We all know from the years of propaganda floating in the West by Ranchers and anti-Government types about how the Federal Government has stolen their land and won’t allow ranchers their right to graze cattle on it without horrible restrictions. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are the Gestapo in their minds while they misrepresent history, the law, the Constitution and reality to prove their point.
Of course they leave out the fact that
1) Article IV, Section 3, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution states: The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States….” or
2) the more reasonable complaint that the lands taken by the Whites originally belonged to the Natives and that the Supreme Court in 1823 disgustingly ruled in what’s been called “The Discovery Doctrine” in Johnson v M’Intosh that “discovery gave an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title of occupancy, either by purchase or by conquest.”, or
3) that much of the land not already taken by White American Settlers were owned by Hispanic Settlers before the Americans arrived, or
4) that these “American Territories” who petitioned Washington DC for Statehood agreed to cede much of this land to the Federal Government, or
5) finally that over the past 100 plus years, failed property owners in debt have sold land to the United States Government. In fact the land around the Malheur Wildlife Refuges is just such land. Prior to that it was property of the Paiute Tribe.
No matter, they complain that the Federal Government shouldn’t own or control this land. They demand it be privatized, sold to private interests and not managed by the Federal Government.
After all, all the BLM does is ensure the land isn’t over-grazed making it useless for years, or mined making it useless for those wanting to camp on these lands and enjoy nature, or developed eliminating the natural beauty and access to the land for ever. No, they want the land sold because the Federal Government has no business controlling the public lands held in trust and protection for the People of the United States. Only Ranchers should have that right.
Many “Conservative” Republican politicians at both the State and National Level agree with these people and have sponsored legislation to sell off these lands. In Arizona Senator John McCain worked to sell off Indian land to a Canadian Mining interest.
Well, let’s give these ranchers what they want.
Why should they have to fork out $1.69/AUM to the Federal Government for grazing rights when they can pay private land owners $20.30/AUM?
Why should the tax payers be responsible for firefighting these tenderly dry lands from major fires? Let the private owners do it.
Now keep in mind, if this land was to go for sale in all these states, good business dictates it go to the highest bidder. The better the land, the better the resources on it, the higher the cost.
Now we know all these poor local ranchers are starving, relying of government subsidies to sustain their ranches and families (did I forget to mention that fact?) so they may not be in the best position or have the credit rating necessary to borrow the money to buy these prize lands. That being the case, multi-national ranching, mining, and land development corporations with the resources just might be making the better bid to buy these lands.
Wonder what a Saudi Family land development interest would charge local Christian Ranchers to graze on their lands? Wonder how they would handle these Christians poaching on their lands? Certainly they would be much kinder than the Federal Government has been.
Foreign interests love buying American real-estate. It’s the best investment they can make so much of this land sold by the U.S. Government is far more likely to end up in their hands and subject to their rules than private U.S. land speculators. Don’t think so? It’s already happening as I mentioned above.
Evil Tyrannical gubmit is an easy rallying cry from those wanting attention and more freebies. It’s a great way to gain financial support and some level of respect from those who don’t have the time to think and reason, it’s a great way to get the votes from those who don’t have the time to think and reason. However, it isn’t a way to deal with the Public Lands, held in trust by the Government of the United States and regulated by acts of Congress (not the President mind you) for the public good or public vote. You want this land privatized? May as well sell yours too in the process because they will drive you out of business and off their lands for their bottom line.
Doctrine of (Christian) Discover: http://nativeamericanhistory.about.com/od/Law/a/What-Is-The-Doctrine-Of-Christian-Discovery.htm
Fact Sheet BLM Management of Livestock Grazing: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/grazing.html