How can Nevada take control of more federal land?

How will lawmakers in Carson City decide to grab federal land for the state?

How will lawmakers in Carson City decide to grab federal land for the state?

There are two pieces of legislation pending in Carson City whose intention is allow the state to take control of at least some of the federal land that constitute about 87 percent of the land inside the state boundaries.

Senate Joint Resolution No. 1 the culmination of years of planning and calculating that really dates back to the Sagebrush Rebellion days.

It’s label reads: “Urging Congress to enact legislation transferring title to certain public lands to the State of Nevada in accordance with the report prepared by the Nevada Land Management Task Force.”

Michele Fiore, sponsor of AB408

That task force estimates the state could generate far more revenue from control of the public land the paltry sums doled out be Washington in the form of pay in lieu of taxes.

SJR1 calls for the state over the next decade taking control of 7.2 million acres of the 48 million acres the feds now control.

But slated for a hearing by the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining Tuesday afternoon is a more brazen attempt to grab federal lands, Assembly Bill 408, whose chief sponsor is Assembly member Michele Fiore.

The label on this bill reads:

“AN ACT relating to public lands; prohibiting the Federal Government from owning or regulating certain public lands or the right to use public waters; requiring the State Land Registrar to adopt regulations that provide for the appropriation and registration of grazing, logging, mineral development or other beneficial use rights on public lands; requiring the State Land Registrar to sell permits for grazing, logging, mineral development or other beneficial uses on public lands for which such rights are not registered and appropriated; requiring the board of county commissioners of each county to impose a tax on profits from the beneficial use of public lands; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.”

Considering how the courts have traditionally given deference to the supremacy of the federal government rather that the 10th Amendment states’ rights, the bill is viewed by many as a futile gesture.

This is the case, even though the Constitution says Congress only has the power: “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings …”

But a number of lawmakers, including a few of its sponsors, are also questioning some of the details in bill, fearing the language could jeopardize long held water and grazing rights.

It is that phrasing about beneficial use that concerns people. Could a failure to graze a given tract during a drought constitute giving up a grazing right, since it was not put to beneficial use? What about competing uses for the same tract of land?

The bill’s language includes: “Provide for the appropriation of grazing, logging, mineral development or other beneficial use rights on public lands: (a) To the first person who used the land for which the rights are claimed and who continues to use the land for that purpose; or (b) If the land for which the rights are claimed has not been used in the manner for which the rights are claimed, to the first person who claims the rights. 2. Establish procedures by which claims to such rights may be registered with the State Land Registrar. Each right must be identified by priority date, the manner in which the land is being used, the geographic boundaries of the land being used and the person who claims the right.”

The devil may be in the details.



23 comments on “How can Nevada take control of more federal land?

  1. nyp says:

    Isn’t she the lady who thinks that cancer is a fungus?

  2. John says:

    Can you please tell us your definition of Federal land. Thank you. John Ridgeway

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Definition of federal land that should be handed over to the state: BLM and Forest Service — not wilderness, parks, post offices, DoD, DoE, Bureau of Rec, conservation areas like Red Rock.

  4. Nyp says:

    You can cure cancer with baking soda ?
    Who knew?

  5. Steve says:

    Polio Virus cures cancers.

  6. Steve says:

    Oops, Poliovirus. Gotta love spell checkers!

  7. Patrick says:

    Ms. Fiori argues that she (or anyone in this state) ought to be able to steal the property belonging to another and the response from property rights advocates is disturbing silence.

    The state legislator appears to be advocating the destruction of the country, by and by.

    Isn’t there a name for that?

  8. Yes, it is called petitioning for redress of grievances.

  9. The “Western” states did it in 1828, successfully.

  10. Nyp says:

    Do you inject the baking soda? Or just drink it?

  11. Patrick says:

    Advocating lawbreaking, is petitioning? Benedict Arnold would have been relieved to know.

  12. Steve says:

    The Poliovirus is injected directly into the mass…sometimes swelling needs to be controlled but the tumor eventually shrinks away to nothing.

  13. nyp says:


  14. Speaking of law breaking … from the statehood documents: “That five percentum of the proceeds of the sales of all public lands lying within said state, which shall be sold by the United States subsequent to the admission of said state into the Union …”

  15. nyp says:

    So sue.

  16. Steve says:

    Michelle Fiore is effectively trying to do something very similar to suing…but you guys think that is wrong…even as you flippantly advise it. And it remains a futile gesture, but you guys love panning those too!

    Maybe you are really worried about the public attention such bills and laws attract. Sunlight scares vampires, after all.

  17. nyp says:

    I’m more interested in her view that cancer is a fungus.

  18. Steve says:

    A fungus susceptible to Poliovirus…..which you, apparently, checked out.

    It has taken more than 2 decades, but cancer is about to have it’s medical scare value and political wings clipped. No amount of silly partisan henpecking will get any side anywhere.

  19. Winston Smith says:

    Patrick, your trolling is nearly as tiresome as DARPA’s. You really must try harder…

    Speaking of DARPA, I read that a drunken black transgender attacked Ft. Meade on the morning of March 30. I guess the incident didn’t interrupt DARPA’s postings that day, so maybe I’m wrong about the NSA connection.

  20. nyp says:

    Already, the Affordable Care Act has likely saved 50,000 American lives.

  21. Winston Smith says:

    That time of the day again…

  22. Steve says:

    Proving that even the horribly weak one sided measure that piggybacks on the “old system” was better than the “old system” it failed to replace is capable of squeezing out a few apples from the systems it supports, “Already, the Affordable Care Act has likely saved 50,000 American lives.”


  23. […] lawmakers in Carson City dither over SJR1 and AB408. Amodei’s bill appears to be vehicle for carrying SJR1 forward, but probably would […]

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