OIA Plots Oregon's Biggest Land Grab | The Wandering Eye
Search
Settings

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Thursday, April 29, 2010

OIA Plots Oregon's Biggest Land Grab

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Oregonians in Action, the “property rights” group that brought us Measure 37 six years ago, has come up with a new bright idea – and it’s a real doozy.

OIA wants Oregon to emulate Utah, whose legislature in its 2009 session enacted a law that supposedly gives the state the power to use eminent domain to seize land held by the federal government.

“In the upcoming session of the Oregon legislature, Oregonians In Action will work with the Oregon legislature to pass similar legislation in Oregon,” the group said in a news release today. “This legislation would provide the biggest economic boost for rural Oregon communities in decades.”

It definitely would give a big boost to the bottom lines of corporations if they could get their hands on the federal lands in the West. The federal government owns 55% of the land in Oregon and 60% of the land in Utah. In Oregon, much of the federal land is rich in timber; in Utah the prize is minerals.

Lamenting that timber and other resources that used to form the backbone of rural economies “are now locked away by federal laws and regulations that have gone too far,” OIA calls for Oregon to enact a law similar to Utah’s House Bill 143, under which “Utah state agencies are given the authority to condemn federal property.  Ownership of that property would be transferred from the federal government to the state government.  Once acquired, the state would manage the property for the best interests of Utah residents.  That may mean that the land is retained in state ownership, or it may mean that Utah would sell the property to private citizens.”

That last bit about selling the land off to private citizens is particularly intriguing. It’s not hard to imagine politically well-connected timber, mining, ranching and other interests working out some pretty sweet deals for themselves.

“In either event,” the OIA news release continues, “land that is currently mismanaged and neglected by the federal government would be transferred to either state government or private citizens, who would make use of the land to create jobs, revitalize rural communities, boost the economy, and balance state and local budgets.  What a concept.”

Indeed.

“There is no reason why the Oregon legislature cannot follow Utah’s lead,” the OIA says. But I can think of a couple of good reasons without even trying.

In the first place, the constitutionality of the Utah measure is extremely doubtful. Even the state’s attorney general doubts it. Its real purpose, as described by columnist Lee Benson in the Desert News, is “to spark a lawsuit that will get the U.S. Supreme Court to rule more clearly … on the issue of the sovereign land rights of states. Already, $3 million has been set aside to pay the lawyers.”

In the second place, Oregon ain’t Utah … thank God. 

 

 

 

 


Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

More by The Source Staff

Latest in The Wandering Eye

  • Moonshine Magic in Bend Still on the Down Low

    • Aug 9, 2012
    Get ready for our great close-up on the home distilling community out next week in our "Best of" issue. We interviewed a mixed bag of legal and anarchist distillers in Bend to find out why distilling is so very, very against the law in one's home. More »
  • The Eye Wanders Off Into the Sunset

    • Dec 26, 2010
    I’m really sorry to break the bad news to them during this season of peace and goodwill, but after this week the right-wingers in Bend and vicinity won’t have The Wandering Eye to kick around anymore. The decision to stop writing this blog was my own, and it was prompted by several factors. More »
  • DADT, Gay-Bashing and the "Icky-ness" Factor

    • Dec 19, 2010
    For the past week or so, “Zeo” of the NW Republican blog has had his jock strap in a knot over the prospect of Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. To hear Zeo tell it, if DADT is repealed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the US military it will mean the end not only of our armed forces but of America, its economic system and civilization in general. More »
  • More »

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation