From capitalisminstitute.org –
The federal government, through Executive Orders issued by President Obama, is actively working on a massive “land grab” by various agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and US Forest Service, among many other departments and agencies. They are seizing private land and placing restrictions on public land for absurdly ridiculous reasons, or no reason at all.
Some people and lawmakers are questioning the legality of the methods and tactics used to seize land or restrict access, like when the militarized BLM lay siege to the Bundy Ranch in Nevada over unpaid grazing fees, and are working to disarm bureaucratic agencies like the BLM, saying they shouldn’t be ‘paramilitary units’.
But many people feel the federal government already controls too much land, and western states are meeting to plan a way to reclaim federally “owned” land that should belong to the states and the people. States like Utah and Texas are making proactive measures to take back their land, or prevent the feds from moving in on their land in the first place.
After the U.S. Forest Service fenced off a portion of land in Otero County, commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the sheriff to open the gate, allowing cattle access to a watering hole on the other side.
“We are reacting to the infringement of the U.S. Forest Service on the water rights of our land-allotment owners,” Commissioner Tommie Herrell explained, noting that locals have allowed their livestock to graze on the 23-acre plot for nearly 60 years.
A spokesperson for the USFS said the fence was erected years ago to protect an endangered mouse. The spokesperson also claims that it was done so at the request of a rancher, and that access to other water sources was still available, something that is vehemently denied by Commissioner Herrell, who says the rancher complained to him about the fence. Herrell also claims he is unfamiliar with the purported mouse that is being protected by the USFS, saying he has never seen one of them.
The authority granted to Sheriff Benny House is a first step in defying the federal action. According to Herrell, local authorities will meet with the state’s U.S. Attorney this week; and from there, the state House would consider additional action.
Regardless of the outcome, this is yet another clear message being sent to Washington, D.C. by local officials tired of the constant encroachment of federal bureaucracy.
This is great news for those of us that are concerned about the exceptional amount of land that the federal government lays claim to, and are looking for ways to combat the feds and take back the land that rightfully belongs to the states and the people.
Hopefully, the actions of the Otero County Commissioners and Sheriff will give encouragement to other localities across the country that are dealing with federal agencies encroaching and infringing on their land and the rights of their citizens.