Oregon Standoff

The Oregon Standoff is Only a Glimpse at Western Anger with the Feds

Federal dominance of western lands sets Americans against each other and fuels anger at Washington, D.C.

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The only people sillier than the goofballs occupying a shack in the middle of nowhere in Oregon are the bigger loons freaking out over the situation and demanding federal action—even lethal force—in response to this intolerable act of lèse-majesté.

Then again, if it wasn't for the occupation and the hysterical reaction thereto, would we even be talking about the outrageous sentences handed down to Dwight and Steven Hammond for relatively minor offenses? Would anybody mention the roots of the conflict in decades-old tensions over federal domination of the majority of the West's land?

The Hammonds are serving five-years in prison after being charged under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (yes, really) for two disputed fires they set that spread from private land onto public land. They had already served lesser sentences after the judge in their case ruled that the minimums required by the law were "grossly disproportionate" to the crime and would "shock his conscience." But the Justice Department appealed and the 9th Circuit said the draconian mandatory minimum sentence had to be imposed—never mind conscience or proportionality.

Shock his conscience? That's not a stretch. After all, the offending fires appeared to have inadvertently crossed boundaries. That's not an uncommon occurrence (though prosecution for it is), and it works both ways. The Tri-State Livestock News reported the recollections of a Bureau of Land Management employee of "other fires accidentally spilling over onto BLM land, but only the Hammonds have been charged, arrested and sentenced… On the flip side, Maupin remembers numerous times that BLM-lit fires jumped to private land. Neighbors lost significant numbers of cattle in more than one BLM fire that escaped intended containment lines and quickly swallowed up large amounts of private land."

But the feds clearly have a hard-on for the Hammonds. Some BLM employees went so far as to use a government computer to impersonate a former colleague who criticized federal conduct in the case. (The agency in question didn't seem too troubled about the misuse of its resources.)

"They're not terrorists," the impersonated man, retired BLM heavy equipment operator Greg Allum, says of the Hammonds. "There's this hatred in the BLM for them, and I don't get it."

But the "hatred" may be a result of greed—what the Hammonds have, the feds want. The Livestock News story points out that the Hammonds are the last private landowners in an area the government targeted for acquisition and preservation.

"It's become more and more obvious over the years that the BLM and the wildlife refuge want that ranch. It would tie in with what they have," Rusty Inglis, a rancher and retired U.S. Forest Service employee, told the publication.

Land fights are nothing new in the West, and fights featuring locals vs. the federal government are increasingly common. When the feds look around to see what else might tie in with what they have, they have to look pretty damned hard to find something that isn't already under their control.

"61.2% of Alaska is federally owned, as is 46.9% of the 11 coterminous western states. By contrast, the federal government owns 4.0% of lands in the other states," the Congressional Research Service noted in 2012. "Congress expressly declared that the remaining public domain lands generally would remain in federal ownership" in 1976, the report added.

This land is used for mining, recreation, wildlife preservation, ranching, and simply getting from point A to point B across vast stretches of the country—with the rules set in Washington, D.C. Inevitably, this leads to clashes between people with competing ideas as to how the great outdoors should (and shouldn't) be used, and between the federal officials making the rules and those living under—and running afoul—of them.

Squabbling over the "right" way to use all of that public land brings out the worst in just about everybody. The temptation is to keep your own costs low while maximizing what you get out of it—a classic tragedy of the commons.

"Decades ago, ranchers grazing their livestock on public lands paid enough fees to earn the Forest Service a profit," points out Randal O'Toole for the Cato Institute. "But in 1978, ranchers persuaded Congress to adopt a grazing fee formula on national forests and BLM lands that is designed to guarantee ranchers a profit even as grazing costs taxpayers more than $100 million per year."

Or else, land users just try to exclude those with competing preferences. Travel Management Plans adopted by the Forest Service in recent years have specifically targeted motorized use of public lands, in favor of muscle-powered uses of public property.

"The Forest Service is converting hundreds of square miles of forest land to 'wilderness' status by fiat. They will be closing hundreds of miles of roads in our forests that have been open to the public for decades," Arizona's Coconino County Sheriff Bill Pribil objected in a widely publicized letter in 2012.

The travel management restrictions overtly target disfavored (by the feds and a faction of users) recreational uses, but they may have larger consequences. While the rules exempt "any fire, military, emergency, or law enforcement vehicle for emergency purposes," that carve-out is likely to mean little as years pass and access roads become impassable, making fire suppression more difficult in hard-to-reach areas.

Fire in the arid West is already a big concern, and the federal government is often accused of making things worse.

"Idahoans and all Americans will continue paying in many ways for the lack of direction—or misguided direction—that federal laws and policies provide public land managers," Idaho Governor Butch Otter (R) charged in a column three years ago. "Road systems make it possible for people, engines and bulldozers to respond to fires on the ground so that expensive aerial firefighting resources aren't the only option."

Otter called on Congress to approve a pilot program that would let Idaho control a share of the federal lands in the state.

Other states have gone further. Utah—63 percent owned by the federal government—passed the Transfer of Public Lands Act demanding the surrender of federal lands to the state. Arizona's Governor Doug Ducey (R) vetoed two bills seeking the surrender of public lands but agreed to a study committee on the issue.

In April 2014, representatives from Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington met in Salt Lake City to discuss prying land from the federal government, even as the Bundy standoff over grazing rights simmered in national headlines. They were fueled by concerns about not just forests, but prosperity, going up in smoke.

"The Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management lose $2 billion each year managing federal lands," wrote Shawn Regan in the pages of The Wall Street Journal in April 2015. A former National Park Service Ranger and current research fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) based in Bozeman, Montana, Regan added, "For example, the feds are notorious for conducting 'below-cost' timber sales, in which they spend more selling the timber than they get in return."

PERC studies show that both states and private groups are better than the federal government at managing land efficiently and keeping them self-supporting.

Which is not to say that the federal government is likely to surrender its vast holdings to state officials or private owners any time soon. Indeed, the targeting of the Hammonds for an overt land grab shows that D.C. is interested in acquiring more turf rather than surrendering any of what it has to local control. That forecasts clashes to come, and increased tension between westerners and the federal government.

In 2014, as Scotland pondered independence from the United Kingdom, Reuters asked Americans if they would be interested in their "state peacefully withdrawing from the United States of America and the federal government." The two regions with the highest "yes" answers were the Southwest (34 percent) and the Rockies (26 percent).

The United States is a long way from any risk of balkanization, but that disaffection with the powers-that-be didn't come out of nowhere. Probably correctly, Reuters' Jim Gaines attributed the poll's results to "a form of protest" against prevailing policies and the government.

Agree or not, westerners believe that they have more reason than other Americans to be angry at political leaders in Washington, D.C. The abuse of the Hammonds, with its roots in the almost colonial relationship between the federal government and the West, is a peek at why.

And the goofballs occupying a cabin in Oregon, silly as they may be, are only the tip of an iceberg of discontent.

NEXT: Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina Booted from Main GOP Presidential Debate Thursday

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  1. “The only people sillier than the goofballs…”
    “Then again…”. That was a bit schizophrenic. If their actions are bringing to light govt injustice, I wouldn’t call them silly.

    1. I agree,and the same people that are wanting action now would have had cheered a group protesting the Iraq war in ,say,2005. It seems some in the BLM and FSW won’t be satisfied until almost all open land is controlled by them. It’s also the poor land management by the feds that have caused many large forest fires.

  2. Finally an article stating what the grievances out West are. As Marylander, I understand a little more now and truthfully if the conservative western states started to link their struggle with DC statehood instead of fighting it at all time and dictating the policies that govern the people of DC perhaps there could be a grand compromise to be had. But unfortunately both side don’t seem to want to work together because of partisan politics.

    1. DC statehood is a joke. The last thing I want is the Federal government to be given it’s own state. They’ve got plenty of power.

      No one is holding a gun to the head of any citizen living in the Federally-run city. They should move out if they want the same privileges as the rest of us. A better idea is to turn everything back over to Maryland, except the Federal buildings themselves.

      1. The fed have their own state now – DC – that is the problem. If they turned it over to state rule then it then Feds could stop run a city that they don’t represent. Again same problem Westerners have that DC residents have. The decisions made for them are by people who are not representing the people of the area and their interests. The Feds would not be gaining power if they made DC a state they would be giving up power.

        The same can be said to Westerner’. No one is holding a gun to their heads and they can just move somewhere else. Your as much as a Statist as a proggy and the sad part is you don’t even realize it. Why should decision regarding DC be left up for someone representing Utah or Nevada? Why should decisions made regarding Utah land be left up to people living in New York?

        1. Did you miss the part where he said–

          “A better idea is to turn everything back over to Maryland, except the Federal buildings themselves.”

          Which would have the people represented by other Marylanders. And not Utahans, Nevadans or New Yorkers…..

          1. I did, but as a Marylander I don’t want it and I don’t think DC residence wants that either. Why not allow DC to be ran by DC residence? I’ll tell you why because they heavily lean democrat and republicans can’t allow that to happen, just like dems don’t want the feds to give up western land because then repubs would get stronger. It is the same bs partisian politics.

            1. DC has had “home rule” for decades, and they suck at it.

        2. what do you mean, leave the lands families have owned and run for five generations? What has changed? It is FedGov illegally controlling lands the Constitutioin prohibits them to control or own. THAT is what has changed. SOme of these families have lived and worked those lands since before the states were formed., FedGov have gone rogue these past few decades.. since about the time Teddy Roosevelt illegally began to establish national parks FedGov is PROHIBITED ownership or control of lands, except for DC and military. Not only that, but FedGov have taken up a mandate to “preserve” these western lands, again, contrarty to the clear text of the constitutioin, and has made a hash of it. Firther, those states, in teir forming, had agreement from FedGov tthat all “public lands” within each newly formed state would become part of that state. FedGov have refused to do that. And eash state LET THEM. Time for all of them to do like Utah.. pass laws demanding it back, Then put TEETH in them, such that if FedGov does not cooperate, begin forcing THEM out and see how they likes them apples. Disarm them… local sheriffs have that authority. Some have threatened that action. Feds have backed down. Push harder.

          WHY are we in the west subject to out of area rule for huge percentages of OUR OWN STATES? WE know what is needed, and can far better manage them. And preserve them.

    2. As a Westerner there’s nothing like driving out to your favorite BLM recreational area only to find a new steel gate strong enough to stop a tank blocking the road to stoke a little anti-DC hatred. Over the last 20 years the BLM and Forest Service have closed hundreds of miles of roads in Colorado for idiot reasons like supposed wildlife harassment, worry over falling trees, “overuse”.

      Thing is, that can’t be reversed — those roads wash out and are overgrown within a few years of closing.

      Happy the article helped spread the word over our concerns out West. It hadn’t really sunk in for me that our situation here was rather unique.

    3. I have no interest in guaranteeing the democrats another two senate senate seats. Sorry.

      1. So the dems. don’t want Westerner lands to become private owned land so that Westerner states don’t grow in the house of reps. Same bs; different party. Meanwhile the people of those areas suffer from lack of home rule. Nice to have so many statist on this site.

        1. but putting western lands in local hands won’t change the number of reps one bit. District boundaries will remain the same.

    4. Too bad the only way they know of voicing their displeasure is shooting at abortion clinics, jailing hippies and mexicanos and helping elect nationalsocialists to bomb the Middle East and attract more terrorists over here with matchboxes.
      How many foreign terrorists attacked These States before George Holy War Bush began bombing the Saracens? Those hillbillies have had 43 years to vote libertarian, got exactly what they voted for instead, and all they can do is whine. Je je je…

      1. Fuck you and your “hillbillies” label. Seriously. FOAD.

      2. what “shooting at abortion clinics” are you attributing to “hillbilies”? Never happened. Dreamer!

    5. Western states can’t easily ‘link’ any other issue to Fed-owned land/water because of the reasons WHY the Feds still own the land/water out West. The initial impetus for stopping the land distribution was to keep the West depopulated. In the 19th century, to eliminate the ‘silver standard’ at the behest of NY/London ‘gold standard’ banks. In the 20th, to (generally) reduce mobility of people. It was a pure power issue. The more people in the mountain West, the more congresscritters they have – and the House of Reps is now a zero-sum game. So every critter in a stagnant population states risks losing their actual district if they vote for anything that even might change mobility.

      Until congresscritters own self-interest is resolved, the actual ‘policy issue’ is irrelevant. And the only way that is likely to change is by allowing the House of Reps to grow again in line with the population of the country so that representation (district size) remains constant instead of legislature size remaining constant.

  3. Methinks Lucille has stumbled onto the real reason for the 2nd Amendment.

    1. +1 tree of liberty

    2. We don’t talk about Lucy here.

  4. Can anybody else not read the second page? Bad link.

    1. Wait,you READ the articles before commenting?

      1. I don’t.

    2. Ditto. /singlepage doesn’t work either.

    3. Using the PRINT link seems to work.

  5. I mean, who needs flyover lands anyway? They should all revert back to nature while all the people live in vertical cities with public transportation. Who needs farms and ranches when we have Whole Foods?

    1. We just need one giant city. Like Megacity One in Judge Dredd. Could run it the same way too. The progs would love it.

  6. Reason seems to be having problems with multiple page posts for some reason. This is the 2nd one today that I’ve gotten a 404 error when I try to go to page 2. I’m glad I don’t pay for this shit.

    1. Seems to be working now. Whining and bitching withdrawn… for now.

    2. sometimes the server gets overloaded. Try again later. They all work fine now.

  7. Some BLM employees went so far as to use a government computer to impersonate a former colleague who criticized federal conduct in the case.

    From the linked article:

    The BLM is investigating the incident, and if the comments were posted by an agency employee, any disciplinary action could not be disclosed due to privacy protections, said Weil.

    “We don’t give out any personnel or disciplinary action publicly,” she said.

    Translation: “We’re not gonna do jack shit and there’s nothing you can do about it. Suck it, proles!” These fuckers make cops look like pikers when it comes to not even giving a shit about accountability.

  8. The dispute between the ranchers and the feds is, to me, weird. Neither side comes across as saints. The feds are, well, the feds but the ranchers come across as entitled assholes who seem to think all the land west of the Plains is their God given right, refusing to even acknowledge the efforts the feds went into to secure those lands from Mexico, the British and indigenous tribes.

    1. Right, too bad that western land didn’t rain down from the heavens with a ‘free to good home’ sign on it like the land east of the Mississippi that’s all but entirely in private hands…

      1. LOL! +1

    2. Hey, how about asset-forfeiture nationalization of all the scorched earth? That’d show them uppity citizens!

    3. The British, French, and Spanish (and others too, like white-people disease organisms) went to GREAT trouble to (mostly, almost entirely) wrest the entire dual-continent domain of the “Western Hemisphere” away from the Native Americans… Ergo, we should all be allowing the British, French, and Spanish governments, AND white-people disease organisms, to tell us what to do with these lands, all day, every day! “STD organism, can I please plant some cucumbers in my back yard”?

    4. WHAT are you on about? These ranchers have been in the same places for generations. It is the Feds continually encroaching, limiting, restricting playing dirty pool to drive them out. READ a bit of the recent history of BLM there in arney and Malheir Counties. BLM tried taking some of their land, Didn’t work. Hammonds had large leased tracts (normal in the open range west) BLM upped the fees so high it was no longer profitable. Hammonts bought water rights to a piece of land, BLM tried to nullify the contract, but failed. They fenced off that land, denied Hammones road access via the easement that Hammonds OWN as parf ot their main holdings. Normal, legal. BLM then diverted that water (stole it) to begin filling a natural lake (an rancher did that he’d be in prison RIGHT NOW). The lake filled, obviouslyh, and flooded quite a number of other randhes, and major parts of the Hammond property. Several other ranchers were flooded out.. lost bomes, herds, etc. Had to leave, can’t live under water.

      1. Once they were gone, BLM released and drained that water, claiming the now abandoned former private lands as their own, adding to the “preserve”. Nasty way to steal land.. flood out the owners, deed the land to yourself. You and I try that, we’d be in prison for quite a while. BLM have set quite a number of fires near the Hammond holdings, some of which spread onto their lands.. killing livestock, destroyhing buildings… same sorts of things but more often and more real damage, they chartged Hammonds with. BLM have played every dirty trick in the book, and made up quite a few new ones, to get tid of Hammonds. This present prison sente\nce, totally unjustified (they were charged with terrorism related arson, a malicious destruction (implies wilful, beyond simply being negligent or careless, and bear in mind “arson” by defintion involves structures, there were none.. except the ones BLM destroyed throuth THEIR carelessness). When the Hammond ranch cannot survive five years with their main two men locked up, BLM will simply take that. You watch. Before those two illegally incarcerated men have “served” their illegal sentence, the Hammond ranch will be BLM prioperty.
        THIS is why “those goofballs” are occupuying the headquarters of the BLM’s Maljheur Wiuldife “refuge”, which has a fraction of the wildlife the surrounding private lands have…..

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  10. Just to close a loop for some people in the Reason commentariat regarding those campus kerfuffles a month or so ago, about how those callow, soft kids were going to learn what the “real world” was about. They are the ones who are filling out the bureaucracy at this point, the people that putting up those gates etc. That’s where they go after graduation. The USG doesn’t compete for people with real degrees anymore. They hire the SJW off the campuses and they are turning these mandarins out upon us. They are snotty and thuggish through and through.

    It really is not going to be pretty. The only question is just how deeply the mandarins have infested the military. Will the military be on the citizen’s side or the bureaucracy’s? I posed this question to a buddy of mine – marine/JAG lawyer – about six years ago. He looked at me like I was from Mars. People are just not aware of the level things have gotten to in this country – the level of resentment.

    BTW, for anti-woodchipper crowd, I merely foretell, not incite. The inevitable hungry bellies coming along soon will be all the spark needed.

    1. Well, he’s a lawyer, what did you expect?

  11. I know two parties, each on their own side of a private / federal land dispute. One is a rancher, this gentleman is the sixth contiguous generation of his family that has occupied said property. Their ownership pre-dates the existence of the USFS with whom he shares miles of boundary. Their ownership pre-dates any land surveys in the area. I also know a manager at the USFS who deals with said rancher, the two men do not like one another and each thinks the other is a criminal. While the disagreements are too many to list here there is one in particular that highlights how contentious these problems can become.

    There’s a fence, its half a mile long, quarter corner to section corner. The ranchers contends that he owns the land to the south of the fence and that he will maintain it in place as long as he lives. Said fence has been in that location for the better part of a hundred years. The USFS claims that the fence encroaches on forest land in various locations. It does, by as much as ten feet in places. It also wanders onto the ranchers land in various spots. The USFS wants the fence removed, the rancher wants it to remain in place.

    1. Both are right, and both are wrong. But, why does the USFS care about ten feet? Is said fence doing any harm other than occupying a slight amount of the forest? Furthermore, since the rancher’s boundary marking pre-dates the USFS surveys of the area, based upon occupation alone, doesn’t the rancher have claim to the fence being the actual boundary?

      1. Yes, but the rancher is dis-respecting the fed’s POWAH, and THAT must not be tolerated! Else the baby seals will cry!

        1. You are right. This issue began just in this generation, with this FS guy. Prior they got along well enough. It’s not so much the gubment as the individual who believes himself empowered by it. The issue began with a cattle tank, that gasp, occurred on the grazing leased land.

          1. Be a shame if that FS mandarin ever failed to come back from an inspection trip.

    2. the reasonable solution is to shift the fence line to follow the actual boundary line.. IF that can be established. A surveyor, NOT a government employee, should be brought in and locate the actual boundary based on the legal descriptions in the original land patents. this should be recorded somewhere. Perhaps a trade, my ten feet for your ten feet, could be arranged… as often happens between neighbours when surveys get corrected by GPS locating and such.

      But, what’s the point. the USFS dweeb MUST be right… he has the green shirt on, gets his paycheck from god, (eer, squeeze me, gumming) and likely has a gun. But even if he draws first and Rancher Friend shoots first, with no witnesses Rancher Friend is toast. The process will be the punishment. Anyone know of a good Saddle Cam setup?

  12. How delightful. A REAL terrorist would be quick to exploit this Doomsday Machine of Mandatory Minimums and head for them hills with a prayer rug, Bic lighter, many boxes of matches, a Ronson and some lighter fluid, mebbe a magnifying class and a parabolic mirror. What better way to set the Christian curs at each others’ throats and glorify the Prophet?

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  15. Q: Is possession of a bicycle in a wilderness area a crime?

    1. Yup. You can’t have any mechanical transportation in a wilderness area. That applies to bicycles, too.

    2. some areas are only closed to motor powered transport. Human powered are deemed permissible by the Greenies and Tofu Eaters.

  16. “After all, the offending fires appeared to have inadvertently crossed boundaries.” … That’s not how It went down. Congress passed the 5 year minimum and the first judge was not correct in overriding that law.

    “Witnesses at trial, including a relative of the Hammonds, testified the arson occurred after Steven Hammond and his hunting party illegally slaughtered several deer on BLM property. Hammond handed out “Strike Anywhere” matches with instructions that they be lit and dropped on the ground because they were going to “light up the whole country on fire.” The fire consumed 139 acres of public land and destroyed all evidence of the game violations. After committing the arson, Steven Hammond called the BLM office in Burns, Oregon and claimed the fire was started on Hammond property to burn off invasive species and had inadvertently burned onto public lands. ” The jury also convicted Steven Hammond of using fire to destroy federal property regarding a 2006 arson known as the Krumbo Butte Fire ”

    This family and the Bundy clowns seem to think that our laws shouldn’t pertain to them and they should be allowed to take, use, and abuse the citizen’s property with impunity, and at no cost. That is very, very wrong.

    1. You do know that the judge dismissed that testimony as untrue and motivated by animus, right?

    2. Yes because minimum sentencing is soo just. The judge used his brain and did what a judge should be doing; judging the case.

      The Hammonds made a mistake and did time. That should be enough but fucking prosecutors need to get there stats and be tough on crime bs message out.

      Now The Bundys on the other hand are a bunch of pinko commie scum. They want things from others without paying for them. Pretty much the definition of pinko commie scum.

      All that still doesn’t mean that people out West don’t have a legitimate gripes with the federal government. It’d be better if more land out west was under local control just as it would be better for the inner cities if the police had ties to the communities they are policing. If everyone could just look at the problems of this country not through partisan viewpoints things just might actually get fixed. But as long as the people allow their leaders to draw lines in the sand and say choose a side because the other side is your enemy nothing will ever get fixed.

      1. You bring up some very good points on the Bundys, they are commie assholes who love to grab the headlines, personally I think they sucked the governments titties until the milk ran dry and then got pissed off when the government said these titties are dry fuck off.

    3. That witness also said Hammond had carved initials into his chest with a paper clip and then made them disappear with sandpaper. Gotta say, lacks the ring of truth.

      And if there were any truth to the poaching or coverup you’d have imagined they would have tried to charge him with some form of that doncha think?

    4. to even use the terrorism and arson charges was egregious overstep in the first place. Further, Feds had SIX days of testimony, bored the jurors to death (they had to commute 180 miiles each way every day and were desparate to get out of there for good), but Defense was only allowed ONE DAY, THey had a number of witnesses, some expert, to testify on their behalf, but were denied opportunity to call them, as the judge cut them off at one day. Suppression of evidence like that is grounds for a mistrial,.
      You wanna talk about laws, how about laws pertaining to trials, evidence, witnesses, etc? Further that terroism law was NOT meant to be used the way it was. THAT is an other travesty of justice. It reads “malicious destruction” of federal property., and the term ARSON is a legal term that by definition involves STRUCTURES….. there were none.

      You wanna play lawyer, lets put on our lawyer hat and have another look/ This trial was straight out of a Franz Kafka novel

  17. Washington D.C. is the largest State in the Union. It was not meant to be so. The next Civil War will be fought along East West lines, rather than North South.

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  21. When one considers two factors, the continued holding of those vast western lands by FedGov is just plaion wrong.
    First, the Constitiution expressly limits land ownership/control by FedGov to Washington DC, naval ports, military forts, duckyards, post offices, post roads…… end of story. There is NO authority for FedGov to manage those huge tracts of land they refuse to cede back to their rightfiul owners.

    Second, as each of the western states moved toward statehood, charters were drafted up defining the boundaries, the method of approval by the residents of that terriroty, some idea of a provisional government to function until a “real” permanent one could be established…. and they all also included language that had FedGov ceding all lands within their boundaries to the newly formed state. Congress approved each of those charters, thus FedGov are bound by their terms… and those lands ARE the territory of each of those new states.

    1. WHEN will someone grow enough of a spine to enforce this? Yes, BLM are after Hammonds’ land, and has been brutalising them for years to try and force their hand. Putting the two “heads” of the family and operation in prison for five years is a radical step, but it proves their utter contempt for citizens. Get or stay in the way of FedGov, you WILL get crushed. Dozens of such abusivve cases have arisen in the past few decades. Bundy was the first of any real public awareness. What about the Reeves familhy in New Mexico, former FFL dealers, destroyed by an abusive and out of control government prosecutuion on false charges? A family destroyed. For what?

      Franz Kafka did not write stories any more bizarre, macabre, preposterous or confusing than these.

      1. Yes, BLM are after Hammonds’ land, and has been brutalising them for years to try and force their hand.

        The Hammonds own (I believe) 160 acres of land, nothing more. That’s not enough to run a ranch; they are dependent on permission to graze on neighboring land. But those permissions are a government handout at below market rate costs. Bringing that handout to an end isn’t “brutalizing” the Hammonds. If the Hammonds wanted to run a ranch were they are located, they should have purchased the acreage necessary to do so on private land; they had ample opportunity to do so in the past.

        Federal land ownership in Western States is an outrage, but it is an outrage in large part because the federal government has given away (and continues to give away) use of that land to politically favored groups.

        What you are seeing here is simple one recipient of government handouts (ranchers) falling into disfavor and being replaced by another recipient of government handouts (lobbyists for “native Americans” and “environmentalists”).

        1. “below market rate prices”

  22. I am sadly disappointed to read goofballs, silly ,representing people who have risked their freedom ,their livlyhoods to take a stand over something that should have been addressed when the federal government stepped outside the constitution,about the time the 39th state was born.
    Instead of digging into what drives these people ghostge just Assumes they are wrong ,and that my friends is why we can’t trust these so called journalists,research this yourself

  23. I am sadly disappointed to read goofballs, silly ,representing people who have risked their freedom ,their livlyhoods to take a stand over something that should have been addressed when the federal government stepped outside the constitution,about the time the 39th state was born.
    Instead of digging into what drives these people ghostge just Assumes they are wrong ,and that my friends is why we can’t trust these so called journalists,research this yourself

  24. I am sadly disappointed to read goofballs, silly ,representing people who have risked their freedom ,their livlyhoods to take a stand over something that should have been addressed when the federal government stepped outside the constitution,about the time the 39th state was born.
    Instead of digging into what drives these people ghostge just Assumes they are wrong ,and that my friends is why we can’t trust these so called journalists,research this yourself

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