By Chuck Baldwin
April 19, 2014
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, “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.”
Now we are getting somewhere!
The western states have been used as both playground and sugar stick for big-government politicians since before most of the western states became states. Compare the percentage of State land owned by the federal government in the western states to that of the eastern states.
Here is the percentage of land owned by the federal government in seven
New York: 0.8%
Rhode Island: 0.4%
By contrast, here is the percentage of land owned by the federal government in seven western states:
The situation with the Bundys in Nevada highlights the heavy-handed tactics that the federal government employs against anyone who dares to challenge the manner in which the feds are attempting to kick hard-working, productive citizens off of federal lands. Remember that ranchers and farmers such as Cliven Bundy were promised access to these federal lands in perpetuity back in the nineteenth century when all of these land deals were being negotiated between the states and the federal government. Beyond that, ownership of the land by the federal government was supposed to preserve and protect the land for the people, not for the federal government.
A few years ago, there were dozens of successful and prosperous ranchers in the area around the Bundys. But since the BLM was given legislative mandates when Congress enacted the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) in 1976, Cliven Bundy is now the only rancher in the area still standing.
The BLM has grown into a totalitarian monster.
Today, the BLM regulates hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, boating, hang gliding, shooting, off-highway vehicle driving, mountain biking, bird watching, and visiting natural and historical sites. The BLM also regulates logging, mining, fracking and other activities. What ranchers such as Cliven Bundy are going through loggers and miners are also experiencing. In fact, it is no hyperbole to say that, for all intents and purposes, the ranching, logging, and mining industries in the western states are being systematically regulated out of existence.
And in the case of Cliven Bundy, it is not about saving the Desert Tortoise or grazing fees or anything of the sort. It is all about letting fat-cat politicians such as Harry Reid negotiate lucrative solar energy deals with Communist China. Hey, folks: if the land doesn’t belong to Cliven Bundy, it doesn’t belong to Harry Reid, either!
The BLM’s evil twin sister is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was established in 1970. These two federal agencies have become the Wicked Witch of the East and Wicked Witch of the West in what used to be a beautiful land paved with yellow brick roads.
I dare say that if the eastern states were enduring the haranguing and harassment that the western states are enduring, the BLM would have been brought under control years ago. Absent national unity from eastern states on the matter, it is time for the western states to take matters into their own hands.
The legislative action being contemplated by the above-mentioned State legislators who assembled in Salt Lake City last Friday is a terrific first step. It is absolutely time for the western states to use their eminent domain authority to reclaim the lands within their borders that are currently owned by Washington, D.C. With the exception of National Parks, states should serve notice that they are taking back the land owned by the federal government–land that should never have been ceded to the central government to begin with.
The second problem that the siege against Cliven Bundy illustrates is the unconstitutional police powers assumed by federal agencies such as the BLM. Originally, the only federal agency that was lawfully allowed to make arrests on behalf of the U.S. government was the U.S. Marshals Service, which was created back in 1789–the year that the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Today, there are scores of alphabet agencies of the federal government who carry a badge and a gun and are allowed to enforce law at bayonet point. And the vast majority of these agencies are acting on assumed authority–authority not granted them constitutionally. Among these, there is no greater culprit than the BLM.
“You don’t send the Seventh Cavalry to collect a bill, and that’s exactly what happened,” Pat Buchanan told Sean Hannity on his radio show last Monday.
Buchanan went on to say, “And when they put all those forces out there-that’s what attracted all the others, the history of what happened at Waco, Ruby Ridge. And so these folks came to that rancher’s defense. But the initial problem here is [the] sending of all the force of arms out there to that ranch, which was a provocation to which these folks responded.”
The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Constitution delegates only three crimes to the federal government: treason, piracy, and counterfeiting. That’s it. No other crimes are mentioned. That means that all other crimes are the purview of the states–including local and State police, sheriff’s deputies, and citizen militias and posses.
Of course, the problem is the Congress (and Court) in Washington, D.C., has used the “Necessary and Proper Clause” of Article. I. Section. 8. to justify all sorts of federal law enforcement enactments.
The result of this unconstitutional federal expansion of police powers is we now have scores of federal agencies that are using unchecked and unbridled power–power that is turning the United States into a giant police state.
The states must push back!
Not only must states reclaim millions of acres of land within their borders that are now controlled by the federal government, they must also pass legislation requiring federal bureaucracies such as the BLM to obtain the consent of county sheriffs in order to execute arrest warrants. States must make it clear in unmistakable terms that only the U.S. Marshals Service may execute federal warrants within their states; otherwise, only the county sheriff is authorized to execute arrest warrants within their states.
Furthermore, the U.S. Congress needs to disarm the countless federal bureaucracies that are currently terrorizing the American people. In truth, very few federal agencies need to carry guns. The politicians in Washington, D.C., love to try to disarm the American people, but the ones they should be disarming are most of the federal alphabet agencies.
Why do employees of the federal Department of Education need to carry guns? Why do postal employees need to carry guns? Why do agents of the BLM need to carry guns? Why do employees at NASA need to carry guns? Why do employees of the EPA need to carry guns? Why do employees at NOAA need to carry guns? Why do employees of the National Weather Service need to carry guns? Why do employees of the Social Security Administration need to carry guns? Why do employees at the Department of Agriculture need to carry guns? Why do employees of the National Marine Fisheries Service need to carry guns?
Ladies and gentlemen, law enforcement is mostly the responsibility of State and local governments. Why are so many federal bureaucracies carrying guns? Agencies of the federal government are not soldiers; and they are not even policemen. Furthermore, the American people are not the enemy!
Pat Buchanan is right: had not BLM agents marched onto the Bundy ranch like Nazi Stormtroopers, none of the events that are still playing out in the Nevada desert would have taken place. The memory of Waco and Ruby Ridge are still very vivid in the collective memory of the people of the United States. If anything burns deep in our collective conscience, it is that THERE MUST NEVER AGAIN BE ANOTHER WACO OR RUBY RIDGE. And that is exactly why those Americans have put themselves between the federal government and the Bundy family down in Bunkerville, Nevada.
The events in Salt Lake City, Utah, conducted by dozens of legislators from the western states last Friday were as monumental as the events in Bunkerville, Nevada, conducted by the citizen militia the previous Saturday.
Free and independent states and “We the People” have always been the guardians of liberty in this land. And if freedom is going to be preserved for our posterity, it is going to take the combined effort of both the individual sovereign states and individual citizens to arise and stand in the gap once again. It would also seem that the rise has already begun. Praise God! The only thing missing now is the patriot pulpit.