DENVER, CO. A Wyoming man seeking to overturn rulings by a Wyoming federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in favor of the U.S. Forest Service in a dispute over whether his land may be used as a federal trail today won a nearly unanimous victory before the Supreme Court of the United States. Marvin Brandt, of Fox Park, claims title to a railroad right-of-way that bisects his property. The right-of-way was used by a railroad from 1904 to 1995 when the railroad abandoned it; tracks and ties were removed by 2000. A Wyoming federal district court ruled the United States kept a reversionary interest in the right-of-way that could be used for a recreational trail, rejecting Mr. Brandt’s view that the right-of-way was an easement in which the United States has no interest. A Tenth Circuit three-judge panel upheld the ruling in September 2012. Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the 8-1 majority, “nothing in the text of the 1875 Act supports [the federal government’s] improbable (and self-serving) reading.”
“This is a great victory for Marvin Brandt who had the courage to fight back, for millions of landowners who might find themselves in his shoes, and for those who supported our efforts on his behalf,” said William Perry Pendley of Mountain States Legal Foundation, which represented Mr. Brandt.
On February 25, 1904, pursuant to the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act, the Laramie, Hahns Peak and Pacific Railroad Company filed with the U.S. Department of the Interior and, thus, in 1908, acquired a 200-foot-wide, 66-mile-long right-of-way from Laramie, Wyoming, to the Colorado State line. The railroad operated until September 1995, and, in May 1996, the railroad’s owner filed a Notice of Intent to Abandon Rail Service from near Laramie, Wyoming, to the Colorado State line. The track and ties were removed in 1999 and 2000 and service terminated at the end of 2003.
The land along the railroad right-of-way was reserved from the public domain by presidential proclamation and became part of the Medicine Bow National Forest. The private land areas of Albany, Fox Park, and Mountain Home along the right-of-way were acquired after creation of the railroad and are subject to it. At Albany, private lots were platted over the right-of-way and the land conveyed subject to the railroad. Abandonment of the railroad right-of-way thus creates a title conflict between these ownerships and the effects of the 1988 Rails-to-Trails Act. Mr. Brandt owns 83 acres of private land patented to him on February 18, 1976, as part of an exchange with the Forest Service. In April 2005, the Forest Service issued a notice of its plans to convert the railway into a public trail. On July 14, 2006, the United States sued Mr. Brandt and others. The court ruled on March 3, 2009.
Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and economic freedom. Its offices are in the Denver, Colorado, metropolitan area.
For more information: Brandt v. United States
The last of the Maine deer hunting for 2013 ended on December 13, 2013. It is now March 11, 2014 and not one breath of information coming out of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) about harvest data. And as is always the case, the longer we wait the more reason we have to believe there must be something to hide. I mean seriously, how long can it take? Or am I the only one who cares enough about factual information to make my own assessments as to what is and what is not going on with the state’s deer and deer management (or lack thereof)? After all, there was all this pre-season hype about a restored and surging deer herd with projected increases in deer harvest expected.
Maine counts about 20,000 deer of late, most all of that information being collected from tagging stations spread out across the state. I hate to make this comparison but New Jersey counted just shy of 50,000 tagged deer in their harvest and the last of their deer hunting, winter bow, didn’t end until January 31, 2014.
Not to pick just on the deer harvest, where’s Maine’s bear harvest data? Gee, the newspapers are always full of bear stories, of the great work the bear biologists are doing studying bears etc. but no bear harvest data.
So what’s new with whitetail deer management in Maine? Nothing, I guess, unless it’s a really well kept secret. Hoping for some more serious global warming I guess. And where’s that increased communication we were promised in Maine’s Plan for Deer?
There is some good news about deer management coming from Downeast Maine. Sorry, but this management has nothing to do with MDIFW. Downeast, they kill coyotes, they kill bears, they kill bobcats, that kill deer. Oh, don’t worry. They aren’t going to kill all the coyotes, bears and bobcats. They just MANAGE them. Instead they are going to prevent the extirpation of whitetail deer.
Unofficial reports I have just received show deer harvest numbers are great. Coyote tracks and other signs are at minimum levels compared with previous years and with a spring bear hunt on Indian Reservation lands, over 50 bears were taken last year.
And by the way, with a continued abundance of snowshoe hare, the Canada lynx, supposedly in danger of extirpation, is thriving Downeast.
But there is something going on with moose Downeast. One observer says he doesn’t believe it to be winter ticks, as the usual signs of tick infestation aren’t showing up.
I also have an unconfirmed report that 4 of the 40 moose officials collared, as part of their moose study, have already died. I believe those 4 dead moose were yearlings. No cause given yet but it is being reported that when those 4 moose were collared, officials knew they were sick then. But what were they sick with?
Maine has already determined how many moose permits they will issue for the 2014 hunt by lottery. Was this decision made knowing that there may be disease running its course? Should MDIFW reconsider moose permit allotments. If only there was better communication. I think sportsmen and others would be more concerned if they actually knew what was going on. Or maybe that’s the plan.
Cross [Randy Cross, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife bear biologist] drew a distinction between leaving food for bears in a neighborhood setting and leaving bait for bears in rural settings during hunting season, however.
“Bears have learned to associate concentrated food sources with location,” Cross said. “A bear finds beechnuts on a ridge north of its home range, then searches other ridges north of his home range for nuts. This is why it’s important that they not find food near homes. And it’s one of the reasons why baiting bears deep in the woods does not cause bears to look for food in town.”<<<Read More>>>
For some people, defining a person by drawing ridiculous lines of what constitutes a liberal vs. conservation, i.e. right and left, republican or democrat, is very important. However, some will support that labeled person staunchly because they carry a label and not necessarily by what they express or speak as an indication of how they really feel and what they believe. In this same regard, we must consider there are issues that can be considered trivial in decision making about whether to support a person or not. And there are HUGE rights issues, equivalent to shooting a shotgun blast into the bottom of a wooden row boat, that should bring a person to a definite understanding.
Since appearing before the American public, as a medical doctor, speaking out against President Obama’s fascist and Marxist (yes they can go together with certain issues) policies, the right has been agog over the man, even labeling him as some kind of hero. I’m speaking of Dr. Ben Carson.
While he might find issues with Obamacare, after all, few doctors support any kind of nationalized health care because there’s no money it, is he all that he’s been cracked up to be?
It seems he revealed himself the other day in an interview with Glenn Beck, presenting himself as a supporter of the Second Amendment but not guaranteed equally for everyone. Before talking about this interview, let’s peek at an Op-Ed Ben Carson had published in the Washington Times back on December 10, 2013.
Carson, in his opinion piece, was attempting to define what he believed were the reasons the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment. There was nothing new in that regard. However, in what should have been a hint of his real position on the Second Amendment and probably his approach to all things political, we read this:
We do, however, require that anyone driving a car on the streets of our nation have a license to do so, indicating the successful completion of adequate training. We do not grant licenses to certain categories of individuals who would be deemed unsafe drivers. This is done for the safety of the public at large.
Perhaps instead of getting into our corners and screaming at each other, it is time to engage in intelligent conversation about our desire to preserve the rights granted to American citizens by our Constitution while at the same time ensuring the safety of all of our citizens. The way we treat access to automobiles is a good starting point, although there is no perfect analogy. If we keep our goals in mind and dispose of ideological rhetoric, we can solve this problem.
First I need to go find my Bill of Rights publication and see which one guarantees a person the right to drive a car. Sorry! I couldn’t seem to find it.
Carson is correct in that there is no perfect analogy but his is extremely poor. If his argument was legitimate, using the logic and reasoning of anti gun zealots, keeping cars out of the hands of those he wants to label “unsafe drivers” would be an impossible task but more importantly impractical and unreasonable. Aren’t the reasons people are killed in automobiles different than those shot with guns? How do you assess who is an “unsafe driver” when attempting to get drunk drivers off the road? Do you let the drunks kill somebody(s) before they become an unsafe driver? What about speeders? Those who fail to use directional signals? Drive unsafe cars? And then who decides? Will it be the same ones who decide who should be able to own and gun, how big it is and how many shots can be fired? Brilliant!
Carson wouldn’t be the first person to make the assumption that because a certain object is a gun it makes a person more dead when they are killed with it rather than with an automobile, golf club or a baseball bat. We could argue this till forever and if you don’t like guns, and I don’t believe Carson does, well except for himself, discussing this analogy of guns and cars is a waste of time.
Instead, let me draw your attention to a typical, and what I believe to be ignorant statement, Dr. Carson makes about “disposing of ideological rhetoric,” “engaging in intellectual conversation,” and get out of “hiding in corners” in order to “solve this problem.”
First, he never defines what “this problem” is. But if he had, what is it he is suggesting? Simple really. He is saying that the Second Amendment has no real value because it is not worth “screaming at each other” in support of that right. He prefers to call those who support firmly the guaranteed right to own a gun “ideological rhetoric.” I believe in the right to bear arms and I’m not interested in giving any of that up because somebody thinks if I did, we would be safer somehow. And that is NOT ideological thinking from someone standing in a corner “screaming” unintellectual gibberish.
If a person is asked to give up half of his savings account because someone else decided you didn’t need that much money and having it was “ideological”, it wouldn’t be long before the account had no value. Is this what Dr. Carson is suggesting we do with the Second Amendment?
If this kind of talk isn’t enough to get you to question the man and his own ideology, then perhaps what he told Glenn Beck in a recent interview will help. When Beck asked Carson for his thoughts on the Second Amendment, according to Mediaite, Carson initially said, “There’s a reason for the Second Amendment; people do have the right to have weapons.” But when questioned about owning semi-automatic weapons, this is how Carson responded:
“It depends on where you live.”
“I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people, and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it,” Carson elaborated.
However, if you live “out in the country somewhere by yourself” and want to own a semi-automatic weapon, he added, “I’ve no problem with that.”
This should settle any remaining doubts you may have about Dr. Ben Carson. A man who believes some people have more rights than others merely due to geographical location is an idiot and a dangerous man. And to take a phrase from Mr. Carson himself, if you think I’m hard on the man because of his twisted concepts of rights, “I’ve no problem with that.”
Columbus, OH – The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), a national organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights of hunters, anglers, and trappers, has opened an office in Sacramento, California. This office will serve as a western U.S. headquarters for USSA and play a significant role in protecting the deep-rooted outdoor heritage found in the Golden State.
“Expanding our operations is a natural progression for our organization as we plan to more effectively protect the interests of sportsmen across the country,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “Many of the issues caused by the anti-hunting community arise in the western U.S. and particularly California. With a mission to protect hunting, fishing and trapping, we see it as our responsibility to be there to defend America’s outdoor heritage.”
The western U.S. office will be led by Michael Flores who has a long and productive history of serving California on outdoor-related issues. Flores served as president of the California Fish and Game Commission from 2000 to 2007, was chairman of the California Wildlife Conservation Board, and was a director on the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s national board from 2000 to 2006. He currently is Vice Chairman on the USA Shooting Foundation Board of Directors and has held numerous other esteemed roles including Secretary of Foreign Affairs for California.
Flores’ experience, coupled with USSA’s proven track record of success, will be the driving force behind the goal of building a strong coalition of members and member organizations throughout the region. Benefits of this coalition would include the capacity to proactively impact policies that affect citizens’ ability to hunt, fish and trap in California and beyond.
Integrating local community leaders, policy makers and conservation organizations is key to USSA’s success throughout the western states. These groups are recognized as critical components to keeping the outdoor community informed on hunting, fishing, and trapping related issues.
USSA has taken on the responsibility to provide leadership nationally in the battle against animal rights extremists and anti-hunting organizations. Establishing a western U.S. headquarters to complement its national headquarters in Columbus, Ohio will greatly assist us in that endeavor.
“If you don’t like our rules and regulations, then go back where you came from and remember how good you had it in Maine and New Hampshire.
It doesn’t matter how many times voters reject these frivolous bills that are introduced — at a substantial cost to the state’s taxpayers — they will be brought up again and again, as these protestors are backed by “big money” corporations.
There are other states being terrorized by these groups so don’t think it’s just a New England issue. The anti-hunters will use all means to stop hunting, even if they start small and work on prohibiting baiting bears or using dogs to tree bears. If they win they will be back with another bill for their cause, and another and another, until hunting and fishing are gone forever.”<<<Read More>>>