James and Hugh,
I’m referencing the 22 August article “Can the States Seize Federal Lands?“.
First, they are NOT Federal Lands; they are State Lands being occupied by the Fed, mostly illegally. The U.S. Constitution is quite clear on how the Fed MAY purchase State Lands (Article I, Section 8, Clause 17) in a specifically limited quantity, for only necessary functions of the Fed, and MUST have the agreement from the State Legislature in question.
Second, as decided by the Supreme Court of the U.S., “A State is created in Statehood, instantly and whole”, (paraphrased). To wit: not created in bits and pieces determined by the lesser Federal Government but as a Sovereign, whole State. An example, other than the Eastern States, is Hawaii, the last to achieve statehood. When the State of Hawaii became a Sovereign State, the Federal Government was invited to pack up all except the established needed Lands for Federal operation and go home to D.C., which they did, as that was the prerogative of Hawaii. Look at Nevada @ approx. 92% Federal control; New Mexico @ 35% Federal control; each of the other Western States have their own % “occupied”, except Hawaii, as noted.
The Federally claimed lands, which the Federal Agencies DO CLAIM to be “owners of”, are literally squatters, usurpers of state lands, with rarely any legal standing at all. The gross record of mismanagement, by BLM and the USFS in particular down through the years and peaking in the last 10 or so years, is a story to shame any bureaucrat. Makes little or no difference to the Feds, but a State is the annual loser in both income and quality of the lands destroyed and mismanaged.
The people that are the “front line losers” are the rural people trying to produce and maintain state lands, which are occupied by the Fed and the source of clearly defined, recorded, studied mismanagement as well as some of the worst legal harassment of any businesses in this country. The problem there is that NO MEDIA gives a hoot about a bunch of farmers and ranchers out in the middle of nowhere. Who cares? If the public was aware, the howl to “get the bums out (BLM & USFS)” would be impressive.
There is so much more involved, but I won’t belabor the point unless there is need for further explanation. The States, which are sovereign OVER the Fed that they created, have been far too lax and too blackmailed by Federal tax dollars being handed out to stand up for states rights, which they have in too many cases handed to the Federal government. The states are literally the owner of a business being told what to do by the help. – E.C.