- Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:33 pm
>>It looks like the BLM and the Feds have their tail between their legs.
Nevada judge dismisses case against Cliven Bundy and sons, says government cannot retry them - LA Times<<
The Government lands, of the USA, belong to you, the people, that is all of us. It's government land, that means your land, be it Federal lands, such as National Forests, BLM lands, or State lands, it's not owned by private individuals or corporations,
On those millions and millions of acres you can do almost anything you like, with fewer restrictions than you will ever find on private lands. Subject to common laws you can camp, hike, ride, boat, fish, hunt, climb, ski, fly, get lost for a day or two, lie on your back under the starry universe on a summer night and listen to the crickets and the nighthawks and the coyotes, there among some of the most precious and gorgeous landscapes on our planet. We actually own our yet unsullied Serengeti of the North, that is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. You get all this, and it's mostly for free.
The downside of this is that in the guise of "public interest", which of course means "monied" interests, on the majority of our public lands, private extractive or exploitative interests get first dibs, which basically boils down to mining, logging, and ranching. This produces some revenue, but often does enormous and sometimes permanent damage to the landscape, and at huge taxpayer expense. You do still get to camp,hike,ride, hunt, etc, you just have to share that with toxic mine dumps (that you you will now have to pay to clean up), clear cut forests, and cow ravaged ecosystems. Remember, this is still your land.
If you want to see where this might go, if the States gain ownership of the Federal Lands, consider Texas which in 1850, in return for ceding claims to New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Oklahoma, was allowed to keep the Federal lands within its borders. By 1900, Texas had sold about 216,000,000 acres of public land, placing it into private ownership.