The standoff in Nevada between rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government has renewed talks about the state of land rights in the western United States. When you compare the percentage of land controlled by the federal government in western states to the rest of the United States, the numbers are staggering.
According to data from the Congressional Research Service, the federal government (includes the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, National Parks, and military bases) controls roughly 81% of the land in Nevada, 62% Alaska, 67% in Utah, 53% in Oregon 53, 62% in Idaho, 42% in Arizona, 48% in California, 48% in Wyoming, 35% in New Mexico, and 36% in Colorado.
Image Source: Bureau of Land Management
In an effort to take a stand against the control, more than 50 leaders from nine Western states met for the first time over the weekend to talk about their common goal of reacquiring the resource-rich land from the federal government. Utah state representative Ken Ivory (R-West Jordan) organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands, and he joined Glenn on radio this morning to discuss what he hopes to accomplish.
“We are simply working to have the federal government honor the very same statehood promise to the western states that it kept with all states east of Colorado,” Ivory said. “With knowledge and courage, we can move this forward. It's already been done. Illinois is not 90% federally controlled – Louisiana, Missouri. They have the same operative language in their statehood agreements, their statehood promises that Nevada does and Utah does.”
Glenn encouraged his audience to learn more about the work Ivory and other western politicians are doing by visiting AmericanLandsCouncil.org and tweeting using #TransferPublicLands and #BiggerThanBundy.
“Here's what I want you to do. I want you to use #TransferPublicLands and #BiggerThanBundy. I want you to go to AmericanLandsCouncil.org, and do your own homework on this,” Glenn said. “They met this weekend – nine states and many more are in the wings. If you happen to have some extra dollars laying around – I don't know, maybe you don't eat meat, or fruits, or vegetables, or dairy products, so you might have a few extra dollars laying around that you can also donate at American Lands Council. And this is the way to get it done. Until you have exhausted every other avenue, you have no other choice. This is an avenue that actually seems to have some real teeth and could work.”
Learn more about the American Lands Council HERE.