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.