Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Hellacious Acres: Time To Freeze Uncle Sam's Real-Estate Portfolio
The next Congress should enact a moratorium on land nationalization. The feds should stop fleecing exhausted taxpayers for fresh billions to purchase new acreage for Uncle Sam to mismanage. Washington, D.C. already lords over some 650 million acres, or 26.7 percent of America. These 1,015,625 square miles are roughly equal to all of Alaska, Texas, and California combined. The federal government owns 45.3 percent of California, 48 percent of Arizona, 57.45 percent of Utah, 69 percent of Alaska, and 84.5 percent of Nevada. No continental state from the Rockies west is less than 30 percent federal, as are Montana and Washington. Uncle Sam is like a hyperactive brat who trips over his abandoned train set and stumbles over his spilled Legos while running out to slap a shiny, new dirt bike on Daddy’s credit card. Washington constantly expands the federal estate, even while mishandling its existing properties. In March 2009, President Obama designated 2 million federal acres as “wilderness,” thus limiting public access and uses thereon. Unsated, Obama last April announced America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, a national listening tour to concoct new ways for Washington to interfere in natural-resource matters. A report due November 15 will include ideas for “creating corridors and connectivity” across exterior spaces, most likely through land procurement...more