The Denver Post tells us that Wyoming State Government, those evil monsters, are looking at buying a million acres of land and 4 million acres of mineral rights. Including – gasp – some located in Colorado.
The Denver Post continues a stinkingly-bad “journalistic” custom by potificating and editorializing in a news story, warning of a sort of “border war” between the two states and pushing fear that Wyoming’s “poor” environmental regulations will destroy Colorado’s environment in those relatively few acres of surface and mineral rights located in Larimer and Weld Counties. And then going on to explain IN THE SAME article, why that will NOT happen. Both because of prior actions and decisions in other situations where another state has owned land in a state, and how the issue of “sovereign immunity” and “sovereign powers” has been resolved between states and between states and AmerInd nations.
Wyoming’s government is evil, in the eyes of the mainstream media and their “progressive” and “liberal” comrades because it has a less powerful, less intrusive, smaller, and “less progressive” government. (In other words, there is still more liberty left in Wyoming than in Colorado. Wyoming people have more freedom.)
What is ironic is that there is a small but growing group of residents of Weld County (Colorado) who are working to make it Weld County, Wyoming – seceding from Colorado and its vicious “blue-state” policies and laws, and joining Wyoming. It is unlikely that the Denver regime with its ever-growing “liberal” Regressive voters would allow that, of course. And Wyoming’s lawmakers are naturally leery of accepting the county, which has a population equal to about a quarter of Wyoming’s. The situation would be much like the Federal Republic of Germany’s absorption of the Ost Zone (the former Deutsche Demokratische Republik) by in 1991 – not so much economically as socially and politically. By Colorado (especially Front Range) standards, Weld County is hopelessly “conservative.” But compared to 80% of Wyoming, Weld County is still a bastion of “liberal progressivism” that would permanently skew Wyoming political culture.
But as a lover of liberty, I have more problems than just squabbles between states over regulations and culture.
I question what right – or power, if you wish – a state government has to buy millions of acres of private land. And then keep it. How can that be – when Wyoming’s constitution does not grant state government that power? And when Wyoming (and other states) are supposed to have governments with limited power? Yes, this land is “useful” – for its mineral resources and for its use for grazing of livestock, and probably even some crop farming. But are either of those legitimate activities for government to be involved in?
It isn’t just a problem when the land is in Wyoming and Colorado, though the impact is worse in those states. Wyoming already has 48.15% federally-owned land – and several more percent in state government and local government ownership. It can be considered little more than a fedgov colony in a lot of ways. Taking more land (and mineral ownership) out of private ownership would make matters worse.
(Colorado is not much better off: 35.9% is federally-owned. But it has ten times as many people as Wyoming.)
I have written about government ownership of land before. It is bad for government to own land, and worse for government to own so much land. Even in states like South Dakota with only five or six percent in federal ownership, the negative impacts on our society, culture, and economy are obvious.
It really doesn’t matter WHY the FedGov owns the land – parks, recreation areas, wilderness areas, even military installations, post offices, and courthouses have generally negative impacts on the community – and if nothing else, skew property values. Some of these problems are due to the pernicious doctrine of sovereign immunity. But much is purely due to the politics which infest every government office, board room, and decision. And much is also due to an artificial, government-created shortage of land for homes and businesses. Including farms and ranches, mines and oil fields, recreation facilities and yes, even private preserves.
Supposedly, the reason that the Wyoming governor and legislature wants to buy the land is because the present (private company) owner can’t find a buyer. but they are unwilling to (or in some counties, not allowed to) sell the land off in small parcels: it is apparently an all-or-nothing deal. So again, government has created the problem.
Enough is enough.