Take Back Utah Rally

Not to point the blame at one individual, but as and example, I would like to look back to the Clinton Administration.  With one stroke of his mighty pen he created the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  It was done under the guise of the Antiquities acts.  His motive was the protection of the wilderness.

Bit by bit the state of Utah has been snatched up by the Federal Government. LaVar Christensen has a great piece on this history. Some claim it as protecting the environment.  Some claim that the land serves a great good to the public be being public land.

I don’t necessarily disagree that it serves us better as public land.  However, I completely disagree that it is the Federal Government that should protect it.  In fact, I believe that it is unconstitutional.

I love playing in Utah’s backyard.  I love the beautiful mountains.  I enjoy playing in the red rock country.  I relax in our many lakes.  I would fish in our many rivers, but it is a skill I have yet to accomplish.  It is frustrating to know that because of the federal control over these areas, I have less freedom to enjoy it they way I want.  We need to fight this control.  Not just because of the right to play, but also for the sovereignty that is due our state by the constitution.

This taking of Utah’s land (more that 65% of the state is federal land) hurts Utah.  It reduces our freedom; it reduces our property; it reduces our rights; it reduces the land we can play on; it reduces the land that we can own; it reduces our state’s tax revenues; it diminishes our sovereignty as a state.  And we must fight to take our land back.

That’s why I would love to attend the Parade and Rally that is going on tomorrow.  Unfortunately, I can’t.  I have two family obligations that will keep me from attending any of it.  But I will be there in spirit.  If you can make it to any part of this, please think of me.  Please consider that there is at least one other person there in spirit.

This rally can bring about great change.  I hope that the Take Back Utah Organization will work with the Patrick Henry Caucus to legal claim our lands back to where they belong.  They belong in the hands of either the citizens or the state.  The people who use this land should have a say in how it is control.  I agree that we need to Take Back Utah.

5 comments

  1. You’re right. Utah wildlands serve us better if they stay public. With a few exceptions, the public domain out West has always been that way. It is what remains after many failed attempts at privatization, up to and including the Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1980s. “Take Back Utah” makes no sense unless you want to take back the Bush administration’s extensive oil and gas leases– I’d be in favor of that!

    Unconstitutional, you say? Check out the Property Clause, Article IV Section 3.

    It reduces private land, you say? Utah has more private land per capita than most other states. How do you propose to enjoy your favorite recreation areas if they are privatized and surrounded with “no trespassing” signs?

    It reduces state tax revenues you say? The federal government gave Utah four sections out of every 36 at statehood. Also, the federal government bears all the costs of managing the public domain, and makes payments in lieu of taxes (PILT). If you could somehow privatize millions of acres, then the land would probably contribute a lot less to our economy.

    1. Wow, that is some interesting interpreting of the constitution. I would like to see how you construe that?

      I would agree in getting rid of the leases. Sell the land to them. And let the private sector sell and use the oil and gas as needed. The state can make revenues from taxes on the land and the sale of the oil and gas.

      When you talk about private land and recreational areas, this is where I feel that public lands should remain public (owned by the states). There is a definite need for private land, and for public land. But 65% of any one state is outrageous.

  2. I told you, the reason there is so much public land in Utah is that many attempts to privatize it have failed. Finally, in 1976 with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, Congress made a decision to stop trying to privatize, and to retain nearly all the land in federal ownership. This policy is much better for Utah’s economy than any short-sighted attempts at exploiting resources.

    Suppose for the sake of argument that all the national parks, national monuments, national forests, national recreation areas etc. were turned over to the State of Utah. Where do you propose to get the money to run them?

    1. Sorry, but I can’t condone any illegal action. If it were my property, I would like to control it. Isn’t it better to talk with the land owners and ask for some through way access. Please don’t just move barriers, work with owners.

So, What do you think?