reply to post by rayktheon
The land is owned by the BLM, which technically means it is owned by the citizens of the United States, but in reality is owned by the feds. Because
"we" own the land, we get to express our opinion on the retraction of the land from BLM holdings. The DoD claims national security to take the land
away from the public. Just look at a map of the US and you will see that the NTTR is bigger than a few of the eastern states combined. I couldn't
exactly make a stink about the USAF stealing more land for Base Camp, but I did manage to keep them from fencing off land they don't control.
In the case of Base Camp, some enterprising people have petitioned the BLM to grow alfalfa on the BLM land near Base Camp. They call this AGUs, which
loosely stands for "agricultural units." If you can show some economical use of the land, such as mining, cattle grazing, or growing alfalfa, you
can get permission to occupy the BLM land. If you get a mining, claim, you can hold the land if you produce an assay on a scheduled basis to make it
look like you are actually doing some mining. There is also a way to get a patented mining claim which gives the owner more rights than a normal
mining claim. Anyway, the DoD saw the writing on the wall and didn't want to have an alfalfa farm on their back 40, so they expanded the border.
Rachel was founded on agricultural claims by the Day family.
Glenn Campbell wrote this history as "community service" as his sentence for the crime of interfering with a police officer. The story is buried in
the Desert Rat newsletter somewhere.
There is a tendency for some of these ranchers to consider their AGU (land they pay a modest fee for the rights to graze) as THEIR land. I have had
one occasion to stand my ground with some ranch hand that didn't appreciate my camping on his boss's AGU. It is still BLM land and you are free to
occupy it within the rules established by the BLM. The mining claims are a little different. You can't occupy a mine, but you can camp outside the
There is a bit of the wild west in the wild west, or at least the south west. People will BS the uninformed. They will put up illegal "no
trespassing" signs on public land and roads. Sometimes they put chains across the road. If you read the Desert Rat newsletter, Glenn Campbell kept
bolt cutters in his car to cut these chains. That is a bit gonzo. You can log the coordinates of the illegal roadblock and the BLM will use their own
bolt cutters to break the chain. They don't seem keen on removing illegal no trespassing signs, so you have to just ignore them.
Road Block Canyon is a prime example of Groom Lake just doing what the hell they want to do on BLM property. The camo dudes created the road block by
setting off dynamite on a nearby hill. There is no way the BLM would approve of this nonsense. Camo dudes...no license plates needed...no badges
needed...and apparently no explosive permits either.