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The Bundy occupation at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge may have some causes that the media is failing to acknowledge. While their method is an “in your face” move designed to provoke a response. There is a growing and continued encroachment of the Federal government on private State land that is becoming as overbearing as our growing national debt.
I visited Wyoming this summer with my daughter and hit Yellowstone and the Tetons etc. We drove over 1500 miles all throughout the State. So I got feel for the Western part of the Continent that I did not previously have. Great state Wyoming, but as I covered all that distance I kept seeing these National Forest signs like Shoshone National Forest and others again and again.
I couldn’t help but notice that not only was it sparsely populated in general but every highway seemed to note that it was part of a Federal (or sometimes but less often State) park.
My curiosity up, when I got back, I checked up on the population of Wyoming. I discovered that it was the least populated state in the nation. Not surprising to me after my visit.
It ranks 9th in land area but 51st in population, 50th in population density (Only Alaska is lower), but 36th in water area. So water is certainly not occupying all of the space, but the national parks and forests sure are.
Now, it isn’t all because it is uninhabitable. There are a good number of ranches which need open land. However, you see cows grazing on both Federal and State land. You wonder if the reason for that may be because otherwise they’d starve.
We saw them grazing along the side of the road at one point going up a switchback mountain road to our lodging. They were also in the Sinks Canyon State park in Lander,Wy on the side of the mountain. It was Federal and State land, but the cows had numbered tags on their ears indicating private ownership.
Wyoming is according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) is nearly half owned by the Federal government (48.1%) which does not account for the additional percentage owned by the State, pushing it over 50% I’m sure. Should it then be any surprise that the population would be so low?
Here are some other percentages of Federal ownership according to the CRS:
The reality is that the Federal government alone owns over a quarter of the land in our nation!
Now I love the national parks and have visited a number of them. I can even agree with the need for the preservation of specific areas. Quite frankly, given the moronic and destructive nature of some people, protection of certain areas is necessary. However, might the Federal government in particular be overstepping their limits a bit?
Based on the history of the Leviathan that the Federal government has grown into, I would venture to say yes.
The Constitution states in Article 1, Section 8, clause 17:
“and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;”
Now, the States get compensated for lost revenue from taxation for the land it owns, but where does the Federal government get its revenue? So the government of the State that allows the Federal government to take over its land gets taken care of…….
The Bill of Rights also provides another loophole for Federal government take over. The 7th amendment states, [quote]nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.[/quote]
One could drive a truck through that clause or perhaps an agency like the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In fact, as pointed out above, that is exactly what they have done. That is what the Oregon stand off is really about- a reaction to the growing Federal encroachment.
And “just compensation”? Who cares if you don’t want to sell in the first place? And who determines what is “just compensation”.
What this clause amounts to is what Bastiat referred to as “legal plunder”. That is, a license to steal couched in legalism hidden in the “Supreme Law of the Land”. In common parlance, this would be called theft. If a citizen did the same thing to another’s property, they would be arrested. The government claims immunity based on the Marxist inspired greater good principle.
The Federal government greases the State governments palm with money they take from the citizens of the States. However, the people get squeezed out of the picture. We the People end up holding the bag because the Federal government get its money from…………? That’s right: We the People.
Now, if they instead run to the Federal Reserve and take a loan to pay the State for the lost tax revenues, who ends up paying for that through the decreased buying power of money earned because of the federally inflated debt? Once again, “We, the People”.
More taxes, less available private land…….
That Constitutional provision of “other needful buildings” may be getting a bit carried away. Already nearly at 28% (and possibly more than a third of the land if you include the State controlled land) is under the control of the Federal and State governments.
I guess “other needful buildings” is interpreted pretty liberally huh?
Where does it end? When we are all in bondage to the Federal government and corralled in the cities under the thumb and tyranny of government?
Like I said, maybe Ammon has a point after all.
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