Want your own land? There are actually several ways that give people a fairly easy way to buyland. The US Department of Agriculture has several grant programs that are specific to ruraldevelopment, ranchers, and farmers.
These programs are actually quite extensive and really dowell to entice more Americans to the rural lifestyle. But, the government has taken hold ofmost of the land in the west, making it near impossible to find land that is not owned by amunicipality or the federal government.The Wild (Government Owned) WestThe federal government actually owns a huge percentage of land in America, especially in thewest. 80% of Nevada is owned by the government. If you like the desert climate, you will haveto go somewhere else, because there is not a single rock that is not owned outside of a city thatis also owned by the county governments.
60% of Alaska is claimed by the federal government.These issues have given rise to occupy protests that have got people thinking about America'sstranglehold on land in the west.What is even more interesting is that people do not usually live by any federal land. Only 7%live in a county where there is also federal land. In many states, government institutions areleasing land out to ranchers, farmers, and other companies to work the land. In one instance, aleasee was late on a payment because of the economy stifling, so the government actually sentfederal agents to round up his cattle and take his property and kick him off the land. There wasan armed response from the ranchers, and successfully staged an occupy protest, to whichmore hard-working farmers and ranchers followed.
These situations happen all over the US,mostly because the federal government owns nearly a third of the land, and then make peoplepay for using it, but never get to own it.Why is the government occupying the American West? The Midwest and Eastern parts of theUS have only 4% of land owned by the federal government. What is so important about thoselands that our government has to own them? Why not put the land up for sale so people canbuy them? Understandably, there are several national reserves and other lands like those thatneed to be owned and protected, that much is certain. But there are thousands of acres of landin bunches that have nothing on them.Why is Government Land Ownership a Problem?Let us start from the beginning.
During the time of the Louisiana Purchase and westwardexpansion, the US was dominating whatever region it could. After the Revolutionary War,Native Americans were being slaughtered, kicked off their lands, and placed on "reservations".These reservations were actually federally owned land regardless of the treaties signed to namethem as sovereign lands because of military oversight. When Native Americans were removedfrom the lands to the west of the Mississippi, the federal government did what they are doingnow, and gave incentive to white settlers that were loyal to the US to take those lands forthemselves.
However, while the government seized those lands through military and militiamight, they never gave the lands to the people, the lawmakers at the time thought it to be agood idea to keep control over the lands, and no one at the time ever thought that it would bea permanent thing. Through the years, conflict has been stirring in the entire region assubsidized lands are being fought over, and sometimes getting bloody.The federal government thought it to be a great idea to use these lands to convince ranchers,farmers, and other special interest groups to have the land subsidized to them, so they couldwork the land. First, it was agreed that the area needed settlers, so they subsidized the land fornext to nothing, but people soon realized that the arid climate was not good for crops withoutirrigation, so they soon abandoned the idea. After that plan failed, they agreed to make use ofthe lands in a public manner, and the different groups like the people who were ranchers,farmers, and water owners could work together and build an industry.
Well, that started a smallwar with every interest group. Today, the same laws and ideas are still in effect, and the peoplewho work the land are fighting with another group that wants to use the land for somethingelse, while also fighting with the government.How the Government Land Ownership Problem Persists TodayRepublicans are consistently pouring money into lobbying and other channels, so they can gaininfluence to make money off the land by mining, drilling for oil and natural gas, and otherearth-destroying means. Democrats flip-flop on the issue because no majority has a solid beliefor plan to stop the land feuds. Activist groups fight for the lands to still stay protected, nomatter what happens with them, so they constantly fight with big oil and other companies thatare hellbent on drilling every piece of dirt on the planet.
"This land was made, for you, and me." But, not the west, the rest of it is, but the west is offlimits, because the US has money making and political interests tied up in the lands. Wouldn't itbe great if the lands were given back to the people? What if there were laws that were madethat local municipalities had to follow, in which the land may not be mined or drilled, and thateither homesteads or towns that burn clean energy may only be built? Maybe, the land couldonly be used for residential and responsible ranching, or farming purposes? Problem solved.