All Western States Lands!
The federal government must get out of the land business and return land to states, with the exception of military bases, federal buildings and all others having to do with our national defense. More than 65% of AZ is currently controlled by the federal government and thereby doesn’t provide any tax base or economic growth to AZ.
Arizonans’ State & Federally Elected Office Holders; Work together and put forth legislation in AZ & DC, to begin the process of restoring to Arizona millions of acres now under the control and management of the federal government. As I’ve stated over the past few years, according to the 5th Amendment (nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation ), this is also used by some. Also cited Article 1 Section 8 Clause 17, it only refers to the Congress’ ability to “exercise exclusive legislation in all cases, over (DC) and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by consent of the legislature of the State..” This refers to jurisdiction in making laws over those areas *Article IV, Section 3, (second paragraph).
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States…” This is the section in the Constitution that gives them the power to dispose (extinguish) of title to the public lands. At statehood we agreed to “forever disclaim all right and title” to the un-appropriated and un-granted lands within the boundaries of the state (Enabling Act, June 20, 1910). Elected officials at the state and federal levels, shall begin the process of restoring the millions of acres of Arizona land now under federal jurisdiction.
I believe that we must take the lead in several areas
We need to remember the Sagebrush Rebellion brought about in the 70’s by the Carter Administration, by the way President Reagan was on the side of the Ranchers and the Western states for this matter having dealt with the Federal Government on Lands issues when Governor of California. We must make those in office Modify or Repeal NESA or ESA Acts, which are used to file lawsuits to shut down our mining, logging etc. in the name of protection, when in fact it’s hurting our Citizens and their Freedoms. This is one way of dealing with it, however the real solution is to restore the Lands back to the Western States and take the Federal Government out of our lives in just one more of several areas in which they have no Constitutional Basis for involvement to start with.
We must meet with others holding federal elected office in surrounding states and ask them to begin the process of restoring our lands to US at the federal level. After all, they’re supposed to represent our states, not the Federal Government.
We should immediately begin to draft legislation to start a process to reclaim millions of acres. To work towards the decision of 2009, concerning the State of Hawaii’s ownership and control over their public lands, an apology made by Congress to the Hawaiian people for overthrowing the Hawaiian Monarchy didn’t convey any right to the “Office of Hawaiian Affairs” any legal claim to the land. The decision was critical as it referred to Hawaii’s Enabling Act and the agreement between the people of the State of Hawaii and the US government at statehood. The land was not restored to the State, it always had it.
We must begin informing our fellow citizens in Arizona of the problem and the benefits we’d receive by getting our lands back. Now to name a few, we’d be able to decide within our own state government agencies just where we can mine, harvest forests, improve lands for recreation and open other areas to be used for same. We’d also be able to put up some lands for sale or lease for private development both by companies and individuals. This would give us a larger tax base to pay off Arizona’s debt of over $7 Billion as well as improve our children’s educational system. One of the largest benefits would be to remove the federal government’s control of our states’ future and of ours as well.
We have rights, and we need to begin to exercise them. We have already seen how the federal government has treated US when it comes to defending our border.This issue is only the first step in restoring to us our state’s sovereignty and rights.
One of the most unsubstantiated arguments opponents try to use against the Transfer of Public Lands is that “we can’t afford to manage our own lands”. They point to the cost of managing wild fires, keeping parks open, etc. Well, take three minutes today and look up YOUR state on the Office of Natural Resources own Revenue Statistics website and see just how much they are gaining from managing our lands, and why they don’t want to allow us to manage our own lands for the health, safety and welfare of our citizens and a constant steady source of income. Take the time to go to this site and see just how much money the Federal Government collects state by state and then subtract what Arizona gets compared to what the Federal Government keeps and the Numbers tell the story that Arizona can afford to manage our lands, not to mention the increase in revenues we attain, but also the Liberty we gain by Removing the Federal Government from our Lands and restoring our Sovereignty.
• See how our government pays and controls the lands in the US, just go to this website: Government Lands Report
• Federal Land Payments or PILT
In 2013 the Federal Government claiming Unconstitutional Title and Control of State Lands gave “tribute” to all states except Rhode Island, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in an effort to justify their illegal seizure of State land. “Tribute” money was intended to justify and demonstrate their benevolence by helping to alleviate our loss of taxes, potential new employment and other lost revenue. Arizona revenue loss is fourth, only California, Utah and New Mexico have lost more.
How much money have we lost, how many new jobs were not created because we did not adhere to the Constitution and control our States destiny? What will it take for the people to take control and demand our elected representatives to uphold their sworn oath? What will it take for the people to take charge and demand the elected officials represent their constituents and not special interests pressure?
This is your money, these are your jobs. The Federal Government doesn’t make money or create wealth. The Federal government only gets money from your taxes, drug related auctions, illegal seizures among other forms of pilfering. Remember our Declaration on Independence, particularly the first half of the second paragraph, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
*TO PRESERVE THESE RIGHTS GOVERNMENTS ARE MADE BY MEN,
DERIVING THEIR JUST POWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.
With that said, who’s in control and if it’s not you, why not? Please remember that in 2014 the Federal Government didn’t fund this until they received another 2 Billion into the budget before granting any payments to the States, thereby basically blackmailing the Congress to gain funds so the states they represent would receive their PILT payments, this is not being Representative, let alone Responsible to the American Citizen at any level.
Payments and Acreage by County Fiscal Year:
2014 State of Arizona
*Payments in lieu of taxes breakdown by county:
– Apache County: $1,657,182; 662,743 acres ($2.50 per acre)
– Cochise County: $2,142,085; 900,752 acres ($2.38 per acre)
– Coconino County: $1,707,008; 4,738,152 acres ($0.36 per acre)
– Gila County: $3,426,420; 1,775,022 acres ($1.95 per acre)
– Graham County: $2,784,560; 1,114,629 acres ($2.50 per acre)
– Greenlee County: $844,890; 907,852 acres ($0.93 per acre)
– La Paz County: $1,928,269; 1,857,761 acres ($1.04 per acre)
– Maricopa County: $3,011,264; 2,441,551 acres ($1.20 per acre)
– Mohave County: $3,469,643; 6,412,188 acres ($0.54 per acre)
– Navajo County: $1,519,256; 598,339 acres ($2.52 per acre)
– Pima County: $3,152,584; 1,534,068 acres ($2.06 per acre)
– Pinal County: $1,223,747; 622,487 acres ($1.96 per acre)
– Santa Cruz County: $978,173; 432,595 acres ($2.26 per acre)
– Yavapai County: $3,177,599; 2,582,989 acres ($1.23 per acre)
– Yuma County: $3,476,376; 1,564,711 acres ($2.22 per acre)
– AZ total: $34,497,956 / 28,127,031 acres ($1.12 per acre)
In many of the western states the following clause is in their Enabling Acts for statehood, “forever disclaim all right and title,” referring to the un-appropriated public lands at statehood. People mistakenly use those six words to justify the Federal Government owning of all those public lands. The same clause is in most of the Enabling Acts for the states East of Colorado. Also within most states’ Enabling Acts, including eastern states, is the following: “that five per cent of the proceeds of sales of public lands which shall be sold by the United States subsequent to the admission of said State into the Union…” Those public lands in the West were supposed to be sold just as they were in the East.
Studies show that approximately$150 Trillion Dollars in revenue and resources associated with those lands are being denied to the people in the Western States and America for that matter.These resources denied by the federal government would create much needed jobs and tax revenues for local, state, and federal governments. The Property and Environmental Research Study Center in Idaho study shows that for every Dollar spent by the Federal Government to Manage lands they lose .27, while state managed lands show for every dollar spent states make $14.51 on average. We in Arizona must gain control of all the Federal Lands within our borders to gain both the tax revenues and access to them, not to mention safer and healthier forests, through better management by local officials who must then answer to local Voters. There’s one more urgent problem we can solve with managing our own Forest Lands and I’ll discuss this at Forums and Public Meetings.
Proposed Solutions: Begin with educating the public on the existence of this inequity. Educate our legislators, State and Federal of this problem. Demand that the US Congress extinguish title to those lands as empowered under Article IV, Section 3 to immediately terminate the federal government’s claim to all titles of land illegally seized returning the land to its rightful owners the states.
Let the states decide and self-govern the proper use of their land as authorized in our Constitution. Let the people of the states enjoy the freedom to decide the best use of the land, be it creating state parks or engaging in multiple forms of commerce to create new jobs and increase state taxes. The legal system demands precedence for such an action. The precedent has been made and well documented by the federal government retiring its claim of title and returning the land back to the Eastern States.
Result/Summary: The governments closest to the people of the affected states must control the use of the land within its’ boundaries. Jobs are created, local government revenues increase, access by the public increases the federal government becomes smaller.
This is only one of many issues we need to address. We must build a strong coalition of people and organizations in Arizona and Washington D.C. along with officials in Utah, California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and other states who understand our forefather’s intentions as written in the Constitution of the United States. We must demonstrate our allegiance by working to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic.
I hope you’ll all arrive at the same conclusion and contact those in both State & Federally Elected Office and Demand this be addressed to restore our lands and sovereignty to the State of AZ. AZ Legislature did pass bills in 2015 session, however Gov. Ducey Vetoed them. I haven’t seen any interest from our Federally Elected Officials, however I’m hoping during this election cycle to get them interested in restoring AZ Lands to AZ’s control.
In Closing I believe Election Cycles are Critical for Our Nation & State as to whether we sink deeper into a Socialistic Nation or Restore Ourselves to a True Republic form of Government. The choices are clear, never vote for anyone voting against or compromising the US Constitution and Our Freedoms and believe that’s what most of you are hoping for and the Elite Power Brokers are afraid of, (Time to Drain the Political Swamps).
God Bless You All; Clair Van Steenwyk
Originally posted by Clair 9/11/2011 Update 11/08/2016