Overview of Federal Land controls and States Issues

E-Rock

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Oct 10, 2017
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Hey y'all, this might have been shared on here before, but I wanted to post it as at least a refresher for us all. I had a coworker ask me of my "Public Land Owner" sticker on my truck and we got into a "conversation". More like him telling me that the federal government has no right having federal land in the west. I didn't talk much as he's one of those talkers, but wanted more information to bring to the conversations.

His main argument is the 10th admendment where if its not in the constitution it goes to the states, and should be the land. However, i had forgotten about the property clause and that at statehood, the western states ceded control of those lands at state hood. And the property clause has been upheld by the Supreme Court multiple times.

Well worth a read, is well cited, so if you disagree with any of the practices, look at the source.
 

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Straight Arrow

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"... at statehood, the western states ceded control of those lands at state hood." FALSE! Western states never held / owned those lands. The western lands belonged to the Federal government through the Louisiana Purchase and other acquisitions.
Thus the Fed govt cannot give land BACK to the states ... because the western states never owned it!

State school trust lands were ceded TO the states FROM the Fed govt.

"And the property clause has been upheld by the Supreme Court multiple times." That is a true statement.
 

E-Rock

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"... at statehood, the western states ceded control of those lands at state hood." FALSE! Western states never held / owned those lands. The western lands belonged to the Federal government through the Louisiana Purchase and other acquisitions.
Thus the Fed govt cannot give land BACK to the states ... because the western states never owned it!

State school trust lands were ceded TO the states FROM the Fed govt.

"And the property clause has been upheld by the Supreme Court multiple times." That is a true statement.

Ceded was the wrong word choice. My mistake.
 

E-Rock

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The what were you trying to assert took place regarding federal public lands at statehood as western states gained statehood through the Enabling Act(s)?
So not 100% sure on the process of drawings the federal land boundaries within states, but when the states became states, within their constitutions, they affirmed the federal land within the state, and the authority of those lands were the federal government.

So yes, i know my phrasing in the main paragraph was wrong, the states never owned the land. Reading that article that is clear, and I used cede to more on the authority side than the ownership side of the definition. (I know they never had control of them, but more like they ceded any possible authority of them)

Also, just throwing out the way you worded your response to my incorrect explanation sounds as though you were attacking me, instead of being more correcting. "So when you stated above that the states ceded control of the land to federal government, it sounds as if you said that the states owned it then gave it back to the federal government. It should be noted that and clarified that the states never owned it, and at statehood, any land that stayed with the federal government remained under their control. It was actually the federal government that gave land to the states".

I'm on your side, so feel free to let your blood pressure lower. I was just trying to provide a resource for people to read that explains everything better than my synopsis.

But I thank you for catching my error on how my sentence sounds. Will definitely, when explaining it to people, remember to explain it the correct way.
 

Straight Arrow

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E-Rock, I meant no offense and apologize if it came across as an attack. The intent was to clarify that the western states could not "get back" what they never owned. The earlier "sagebrush rebellion" and the more recent Bundy followers continue to assert that the lands belong to the states and the feds should "give it back" and quit managing it and holding authority over it. There are those here in Montana and elsewhere who subscribe to that erroneous notion, even to the extent of an ideology, so whenever I see it / hear it, I am compelled to correct the fallacy.

I probably should not have spelled words with all capital letters. 'Reminds me of the sensitive gal who was offended at me for "yelling at her" by bolding some words which I meant to emphasize.

We do agree that terminology is important and especially with respect to this issue, certain buzzwords do trigger quick response.
 

E-Rock

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Its OK, Straight-Arrow! I do appreciate the correction to my incorrect terminology.

And, definitely understand. It is hard for me, and for most people to correctly to identify tone and emphasis on online platforms. But, we are here as a community to correct, guide, and be ambassadors for our public land. So keep it up.
 

hossblur

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Feb 15, 2012
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If the feds are forbidden from owning land, isn't every state not an original colony frauduant? Therefore isn't every acre sold under SITLA fraud? I wondered about this when Cliven told everyone he has a contract with Nevada, that the feds couldn't own land. Wondered how Nevada can exist, seeing how they were on land the feds granted them that was not legally owned by the feds.
 
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