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I know it been discussed but i read an article and was blown away
I just did not know that 10 million acre of BLM land was landlocked and some outfitters getting access from private owners to reach these land and making a profit too. Holy Moly
Yep it happens a ton here in NM. I even had the Game Warden tell me that he couldn't get access to land because of it this year.
It should not be allowed, but the outfitters and landowners are pumping money into lobbyists that we can't!
I guess i was naive i thought we were talking about only a few thousand acres but 10 million.
Rick, what lobbyists are you talking about? Lobbying who, for what? And why can't "we" pay lobbyists to force the taking of private property to open these parcels up? Examples, please.
Come on Jaq. Here you go again looking for facts based on fictional statements. Do you mean to tell me you don't know a bunch of outfitters paying those "lobbyists"? :)
Anyone able to post a link so can read the article?
I get what Lou is saying. This isn’t a federal problem. It’s a local issue. And, it’s a private property issue. I don’t like it nor do I think it’s going to change. Because money is involved for those who are in a position to benefit from these land blocks.
I love farming and ranching. But, nobody gets as much favor on our public lands and for disruption of everyone’s environment, like ranchers and farmers do. This is just one example of it.
Check out the APR in Montana, with a long term anti hunting agenda they are gobbling up lands.
Missouribreaks, just looked them up. That is concerning! A permanent way the anti hunting crowd stops hunting forever...buy up the land that has access to public!!! VERY SCARY!!!
BTW, "we" have lobbyists on our side, from TRCP to BHA and other groups. But the government can't force someone to allow public access across their land unless for a highly compelling reason. They can only negotiate and buy or lease easements. Some of that has happened around where I live. The LWCF (when it gets renewed) earmarks 3% of funds for "access", which isn't much, and will be used for access to high value lands, stream access, etc.. BLM is generally not that.
But as has been discussed on other threads, the government has no incentive to acquire public access to landlocked BLM. The general public (voters) doesn't care. Only a few hunters and off-roaders care, and we aren't much of a voting constituency.
I know you are right Lou. But, here is what I know to be true here. Not sure if it is reciprocal or not. But, in much of the east, court rulings has found that landlocked property has to be provided a right of way through neighboring property if one does not exist. If that holds true country wide, then this is no different on BLM land. Am I right in assuming that? I don’t know because it’s like you say. It is no interests of our elected officials, both locally and nationally, to push the issue.
I’ve hunted out west many times and that whole setup is “FUBAR” but if I owned one of those ranches or had access to one I would like the system. No one can honestly say they wouldn’t like it also if they had access from one of those ranches
From another angle. It’s not all butterflies and Daisy’s from a landowners point of view either. I owned a piece in Colorado that backed up to Govt land. It sounded great when I bought it. What I soon learned is everyone thinks that’s where all the animals are hiding. So will do anything to hunt it. I have learned the hard way that there are very few spots left that people are not Already there when you get there. Be it back packing miles from a trail or getting access to that holy grail piece land locked game paradise where record book animals walk around all day unpressured and just waiting to be arrowed. If someone believes this I will sell them my last remaining parcel in Colorado right now.
Justin, yes, those are called "easements of necessity" and are generally civil rulings to access landlocked private land. I know of a couple that were granted near me. If the government were to start trying to force access across private property, I'm pretty sure a judge would have difficulty ruling that hunting and off-roading constitute a compelling reason to violate private property rights, especially considering there are millions of acres of accessible public land nearby.
In wisconsin they used to do that with forest crop land, the local dnr were a bunch of paid off crooks. Probably still are.
This is a reality you learn to live with when you hunt the west. It is not like the landowners decided they wanted to create such a mosaic pattern of ownership. A lot of it happened over time and by circumstance, not by intention.
A study of how BLM lands came to be is helpful.
Many BLM lands were retained because they were deemed unsuitable for agriculture or industry; too arid, bad soil, too steep, or whatever. As a result, homesteaders claimed the good stuff interspersed with these other undesirable lands. As a result we ended up with some pretty crazy ownership patterns.
Add to that the Dust Bowl era when millions of acres picked up by homesteaders got returned to the US Government, as these folks could not make a living and ended up not meeting the terms of deed transfer under the homestead rules. These returned lands used to be shown as pink on surface maps and called Bankhead-Jones lands. Newer maps just show them as the yellow BLM lands.
Given that history, there is no reason a private landowner should have to provide deeded access to landlocked public lands, as much as I might like that personally for my hunting. These landowners did nothing to create the landlocked situation, so to make any claim that they should have to give an easement or access to lands their property adjoins would be a serious violation of their 5th Amendment rights. Count me as a big opponent of such an idea.
The number one program out there to provide access to these parcels is (was, since it expired 9/30/2018) the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Odds are if you hunt public lands in the west, you have hunted lands that were acquired via LWCF or lands where easements/access was secured via LWCF.
If you want to do something to help improve your access, let your Congressional delegation know that refunding and reauthorizing LWCF is a huge benefit to people who use public lands for recreation.
To gain ranking of projects in LWCF scoring, great priority is given to projects that will fill in those inholding/checkerboard areas where a road crossing a small piece of private locks access to thousands of acres of public. Also given high ranking is land that is considered high priority recreation value.
Each Congressional delegation, under the appropriation mechanism of LWCF can work to get projects in their district/state approved for appropriation. LWCF is almost always done at the local and state level, then submitted to Congress for appropriation, which if approved, will give the USFS or BLM the funds needed to acquire such property.
Odds are, if you fish, your boat ramp or fishing access site was acquired in part with LWCF. If you hunt the west, you are probably benefiting from LWCF. If you hike trails in the East, odds are that LWCF was used to acquire easements for those trails to go through private or timber company lands.
LWCF was passed in 1964, when offshore oil drilling was authorized. The premise was that a small part of royalties received from depletion of one public asset, offshore oil, could be used to replenish other public assets, public lands. It passed with overwhelming support in Congress and was considered a great deal by the oil and gas industry.
The royalty total earmarked for this program is $900 million per YEAR. Only once has Congress fully funded the program according to the earmarked royalty amount. All other years they have diverted the money to other projects. Now that the LWCF program has expired, the royalties are still being collected, but used for other projects. It is not like the oil and gas companies are paying less royalty, rather they pay the same royalty and the money is spent elsewhere.
LWCF is one of the programs that has wide bipartisan support, but a small group of US Senators who hate public land torpedo a vote to reauthorize it. Very frustrating.
Point of all this being; if you want to improve your access to public lands, make sure your Senator and Congressman know you want LWCF reauthorized. For them to continue to collect the royalty without using it for the intended purpose is a bunch of BS, but I doubt it surprises any of us, given it is Congress.
Thanks Randy. Very informative. I will be contacting my congressmen.
Hunted American Prairie Reserve lands this fall. Stayed in one of their campgrounds. You can hunt any big game species and game birds. You can't hunt coyotes, fox, prairie dogs and other non-game species.
They don't own that much but the have opened up very large areas of public that we couldn't get into before. Most of their grazing lands are in great shape, something that wasn't always true in the past.
Lots of buffalo roaming around.
Not sure where the anti-hunting comments come from.
Most of the blm landlocked stuff comes from the Colorado guys that think they are untitled to the landlocked blm and hate that the outfitters lease the ranches, then pay the blm to hunt on it. The idea of hunting easy uneducated elk really gets them mad cause they can't access it. They've been arguing about this in here since 2015.
Buglmin, I am pretty sure that the argument is that the Average Joe public land hunter isn't allowed to pay, as you say, and hunt it. And, while I am as private property rights friendly as anyone and, realize the blocks are not the fault of the private landowner, I also see the irony in the situation that allows these private owners to use public use mandated land as a benefit while locking out others
Buglmin, you stated "outfitters lease the ranches, then pay the blm to hunt on it".
Can you prove this statement? I know of no BLM programs selling access to outfitters.
I'm sure that any commercial endeavor on BLM, National Forest or State Land requires a use permit.
Buglmin, why take a dig at Colorado guys for making the case like it's a bad thing? It is not the only state where that argument is made. Every person who hunts in the west but doesn't own a large swath of land would benefit if BLM was more accessible and hunters were able to spread out. If the landowners and the outfitters benefitting from landlocked public properties have to work just a little harder when they don't have access to so many "easy and uneducated" elk (which are not private property anyway but often treated as such), so be it, it won't kill them.
BLM charges fees to outfitters and all other commercial users of public land. They are called "Special Recreation Permits".
From the BLM website: "SRPs also ensure that the public receives a fair-value return for certain recreational uses of the public lands, by charging fees for permitted activities, and provides for economic development in surrounding communities through sustainable recreation uses."
How they determine "fair value return" is highly questionable, just like the underpriced USFS grazing fees.
i know of area where BLM was trying to run an ATV trail thru private property it was only about 75 yards to connect with the another ATV trail but owner denied permission so BLM went up the hill on BLM land and cut across a trail and back down to connect with the other trail. Once we were walking the trail a ranch hand was watching us. Next thing we know an Sheriff was waiting for us. We were told that we trespass private property. Long story short the judge dismiss our case because we were on BLM land. The owner and BLM been going back and forth over this corner piece of land. It been rule in favor of BLM.
it's going on all over the place. Private hunting is real big money.
There was a 2 part article in Bugle I believe the addressed this issue. That article talked about trails and road ways crossing private land which were historically used by the public but were closed by new owners. Access was being challenged in court on behalf of the public, but resources were limited.................Of course, Pelosi can propose 54 billion for foreign aid.
I really don't see the big issue I have been accessing BLM land via corner crossing in North Central Colorado and South Central Wyoming for a long time. No issues at all?
AdamB -its just manner of time before you are caught. Maybe never maybe sooner. Its your choose. Maybe the ranchers don't care , you have been lucky and im sure there more who do. Me, i will not. My choose. Shoot straight and be safe.
I hear you goelk and I'd hesitant elsewhere because I didn't know better but by now it just doesn't seem like an issue and I'm scattered over a pretty large area and no one cares. I've met the Ranchers and they just ask what I've seen etc.
Adam, if this is in Larimer County or Jackson County the Sheriff will prosecute if the rancher wants to press charges. I know ranchers in both counties who have done that. You are lucky to have found some who aren't dickheads about it.
Yeah I don't doubt it I believe you guys just not my experience.
And I will not be scouting out any new areas lol.
I was watching some of the Randy Newberg hunts yesterday and he accessed one of these landlocked areas..... with a helicopter. He did not go into it in much detail except to say that it is not expensive. He did say the hunting in these landlocked areas can be unbelievable. What a great hunting trip it would be; get dropped in and camp there for a week. Pete
Pete - I have done that five times. For the trip you watched, it was $700-800 per guy when split three ways. Yeah, still a chunk of money, but less than I pay for an elk tag when I am lucky enough to draw some states.
Pete, you have to do your homework. I paid a trespass fee to access a chunk of landlocked BLM and it sucked. Looked great, but turns out the elk don't really get in there until rifle season, and other guys could also access it from a ranch on the other side by paying a trespass fee too. The rancher I paid wasn't totally honest about that part up-front....