On his nationally syndicated radio talk show Monday, host Mark Levin lauded President Donald Trump for giving land back to the state of Utah, saying, it’s “truly crazy” how much land the federal government owns in the United States.
“25 percent or more of American land, of America, is controlled by the federal government – by the federal government – and it’s inching closer and closer to 30 percent,” stated Mark Levin. “This is how presidents try to make a, in part, a legacy for themselves. It’s an enormous amount of land. You look at some of these states out west – Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona – you know, you’re talking over 50 percent of the land mass, over 50 percent. That’s truly crazy – absolutely crazy.”
Levin’s comments came after President Trump rescinded national monument protections on 1.9 million acres of Utah canyon land, reported CNBC. “The previous administration used a 100-year-old law known as the Antiquities Act to unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control,” Trump said according to CNSNews.com, “eliminating the ability of the people who actually live in those states to decide how best to use that land. Today, we are putting the states back in charge.”
Below is a transcript of Levin’s remarks from his show Monday:
“The president of the United States did something that is fantastic again today. This is another reason why they want to get rid of him.
“The so-called monument designation under the Antiquities Act has been abused by almost every president, but especially Barack Obama. This is where they take millions of acres of land, seize it from state governments, seize it from private property owners and the federal government decides it’s going to manage it.
“Now, I can tell you, as the deputy solicitor to the interior department many, many decades ago, the federal government does not have the capacity to manage all of this land. It simply does not. It barely manages properly what it already has. It cannot.
“And so the president of the United States gave multimillions of acres back to the state of Utah. I don’t know that this has ever been done, but it is a wonderful thing.
“They have used this law to lock up hundreds of millions of acres of land and water under strict government control that most people are not allowed to use.
“Now, there are people out there who will say this is a great thing. It’s a great thing that a president, like a dictator, can suddenly say, ‘All this land is going to belong to the federal government.’ Really?
“‘Well, you know, we need to keep land pristine out there. We need to have some areas that are pristine.’
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“[Levin quoting his book Liberty and Tyranny:] ‘[H]omeowners, farmers, businesses are subjected to a host of government restrictions and prohibitions that reduce the use and value of their properties, including laws relating to wet-lands and endangered species. Among the most far-reaching Enviro-Statist strategies is “smart growth”—where urban planners develop comprehensive zoning initiatives that purport to bring man back into balance with the ecosystem by severely restricting private property rights. And their focus is typically “suburban sprawl.” The urban planner’s purpose is to force populations into increasingly limited, dense areas; drive cars off the roads and increase use of public transportation or bicycle and pedestrian paths; bring the home and office closer together; … establish a communal existence. …
“‘[J]ust how problematic is suburban sprawl or, for that matter, development generally? In 2002, the Heritage Foundation’s Dr. Ronald D. Utt examined the federal government’s land use surveys and [here’s what he] concluded, “[A]fter nearly 400 years of unmanaged development and rabbit-like population growth, somewhere between [– listen to this, because you’ll know it and nobody else will –] 3.4 percent and 5.2 percent of land in the continental United States has been consumed… .”’
“You wouldn’t know that because the illiterates in the media, who are the mouthpieces for the left, want you to believe that we’re running out of land.
“‘“[A]fter nearly 400 years of unmanaged development and rabbit-like population growth, somewhere between 3.4 percent and 5.2 percent of land in the continental United States has been consumed… .”
“‘But what of the heavily urbanized states, which include several of the original colonies? Utt look at them [specifically, and he said,] “In both New York and Virginia, which were settled in the early 1600s, nearly 90 percent of the land is still undeveloped, while in Pennsylvania the share is over 85 percent, and in Maryland it is over 80 percent. In contrast, both New Jersey and Rhode Island’s developed shares hover at around one-third of the available land—some of the highest shares in the nation but still leaving both states with about two-thirds of their land undeveloped or in agricultural use.”’
“But that’s not good enough, you see. And this is in 2002. I suggest to you it has gotten a lot worse since in terms of land that’s been taking out of public use, I mean, private use rather.
“25 percent or more of American land, of America, is controlled by the federal government – by the federal government – and it’s inching closer and closer to 30 percent. This is how presidents try to make a, in part, a legacy for themselves. It’s an enormous amount of land. You look at some of these states out west – Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona – you know, you’re talking over 50 percent of the land mass, over 50 percent. That’s truly crazy – absolutely crazy.
“And if you don’t support this, ‘Well, well what are you, an idiot? You don’t believe in protecting the land and the animals?’ Of course, we do. But we don’t want to give up 25, 30, 35, 40 percent of America to the federal government. The federal government doesn’t manage things well. The federal government doesn’t manage parks well, as a matter of fact. I can tell you this. I know. I’m quite familiar with the Department of the Interior. Federal government doesn’t manage wilderness areas well.
“It’s the same federal government, the same rules, the same bureaucracy, the same civil service regulations and so forth that apply to these people. They always claim they don’t have enough money and they don’t have enough manpower. Well, of course.”