09-17-2016, 06:34 PM
They're considered public lands and are "managed" by Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and National Park Service, but the Native Americans are the ones who actually use it which indicates some kind of agreement was made in the past. (Isn't it the case, that native Americans aren't allowed to legally own the land the government "gives" them? That is, they can't have a deed to it?) Now the feds want to designate it a "national monument", in other words, a national park, with the backing of lobbyists with ideas about tourism. If they do that, they will start telling them, "Oh, you can't use this area anymore", "we're building a road here" or "shutting down a road over there" or maybe "we're allowing mining operations in this area" - much like they've done with the rancher's grazing land.
With the ranchers, much of the land is private property (which they also want to take and designate park, but I won't go into that) and some is public land which ranchers have been permitted to use for over a century. In the the Bundy's case (as I understand it) the feds made an agreement long ago, that anyone (and their descendents) who pioneered out there and made the scrub land productive, was allowed to continue using that land forever. Bundy's ancestors did that in the 1800's, but the feds want to reneg on the deal now that corporations are lobbying them. Also, it turns out there are a lot of minerals there, including uranium, and the feds can make a huge sum of money selling those mining rights to the Russians and the Chinese. It's likely this is true of the Indian's land also.
As I see it, in both cases, the government made agreements with people long ago, giving them certain rights to use the land as their own, essentially forever. Now the feds realize there's billions to be made and those old promises will be broken in the name of "conservation".
Marie Holliday, the 72-year-old Navajo lady, seems to understand what's up:
"I fear with a monument, there will be more restrictions, and we won’t have that opportunity, especially our Indian people, our Navajo people. We are always being cut off somewhere, and we don’t really trust the federal government."