Want your own land? There are actually several ways that give people a fairly easy way to buy land. The US Department of Agriculture has several grant programs that are specific to rural development, ranchers, and farmers. These programs are actually quite extensive and really do well to entice more Americans to the rural lifestyle. But, the government has taken hold of most of the land in the west, making it near impossible to find land that is not owned by a municipality or the federal government. The Wild (Government Owned) WestThe federal government actually owns a huge percentage of land in America, especially in the west. 80% of Nevada is owned by the government. If you like the desert climate, you will have to go somewhere else, because there is not a single rock that is not owned outside of a city that is also owned by the county governments. 60% of Alaska is claimed by the federal government. These issues have given rise to occupy protests that have got people thinking about America’s stranglehold on land in the west. What is even more interesting is that people do not usually live by any federal land. Only 7% live in a county where there is also federal land. In many states, government institutions are leasing land out to ranchers, farmers, and other companies to work the land. In one instance, a leasee was late on a payment because of the economy stifling, so the government actually sent federal agents to round up his cattle and take his property and kick him off the land. There was an armed response from the ranchers, and successfully staged an occupy protest, to which more hard-working farmers and ranchers followed. These situations happen all over the US, mostly because the federal government owns nearly a third of the land, and then make people pay for using it, but never get to own it. Why is the government occupying the American West? The Midwest and Eastern parts of the US have only 4% of land owned by the federal government. What is so important about those lands that our government has to own them? Why not put the land up for sale so people can buy them? Understandably, there are several national reserves and other lands like those that need to be owned and protected, that much is certain. But there are thousands of acres of land in bunches that have nothing on them. Why is Government Land Ownership a Problem?Let us start from the beginning. During the time of the Louisiana Purchase and westward expansion, the US was dominating whatever region it could. After the Revolutionary War, Native Americans were being slaughtered, kicked off their lands, and placed on “reservations”. These reservations were actually federally owned land regardless of the treaties signed to name them as sovereign lands because of military oversight. When Native Americans were removed from the lands to the west of the Mississippi, the federal government did what they are doing now, and gave incentive to white settlers that were loyal to the US to take those lands for themselves. However, while the government seized those lands through military and militia might, they never gave the lands to the people, the lawmakers at the time thought it to be a good idea to keep control over the lands, and no one at the time ever thought that it would be a permanent thing. Through the years, conflict has been stirring in the entire region as subsidized lands are being fought over, and sometimes getting bloody. The federal government thought it to be a great idea to use these lands to convince ranchers, farmers, and other special interest groups to have the land subsidized to them, so they could work the land. First, it was agreed that the area needed settlers, so they subsidized the land for next to nothing, but people soon realized that the arid climate was not good for crops without irrigation, so they soon abandoned the idea. After that plan failed, they agreed to make use of the lands in a public manner, and the different groups like the people who were ranchers, farmers, and water owners could work together and build an industry. Well, that started a small war with every interest group. Today, the same laws and ideas are still in effect, and the people who work the land are fighting with another group that wants to use the land for something else, while also fighting with the government. How the Government Land Ownership Problem Persists TodayRepublicans are consistently pouring money into lobbying and other channels, so they can gain influence to make money off the land by mining, drilling for oil and natural gas, and other earth-destroying means. Democrats flip-flop on the issue because no majority has a solid belief or plan to stop the land feuds. Activist groups fight for the lands to still stay protected, no matter what happens with them, so they constantly fight with big oil and other companies that are hellbent on drilling every piece of dirt on the planet. “This land was made, for you, and me.” But, not the west, the rest of it is, but the west is off limits, because the US has money making and political interests tied up in the lands. Wouldn’t it be great if the lands were given back to the people? What if there were laws that were made that local municipalities had to follow, in which the land may not be mined or drilled, and that either homesteads or towns that burn clean energy may only be built? Maybe, the land could only be used for residential and responsible ranching, or farming purposes? Problem solved.