Thoughts from Maharrey Head #34: The Constitution and Federal Lands

“10 Minutes Closer to Freedom”


In this episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head, I talk about what the Constitution has to say about federal land ownership and management.

The recent standoff between the feds and ranchers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon thrust the issue of federal land ownership and control into the public eye. We can debate endlessly whether federal land management protects and preserves natural resources or needlessly burdens local, along with the pros and cons of public verses private ownership. But first we should ask a more basic question. Does the Constitution empower the federal government to own and manage large swaths of land?

The simple answer is, “No!”

In this episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head, I dig into what the Constitution actually has to say about federal land ownership and just how much authority the federal government was intended to exercise over property within the borders of a state.

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SHOW NOTES AND LINKS

Federal Land Retention and the Constitution’s Property Clause: The Original Understanding: Academic paper by Rob Natelson

Federally Administered Lands: The Original Intent: Dave Benner

James Madison vetoed a bill he supported because there was no constitutional basis for it

land owners

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