From the beginning, land issues and jurisdiction created heated debate, decided many elections, kicked off a civil war and nearly destroyed our country before it ever got started.

Property rights, being the cornerstone of our nation, have been well worth fighting for…over and over, and over, and over…

Revisiting the 1962 Eisenhower Report, Our Public Lands

From the beginning, land issues and jurisdiction created heated debate, decided many elections, kicked off a civil war and nearly destroyed our country before it ever got started.

Property rights, being the cornerstone of our nation, have been well worth fighting for…over and over, and over, and over…

A largely forgotten ‘Inventory Report” that was prepared and issued by the General Services Administration in 1956-1962 to establish a “…central source of information concerning the legislative jurisdictional status of Federal properties” may hold some of the answers regarding our current state of confusion concerning who has jurisdiction over the public domain lands.

It’s important to understand the difference between “public domain lands, lands which were acquired by the United States prior to the creation of the State & which are still retained by the United States (such as lands acquired through the Louisiana Purchase) “and ‘after-acquired lands’ which exist in every State.”

We must also realize and accept that our Constitution does not contradict itself in any way, Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 (the Property Clause).

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

The Ninth Amendment further tells us that what we read, in plain English, says what it says…no ‘interpretation’ necessary.

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;-

So here we have this huge Union of States that started off with 13 English Colonies which declared independence from a far away and oppressive ‘mother’ country. Our Founders had every intent–and we know this through the Federalists Papers–to preserve the rights of The People to own land, to be self-governing and for sovereign States, including any that would come later, to be on equal footing with the original 13 States. Alas, the Constitution did not provide for the federal government to own land other than what was specifically delegated in the Enclave Clause.

As we know, we purchased the Louisiana Territory with the absolute understanding, through Treaty, that when Statehood was granted and the ‘public debt’ was paid, the United States would not have breached the contract with the States. And so it went…more land was purchased, or won, and much of it was not habitable, much was considered ‘wastelands.’ Some was ‘retained’ by the federal government for the minerals; gold, silver…and now oil, uranium. This practice of the federal government ‘retaining’ lands was never the intent of the Founders. Regardless, until the 1950’s the land had never been ‘inventoried’ to determine who had jurisdiction and authority.

Below is an explanation of the various types of Legislative Jurisdiction. Aside from the lands as described in the Enclave Clause, all else is considered a Code 4…Proprietorial Interest Only.

Perhaps a more ‘to the point’ explanation is, “Proprietorial legislative jurisdiction refers to the jurisdiction of federal government on lands that are held by the Federal Government in a proprietorial status only. It applies where the federal government has acquired title or rights to an area within a state, but has not obtained any cession of the state’s authority over the area.”

Types of Legislative Jurisdiction

  1. Exclusive Legislative Jurisdiction: Applied when the Federal Government possesses all of the authority of the State, and in which the State concerned has not reserved to itself the right to exercise any of the authority concurrently with the United States except the right to serve civil or criminal process in the area for activities which occurred outside the area.
  2. Concurrent Legislative Jurisdiction: Applied in instances wherein in granting to the United States authority which would otherwise amount to exclusive jurisdiction over an area, the State concerned has reserved to itself the right to exercise, concurrently with the United States, all the same authority.
  3. Partial Legislative Jurisdiction: Applied in those instances wherein the Federal Government has been granted for exercise by it over an area in a Sate certain of the State’s authority, but where the State concerned has reserved to itself the right to exercise, by itself or concurrently with the United States, other authority constituting more than merely the right to serve civil of criminal process in the area (e.g., the right to tax private property).
  4. Proprietorial Interest Only: This term is applied to those instances wherein the Federal Government has acquired some right or title to an area in a State, but has not obtained any measure of the State’s authority over the area. In applying this definition, recognition should be given to the fact that the United States, by virtue of its functions and authority under various provisions of the Constitution, has many powers and immunities not possessed by ordinary landholders with respect to areas in which it acquires an interest, and of the further fact that all its properties and functions are held or performed in a governmental rather than a proprietary capacity.
  5. Unknown: Land will be reported under this category when there is no data or record to guide the reporting holding agency.

 

Here you will find information on all the states: http://www.defendruralamerica.com/DRA/Jurisdiction.html

http://www.defendruralamerica.com/files/Jurisdiction-0report.pdf

Utah Land Jurisdiction: http://www.defendruralamerica.com/files/Jurisdiction-UT.pdf

Commentary by Joy Howell

Joy Howell is an activist, conservationist and business woman from Mexican Hat, Utah.

Free Range Report

 

Comments

  1. “the Constitution did not provide for the federal government to own land other than what was specifically delegated in the Enclave Clause ..”

    not true according to numerous interpretations by the u.s. supreme court particularly those western states whose very own constitutions recognize total federal ownership and control .. to and including at least 5 supreme court decisions affirming the federal ownership and control of the mnwr and of the hmnr in oregon ..

  2. A good commentary by Joy Howell. I have to say this as well.

    The American System of government is broken in a more fundamental way not mentioned in most articles.

    What is more fundamental than the land we live and play on? Oh, there is air, gas, water, minerals, and the surface area of lands, not to mention jurisdiction, claim and control. These are aspects of a much larger than rarely mentioned. They are larger because the status exercised in these areas become personal to every man, woman, and child in what was intended to be ‘the land of the free and home of the brave.’ Error was exercised not just in the Executive Branch, but much of it by offices in the Branch of government senior(ed) by the president Barack Obama. That particular office was a senior office, a part of the presidents’ cabinet, The Interior Department.

    The offices, apart of the Interior Department claim about 50% of the land area in the western states. That status was allotted to the Executive Branch in early America on a temporary basis. It was given to Congress, with Executive Branch activities, to develop the wild west by creating Territories, subdividing the Territories into temporary territorial states, clearing former claims from the land, surveying and populating the territory to qualify as new states.

    But when the new state became admitted, these temporary authority and jurisdictions in the temporary territory were meant to away; to drop back to the same level as the original states. Primary disposal was replaced by the designations made in all of the Townships within four numbered Sections. It was the Northwest Ordinance that gave the United States (federal government) authority to create temporary territories; it was the 1785 Land Survey Ordinance that organized the development. It was the engagements the original states entered into (see Article 6) that guaranteed new states would be added equal with the original states.

    So the in-state activities and claims we see by the federal government in the western states are unconstitutional. Black’s Law Dictionary, and elsewhere, tells us the U.S. Constitution is the fundamental law of the nation. The founders said, and the people believed them, the Constitution was a document that created a national government and delegated to it limited and specific powers. The people, in their reluctant trust, approved their individual state legislatures to ratify the document. That means, actions taken and rules made not in compliance with the Constitution are null and void from inception; our documents say it is so. As a result there is a national government in Washington DC that is operating in large ways that voids most formal agreements, even Constitutions unless correction is made.

    The Interior Department raping our public lands of its wealth does not comply with the Constitution. But the federal government allows the practice anyway. In my opinion, this should be number 1 on any list we see concerning articles giving ways government is breaking the Compact.

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