It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.
More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.
“It’s simply time,” said Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands along with Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. “The urgency is now.”
Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, was flanked by a dozen participants, including her counterparts from Idaho and Montana, during a press conference after the daylong closed-door summit. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee addressed the group over lunch, Ivory said. New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington also were represented.
The summit was in the works before this month’s tense standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management over cattle grazing, Lockhart said.
“What’s happened in Nevada is really just a symptom of a much larger problem,” Lockhart said.
For more on this story: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/57836973-90/utah-lands-lawmakers-federal.html.csp
How Did This Come About?
The Tipping Point that brought this issue to the fore is the attempted takeover of the Bundy Ranch grazing land and cattle last week. AUN-TV.com wrote an article just about how such repercussions were possible because of the Bundy Ranch Incident, after the BLM retreat http://aun-tv.com/will-the-bundy-ranch-be-obamas-reverse-grenada-a-turning-point/.
It may be little known, but Western States even have voted to take over Federal Lands as part of the Sagebrush Rebellion. President Ronald Reagan said in an August 1980 campaign speech in Salt Lake City, “I happen to be one who cheers and supports the Sagebrush Rebellion. Count me in as a rebel.”
Nevada has tried to gain control of their own land several times. Lawmakers passed Senate Joint Resolution 27, which concluded: “RESOLVED, That the Legislature of the State of Nevada hereby urges the Congress of the United States to consent to the amendment of the ordinance of the Nevada constitution to remove the disclaimer concerning the right of the Federal Government to sole and entire disposition of the unappropriated public lands in Nevada …”
In 1956 the voters of Nevada amended the state Constitution to allow taxation of federal lands, should the Congress ever consent. In 1996 the voters again amended the Constitution to remove the so-called Disclaimer Clause mentioned in SJR27.
There is a video that sums up why the Western States would want to do this, even before the BLM’s dangerous fiasco at the Bundy Ranch. It has an appeal in it so we are in effect giving a free ad away, because the info in the video is short and highly informative.
So one reason is that it is in the best interests of the Western States just as it was in the best interests of the Midwest States back when the Feds controlled most of the their lands. One example of that today is that the Federal government, which is today anti development and anti job in general (think Keystone Pipeline), unlike its pro development past, slows down mining jobs by 10 years or more in Nevada.
Nevada Congressman Amodei tried to cure this issue. The s H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013, which requires federal agencies to expedite mining permits on federal land, setting a deadline of 30 months instead of the customary 10 years or more. http://naturalresources.house.gov/legislation/?legislationid=341628.
What happened after that? The US Senate under Senator Harry Reid’s leadership control has not acted on it. Harry Reid has a consistent record of opposing self sustaining real jobs in favor of “Patronage Jobs”, which are defined as “the corrupt power to make appointments to government jobs especially for political advantage and also to relatives.” Although Harry and Rory Reid have done very well since Harry became Senate Majority Leader, the opposite has happened to Nevada citizens. The Nevada economy went from being one of the very best in 2006 when he took over, to clearly being the very worst and has stayed there for years, with the worst foreclosure rates and unemployment rates.
Why are Nevada power costs higher than in most states, which kills jobs? Harry Reid has supported heavily subsidized uneconomic solar projects and other “Soviet Style Central Planning” projects. They are considered the primary reason. Here is a picture of Reid meeting Communist Chinese Billionaire and Solar Tycoon, Yusuo Wang.
More on the Reid/Wang Deal here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-03/solar-jobs-join-harry-reid-to-chinese-billionaire-in-price-drop.html
So who got the highest paying job out of this US Government paid trip by Harry Reid to Communists China? To the best of our knowledge it is likely Rory Reid, Harry’s son, who now is the chief representative/lobbyist for ENN. ENN is attempting to build a $5 billion solar project in Clark County with both Reid’s assistance. What type of assistance?
An article published by The New American in September 2012 noted that Rory Reid, the eldest son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), is the chief representative for ENN Energy Group, a Chinese firm planning to build a $5-billion solar plant on public land in Laughlin, Nevada.
The plan generated a great deal of controversy because Clark County officials voted to sell ENN the public land for $4.5 million, a figure far below its $38.6-million appraised value. That means the citizens of Clark County are being ripped off over $30 million dollars to benefit Rory Reid’s company.
There is more to why many people in the West are fed up with the Federal “ownership” of the majority of their land.
It is Harry Reid’s words and imperial attitude combined with the apparent purposely destruction of equipment and shooting of cattle by the BLM on the Bundy Ranch. Harry has called those people that risked their lives to prevent the BLM cattle confiscation “Domestic Terrorists” You can watch that here:
The two politicians who have been most vocal about the BLM being too “soft” on Bundy since then, are Harry and Rory Reid. Interesting as they are the two prime suspects as to having personal gain at stake in this case. Rory Reid, the chief lobbyist for solar giant ENN likely has more that just the publicly known $5 billion deal in the oven. The Bundy Ranch has been specifically been named in BLM documents, some of which have been removed from the BLM site, as a target in the way of solar project land as you can see here http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/blm_library/tech_notes.Par.29872.File.dat/TN_444.pdf :
So Reid’s ENN will benefit by having more solar land available in the Clark County area.
If there was any terrorism it appears to have been by the BLM, as penned bulls were shot to death, cattle was shot from helicopters and a water tank for the cattle and wild animals was cut into pieces according to news reports such as this one by Fox News.
When you put all these factors together, the Bundy Ranch Incident was a match for a fuse that was already there.