The Second Great Colorado Land Grab

Right now, there is a battle going on in Colorado. One side wants President Biden to use the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate over 400 thousand acres of land in Mesa and Montrose Counties as a national monument. This would, among other things, limit future oil and gas leases, mining claims, rights-of-way, and utility infrastructure. Mining, ranching, and farming are the mainstay of the economy there. Opponents contend, not without cause, that the designation would “…end uranium mining … and put restrictions on hunting and cattle grazing and limit motorized travel.” 

The locals are mainly comprised of people who are justifiably upset that “the proposal does not require local support to pass,” and that much of land in Colorado (like a number of Western states) has been taken from private use via conservation easements, heritage sites, and other public/private partnership shenanigans.

As expected, a number of radical environmental groups petitioned the White House to use the Antiquities Act to establish a 400,000-acre national monument along the Dolores River. Section 2 of the Act states, “The President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected: Provided, That when such objects are situated upon a tract covered by a bona fide unperfected claim or held in private ownership, the tract, or so much thereof as may be necessary for the proper care and management of the object, may be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to accept the relinquishment of such tracts in behalf of the Government of the United States.”

Mine. This isn’t about a landmark, structure, or other object of historic or scientific interest as designated in the act. This is about land grabbing on steroids. Does no one in government remember that our nation was designed to have the government own only the smallest amount of land as necessary to carry out its responsibilities? Yet today, nearly 40% of our land is publicly owned.

Much of the land in Colorado will never be viable for human habitation. Some of it is good for grazing, and some has great mining potential. But even those uses are anathema to the Globalists and their lackeys, the environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Studies have shown that grazing is beneficial to grasslands. However, that isn’t really the problem here. It is all about whether we, as humans, have the right to private property. If we don’t, instead, should governing overlords control every inch of land, gallon of the sea, and the entire expanse of the sky

The Homestead Act, enacted during the Civil War in 1862, provided that any adult citizen, or intended citizen, who had never borne arms against the U.S. government could claim 160 acres of surveyed government land. Claimants were required to live on and “improve” their plot by cultivating the land

Not long after the Homestead Act, the Mining act of 1872 stated that except as otherwise provided, all valuable mineral deposits in lands belonging to the United States, both surveyed and unsurveyed, shall be free and open to exploration and purchase by citizens of the United States and those who have declared their intention to become such, under regulations prescribed by law and according to local customs or rules of miners in the several mining districts, so far as the same are applicable and not inconsistent with the laws of the United States

A large portion of this Wildlands dream area is in the West End which lies in the middle of the Uravan Mineral Belt (or an area to mine uranium and vanadium, which are found in the same ore) and the Department of Energy’s Uranium Reserve and Uranium Lease Tracts. The Uravan Mineral Belt also contains critical minerals, including vanadium, copper, barite and fluorspar, in addition to lithium salt in the Paradox Basin1.

Why would we want to shut down these mines? Right now, we are importing minerals from other countries, because we have been shutting down mines of all sorts for some time now. Some of those countries are using child labor in toxic fields. Here in the U.S., there are regulations which forbid children from being used in any labor. Also, realize that it costs a fortune to import those minerals

If you think that mining causes environmental degradation and so-called “Global Warming,” realize that mining is one of the highest-regulated industries

Here in the U.S., there are more than three dozen federal environmental laws and regulations governing the mining industry – plus state and local laws. To list some of the federal laws:

Surface Resources Act

The Wilderness Act

National Historic Preservation Act

Occupational Safety and Health Act

Clean Air Act

Clean Water Act

Endangered Species Act

Safe Drinking Water Act

Federal Land Policy and Management Act

National Forest Management Act

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act




Mine Safety and Health Act

Bureau of Land Management Surface Management Standards

U.S. Forest Service Surface Management Standards (and many more)

Those government agencies are often manned by Greens. You know they aren’t going to allow degradation of any significance. It’s “mining” that is a dirty word to the Greens, not the use of children in mines.

Those same Greens who incessantly fight to close off all our land are the same people fighting for more erroneously-called “Clean Energy.” That clean energy requires millions of acres, equipment that costs billions of dollars, and use of dangerous minerals, and it brings destruction to land and wildlife

And don’t tell me it is only so-called public land that is targeted. In 1975, the New World Mine was on the brink of satisfying more than $33 million in permit requirements, and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, with Yellowstone, was considered to be “in danger” and thereby “triggered” regulatory authority to stop the mining operation, even though it was on private property. 

Crown Butte Mines, Inc. wants to develop its New World gold mine deposit located near Yellowstone National Park. The proposed mine is located almost entirely on private property about 3 miles east of the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park and next to the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness area. The New World Mine Project would mine an estimated 1,800 tons of gold, silver and/or copper ore per day (or 500 thousand tons annually), valued at an estimated $800 million, over a 10-15 year period. The project would include an underground mine, an ore processing mill, a tailings pond, a waste rock storage site, access roads, a work camp and transmission lines

In concert with this anti-mining, anti-people tool in Colorado is the program, “Just Transition,” that Colorado, along with other states and countries around the world, is using. It is supposedly the great answer to the loss of jobs – you know the mining, grazing, and all the support industries that are not needed in a protected or prohibited area. Just Transition is an evanescent government program in the shift to Sustainable Development, telling Coloradoans there will be jobs to replace those they are killing

It is but another tool in reinventing government, and it passed in 2019. Let me give you the words of Just Transition from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a branch of the United Nations (UN): 

Just Transition is: essential if the global economy is to make the shift to a low-carbon and resilient economy at the scale and pace required to avoid catastrophic climate damage in a fair way. Governments, international institutions, businesses, trade unions, civil society, communities, and increasingly, investors are placing growing emphasis on the workplace and wider social dimensions of the transmission,” (also see The Activist Handbook, pp. 85-87). 

Under H.B. 23-1247, “Colorado is undergoing an energy transition; 10 (ii) Colorado’s energy economy has traditionally 11 supported good-paying jobs and local communities, and the 12 study of reliable and affordable energy technologies, 13 including gas generation with carbon capture and storage, 14 geothermal, clean hydrogen, advanced nuclear, wind, solar 15 coupled with storage, long duration storage, and transmission, 16 is necessary to help support the development of rural economies 17 and to create jobs.”

Just a few points on this: 

  1. Carbon capture and storage: Tom DeWeese recently wrote about carbon capture, commenting “… the push is on to enforce a plan to capture CO2 and bury it in the ground. Of course, the excuse is to protect the earth from Climate Change! In all of my years of fighting the lies and insane policies of the radical environmental movement, this is without doubt their DUMBEST plan ever – but it’s also one of the MOST DANGEROUS that we have ever faced.”
  2. Wind and solar – have these people pushing wind and solar thought about the pristine landscape they will be destroying forever with either or both of these energy sources? I recommend you go to CFACT.org and research both. They do not constantly produce energy, they are ugly eyesores, and when they break down, they make Mt. Trashmore look like Eden. 
  3. “Hydrogen. Green hydrogen is risky because it costs at least five to seven times more to make than the methane reforming method, which makes nearly all hydrogen today. That is $5 to $7 versus $1 for a kilogram.”

This energy transition has been going on for some 30 years – since Agenda 21, or Sustainable Development, was foisted on the world’s governments. But even before that, the lang-grabbing was going on via the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which was established in 1945

Right now, experts are – finally – realizing that Clean Energy isn’t clean and, more importantly, doesn’t and can’t provide enough energy to keep the wheels going around the world. EVs don’t run in cold weather, solar panels can be wiped out by hailstorms, and, and, and because all those Greens are in love with AI, Clean Energy cannot even begin to produce the megawatts necessary to support that

Coloradoans need to do their homework and look deeper at the motives of those pushing for government control of any part of their lives. They need to put Coordination, a process that requires Federal agencies to resolve policy conflicts with State and local plans, policies and programs for the purpose of reaching consistency, and NEPA which requires federal agencies to determine if their proposed actions will have significant environmental effects. (I will explain these in another article.) This will give all Coloradoans a voice in what will and will not happen in their beautiful state.

Source:

  1. The West End of Montrose County-a Colorado Tier One Coal Affected Community

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Kathleen Marquardt

Kathleen Marquardt has been in the freedom movement since before it was called that. She was founder and chairman of Putting People First, a non-profit organization combatting the animal rights movement. Her book, AnimalScam: the Beastly Abuse of Human Rights, was published by Regnery in 1993. In 1990, she became the emcee for the annual Wise Use Conference. She has testified before state legislatures, appeared on national television, spearheaded opposition to legislative initiatives, become involved in lawsuits, contributed to a number of books, been vilified in other books and articles, and has spoken to thousands across the country. She has written materials for distribution in schools, and her book AnimalScam was used in universities as a textbook. She was a contributing writer and researcher for Freedom Advocates, and her articles appear on numerous websites. She has been Vice President of American Policy Center since 2000.