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Tony Dean wants all land to be public land

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Liberty Belle

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Does this jerk tick any of the rest of you off as bad as he does me?

ND Ag Groups Oppose Historical Ranch Sale

A few years back, a friend from Minnesota offered an observation.

“Nearly all of the farmers and ranchers I’ve known over the years are sensible, decent folks,” he said in an email. “So why is it that all of the groups that purport to represent them have such a big chip on their shoulders?”

A sage observation and one that applies well to the opposition Ken and Norma Eberts have run into in their efforts to sell their ranch for the past four years to sell their ranch to the federal government. The significance of their ranch, which they own in partnership with Ken’s brothers, Dennis and Allen, is near the site of one of former President Teddy Roosevelt two North Dakota Badlands ranches. In fact, TR’s cattle grazed on the land the Ebert’s are trying to sell. The old Roughrider certainly wasn’t anti-ranching, after all, he helped form North Dakota’s first grazing association. He spent more than three years there in the 1880’s.

That makes this a historically significant ranch, one worth preserving as it is for Americans. And just as Roosevelt was pro-rancher, he was also very much in favor of public land, something many of today’s ranchers seem to be opposed to, a strange turn of events since many of them rely on the low cost grazing that’s priced at about ten percent of what comparable private land fetches for grazing rental.

North Dakota property rights radicals such as the Farm Bureau have been in the thick of the fight, along with county officials and some politicians, to prevent the sale. It is ironic that those who trumpet the “property rights” mantra the loudest seem willing to violate the rights of the Ken and Norma Eberts by trying to prevent them from selling their ranch to a willing seller---the federal government.

The land they want to sell---5,150 acres---is gorgeous land amid the scenic splendor of hills, buttes and the Little Missouri River, the land that Roosevelt loved. The Ebert’s seem mindful of that and say they want to preserve the land, allowing grazing, hunting and oil exploration, just as it is now.

However, their effort has pitted them against many of their neighbors, who seem unmindful of the location of North Dakota’s richest tourism area. Nearby Medora hosts all sorts of tourism events, much of them wrapped around the memory of Teddy Roosevelt. Even golfers travel there to play one of America’s prettiest and most challenging golf courses, aptly named, “Bully Pulpit.”

Currently, a US Senate Appropriations Sub Committee is considering legislation that would allow the US Forest Service to start the land acquisition by spending $1.45 million toward the purchase.

However, they are running into stiff opposition from the property rights crowd, most of whom already suck off the nipple of the Mother federal government with their cheap grazing leases.

They say they want no expansion of federal land in western North Dakota, which is home to the 1.1 million acre Little Missouri National Grasslands. These ranchers make up one of the most politically powerful ranching groups in America, and they are accustomed to having their way. They have no qualms about pounding on the desks of Governors, Congressmen and US Senators.

Dorgan has already (likely on behalf of the ranchers) gotten the Forest Service to agree to several conditions. They would sell other property so there is no increase of federal land, a move most of the public would likely oppose. The reason I believe Dorgan greased their wheels is that he also persuaded the Forest Service to withdraw new grazing regulations the ranchers opposed. Truth is, they’d oppose anything dealing with grazing except for the rate decrease they received this year---which cut their rates to $1.86 per cow-calf-per-month---while cattle prices hit record highs.

However, the Ebert’s want to retire and they say their ranch is worth $3.5 million, and offered it first to the State of North Dakota. The legislature rejected it. Actually, when one considers the scenic and historical values of the ranch, it’s likely worth a lot more than they are asking.

But they are getting a considerable amount of support from outside North Dakota; conservation groups such as the Boone & Crockett Club and the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. And that support is growing as more and more conservation organizations join the bandwagon.

And that’s what rankles the local ranchers like Jim Arthaud, who also serves as the Billings County Commission Chairman. Like most western counties, ranchers dominate county commissions because they like the power and want to keep it.

Arthaud tries to characterize such conservation groups as “East Coast environmentalists who have more clout than the people who live on the land.”

Hardly. Many Dakotans belong to those conservation groups, as well as mainstream rod and gun clubs that are local, but affiliated with groups such as the National Wildlife Federation.

The ranchers might be facing a losing battle, at least we hope so.

And it’s one they might be foolish for getting into, because the more taxpayers know about their cheap grazing rates, and the fact that the American cowboy image is a part of long-gone history, the more likely they’ll be getting into additional losing battles in the future.

Look at the list of the North Dakota ag groups standing in line to oppose the sale.

They include the radical and extreme Landowners Association of North Dakota, the Farm Bureau, the North Dakota Farmer’s Union, and Stockman’s Association. They’ve carried the property rights banner all along but don’t seem to think the Ebert’s should have those rights.

But they have agreed to back Dorgan’s proposal provided guarantees are included that involve no net increase in federal land in North Dakota. Gov. John Hoeven, to his political good sense, said he also supports the Forest Service effort under Dorgan’s agreement.

The conservation groups will win this battle, but my home state will likely get a black eye from the efforts of a very, very loud vocal minority that always wants things their own way.

An Eastern conservation writer, Ted Williams, once wrote about radical property rights Wise Use Movement groups in Nevada, noting, “Some of the world’s ugliest people live in some of the most beautiful places.” He wasn’t talking about their physical appearance---it was their “me first” attitude. He could have just as well used it to describe some of the "suck off of the federal nipple" ranchers in western North Dakota.

I love North Dakota. I was born there and lived there the first 21 years of my life. I return each year to hunt and fish, and frequently tout its outdoor resources to my readers, listeners and television viewers. I’ve hunted and fished there for the last 35 consecutive years. And even though it is legal to hunt on land that isn’t posted in North Dakota, I always ask permission. In Lord knows how many trips there, I’ve been refused permission just four times.

Just four times.

In three of the cases, the landowner had already promised someone else they could hunt there on that day. Only one gave me a flat-out “No.”

Like my Minnesota friend said, most farmers and ranchers are really nice, decent people, but their leaders are out of touch. That seems to be the case in western North Dakota.

February 15, 2006
http://www.tonydean.com/issues2.html?sectionid=7257
 
A

Anonymous

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Sitting Bull took a leak in the hills west of my place--must be historical significance there :???:
 

PPRM

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Yikes OT,

I'd never of made that public. You'll likely not be able to dig another post hole for fear of disturbing historically significant ground, LOL,

PPRM
 

HAY MAKER

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I cant help but wonder,how Tony Dean would fare in the great state of Texas,where 98% of the land is privately owned..............good luck
 

Liberty Belle

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Tony Dean, Chris Hesla and Dave Nauman also want the state to own all the private land under the flooded flat land in north eastern South Dakota. It really ticked them off when Farm Bureau stepped in and got this land and water grab stopped.

Non-Meandered Lakes Bill Fails in House

HB 1096, a measure that started with good intentions, died on the House Floor following an arrogant effort by the Farm Bureau to heavily amend the legislation.

After the Game, Fish & Parks Department had offered a list of lakes in northeastern South Dakota that should remain open to public access, the Farm Bureau, sensing blood in front of a friendly committee, was successful in adding an amendment that would have required a history of 21 years of public recreation use on each lake.

Of course, many of the "new lakes" could not meet that test, since many formed following the very wet decade of the 1990's.

But you can't stop the belligerant schoolyard bully attitude of the FB, even when it stands in the way of good sense.

So, the heavily amended measure went to the house, where it was defeated handily, 36 to 31 votes.

The scary part is that this legislation was supported by 31 lawmakers. I am going to dig out the voting list and post it on this website.

I would be surprised if the votes in favor of passage contained many northeastern SD lawmakers because ice fishing, which is what this bill is all about, brings to much money into the area.

South Dakotans owe a great deal of thanks to Chris Hesla and Dave Nauman, the lobbying team at the State Legislature, for their outstanding work on this and other legislation.
February 13, 2006
http://www.tonydean.com/issues2.html?sectionid=7246
 

SDSteve

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Where in this story or anywhere else has Tony Dean said he wants "all land to be public land" ? In your zeal to run down Tony Dean at every opportunity don't let the facts stand in your way. Since you are getting into politics tell me LB how you feel about being misquoted.
 

Liberty Belle

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Where in this story or anywhere else has Tony Dean said he wants "all land to be public land" ? In your zeal to run down Tony Dean at every opportunity don't let the facts stand in your way. Since you are getting into politics tell me LB how you feel about being misquoted.
That is the conclusion I came to, all by myself, after reading years worth of the socialist drivel posted by Dean on his website. What impression do you get by reading his garbage?

As for being misquoted - read enough of Tony Dean and you'll see me misquoted and lied about many times. I'm getting used to it. I just consider the source and figure anyone whose opinion matters to me will do the same.
 

Liberty Belle

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Tony Dean posts another email blasting private property owners written by an anonymous writer. Doesn't it seem strange that Dean never publishes the names of anyone denigrating property rights or the landowners defending those rights? Where is the courage of their convictions? And why are they and Dean afraid of using their real names - Tony Dean doesn't even use his real name.

Tony Dean Outdoors
Outdoors Keeps Us Here


It appears the SD legistlature has been quiet the last week on outdoor topics. Could it be that they are too busy trying to legistlate how I live my life morally? If we are such a republican state, why does the government continually try to stick their nose in where it doesn't
belong? Unless, of course, it is related to property rights. By god, we can't have practices that benefit the people as a whole, this course requires the state to own no public land, and as soon as the landowners get the ability to transfer liscenses to/from the landowner, can you imagine how heavy their wallets will become? It is frustrating to live in such a backwards state with a few asses for politicians, but as you always state, the ourdoors provides a major perk.

Nate


February 17, 2006

http://www.tonydean.com/issues2.html?sectionid=7264
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Not that I am in favor of government owning anything but aren't thse peoples propery rights being violated by this.


"A sage observation and one that applies well to the opposition Ken and Norma Eberts have run into in their efforts to sell their ranch for the past four years."

North Dakota property rights radicals such as the Farm Bureau have been in the thick of the fight, along with county officials and some politicians, to prevent the sale. It is ironic that those who trumpet the “property rights” mantra the loudest seem willing to violate the rights of the Ken and Norma Eberts by trying to prevent them from selling their ranch to a willing seller--

I know the fight is with the government buying land but what about willing seller willing buyer? Isn't that partly what your fighting for. The ability to do what you want with your land?
 

Southdakotahunter

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i think your absolutely right big muddy.

I ask this of LB.....Pray to God but something happened and you HAVE to sell your land. The game and fish come along and want to buy it to put a park or something because "sitting bull took a leak on the hill behind your house" and you were offered more than you would have sold it to "Clyde" your neighbor. Should you be told who you can or cant sell to? Would you sell it to them? The bills are piling up and by selliing to them you just may be able to take care of everything that needs taken care of and even live comfortably....Clyde wont offer that amount for your joint, what do ya do? Should you only be able to sell to Clyde even if the offer is better by government? Besides, my hunting and fishing licenses bought that land, not any tax payer money.
 

Liberty Belle

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Okay guys. Pay attention. I have absolutely nothing against a willing seller selling to anyone they want to sell their land to, but I don’t believe any government agency, federal, state or county, should be able to own land. No one is trying to violate Eberts’ rights to do anything, they just don’t believe that the government has any business owning land.

Oh, SDH, that money from your licenses is to go toward managing the public’s wildlife and enforcing game laws. GF&P is always claiming they need more money. If they spent all the dough they have on managing wildlife, paying citizens of the state for damages to private vehicles and private land, and paying their employees a living wage, they wouldn’t have enough left over to compete with individuals in the real estate market.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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No net increase would result if this happened"Dorgan has already (likely on behalf of the ranchers) gotten the Forest Service to agree to several conditions. They would sell other property so there is no increase of federal land, "


LB is all you land deeded or do you run on any government land? We are operating on Crownland here. Not the best but this land has never had a title written for it and is considered critical wildlife habitat. So we can just run cattle and not farm it which it should never be farmed anyway.
 

Liberty Belle

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We used to lease some state land until the Dept. of School and Public Lands allowed us to buy it last year at a price that will keep us in debt for the rest of our lives, but at least we are no longer sitting on a time bomb.

State land is leased differently than federal land. The folks leasing state land pay the lease, which is set at a rate comparable with privately leased land and also pay property tax on the land the same as if they owned it, so it is no gravy train. The expenses are as high as any land privately owned, but since you don’t hold title to the land, you never know from year to year what is going to happen with your lease.

The other down side of buying state land is that the state retains the severed mineral interests from that land, which wouldn’t be a problem in most counties, but in our case we live right on the edge of the oil patch and there is a real possibility that the state will someday be cashing oil checks from under land we own.

In South Dakota counties are not allowed to keep the mineral interests on county land they sell, so consequently the leasers are never able to buy county land.

I have no idea how things work with federal land because we've never leased any.
 

Southdakotahunter

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Oh LB, You say the license fees need to go to managing wildlife....doesnt the purchase of land for wildlife constitute some form of management? Management should also be trying to attract more in state and out of state interests to spend their $$ here. Its good for the economy, it sure helps ALOT of small towns in this state thats for sure. I would bet your grocer, bar owner, motel owner and gas station owner appreciates the hunter but if there is not any game or places to go, they wont come.


Lets see, the government shouldnt own (which it is really you and me) any land, but they cant get on your joint when they see someone hunting and try to manage the game they are hunting? If there is a problem, like too many critters, thats gotta be the fault of the gfp, and if there are not enough, its their fault also.

You also mentioned the state should pay for car accidents caused by deer. I guess they should pay when the road is icy also? What about a cow on the road? This is an open range state i think....who should pay for the cow and the car when that gets hit? The cow owner or the car driver or the state for allowing the animal on the road?
 

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