The 14 Words

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Obama Is Planning Massive Land Grab Out West

President Barack Obama is turning executive overreach into an art form, and nowhere is that more evident than in the federal land grabs planned and executed by this administration.

Earlier this year, Obama designated over a half-million acres in New Mexico a national monument, drawing criticism from those who said the action would make it easier for Mexican criminal cartels to smuggle drugs and illegal immigrants through the area.

Federal takeover of land has endangered the livelihood of western ranchers and even led some state and local officials to consider criminal charges against the feds–and Americans should not forget the events at the Clive Bundy ranch in Nevada.

Now a new report indicates that the Obama administration is preparing to declare several more sites national monuments in the west via the Antiquities Act, which requires neither public nor congressional approval.

Many feel the Antiquities Act has been abused in recent decades, according to Fox News.

Among them is Utah Representative Rob Bishop. He says that the Act is now more often used “to make a political statement on land that is not endangered in any way.”

Click here for pictures of Utah citizens united against Obama’s land grabs.

Restricting “access” is one way to describe the effect of the designation. Restricting liberty–that is, the freedom of American citizens to enjoy the land protected and defended by their tax dollars and elected officials–is another way, and no less accurate.

The federal government should own just what it needs to perform its constitutionally-mandated functions–no more, and no less. Land and natural resource conservation, where they are necessary at all, are duties better performed by those who are closest to the land–the citizens of the states, counties, and communities who live there.

In the West, according to Bishop, the feds already own half the land–more than ten times as much, by percentage, as in the East. And in Bishop’s home state, “70 percent is owned and controlled by the federal government,” he says.

In fact, of the land currently being considered for national monument designation, most of it already belongs to the federal government, according to the report. However, the designation “would more tightly restrict access.”

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