It’s not your money … and apparently not your land either.

Did you know the federal government owns one out of every three acres of land in the United States. And each day we discover that it’s not enough. Utah Congressman Rob Bishop was first to uncover this last March when he exposed a Department of Interior memo that indicates the Government plans to grab another 13 million acres in Utah … and many more in, you guessed it, New England. First, here’s the interview that Congressman Bishop gave to Fox yesterday. The big news here, it’s not just Utah anymore. “They want to cap more land, they want to control more land, they are willing to go after private property and I am sorry but this is devastating …” No need for Congress. In typical Obama style … we’ll just do it.


Now Michelle Malkin … the land grab is not just limited to Utah. How’s Connecticut GRAB ya?

The federal government, as the memo boasted, is the nation’s “largest land manager.” It already owns roughly one of every three acres in the United States. This is apparently not enough. At a “listening session” in New Hampshire last week, government bureaucrats trained their sights on millions of private forest land throughout the New England region. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack crusaded for “the need for additional attention to the Land and Water Conservation Fund — and the need to promptly support full funding of that fund.”

Property owners have every reason to be worried. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a pet project of green radicals, who want the decades-old government slush fund for buying up private lands to be freed from congressional appropriations oversight. It’s paid for primarily with receipts from the government’s offshore oil and gas leases. Both Senate and House Democrats have included $900 million in full LWCF funding, not subject to congressional approval, in their energy/BP oil spill legislative packages. The Democrats have also included a provision in these packages that would require the federal government to take over energy permitting in state waters, which provoked an outcry from Texas state officials, who sent a letter of protest to Capitol Hill last month:

The depressing part is that desperate New England farmers, with farming on this scale costly and real estate prices falling, will likely sell their land to the government eagerly. I think Morrissey actually, has the right take on this:

In light of federal budget deficits, perhaps Washington should be looking to unload some of its real estate rather than expand its ownership of it.  California has at least broached the idea of selling its public holdings in order to reduce costs and raise funds to balance its severely dysfunctional budget.  Instead of Great Outdoors Initiatives and federal expansion of jurisdiction and control, we need a more modest approach to governance and a return to state and local control of resources and assets.

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Jim Vicevich

Jim is a veteran broadcaster and conservative/libertarian blogger with more than 25 years experience in TV and radio. Jim's was the long-term host of The Jim Vicevich Show on WTIC 1080 in Hartford from 2004 through 2019. Prior to radio, Jim worked as a business and financial reporter for NBC30 - the NBC owned TV station in Hartford - and as business editor at WFSB-TV in Hartford for 14 years while earning six Emmy nominations and three Telly Awards.


  1. Dimsdale on August 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Will the states become like GM, where they government owns more than 50% of it?  Will the federal government become the "majority shareholder" in the states, and in doing so, usurp the power of the states stipulated in the Constitution?  Shouldn't the states at least have a say in whether the feds come in and seize their land, or is this an extrapolation of the Kelo decision?


    As an aside, has Øbama pulled the rug out from under the The Land and Water Conservation Fund, paid for primarily with receipts from the government’s offshore oil and gas leases, but putting a moratorium on said offshore drilling?


  2. gillie28 on August 15, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    This won't be popular, but…..If landowners get a market value price for their land, AND the land is kept for conservation purposes, I'm not opposed.  There is just too much development, with little or no planning and/or consideration for wildlife habitat, especially in my area of the state.  As a result, we are losing (or expelling) countless species of fauna and flora, are being faced with flooding problems because of putting concrete on wetlands, losing water sources, and, because of deforestation, have huge problems with our climate.  Yes, these are global issues, but "charity begins at home." We were given a Divine commission to be caretakers of this planet, not exploiters and destroyers. 

    • gillie28 on August 15, 2010 at 10:05 pm

      p.s. my main concern is that being the government, with all the endemic incompetence and corruption that entails, any land ownership will wind up being a disaster.

    • gillie28 on August 15, 2010 at 10:06 pm

      pps (and avoiding more than 50 words per post :)) – keep it local.

    • Dimsdale on August 16, 2010 at 7:01 am

      Apparently, your conservation commission has dropped the ball.  They, and the DEP keep a tight leash up here in MA.


      Up here, some land was sold to the Audubon society for preservation, but later, the society sold the land, presumably to use the money to get other land.   I doubt that was what the original owner desired.

  3. winnie888 on August 16, 2010 at 2:27 am

    OMG, yet another memo orchestrating gov't policy without legislative involvement/approval?  Wasn't there JUST a memo (11 days ago, I believe) from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services "brainstorming" (using that word in conjunction with this administration is an oxymoron if ever I've heard one) about how to push through some kind of amnesty without legislative approval?  Maybe the two memos are somehow related…land for illegals? hmmmmm….


  4. Odonna on August 16, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Glad you're following this.  Rob Bishop is my sister's Congressman.  Utah is already something like 75% Federal land!  Clinton federalized the Escalante area during his term.  Citizens then felt like it was a personal grudge because he came in 3rd in the election behind Perot and Dole (?).  This time it seems they want to lock away natural resources away from the people.  

    I support Nature Conservancy, and they are all the time working with private companies to preserve habitat and wildlife while accessing resources.  There can be a balance.  Nowdays it's good business practice.

    I agree that governments should be selling off lands to private citizens, not buying.  That is how the national debt was paid down in the past. 

    • chris-os on August 16, 2010 at 6:19 am

      For every $1 spent for a National Park, the adjacent communities get $4. Surprised you capitalists do not know this!

    • TomL on August 16, 2010 at 8:25 am

      Who said they are going to be National Parks. Remember the land out west has shale oil and obama wants it off limits

    • Dimsdale on August 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm

      When he makes all of our offshore oil beds effectively off limits to drilling (national parks?), how much will the states adjacent to those beds get?

  5. chris-os on August 16, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Protecting this country's undeveloped lands and wildlife from exploitation and destruction? Madness I tell you, MADNESS! Stop Obama from preserving nature for generations to come!

    • Dimsdale on August 16, 2010 at 7:02 am

      Remember the Escalante National Park?

    • Dimsdale on August 16, 2010 at 7:04 am

      Ooops!  See Odonna above!   Locked up all the clean burning coal.


    • Dimsdale on August 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm

      Maybe he should consider preserving the whole country instead of little bits of it.

    • winnie888 on August 17, 2010 at 1:48 am

      I don't remember Obama running on a conservationist platform…Wasn't he giving the thumbs up to off-shore drilling just before the BP spill happened?

  6. chris-os on August 16, 2010 at 7:22 am

    "clean burning coal" = oxymoron.

    • Dimsdale on August 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm

      There are three general, different types of coal, bituminous, lignite and anthracite.  The first two are soft and high in sulfur, thus being relatively dirty burning, and, of course, the ones we are left with to burn for electricity generation.  Anthracite is the hardest, lowest in sulfur and cleanest burning.  The largest reserve in the U.S. just happened to be under Escalante National park, now off limits.  Since mining it would not impact the surface, nobody could understand why it had to be put off limits.  Overall, the U.S. has the largest proven reserves of coal in the world, so it makes sense to Democrats to put it off limits rather than finding was to use it cleanly.

      Currently, you have coal gasification, liquefaction and other technologies to make coal both useful and relatively clean.  Look up the Fischer-Tropsch and Bergius processes for starters.


      "outlawing coal as a fuel source" = act of a moron.

  7. kateinmaine on August 16, 2010 at 11:39 am

    hmmm. . .

    seem to recall that both obama and biden ran on 'clean coal'. . .  = oxymoron squared?

    • winnie888 on August 17, 2010 at 1:51 am

      thanks…was trying to remember what Obama ran on.  Not a thing popped into my mind, although I don't really recognize this country anymore, so I guess he ran as an interior designer.

  8. Odonna on August 17, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Like Utah needs another National Park.  If you have Zion, Bryce Cyn, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Cedar Breaks right nearby, not to mention Four Corners and Monument Valley, Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon farther south (and I've probably forgotten a few Parks), who is going to go to Escalante?  My family visited the sights all over Southern Utah as we were growing up and I had never heard of this place, or wished it were a national park so we could go there.

    It's all about locking out the citizens of Utah and the rest of the United States from the birthright of their natural resources and its potential wealth.

  9. PatRiot on August 17, 2010 at 7:41 am

    How much you wanna bet they will sell 500 shares of 10%(ala "The Producers") each for harvesting and mining rights.  And even then their buddies will get first dibs.

    And don't forget all of the property they picked up in the mortgage debacle. 

    If your mortgage is with a gov't held company, you now live in gov't housing.  Which means with these fools can try to move you at any time.   More "floating boats equally / redistribution – whatever socialist, non common sense antics.  OY

  10. Dimsdale on August 18, 2010 at 3:06 am

    This is simply a prelude to the seizure of private property by the government, be it federal or state, for purposes not explicitly granted under the Constitution.  In fact, such actions by the government were warned against by the founding fathers.


    How's that Kelo land working out for New London?  New London spent money and got squat, and the original landowners lost their land for no reason.  The rest of us were screwed by a bad legal decision.


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