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What are public lands?

Public lands are generally understood to be lands within the state boundaries but controlled by the feds (Congress or executive). This is not correct, because the U.S. Constitution gives no rights to feds to control state lands other than Washington, D.C., and military sites which are "all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be" (Art. I, Sec. 8, Par. 17).

Notice that these lands are "all Places purchased" from the states, not the other way around. But the feds now unconstitutionally control about 70 percent of Utah, 76 percent of Nevada and 25 percent of Alaska.

The most recent abuse of the U.S. Constitution is by President Obama in his proposal that 12.2 million acres of Alaska be designated as wilderness (“Obama seeks bigger wilderness designation in Alaska,” Jan. 25). Thankfully, both Sen. Lisa Murkowsky, R-Alaska, and Alaska’s governor, Bill Walker, are fighting this unconstitutional land grab by the feds. We need to get the feds to stop being involved in state lands in Utah and every state.

Don Olson

Bountiful