Bigger than Bundy! In 200 words we cannot cover the constitutional issue of the federal government in its role as trustee of the Western lands and its refusal to relinquish control. Maybe it’s the estimated $150 trillion in mineral value?
Please see Utah state Sen. Ken Ivory’s quick constitutional summary interviews at americanlandscouncil.org. Also check the 2012 Utah House Bill 148, requiring the return of state land.
The U.S. Constitution at Article I Section 8 makes it clear the federal government is to have 10 square miles of state land for ownership. When each state joined the union, they were required to transfer title of their common lands understanding the federal government as trustee would relinquish the land back to the state’s jurisdiction based on the equal footing doctrine.
In the 1990s, Cliven Bundy did not accept the new Bureau of Land Management contract that reduced his herd use by 95 percent. Legally speaking, paying fees is acceptance. Wayne Hage, a fellow Nevada rancher, won the first battle. Now Bundy was passed the torch to unite the Western states with combined power to assure the federal trustee fiduciary land disposal duty is completed.