Monday, April 14, 2014

Brenda Barton AZ Rep District 6: Land grab by Feds at Bundy Ranch

Many of you have witnessed the events that unfolded on the Bundy Ranch in Nevada this past week.  I too watched in horror, at the excessive show of para-military force exhibited by the Federal government.  I asked myself, ‘Why, what wrong has the Bundy family done to receive this treatment?’

In researching this matter I have learned that this issue of non-payment of grazing fees has existed since 1993 but only now has the Federal government taken action.  The Bundy family has had grazing rights to this land since before Nevada statehood, so that’s pretty much a non-starter issue.

Many of you have heard that the Endangered Species Act was invoked by the BLM.  The Bundy Ranch however isn’t on BLM managed lands and the Desert Tortoise is not impacted by free range cattle.  However, the extremist environmental law/activist group, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) utilizing the practice of “Sue & Settle” had filed lawsuits under the Endangered Species Act.

But the level of Federal aggression against an American ranching family was still not making sense.  The Bundy Ranch however is not on BLM managed lands.

Legally, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holds title to no lands.  They are chartered to ‘manage lands held in trust by the federal government’.   The U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits the Federal government from outright land ownership except for some very narrow purposes.

What I have found is what appears to be a massive land grab by the Federal government to obtain more direct control of western lands and the valuable resources contained therein using a overly broad misinterpretation of the Antiquities Act.

In Colorado, Texas and other Western States, the Federal government appears engaged in a massive over-reach of their authority in an attempt to increase land holdings they have direct control over.

This may be in response to the renewal by the Western States in seeking their lands back from the Federal government.  Utah recently enacted legislation demanding that the Federal government return lands to Utah retained improperly at statehood.

Whatever the Federal government’s motive is, Arizona must be protected!

Your donation of $5, $10 or $20 will help me fight back against federal overreach!

As a sponsor of several bills this Session addressing this issue, I urge you to contact your state senator and representative and insist they vote in favor of the following

  • SCR1016 calling for an Article V States Convention be placed before the Arizona voters this November (before the House currently)
  • HB2700 enacting an inventory of, and valuation of all state lands acquired or obtained by the Federal government without just compensation, since Arizona statehood. (before the Senate currently)
  • HB2699 calling for reimbursement by the Federal government of the economic costs related to the Endangered Species Act, (before the Senate currently)
  • HB2305 calling for Arizona to join a compact of states (a contract among states) demanding Congress to enact a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution (Held in the Senate Rules Committee)

These are common sense pieces of legislation.  They are a beginning to defending ourselves against the aggressive and para-military over-reach of the Federal government.

This is a beginning, and the longest journey begins with the first step.

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Join me today by donating $5, $10, $20, or $50 to my campaign and help me fight against Angela LeFevre and her progressive candidate!

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