I applaud Matt Rosendale for moving to put the federal government back into its constitutional box with regard to land use and ownership. He has been quoted by various critics saying supposedly radical things like, “There is no call in the Constitution for the federal government to own national forests...” and “the purpose for the federal government to retain land for post offices, batteries and things like that.”
Exactly right! Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 says the feds can have land only for D.C. and for “forts, magazines, arsenals, dock yards and other needful buildings ”—not for “national forests,” “wilderness areas,” etc. And the Tenth Amendment basically says, “If we forgot anything, you can’t do that, either.”
Why so much fear? Does the record show that the feds are better at managing forests than would be the state government? And if the state government managed forest land, why assume it would ignore Montana voters and sell it off to developers?
We should be glad to have a candidate for U.S. Senate who understands federalism and is willing to apply the clear wording of the Constitution in order to honor his oath of office. That’s a breath of fresh air.