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Over time, it transferred land to state governments and individuals, largely through homesteading and land grants, which allowed farmers to procure parcels of land for agricultural use....
That strategy worked well in the Midwest, where very little land remains in federal hands. East of the Mississippi, for example, the federal government owns only 4 percent of land.
But in the 11 states in the West (including New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, and not counting Alaska), a combination of geography and politics slowed things down.
“The whole disposal system sort of hits a speed bump,” said Patricia Limerick, a history professor and director of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado.
The many mountainous, arid and difficult-to-reach tracts of land in the West simply weren’t attractive to farmers. Settlers claimed the few valleys where farming was feasible and built towns. The only thing most of the remaining land was good for was grazing, but cattle ranchers and sheep herders needed large tracts of land to feed their livestock, not the smaller parcels they could claim through homestead policies.
But studies have established that there would be substantial administrative costs for states if they took over. And the federal government transfers a lot of its leasing revenue back to states to compensate for the taxes the states might have collected if the land were in private hands. If they owned the land, the states would have to collect rents and administer permits themselves.
An economic study from Utah in 2012 found that taking over land management would cost the state government a substantial sum: $275 million a year.
A new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) highlights a growing rift between Western states and the national government over what the states argue is gross mismanagement of the federal lands within their borders. According to ALEC, more than 50 bills to transfer public lands from the federal government to state control were offered in or adopted by state legislatures in 2015.
Although critics of plans to transfer federal lands to the states question whether states can assume the growing costs of fighting wildfires, proponents argue federal mismanagement has exacerbated the wildfire problem.
originally posted by: dogstar23
a reply to: Southern Guardian
Glad you made a thread on this. I had read it before and couldn't understand why there's so much outrage over the federal government owning land which it has tried unsuccessfully to transfer to the States. I say auction it off at the federal level of states/counties don't want to do it.
No Western state has been as enthusiastic about a landgrab as Utah. In 2012, it passed the Transfer of Public Lands Act, which demanded the feds hand over some 31 million acres, potentially opening them up to even more coal mining and oil and gas extraction. An analysis commissioned by the Legislature found that the state would incur huge expenses if it suddenly gained all that land. (Its costs for firefighting on public land would increase sixfold; Ivory has suggested reducing fire risks with more logging.) That fat price tag is one reason former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, vetoed a land transfer bill similar to Utah's. Nonetheless, the Utah state Legislature has approved spending up to $2 million to prepare to sue the federal government.
Thanks for your post Boadicea, I've been reading the links. Gives other evidence to the contrary.
Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Endangered Species Act apply only in so far as they
apply under state law.
- The advisory committee must consult with Indian tribes as well as any collaboratives in
existence at the enactment of the act.
- The Forest Service is still responsible for fire suppression.
(of federal lands being taken over by the state)
Recent public opinion research from Colorado College found that approximately six in 10 voters in the region — including a majority in Nevada — are opposed to the idea.
international corporations -- ALEC caters to. Like vultures, they know the end is near
The BLM administers approximately 36.5 million subsurface acres in Idaho, along with mining claim records and mineral leases for lands managed by other Federal agencies.
Minerals in the Federal estate are categorized as leasable, salable, or locatable. Each classification is administered differently according to federal regulations and may have different requirements for acquisition, exploration, and development.
Rockhounding is non-commercial, recreational collecting of rocks, mineral specimens, gemstones, or petrified wood and is considered a casual use of public lands under most circumstances. Recreational panning is permitted in some of Idaho's streams and rivers by the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) in some streams and rivers. Learn more about small suction dredging on BLM lands.
Leasable minerals are explored-for and developed in accordance with the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, other leasing acts and BLM regulations. Leasable minerals today include oil and gas, oil shale, geothermal resources, potash, sodium, native asphalt, solid and semisolid bitumen, bituminous rock, phosphate, sulfur, and coal.
The Western Phosphate Field in southeastern Idaho is the largest remaining phosphate deposit in the U.S. The BLM Pocatello Field Office administers the Bureau's largest and most complex non-energy leasable minerals program in this phosphate field.
Signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862, the Homestead Act encouraged Western migration by providing settlers 160 acres of public land. In exchange, homesteaders paid a small filing fee and were required to complete five years of continuous residence before receiving ownership of the land.
Who is to determine what is "best for everyone" though?
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Rep. Ken Ivory is on the front line of an approaching legal battle to wrestle millions of acres of land from federal control, and legislators in other Western states are intently watching his progress.