State legislators: Hey, you know what we really need right now? More federal land!

posted at 7:31 pm on April 15, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

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.


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The plan is to have the large cities be the only human habitat in the nation, with the balance of the nation being National Park, with the exception of the swank coastal areas reserved for the ultra wealthy.

The rest of us would be consigned to living in apartments and condos, taking rapid transit around the metro area, and only allowed to even see the rest of the nation through buying a pass on one of the bullet trains connecting the nation, or an approved supervised ‘tour’.

thatsafactjack on April 15, 2014 at 7:37 PM

It’s called, “giving away the farm”.

OldEnglish on April 15, 2014 at 7:38 PM

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.

Exactly

31giddyup on April 15, 2014 at 7:38 PM

states need to start fighting.
its probably too late though.

dmacleo on April 15, 2014 at 7:39 PM

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

It isn’t about grazing fees.

It’s about Gold Butte being used as an Environmental Mitigation site for Harry Reid’s friends.

That is why all the others ranchers are now gone and why Bundy’s grazing rights were arbitrarily reduced to 150 cattle over a fake Tortoise issue. THEN he stopped paying BLM and tried to pay Nevada. They were trying to drive him out of business with bureaucratic Bullsh!t, the same way they did the others.

sharrukin on April 15, 2014 at 7:41 PM

I like my house and home, but not so much that I’d want the Federal Government to declare it a national monyment and thereby kick me out and ransack it.

Varchild on April 15, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Kind of like Nixon and and EPA, thank another liberal / progressive Republican – Teddy Roosevelt – for expanding Federal power; in this case taking land away from the private sector because it’s “pretty”.

Ruckus_Tom on April 15, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21

Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM

State legislator whores want Uncle Sugar to foot the bill for so-called “conservation” activities instead of themselves.

Colour me shocked.

Now off the King’s land, serf!!!

Wanderlust on April 15, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Basically, a combination of two Charlton Heston movies: Planet of the Apes (complete with the Forbidden Zone) and Soylent Green.

VastRightWingConspirator on April 15, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Side benefit for the huggers and vegans is the reduction in forage habitat for beef cattle, ultimately making beef something we used to eat, especially when paired with the increased cost of corn for the feedlot.

butch on April 15, 2014 at 7:48 PM

I wonder what all that land is worth. Say, maximizing mineral rights fees, leasing or outright sale. Could we get maybe, 17.5 trillion or so for it?

trubble on April 15, 2014 at 7:50 PM

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.

You must be about a 100 feet tall to straddle a wall that high and that wide.

VorDaj on April 15, 2014 at 7:51 PM

When I lived out west, BLM was nicknamed the Bureau of Large Mistakes, by both environmentalists and land users.

rbj on April 15, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Keep Yellowstone and the National Mall. Between those two and the actual land federal buildings sit on that should be the totality of federal land. Same goes for the states.

lowandslow on April 15, 2014 at 7:54 PM

instigating a potentially violent standoff with the Bureau of Land Management

Whatever one may think of Bundy, it’s the Obama and Reid run BLM Brownshirts/Storm Troopers that are doing the instigation of any potentially violent standoff. And frankly, I don’t know how anything could be any more obvious.

VorDaj on April 15, 2014 at 7:54 PM

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

My view is different. I don’t give a damn about Cliven Bundy. I know nothing about the legal aspects of this situation. What I do know is that refusal to pay grazing fees or a protected turtle NEVER justifies the BLM in sending out snipers. And that is exactly what happened here.

Happy Nomad on April 15, 2014 at 8:01 PM

reading through the titles of the headline make me yearn for mo breaking flight mwhogivesafck news!

renalin on April 15, 2014 at 8:02 PM

What do they want to do set up communal farms. Sounds like Pol Pot

crankyoldlady on April 15, 2014 at 8:03 PM

And then they’ll groan about the cost of housing.

CW on April 15, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM
Agenda 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 Murphy9 on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Akzed on April 15, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Little pieces of a bigger puzzle. Call it whatever you like, fascism, progressivism, whatever.

At some point we’ll all be Bundy.

Step back and look at it. They chisel away at everything.

You can bitch about Bundy not paying “grazing fees” all you want. But ask yourself, what were they sold as? For what purpose?

Bet it sounded all benevolent. Just like “preservation” does.

But that’s not what it ends up being. It ends up being a jackboot in your face heavily armed.

Get real folks,, it’s the progs siezing everything. Nothing less.

wolly4321 on April 15, 2014 at 8:17 PM

The Feds should own and/or control no more land on a percentage basis in any state that exceeds what they currently own and/or control in any of the Thirteen Original States. All lands in excess of that acreage should be transferred to State ownership.

Another Drew on April 15, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Reportedly, at the US southern border (aka “the sieve”), BLM officers are not armed. But when going after a small time and hard working rancher and his cows, they are armed to the teeth and even have snipers. And you tell me it’s Bundy whose instigating potential violence. What an absurdity.

VorDaj on April 15, 2014 at 8:18 PM

“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.”

You must be about a 100 feet tall to straddle a wall that high and that wide.
VorDaj on April 15, 2014 at 7:51 PM

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yeah, it’s an interesting phenomenon. New bloggers/mods come to HA fairly conservative and then progressively shift to a more “even-handed” posture. Some have decided they weren’t comfortable with that movement and moved on.

fabrexe on April 15, 2014 at 8:20 PM

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

Let me go on record and say Rosa Parks was very legally wrong in refusing to sit in her proper seat at the time.

*schwing*

HopeHeFails on April 15, 2014 at 8:29 PM

ortedly, at the US southern border (aka “the sieve”), BLM officers are not armed. But when going after a small time and hard working rancher and his cows, they are armed to the teeth and even have snipers. And you tell me it’s Bundy whose instigating potential violence. What an absurdity. VorDaj on April 15, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Agent Brian Terry was armed with beanbags preventing acts of love.

I don’t think folks get it. This isn’t suburbia.

wolly4321 on April 15, 2014 at 8:29 PM

You really think it’s about preserving nature? Anyone?

Better wake up fast to whom we are fighting. They are playing for keeps.

Mr. Bundy is right. It’s not supposed to be this way.

wolly4321 on April 15, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Selective law enforcement.
It’s what tyrants do because it works.
Selective outrage.
It’s what tyrants do because it works.

It only works because the people don’t really care.
Until it’s their turn.

Mimzey on April 15, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Had our Revolutionary Fathers thought like the author of this post, this country would never have existed. Erica, dear, it’s time to reject the lawless Obama/Holder administration/government. Let them go the way of Il Duce, Nicholas Ceausescu, etal.

RoyalFlush on April 15, 2014 at 8:36 PM

It is all part of the plan for the ‘rewilding’ of the planet.

A few large hyper-cities where, if you are lucky, you might get to see some sunlight for an hour a day.

You will be disarmed.

You will be numbered.

You will be provided a ration.

If you disagree with anything you will disappear.

The animals will be allowed to roam freely and you will not be allowed to stop them. Animals have more rights than you will have. They will be protected.

You will be prey.

That is what the global elites want.

By not preparing now, and time does run short, you guarantee your enslavement. Free men prepare to be free and deal with disasters. Elites do not believe in disasters. Disasters, however, arrive for all and this time the doors will swing wide open to the magical thinking that puts us in this place and it will not take a big disaster to ruin their dreams and collapse civilization.

If they bring disaster and collapse, then you will be civilized amongst savages… and yet we can see the savages walking amongst us today and they are easy to recognize. They make excuses for the excesses of government and no longer know how to be free, but only to eat from the master that they have empowered to destroy what is around us. And they will say this is for ‘the good of everyone’, meaning that it makes them feel good to make others suffer. They only say what they are told to say and no longer think on their own: reason to them is only authority, and that author is all they respect and power is its name. They cannot stand you being free and will pull down all the works of man to make you submit to enslavement.

Keep your eye on the target.

The enemies announce themselves most easily these days.

And they think they know what they will get, all they ask of you is to give up being civilized. So that the animals will rule outside of you and inside of you, both, and you will always be in fear. Power is what they seek, fear is their means, and your end as a free and civilized person is their ends.

Duty becomes so much clearer as this goes on.

ajacksonian on April 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM

The more I read about stuff like this the more angry I get and the more I think that we as Americans are partly to blame. We have been far too complacent.

scalleywag on April 15, 2014 at 8:42 PM

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

This is tragically shallow, but fully of a piece with what has become standard HA “wisdom”.

What this is “about”, is the hyper-militarization of nearly all of the federal agencies. For instance, why does the Bureau of Land Management even HAVE snipers? What this is about is scum-sucking elected officials no longer even bothering to PRETEND that they’re not raping the country for their own interests. What this is about is a little trial-run, to see how the sheeple will react to seeing America troops targeting American citizens. What this is about is whether the Posse Comitatus Act still has any meaning. What this is about is the future of this republic.

It ain’t about the cows. Or the damn tortoises either.

bofh on April 15, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Whenever a law is about furthering and supporting leftists ideas… Like obamacare and federal land abuse is all but sacred… Otherwise like immigration laws it’s considered wrong to even try to enforce.

Caseoftheblues on April 15, 2014 at 8:53 PM

I can attest, if you’re a preservationist at all, that the land being contested by Bundy and the Feds is best used as open range for the simple fact that it takes about 80-200 acres of that scrub to support one head of beef. Good pasture, for those who are wondering, will support beef on a ratio of about 1-4 acres per head of beef, depending on the weather conditions and available water in any given year. Open range land in the desert, even high desert, will support far fewer head per acre.

However, the region where Bundy is grazing his cattle does produce beef that has a flavor point that is distinctive and quite tasty. Local ranchers wouldn’t dream of feeding their stock newspaper, hormones, and chicken manure, as the cattle raised in stockyard pens are routinely fed, and their cattle don’t stand belly deep in their own manure and mud until they develop abscesses, or spend their existence milling around in pens, either. Open range ranchers produce a quality product and their animals live a life as close as possible to what’s natural for a herd animal.

It wasn’t until Reid and others decided that the land had a value beyond open range that they decided to ‘protect the desert tortoise’. Until then, ranchers like Bundy were stewards of that land, removing excess predators that harassed the herds, monitoring rainfall, snow melt and runoff, never putting more head of cattle on it than it could support, and always leaving plenty of grass to support the other grazing animals that run wild there, too. Over producing would have been counterproductive for everyone concerned. The desert tortoise and all the other wildlife of the region did just find under their stewardship. The continued existence of those species in the region proves the point.

thatsafactjack on April 15, 2014 at 8:53 PM

Duty becomes so much clearer as this goes on. ajacksonian on April 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Yes it does. But those individuals will be labeled as anything but dutiful.

Thing is, they own all the land I could go Jerimiah Johnson on.

I guess I’m stuck for the fight.

wolly4321 on April 15, 2014 at 8:53 PM

I haven’t even bothered trying to kill one of the kings deer out west.

Hunting is hard out here. Figuring how to deal with the gubmint is even harder.

Lotteries, and you hunt on grids.

When I was young I took a potato sack of apples and smashed it against a tree. Hid, and waited.

wolly4321 on April 15, 2014 at 9:04 PM

This land was your land.
This land was my land.
From 1776.
To twenty-forteen.
This land belongs to the Red Chinese … thanks to Barack the commie.

kregg on April 15, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Are there any others out their who are beginning to understand that (slavery aside – which would have died a natural death by 1890, per J. Davis) the War decided that the Federal Gummint is El Supremo and the heretofore, Sovereign States, are no more, despite the concept of ‘Federalism’? The WBTS decided that the Federal Gummint can invade, conquer and dictate terms via military occupation to any state, including coerced incorporation of ‘acceptable, new and improved’ state Constitutions. Read Nevada’s 1864 State Constitution as an example. Institutional fascism. Nevada is, basically, an agrarian state, facing the the same onslaught the South did from an overbearing, grasping and greedy, urban North (Federal Government). It is now, as then, a clash of Cultures that is destined to spread as the fascist, greedy Federal Gummint spreads it’s greasy tentacles across the hinterland.

vnvet on April 15, 2014 at 9:37 PM

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.

Yep!

The government needs to start selling off land to pay it’s debt.

It would be interesting to know how much money that could produce to the budget.. as well as to the economy.

You know… this fiasco of the social security administration trying to collect the parent’s so called debt from the children.. well.. maybe it’s time we demanded congress and the President personally pay for the debt they have run up! They’re the ones actually responsible for it!

JellyToast on April 15, 2014 at 9:38 PM

I’d like to know what kind of guy/gal wakes up in the morning, kisses their spouse and kids before heading off to work, and ends up pointing a sniper rifle at a cattle rancher over grazing fees and a turtle.

Seriously. WHO IS HAPPY WITH A JOB LIKE THAT???????

xNavigator on April 15, 2014 at 9:41 PM

PUBLIC LAND DOES NOT BELONG TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE.

crankyoldlady on April 15, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Ericka: “He’s wrong…but here is how he’s right”.

It’s dangerous to be right, when the government is wrong.

MoreLiberty on April 15, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Surprised they have not come up with the scheme that all land belongs to the US government and current “owners” should have to pay a new fee to use it.

albill on April 16, 2014 at 7:31 AM

The environmentalists confuse me. They are against mining, farming, etc., because they endanger various species. But, they are in favor of wind farms which kill birds. Then, again, perhaps they are not environmentalists at all.

polarglen on April 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM

This ridiculous talk of ‘rule of law’ that is a constant RINO whine. ‘Rule of law’ lost all meaning when constitutional atheists took over the Supreme Court. Once you say a pigeon is an eagle it is legally an eagle if 5 SC justices affirm it to be.Name one case where a horrific dictatorship ever broke the law and this would include the Holocaust itself.

The only time the shaky term ‘international law’ comes into play is when Army A defeats Army B and then everything Army B did is a “war crime”.This is another way of rephrasing Napoleon’s old dictum that “God is on the side of the winning battalion.” But it is something to consider. No religious or legal mumbo jumbo will protect you if your Army is weak.

And the term ‘international law’ can be a sword to stab you as well as a shield to defend you. Now, many of the “little nations” )(the ones who quietly surrendered to Nazi Germany without a struggle) and are now socialist cesspools (Belgium, Denmark, Norway etc.) are saying that the United States, defending itself, has broken international law and certain leaders must be tried as ‘war criminals.)

Our country wasn’t founded by applying ‘rule of law’. In fact just the opposite.

This does NOT mean I am advocating a military takeover. I am only pointing out that ‘rule of law’ by itself is totally futile when those who apply law either do not understand it or deliberately misuse it. This is how we get outrages like Nevada.’Equity’ has to come into play.

MaiDee on April 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM

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

Erika, have you ever read the US Constitution? If not, why are you even blogging here? Here’s a summary for you…

Under the US Constitution, the Federal government is only able to own land for “needful” BUILDINGS, post roads, ports, military/armory facilities, and for administrative buildings in the “district” which is 10 miles square.

Does the land in question have needful BUILDINGS, post roads, ports or military/armory facilities?

Then why aren’t you questioning why the Federal government is illegally claiming to own this land? And what about the other 84.5% they have seized from Nevada and the 27% of the rest of the United States?

The land in question, which is illegally being claimed by the Federal government, is in fact STATE land… and yes, the Bundy’s have been paying the STATE for grazing rights.

Perhaps we might start getting decent reporting if reporters started asking the questions that matter.

dominigan on April 16, 2014 at 12:31 PM