Federal Land Grab in the Works

The Federal Government owns millions of acres, most of it in western states and Alaska. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Nevada : 84.5%
  2. Alaska: 69.1%
  3. Utah: 57.4%
  4. Oregon: 53.1%
  5. Idaho: 50.2%
  6. Arizona: 48.1%
  7. California: 45.3%
  8. Wyoming: 42.3%
  9. New Mexico: 41.8%
  10. Colorado: 36.6%

If this weren’t enough, plans have been in the making for even more land to be designated as federal land. Here’s part of a report from Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Steering Committee. To my chagrin, I have not known about this:

A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico, halting job-creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining and energy development. Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that’s essential for funding schools, firehouses and community centers.

President Obama could enact the plans in this memo with just the stroke of a pen, without any input from the communities affected by it.

Administration officials claim the document is merely the product of a brainstorming session, but anyone who reads this memo can see that it is a wish list for the environmentalist left. It discusses, in detail, what kinds of animal populations would benefit from limiting human activity in those areas.

The 21-page document, marked “Internal Draft-NOT FOR RELEASE,” names 14 different lands Mr. Obama could completely close for development by unilaterally designating them as “monuments” under the 1906 Antiquities Act.

This is a story that hasn’t gotten much attention. I suspect that it hasn’t been acted on because the president is in a tough election fight. If he gets re-elected, a real possibility, don’t be surprised if more of America comes under the control of the federal government.

To show you what we’re up against, DeMint sponsored an amendment to block Mr. Obama from declaring any of the 14 lands listed in the memo as “monuments.” The Senate, because it is a Democrat majority, rejected it by a vote of 58–38. This means that some Republicans voted with the Democrats.