Friday, April 25, 2014

The Bureau Of Land Management: The True Face Of Big Government

I don't think many people know just how heavy handed the federal government is when it comes to land ownership and control in all the western states; including Alaska.  But, here's the map that tells it all:

In Nevada,  the feds control almost 85% of the state; the highest percentage among all the states.  In the rest of the western states, they control no less than 30% of the land.  So, it's no wonder that people in the West resent the government and its intrusion into their lives.

The west has been at odds with the federal government over this for years.  During the most recent government shutdown, Obama closed many of the national parks in the west in order to make it as painful as possible.  The western states, that depend so much on tourism, even offered to pay the  government to keep them open.  But, Obama said no.  This was a clear and unreasonable warning sign that the feds just have too much power.

But, there's this issue too: Wealth.  The west is rich in natural resources such as forests, oil, and minerals; most of which are controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.  The states don't share in any of this wealth because the feds control the leases and take all the revenues.  So, there's a clear issue of state's rights.

Recently, the state lawmakers and commissioners held a summit meeting in Utah to create a plan to retake the land that the federal government now controls. Expect this whole thing to eventually wind up in the laps of the Supreme Court justices.

Reference: Western states hold summit on controlling federal land, say 'It's simply time':

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