TheNewAmerican April 22 2014
Elected officials from across the American West, from top lawmakers to county commissioners, held a historic gathering in Utah in recent days to discuss how Western states could wrest control of the almost 50 percent of land in the region currently claimed by the federal government. Aside from constitutional concerns — with a few exceptions, the U.S. Constitution does not authorize ownership or control over land by the political class in Washington, D.C. — the Western leaders and legislators cited economic harm, environmental degradation, loss of tax revenue, and numerous other reasons for the effort.
Meeting at the Utah Capitol late last week for the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands were more than 50 elected officials from nine Western states: Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Multiple state House speakers were in attendance. Even U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), who is developing a reputation as one of the few solid Constitution-supporting lawmakers in the Senate, addressed the gathering in support of Western states and their mission to gain control of the territory in their borders. Continue reading