All the wrangling over closing National Parks should be a wake-up call to tax payers and the size and scope of government. We’re told over and over again that there’s nothing in the budget that can’t be cut. Most of what our federal government does is unconstitutional. Entire agencies should be shut down. The Department of Commerce has 46,000 employees and doesn’t engage in commerce. The Department of Energy has 13,000 employees and doesn’t produce any energy.
I live a few miles from Kennesaw National Battlefield Park. Note the word “National.” The park is in Georgia, and yet when you go to the park’s website, this message appears:
“Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating. For more information, go to www.doi.gov”
It’s time that so called “federal lands” should be returned to the states. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has the right idea. He has “defied the federal government by refusing to close popular state properties at the behest of the National Park Service.”
For example, the federal government is the largest landowner in Alaska with 60% of the total area (222 million acres). This acreage includes national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, military reservations, and the North Slope National Petroleum Reserve. More than a dozen federal agencies manage federal lands in Alaska. Let Alaska manage it. If they can’t then let the land remain wild.
Nationally, the United States government has direct ownership of almost 650 million acres of land — nearly 30% of its total territory. Here’s a list of the percentages of the top ten states where the land is owned by the Federal Government:
- Nevada: 84.5%
- Alaska: 69.1%
- Utah: 57.4%
- Oregon: 53.1%
- Idaho: 50.2%
- Arizona: 48.1%
- California: 45.3%
- Wyoming: 42.3%
- New Mexico: 41.8%
- Colorado: 36.6%