back to the states. But in reality this is just not true. Each of these enabling acts that the states agreed to in order to become members of the union renounced their claims to federal public lands. Here are the relevant sections of each state constitution or enabling act:

–“Utah: “That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof”

–“Arizona: “That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated and ungranted public lands lying within the boundaries thereof and to all lands lying within said boundaries”

–“Wyoming: “The people inhabiting this state do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof”

–“New Mexico: “That the people inhabiting said proposed state do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated and ungranted public lands lying within the boundaries thereof”

–“Colorado: “That the people inhabiting said Territory do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said Territory”

–“Nevada: “That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States”

–“Idaho: “And the people of the state of Idaho do agree and declare that we forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof”—http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/report/2013/03/11/56103/state-efforts-to-reclaim-our-public-lands/

When it comes to Congress, bending over backwards to lick-the-feet of their money Master, it stands to reason they would also pervert and corrupt the plain language of intent, to one of duplicity, in order to do the exact opposite of the agreements once made in recognition of previous principles. This is where many lose sight of the laws only intention as well. Those agreements were made in consideration of the need for disposal— NOT its absence in Toto.  If the federal intention was to take those lands for itself, such a taking violates the very condition of a State to exist at all. Therefore, the language reflects the truth of the intention to Dispose those Lands in lawful application to the goals. These fools read the law backwards to make an argument against the very purpose of the language itself. The fact is the Congress has violated the purpose of the Law by denying the lawful process of disposal. And ironically to secure those lands for the Creditors of the debt and to allow foreign corporations to profit from the lands themselves literally spiting the States and the people who live in them! That tail wagging goes right back to the federal reserve syndicate. The demand for all mineral rights points back to the Crown, as always, hiding behind that worm-eaten facade.

What is quite interesting is the background of the second group “americanprogress.org”:

—–“The Center for American Progress is a partisan liberal public policy research and advocacy organization. Its website states that the organization is “dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action”.[2] The Center presents a liberal[3] viewpoint on economic issues. It has its headquarters in Washington, D.C.[4]

Its President and chief executive officer is Neera Tanden, who worked for the Obama and Clinton administrations and for Hillary Clinton’s campaigns.[5] Its first President and chief executive officer was John Podesta, who served as chief of staff to then U.S. President Bill Clinton. Podesta remains with the organization as chairman of the board. The Center for American Progress has a campus outreach group, Campus Progress, and a sister advocacy organization, the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Citing Podesta’s influence in the formation of the Obama Administration, a November 2008 article in Time stated that “not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway.”

–“Formerly known simply as the American Progress Action Fund, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is a “sister advocacy organization” and is organizationally and financially separate from the Center for American Progress, although they share many staff and a physical address.

–“Politico wrote in April 2011 that “The Center for American Progress Action Fund openly runs political advocacy campaigns, and plays a central role in the Democratic Party’s infrastructure, and the new reporting staff down the hall isn’t exactly walled off from that message machine, nor does it necessarily keep its distance from liberal groups organizing advocacy campaigns targeting conservatives.”[17]

–“Whereas the Center for American Progress is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the fund is a 501(c)(4), allowing it to devote more funds to lobbying.[18] In 2003, George Soros promised to financially support the organization by donating up to three million dollars.[19] The action fund is headed by Jennifer Palmieri.[17]

–“The Center for American Progress is classified as a 501(c)(3) organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The institute receives approximately $25 million per year in funding from a variety of sources, including individuals, foundations, and corporations, but it declines to release any information on the sources of its funding.

–“No funders are listed on its website or in its Annual Report. From 2003 to 2007, the Center received about $15 million in grants from 58 foundations*. Major individual donors include George Soros, Peter Lewis, Steve Bing, and Herb and Marion Sandler. The Center receives undisclosed sums from corporate donors.[32] In December 2013 the organization released a list of its corporate donors.[33] *Do the regular folks across America use ‘Foundations’ to make their economic voices heard?

[http://www.americanprogress.org/about/our-supporters/— quite the corporate listing.]

–“Baker, Peter (November 7, 2012). “Obama Wins a Clear Victory, but Balance of Power Is Unchanged in Washington”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-13. “Neera Tanden, the president of the liberal research group Center for American Progress, called the election ‘a decisive mandate for a fair tax system where the *wealthy contribute to address our deficit challenges.'”—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_American_Progress

[*The very same theme/words used in the Presidents budget quip selling more Political Moonshine to America.]

When it comes to ownership of the Land no detail is too small to be noted. For example:

—-Fee – A right in law to the use of land; i.e. a fief. Simple – in the unconstrained sense:

without limit to the inheritance of heirs;
unrestricted as to transfer of ownership.

Do we pay Fees for land use? Are not all of those direct land taxes Fees as well?

The English word fee ultimately goes back to the Indo-European root peku, which refers to moveable wealth, that is, cattle. The Latin word pecunia, money, also comes from this root and becomes pecuniary in English. The root appears in Modern German as Vieh, cattle, beast. [6]}

What we have here is a Range War alright but the players for the federal status quo are not exactly telling the public the actual reasons why there is a fight at all.

Another article details the controversies surrounding the public versus private land rights:

—–“Far from unique

–“The fight over Peeples Canyon is far from unique; nowadays there are thousands of prickly land disputes in the West that started with a patch of private land in the core of a national forest, national park, wildlife refuge, wilderness area or wild and scenic river.[Actually this is backwards to many historical sources…]

–“Conflicts arise when the private landowner, the inholder, wants to do something with his or her land – whether it’s blocking public access to a back-country trail or road, building a subdivision, logging, mining, siphoning water from a stream or some other development – that conflicts with the management of surrounding public lands. Many of these disputes are finding their way to court.

“The proper allocation of rights to private landowners and federal land conservation interests has become one of the most contentious and emotional issues in public land law,” say Steven Quarles and Thomas Lundquist in Land and Water Law Review.

Inholder conflicts are particularly acute today because:

* Congress and every president since Ronald Reagan have been routinely raiding the nation’s sole source for buying inholdings, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, to lower the federal deficit. Buying land is often the best – or the only – solution to resolving inholder disputes. But instead of spending about $900 million a year from the Land and Water Fund to buy and protect valuable lands, Congress and the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations have been taking at least $550 million per year from the trust fund for deficit “reduction.”

–“The scarcity and popularity of prime recreation property in the West have sent property values – including those of inholdings – into the stratosphere.

–“If we’re going to preserve these lands, we need to do it now before they get too expensive,” says Bill Shaddox, realty chief for the National Park Service.

–“Real estate developers are speculating on inholdings to make a fast buck, while inholders often hold out for a high price for prime wilderness or park property. Some threaten the worst kind of development to force slow-moving bureaucrats into action (see story page 10).

–“Inholdings are like scattered islands in a sea of public lands. Someone walking in a wilderness area might be shocked to come across an A-frame chalet cordoned off by a fence smothered with “No Trespassing” signs and a private airstrip in a nearby meadow. “Who owns this place?” a hiker or hunter might wonder. “How did it get here?”

–“The short answer is that the inholding was there first, secured in the 1800s or early 1900s – long before the area around it was designated wilderness by Congress.

–“Inholdings today are remnants of the West’s rush to mine ore and settle land. Nineteenth-century mining and homestead laws encouraged Americans to move West and settle the public domain.

–“In national parks, patented mining claims and homestead withdrawals are the majority of inholdings.

–“In some areas of the West, alternating one-mile-square sections of land were deeded to transcontinental railroads such as Burlington Northern and Union Pacific, creating checkerboard ownership patterns. National forests, which contain the lion’s share of inholdings across the country, were also heavily mined and homesteaded.

–“On BLM lands, federal law spurred the creation of small base ranches, usually located by water and productive flood-plain land, tied to grazing privileges on surrounding federal lands. That led to thousands of isolated, scattered inholdings within large BLM tracts.

–“Pro-settlement policies have left an unfortunate legacy for federal land managers, adds George C. Coggins, professor of law at the University of Kansas. “The land ownership maps of the Western states resemble general cartographic chaos,” Coggins said in a speech in Laramie, Wyo. And, he notes, national forest and BLM *district boundaries were “created by mapmakers in Washington, D.C., with no regard for watersheds, ecosystems or other defensible dividing lines.”

[*One has to wonder just how many of these federal based “Districts” are over-lapping one another, as well as, the States, thereby, contravening sovereign ownership.]

–“Today, it doesn’t matter how the land was acquired or how much the buyers paid for it, Freemuth says. Inholders have legitimate property rights like anyone else. “These guys know they’ve got a hammer; they’ve got a private right,” he said.

–“Indeed, to own an isolated piece of private land amid the grandeur of a national forest constitutes the dream of many Americans, even if it does mean having bureaucrats for neighbors. “Once you’ve got your cabin in the woods, why would you want to give it up?” Freemuth asks. “This is the future of the West – people wanting to develop their little ranchettes everywhere.“–https://www.hcn.org/issues/124/3946

One has to wonder if these pundits/authors even recognize the smug hypocrisy in their own selfish laments of people wanting to have their own American dream? If those lands had been forbidden to those “dreams” of land use and ownership how exactly were these States to be populated at all? The logic behind their arguments is grossly defective to the very purpose of why any land in this Country was settled period!

The major reason why so few settled into many of the western lands was due to the lack of water, fertile soil and thus food growing resources. If these very same contorted arguments had been in place just after the “Revolution” none of the west would be settled and the people, so trapped in massive cities, would have no doubt starved to death for the lack of food being grown, raised or livestock being ranged by farmers. People seem to ignore the vast amount of historical facts that starvation was a mean Master, which highly motivated men to do something about that persistent condition. Not having any of that fancy, corporate plastic food meant they had to rely on real solutions which worked, or our Nations children would have died a long time ago from hunger.

Another well documented source allows a better understanding of the Wilderness designations which remove lands from ANY public use period:

—–“NATIONAL:

–“Wilderness – Approximately 109 million acres are designated as wilderness in the United States. This accounts for over 5% of the total land of the country; however, 54% of wilderness is in Alaska, and only 2.58% of the continental United States is designated as wilderness. Wikipedia Encyclopedia 2004

–“Update 2006- Additional Wilderness bills land off limits to most of the public to 104 million acres of designated Wilderness on public land in the continental United States. This is equal to the land mass of the states of Maine, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania combined. 273,000 acres of additional wilderness has been designated so far in 2006 and additional wilderness designation proposals are making their way through Congress.

–“Newest Wildernesses

–On 3/30/09 President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (Public law 111-11) into law. This law designated 52 new wilderness areas and added acreage to 26 existing areas, a total addition to the NWPS of over 2 million acres. All these new areas are now pictured on Wilderness.net’s maps. You can also view a list of all areas affected by Public Law 111-11 with links to more information about them.

–“As our country converts more and more land into County, State and National Parks, Wilderness Areas and Wildlife Refuges it is becoming increasingly harder for the average recreationist to find a place to simply enjoy open space. It is not that we need more open space protected, it is that access to more and more acres of the country is being cut off to all but the hardiest backpacker. The person who has the health, the affluence and the ability to schedule their time in order meet the restrictions, not only of climatic conditions, but seasonal closures of areas.

–“In 1905 there were 83 forest reserves which had increased to 155 National Forests and 20 National Grasslands by 2005. The total number of acres preserved as open space by the Forest Service has increased from 63 million acres in 1905 to 192 million acres in 2005.

–“MORE WILDERNESS INFORMATION
Wilderness designation has been used to lock up millions of acre of land from multiple use. Wilderness offers little protection to the land that did not exist without Wilderness protection, but it does lock out a large segment of the public from public land.”–http://stewardsofthesequoia.org/forest_facts_proposed_wilderness.html

Tucked in with public law 111-11 are grazing rights such is this one for Oregon:

–“Text: (3) LIVESTOCK.—Except as provided in section 1402 and by Presidential Proclamation Number 7318, dated June 9, 2000 (65 Fed. Reg. 37247), the grazing of livestock in the Wilderness, if established before the date of enactment of this Act, shall be permitted to continue subject to such reasonable regulations as are considered necessary by the Secretary in accordance with— (A) section 4(d)(4) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(4)); and (B) the guidelines set forth in Appendix A of the report of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives accompanying H.R. 2570 of the 101st Congress (H. Rept. 101–405).

There were no entries for Nevada?

And then this as well:

–“(c) Prohibition provisions: commercial enterprise, permanent or temporary roads, mechanical transports, and structures or installations; exceptions: area administration and personal health and safety emergencies

–Except as specifically provided for in this chapter, and subject to existing private rights, there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area designated by this chapter and, except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this chapter (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area.”

–“(4) Water resources, reservoirs, and other facilities; grazing

(2) the grazing of livestock, where established prior to September 3, 1964, shall be permitted to continue subject to such reasonable regulations as are deemed necessary by the Secretary of Agriculture.

The historical root is this:

–“The Organic Act of 1897 provided the main statutory basis for the management of forest reserves in the United States, hence the commonly used term “Organic Act”. The legislation’s formal title is the Sundry Civil Appropriations Act of 1897, which was signed into law on June 4, 1897, by President William McKinley.

–“According to the Organic Act, the intention of the forest reservations was “to improve and protect the forest within the reservation,… securing favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States.” [2]

[On February 1st 1905, under the Leadership of Gifford Pinchot, the national forest reserves were transferred from the Department of Interior to the Department of Agriculture. Gifford Pinchot was the head of the Division of Forestry which was part of the Department of Agriculture. This transfer included over 63 million acres (250,000 km²) of forest reserves and over 500 employees. This was the first forestry law to be passed. This act was significant because it caused the National Forest Reserves to shift roles, from a recreational role to a more scientific role. In March 1905, the Division of Forestry was renamed the United States Forest Service.]

–“The *Izaak Walton League, a conservation group formed in 1922, that sought the complete abolishment of livestock grazing on national forest lands in the 1930s. The League’s Los Angeles chapter petitioned Region 5 of the Forest Service to immediately and absolutely abolish all grazing permits of both sheep and cattle from California’s national forest lands. The League’s position was that sheep grazing was a costly mistake and a man-made hazard to forests and watersheds, that cattle grazing had been too heavy and that both types of livestock hindered wildlife.[7]

—–“*In addition to the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972, the League was successful in stopping the harmful logging practices that violated the Organic Act of 1897.

–“In May 1973, the League sued the Department of Agriculture over the clearcut logging of Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia as being contrary to the law, which stated in part, “only dead, physically mature, and large growth trees individually marked for cutting” could be sold. The US District Court ruled in favor of the League. The ruling was appealed; on August 21, 1975, the Fourth Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision.

–“The ramifications of this local decision for forestry and the timber industry nationally led to efforts to repeal the Organic Act. This resulted in a new law passed by Congress: the National Forest Management Act of 1976, which repealed major portions of the Organic Act.[4]

—–“March 3, 1891 Congress directed that “The President of the United States may, from time to time, set apart and reserve, in any State . . . having public land bearing forests . . . any part of the public lands . . . as national forests . . . by public proclamation.” 16 U.S.C. § 471. By Congressional Act of June 4, 1897, 16 U.S.C. § 473 et seq., detailed provisions were made for administration and regulation of national forests, including sale and use of timber, egress or ingress of actual settlers and tourists and other matters. Jurisdiction as of today is in the hands of the United States Forest Service, a division of the Department of Agriculture, and thus subject to regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture. This Act provided, however, 16 U.S.C. § 478:

–“Nor shall anything herein prohibit any person from entering upon such national forests for all proper and lawful purposes, including that of prospecting, locating, and developing the mineral resources thereof.”

–“Congress itself defined a “wilderness area” in 16 U.S.C. § 1131(c):

–“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean in this chapter an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation . . ..”

Lurking in the background of all of these National policies is Rent-Seeking:

—–“Most Americans recognize that politics has a lot to do with the pursuit of power, privilege, and special interests; however, there is a general presumption that environmental politics is some- how different. We take for granted that environmental laws are what they seem; that the legislators who enact those laws and the bureaucrats who implement them are earnestly struggling to protect public interests; and, that these laws will be enforced in a fair and sensible manner. All too often, however, environmental regulations are designed to serve narrow political and economic interests, not the public interest.

–“Seeking regulatory policies that will carve out niche markets or obstruct competition becomes an increasingly profitable investment. One should not be surprised that economic interests lobby, litigate, and make alliances with “public interest” organizations to ensure favorable treatment for their own interests and to utilize environmental regulations to transfer wealth.

–“For years many academics have suggested that regulatory policies are more the result of interest- group manipulation than dispassionate consideration of the public interest. Many firms find it easier to lobby for wealth transfers than to compete for wealth in an open marketplace. This practice is commonly referred to as “rent seeking.” The “rents” sought are economic returns in excess of those that a competitive marketplace would allow.

–“As defined by economist Robert Tollison, “Rent seeking is the expenditure of scarce resources to capture an artificially created transfer.” Rent seeking occurs, in part, because firms can receive concentrated benefits through government action while the costs are dispersed throughout the whole of society.

–“In the case of sugar subsidies, for example, the benefits accrue directly to U.S. sugar producers, while the costs, estimated at $1.4 billion per year, are paid by sugar consumers in the form of higher sugar prices. When such policies are enacted, a narrow interest arguably wins while everyone else loses. In the regulatory context, rent seeking typically consists of pursuing government intervention that will provide a comparative advantage to a particular industry. By restricting entry or reducing output, regulations often reduce competition, create cartels, and increase returns. Thus, tariffs and licensing restrictions are regulatory measures commonly sought by rent-seekers. Less-direct measures can heighten preexisting comparative advantages or manufacture a comparative advantage out of incidental differences in an industrial sector.

–“Rent seeking in the name of environmental policy is prevalent, in part, because green policies shield otherwise ill-fated policies-paint a proposal green, and it will receive less scrutiny than it would otherwise. Moreover, the ability of economic inter- est groups to supplement their lobbying efforts with “public interest” allies from the environmen- talist community greatly enhances their political clout. Clemson University Professor and former- Federal Trade Commission official Bruce Yandle called such efforts “Bootlegger and Baptist” coali- tions. “Both bootleggers and Baptists favor statutes that shut down liquor stores on Sunday,” Yandle explains. “The Baptists because of their religious preferences. The bootleggers because it expands their market.

–“Rent seeking in environmental policy is not new, and it is not likely to go away. So long as environmental decisions can potentially reallo- cate billions of dollars from one set of interests to another, those interests will be sure to have their say. Lifting the green curtain and exposing the rent seeking that lies behind it, however, is a useful educational exercise that can demystify the public-interest aura that is attached to any policy labeled “pro-environment.”-Rent Seeking Behind the Green Curtain— Jonathan H. Adler

The pressure on corporations to amend their positions on social responsibility, was well articulated in this article:

–“In my own company we publish a quarterly report which, in one issue, examined the relationship between economic penalties and corporate social responsibility. The title of the Report was — Ecology and Economics:  The Joining of Issues.

–“We indicated at that time, and I quote: “The boundary between what’s good for the environment and what’s good for business is no longer quite so clear. An enterprise can no longer make sound economic decisions without taking into account the environmental consequences of its acts.“

–“The way a company copes with its pollution abatement problems affects its balance sheet, its profit and loss statement, its price-earnings ratio, its ability to raise capital at competitive rates, and maybe even its ability to sell its wares. In short, environmental protection is now a business reality, and environmental decisions have become economic ones too.”

–“That’s the end of the quote. But I should add that that almost everything said in our Report about pollution can also be applied to most of the other vital issues of the day.”–March 20, 1973 Garrett Lecture –On Managing the Socially Responsible Corporation–

Historically, by 1895 the Federal government had begun hearing warnings of the inappropriateness of its land disposal policies. In that year Commissioner Samuel Burdett of the GLO warned that land west of the 100th meridian, was not suited to farming, as was practiced in the East, consequently, title to Public land could not be acquired in accord with the intent of the land laws, which was to settle the West with farmers. Eventually, the next major policy change came in 1916:

–” The Stock-Raising Homestead Act of 1916 provided settlers 640 acres (260 ha) of public land—a full section or its equivalent—for ranching purposes. Unlike the Homestead Act of 1862 or the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909, land homesteaded under the 1916 act separated surface rights from subsurface rights, resulting in what later became known as split estates.[1] The subsurface rights, also known as mineral rights, are the foundation of recent oil and gas law in the United States.[1]

How these sub-surface rights, in regard to Grazing, were resolved in 1905 but the current disputes no longer seem fair to the intentions once raised:

—–“When the U.S. Forest Service was created in 1905, one of its first concerns was to find a way to settle disputes among ranchers whose water rights resulted in conflicts over grazing areas. The Forest Service stepped into these territorial conflicts and proposed a way to resolve the disputes.

–“The rancher parties to the dispute voluntarily agreed to allow the Forest Service to measure the available water to which each participant had legal rights and designate the appropriate forage land required to make beneficial use of the available water. The designated area was called an “allotment.”

–“The ranchers paid the Forest Service a fee for their adjudication service, a portion of which went into a fund from which the ranchers could make improvements to the range and water access. The Forest Service issued a permit, which designated the forage area and the number of cow/calf units, or AUMs, that could graze the allotment.

–“Laney’s ancestors participated in this type of Forest Service adjudication process in 1907, three years before New Mexico became a state. The system worked well until 1934, when Congress enacted the Taylor Grazing Act. This law changed the status of the grazing permit from a voluntary process agreed to by the ranchers, into a “license” required by the federal government.

–“Few ranchers realized this law eventually would strip them of their rights and the land they had worked for generations.”— http://www.americasfreedomfighters.com/2014/04/12/feds-seize-familys-ranch-property-owners-fight-government-land-grab/

Another ranching family finding itself being Federally forced out of business:

—–“Since 1803 when the Louisiana Purchase was completed, there has been a controversy over the boundary between Oklahoma and Texas. The boundary is supposed to be the vegetation line on the south side of the Red River. But the River has moved over time. The problem is the definition of that boundary line- Oklahoma and Texas each use different semantics to define it. And the BLM is finding ways to use the disputed words to give them the ability to seize the land.

–“According to the BLM, the Red River is always Accretion (gradual accumulation of sediment) to the south, and always Avulsion (rapid formation of a new river channel) to the north. So according to the BLM, the boundary only moves one direction, never in the direction that favors the ranchers. They are looking to re-draw the entire portion of the Red River boundary. That includes 90,000 acres of land along a 116 mile stretch of the river. http://misguidedchildren.com/domestic-affairs/2014/04/red-river-rumble-blm-wants-to-seize-90000-acres-of-texas-ranchers-land/18596

These can be no clear resolution so long as the cards of Law are stacked forever in favor of the Federal ownership Racket. I say racket because that is always the end result of constraining any quality of natural resource to favor the few over the many. While, it is quite good to argue in favor of the public to have access to areas of the scenic country, it is quite dishonest to use those arguments to sway public opinion in order to fool them, against their own better interests and judgment. The mis-use of the Public Trust by the federal public servants over the last one-hundred plus years, is a blot on this Nation, bordering on criminal insanity. The more insane the federal policy the more fervent the “cheering section” becomes to convince the People, all of those really bad policies are actually good ’cause the federal muppets’ in charge said so… and as for those agencies blatant disregard for any constitutional principles, points to the more ominous reason why they exist at all. What they do is the proof of intent… it is that simple, and what is that goal? The exclusion of the very People, from having any decision or choices, where such choices count… self-determination free of unnecessary government interference upon the Lands in which they live.

From another perspective it looks as if the “Public” has been steadily reduced to servitude status and it is now against the Law to enjoy any freedom not sanctioned by a government policy, by some  invisible, unknown, unelected political toadies, who are operating against that very same Public interest, with a smug quality only found in fools who believe their Master cannot be defeated. The Truth is a force unlike any other and when it reaches its most fearsome stage, those very same toadies will be whistling a whole other tune.   Meanwhile, the people of America really need to snap out of their collective apathy and start paying attention to those finer details of wretched government policy; where you as a “person” have not one right at all.

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