Why takeover of public lands simply won’t work
Transfer of public lands is actually illegal, a fact often ignored by takeover proponents. At US Independence in 1776, England ceded all lands east of the Mississippi and federal public lands were put into U.S. government ownership, pursuant to Article 4 of the U.S. Constitution. As the western states were admitted into the Union in the 1800’s and acquired statehood, each of them incorporated the U.S. Constitution into their state constitutions and forever disclaimed their rights to national public lands.
Another basic overlooked fact is the state’s inability to pay for management of these lands, all too often resulting in lands sell-off or less public access. In truth, states have sold many of the lands they were granted by the federal government upon statehood. In Nevada, for example, only 3,000 acres of the original 2.1 million acres are still managed by the state. In Colorado, sportsmen pay for access to state trust lands through hunting and fishing license fees yet still only have access to roughly 18% of these lands. These facts highlight a stark reality that seizure proponents fail to acknowledge.