Where is the consensus?

Put down Rep. Mark Amodei as miffed by the executive fiat that puts 700,000 acres of Lincoln and Nye counties as a national monument.

Today he released this statement dripping with sarcasm:

“I guess I missed the Nevada delegation meeting to discuss the second largest conservation withdrawal in the history of the state. At least when Senator Bryan was looking for a legacy, they processed it through something resembling regular order.

“I keep searching for the resolutions from the Nye and Lincoln county commissions requesting unilateral action by two political pals to carve out the state of Rhode Island from Nevada, but to no avail.

“I look forward to visiting the ‘Hairy Berry National Monument’ and joining with my colleague Rep. Hardy in sponsoring legislation to put Rhode Island back in the lead for acreage.”

According to a report by the Washington Post:

“It is only due to Harry Reid that this is getting done,” said a former Obama adviser who was close to the process.”

Although Obama has shown an increased willingness to use his authority under the Antiquities Act this term, some of his aides were initially surprised by the push to protect the Basin and Range. There were other proposals that had been vetted for a longer period of time, such as ones to safeguard California’s Lake Berryessa and the Waco Mammoth site in Texas.

“This was on nobody’s radar screen, and it certainly wasn’t part of the plan,” said one person close to the president who has been involved in the discussions. When the question of possible controversy was broached, Obama said: “I don’t care. I want this done.”

In stark contrast to this designation driven by two men, there is a long history of consensus-based public lands designations in Nevada started at the county level involving county commissions and representative stakeholders before the drafting of federal legislation, which then goes through the public hearing and markup process. Even then, it can take years and multiple Congresses to pass such designations into law. The Basin and Range National Monument underwent no such transparent process.

At the Congressional Western Caucus webiste, others chimed in:

“President Obama often says ‘we are stronger as a nation when we work together.’ Apparently that rule does not apply to public lands issues when it involves his political allies,” said Rep. Joe Heck. “The Basin and Range Monument designation goes well beyond the intention of the Antiquities Act which limits parcels reserved by the President to the ‘smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.’ It is beyond belief that an area larger than the state of Rhode Island is the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of this land.

“I feel strongly that the best management of our public lands comes only through methodical consideration and partnership across all levels of local, state and federal government,” said Rep Cresent Hardy. “That’s why I’m disappointed for the Nevadans who were left out of the process, including the commissioners of both counties affected: Lincoln and Nye. In May, I broke the news of the Administration’s plan to make the Basin and Range National Monument designation, and this week introduced an amendment to protect local input and increase transparency with such designations, which was adopted and I hope to see pass in the near future.

“We need to be sure local communities don’t have their concerns ignored by politicians eager to leave a legacy or pull favors for their friends by setting aside huge tracts of land. Nevada’s rural county economies are particularly sensitive, and any decisions that restrict ranching, recreation or other types of land use activities should have as much local input as possible. We should empower local communities and local stakeholders most affected by monument designations to have a legitimate voice in the process, but at the moment, they do not. Legacy building in the twilight of one’s career shouldn’t be the driver of our nation’s public land management.”


41 comments on “Where is the consensus?

  1. Patrick says:

    I trust that both representatives will confer with the entire state of Nevada prior to any change in the use of their own private land given their strong objection to another landowner deciding what to do with their land.

    For the sake of consistency anyway.

  2. Winston Smith says:

    I guess Obama just loves Nevada so much that he wants to protect its land from its citizens, just as Clinton loved and protected Utah back in 1996.

    Just goes to show ya, “Big Brother Loves You!”

  3. You sure as hell better love Big Brother.

  4. CF says:

    As I follow closely our reps in D.C., I keep wondering where the heck (no pun intended) they are on any conservative issue. And I am concerned about Heck running as a Republican for Senate. His grading on conservative issues and votes is dismal. Frankly I thought it was going to be Gold Butte that Obama would designate, oh wait a minute he still has time to do that. Cronyism at it’s best.

  5. Patrick says:

    “It’s'” land? Since when exactly was the land in question “Nevada’s”?

  6. Steve says:

    When Nevada was a territory,,that’s when.

    Funny,,,Patrick is “deleted” !!

  7. Patrick says:

    “Nevada” as a territory, or as a state, never owned the property that is currently owned by the United States.

  8. Steve says:

    Oh yes it did.

  9. Vernon Clayson says:

    The area is dismal and not the least picturesque, what possible use can it be, few tourinsts will seek it out so what is the real reason for the designation? No chance there’s oil or minerals in useful amounts, is there?

  10. Patrick says:

    No, it didn’t.

    “Organized incorporated territories are territories of the United States ”

    “It” (the land) was never “owned” by either Nevada, or the “territory of Nevada” it was always “owned” by the United States government.

  11. Then why were the residents of the territory required to disclaim ownership?

  12. Steve says:

    Organized territories own the land the inhabitants occupied, these people were governed by the territorial governments and the lands were and are owned by those peoples. (There are still several organized territories within the US)

  13. CF says:

    The thinking that land belongs to the feds is that of those who don’t understand the feds are the people. Our republic was never meant to have the federal government more powerful than the states. Let’s push for the Convention of States so we can return control to the people within a state and minimize the input from the feds. Also, let’s get together for term limits on congress and supreme court justices.

  14. Patrick says:

    The residents of the Nevada territory acknowledged that they had no, and would never assert any claim to the land which previously constituted the territory of Nevada. Note particularly “that the same shall be and REMAIN at the sole and entire disposition of the United States…”

    ” Third. That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States; and that lands belonging to citizens of the United States, residing without the said state, shall never be taxed higher than the land belonging to the residents thereof; and that no taxes shall be imposed by said state on lands or property therein belonging to, or which may hereafter be purchased by, the United States, unless otherwise provided by the congress of the United States.”

    And, according to the treaty of Guadeloupe Hildalgo, the United States received ownership of the land purchased by the United States, including the land that constitutes “California and a large area comprising New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado.”


    Again, the land, currently owned by the United States, within the boundaries of Nevada, has been, since the Treaty of Guadelupe Hildalgo, owned by the a United States government.

    Which stands to reason since, we are the ones that paid for it.

  15. Nevadans voted in the mid-1996 to repeal the Disclaimer Clause. No right to petition for redress of grievances?

  16. Patrick says:

    I voted to repeal my mortgage but for some reson the bank says they still own the note.

    And of course Nevadans have a right to petition. Through their elected representatives or on their own.

  17. Steve says:

    “that the same shall be and REMAIN at the sole and entire disposition of the United States…”

    Patrick was the one who claimed the word “shall” really means “may”

    I guess that is only when it may be in his own interest. Or is that “shall”??

  18. Steve says:

    And why would any such disclaim to those unappropriated lands be needed if the lands were not owned by the people in the territory?

    Because those lands needed to be placed under single ownership to be sold back to the state as useful purposes arose.

    This is the purpose for the wording “shall be sold” NOT “MAY be sold” SHALL. The disposition of the USA was to ensure the lands were disposed to the people in the new state…not to be held forever.

  19. Patrick says:

    What is SHALL?
    As used in statutes and similar instruments, this word is generally imperative or mandatory; but it may be construed as merely permissive or directory, (as equivalent to “may,”) to carry out the legislative intention and In cases where no right or benefit to any one depends on its being taken in the imperative sense, and where no public or private right is impaired by its interpretation in the other sense. Also, as against the government, “shall” is to be construed as “may,” unless a contrary intention is manifest. See Wheeler v. Chicago, 24 111. 105, 76 Am. Dec. 736; People v. Chicago Sanitary Dist., 184 111. 597, 56 N. E. 9.”.:;: Madison v. Daley (C. C.) 58 Fed. 753; Cairo & F. R. Co. v. Ilecht, 95 U. S. 170, 24 L. Ed. 423. SHAM PLEA. See PLEA. SHARE 1082 SHERIFF

    Law Dictionary: What is SHALL? definition of SHALL (Black’s Law Dictionary)

    Much as I would like to “claim” “ownership” of the legal meaning of the word “shall”, that would be as wrong as asserting that I “claimed” the definition of the word shall, in context, meant “may”. It wasn’t me claiming it, it’s merely the way the word had been understood by those charged with giving meaning to it, in context, for a really long time.

  20. Steve says:

    sure and the meaning of “is” remains in question after Bill Clinton spun it to death.

    you used the “meaning” you dug up to bolster your last argument.

    this time it goes against you so you don’t want it to “mean” what you wanted it to “mean” last time.

    can’t have it both ways.

    The lands were under the control and ownership of the people in the territory once it was designated organized. Those lands are (and were) to be sold to the state. moreover, they were to be sold in a expeditious manor.

  21. Patrick says:

    Steve the meaning of the word shall is what it is and nothing you hope, or think, or desire (or fail to understand) will change it.

    Denying it, won’t change it, and neither will arguing with me, about the meaning. And demonstrating your dislike of the meaning attached to the word since long before either of us were born, won’t either.

    But what you have demonstrated is how ignorant you choose to be even in the face of efforts to educate you.

  22. Thank you, Humpty Dumpty.

  23. Once again you disregard your own definition: “In cases where no right or benefit to any one depends on its being taken in the imperative …”

  24. Steve says:

    That’s Patrick for you, disingenuous to a fault.

  25. Patrick says:


    Now I know that you read this:

    “Also, as against the government, “shall” is to be construed as “may,” unless a contrary intention is manifest. See Wheeler v. Chicago, 24 111. 105, 76 Am. Dec. 736; People v. Chicago Sanitary Dist., 184 111. 597, 56 N. E. 9.”.:;: Madison v. Daley (C. C.) 58 Fed. 753; Cairo & F. R. Co. v. Ilecht, 95 U. S. 170, 24 L. Ed. 423. SHAM PLEA. See PLEA. SHARE 1082 SHERIFF”

    So, why be disingenuous?

    You’re just encouraging Steve to continue living in self-mposed ignorance.

  26. Who is being disingenuous by selectively reading?

    “contrary intention is manifest”

  27. Patrick says:

    “Unless contrary intention is manifest”

    You forgot an important word Thomas. And as I stated previously a “contrary intention” would be, for example, a “date” by which the land was to be sold.

    Obviously, there was no contrary intention manifest since the law did not nclude any date by which the land was to be alienated.

  28. Steve says:

    The lands were to be sold as useful purposes arose. The word remains in force under its real meaning rather than its manufactured “legally” argued “meaning”.

  29. Patrick says:

    As does the word “person” Steve. Course, according to the “strict constructionists” on the Supreme Court, “person” means “corporation”

  30. Corporations are an assemblage of persons.

  31. Steve says:


    Concession…. noted.

    Discussion is concluded.

  32. Patrick says:

    Thomas, a corporation is not always an assemble of persons, but that wasn’t the issue.

    And Steve, this effort was intended to educate you, and you get to choose I suppose how to treat the opportunity to learn. (I don’t have high hopes though, I gotta tell you)

  33. Steve says:

    Education via blog….what a “wonderful” opportunity.

    I will pass on your offer of obviously selectively sourced “education”.

    you make Orwell seem like a piker.

  34. Patrick says:

    As I said Steve, I didn’t have high hopes that you would take advantage of the opportunity.

    You’re tragically ignorant.

  35. Steve says:

    Repetitive insults noted.
    The recourse of the hopelessly helpless.

    Also noted is your total lack of comprehension for my sarcasm.
    Allow me to spell it out for you. You are not the “professor of the blogosphere” and any such “degree” obtained from your offer is worth less than your offer.

  36. Patrick says:

    Steve I hope your blissful ignorance serves you well. (I really hope that your contempt for the way the word “shall” is interpreted, eats you up inside and causes you to wear out the “caps lock key” on your keyboard).

    That’ll warm my heart.

  37. Steve says:

    “Caps lock”

    “Blissful ignorance”

    “contempt for the way the word “shall” is interpreted”
    (I believe you meant “as” rather than “is” or, more likely, you are following Bill Clinton’s lead on that one)

    Words mean things, and in Patrick’s world they mean the exact opposite of what they say.


  38. Patrick says:

    Steve, no, as usual, you got it wrong.

  39. Steve says:

    Thanks again….Mr opposite.

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