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The Promises are the Same

The promise of the federal government to “extinguish title” (transfer title) to the public lands is the same to all newly created states – both east and West of Colorado -. The U.S. Supreme Court refers to these statehood contracts (Enabling Acts) as “trusts,” “solemn compacts,” and “bi-lateral agreements” to be performed “in a timely fashion.

So, Why The Difference?

It’s Not … when the states were created (e.g. OK-1907 and CA-1850, or ND-1889 and ID-1890).

It’s Not … the terms of transfer in their Enabling Acts because those are materially the same.

For nearly 200 years, Congress recognized its duty to disposed of the public lands. It wasn’t until 1976 that Congress passed the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) unilaterally declaring that it was their new “policy to retain these lands in federal ownership.”

However, in 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared that Congress doesn’t have the authority to unilaterally change “the uniquely sovereign character” of a state’s admission into the Union, particularly “where virtually all of a state’s public lands are a stake.” Hawaii v. OHA.

Additional Resources to Learn More:

The Promises are the Same-Image

Video: The Promises are the Same

Why the Difference? Map

Pamphlet: The Promises are the Same. So…Why the Difference?

Forever Disclaim Image

Slide Show: The promises are the same to the states both west and east.

North Dakota v Utah Image

The promises are the same: North Dakota vs. Utah Enabling Acts

Key Points: The Promises Are The Same | It’s Been Done Before | The Only Solution Big Enough | What Can I Do?

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