Monday, January 18, 2016

The Real Reason Behind the Oregon Standoff

Based on media coverage, most people think that the standoff in Oregon and the prior one in Nevada were all about some right-wing, anti-government, wacko ranchers in the West refusing to pay grazing fees for allowing their animals to graze on Federal land. But, there's a bigger issue that is driving these events and here's the graphic that explains it:

Source: BigThink: See Link Below
For decades, every President has burnished their legacy by creating new federal lands by executive order.  Congress unfortunately afforded each president this ability with the passage of the Antiquities Act of 1906. The West has been the biggest target with now, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) controlling 58% of the land in the 10 farthest western states; and, an astounding 85% of Nevada.

In recent years, the target of these land grabs have been more about blocking human activities such as drilling for oil and mining, than preserving lands as national treasures.  The bottom line is that the Federal government is controlling massive tracts of land and is collecting all kinds of fees that should rightly belong to the states. Also, it is believed that $2 billion annually is lost to mismanagement of these lands by the BLM and other federal agencies.

By comparison, the East, the South, and the Midwest have been unfairly left alone in the efforts to nationalize lands as noted by the red areas on this map:

This is why we may see many more Oregon and Nevada standoffs in the future; and I don't think it will just be by ranchers.  In 2015 alone, there were 50 bills submitted in western state legislatures to reclaim land taken from the states by various Presidents.  By all accounts, the Obama Administration has made it much more difficult to do anything on Federal lands; especially for ranchers.

Lastly, President Obama's latest edict to place a moratorium on new leases for coal mining on Federal land primarily hurts 5 western states: Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.  Again, because of the decades long Federal land grab, it is the states in the West that will see potential losses of jobs, and certainly, losses in revenues.


I’m an Oregon rancher. Here’s what you don’t understand about the Bundy standoff:

Imbalance of Federal Land Ownership Sheds Light on Oregon Militia:

Western States Fighting for Control of Federal Lands:

Antiquities Act of 1906:

Mining moratorium a blow to Wyoming's coal industry: The vast majority of that mining on government land takes place in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico: 

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