Nevada isn’t really that big of a state. Oh, sure, it appears large on the map.
But 81 percent of that land mass isn’t Nevada. It’s federal government property, run by various branches of the nation’s central government in Washington, D.C.
Much of the controversy surrounding the Cliven Bundy ranch, and the rustled cattle, and the standoff with the federales, has to do with federal government land.
From my reading of the Bundy family ranch affair, it appears that the legal question is not one of taxes, but of usage fees; not of endangered tortoises, but cattle. But mostly about land. My sympathies are with the Bundies. They seem to have a very old adverse possession case against the government.
I wasn’t surprised to learn that federal judges didn’t look very kindly to the Bundies’ customary rights. Federal judges prefer legislated law to common law. We’re a long way from our roots, folks.
But the issue lurking behind all other issues is the over-dominance of the federal government in twelve western states. Five of them have over half of their land titled to and run by the federal government: Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Utah and Nevada. This imbalance gives just too much power and purview to federal agencies, who are then tempted to run roughshod over locals. That is, state citizens.
Cliven Bundy may be dead wrong legally, but politically, he has a point.
The federal government should privatize all or most of its grazing lands and desert lands. Its forest lands should at least be “state-ized” — given back to the states.
This is a federal republic, right? Not an empire?
The states are not supposed to be mere conquered provinces.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.