Quantcast
Opinion

Letter: Utah's birthright

Comments

Return To Article
  • Samuel the Liberalite Farmington, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    Treat the earth well.
    It was not given to you by your parents,
    it was loaned to you by your children.
    We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
    we borrow it from our Children.

    Ancient Indian Proverb

  • Demo Dave Holladay, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    Sorry Bill, Our birthright is to leave future generations a heritage of unspoiled wilderness. Why do conservatives have such a problem with conservation? Why do you feel obligated to destroy the planet for your own immediate gratification? I don't get it.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    But --

    If everything is God's,
    -- as we believe --
    then isn't this whole discussion a moot point?

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    Section 3 of the Enabling Act for the credation of the State of Utah contains the following: "...the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof...." After the State of Utah came into being, the federal government conveyed certain lands to Utah by patent. The lands for which the monument is being considered were never conveyed to Utah and, as such, are part of the lands that "...the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof...." The land remains the property of the United States, and it is the perogative of the US to determine what is done with those lands.

    My suggestion -- evaluate the lands in question. If they merit designation as a monument, so designate them. If not, retain posession in the US (the land will be a lot better preserved and protected that way).

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    Aug. 21, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    Embarassed Utahn

    " Neither should you have free-reign to ride your noisy, polluting machine wherever you want."

    Yes lets go back to riding horses and wagon trains. And you call yourself a progressive when this is anything but.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    Try reading the Utah State Constitution, see what it has to say in the matter.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    UtahBlueDevil...

    I can see where the confusion of my posts come in... Sorry about that...

    I was saying that because the Colonies were already formed and that is why they did not have "Federal" lands in them.

    In Utah, we have Federal lands because Congress did not trust the Mormons....

    I was not trying to compare the two....

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    GaryO

    If you would take your anti-LDS glasses off and read a little history, you would have that Brigham Young negotiated with all the plains tribes as they cross their land. He felt it was better to work with the Indians instead of abusing them.

    Brigham did negotiate with the Indians, because in the Indian Culture, no one owns the land so they were willing to share. In return the Indians for the most part was treated fairly.

    As for the Mountain Meadow Massacre, you may want to do some more research. Yes, there were some Paiutes Indians in the group, but it mostly made up of LDS members. They were misled by misinformation and mistrust of Missourians. THEY were wrong in what they did.

    Brigham Young initial said it was Indians because is what was reported, once the true came out. People involved were excommunicated from the church, Brigham own adopted son (John D. Lee) was convicted of the crime and shot. Brigham came out and said it was a sad day for the saints.

    There are some very good well documented no bias books on the subject if you care to find them about Mountain Meadows...

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 20, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    Hey Confused –

    Brigham Young asked the Indians permission to settle, huh? So if the Native Americans hadn't given him permission, he would have gone back to Illinois . . . Right?

    “It is also one of the reasons that no wagon train ever got attacked by the Indians in the territory.”

    Really? But didn’t Indians attack a wagon train down around Cedar City in 1857? . . . At a place called Mountain Meadows.

    That’s what the local Mormon setters said . . . Brigham Young said that too. And there’s no way they could be wrong, is there?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 20, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    @Confused - you are surely confused. There are many examples of land deeds and "ownership" of land out east that far predates even the twinkling of the idea that there may someday be something called the United States of America. When the colonies formed the United States, they did so by bringing their existing land ownership rights with them. These predated any formation of a government that might have superseding rights.

    To confuse Utah and how it became a state with that of the original thirteen colonies is most puzzling indeed.

    The reason Utah is owned by the federal government is because the Federal government bought it from Mexico, the deed holder of the time. Brigham Young may have worked with the indians creating a lasting peace with them... but that had nothing to do with ownership and rights to the land.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    @procuradorfiscal-- What are you talking about, prejudice against "the Church". Are you aware that every Western state has large swaths of federal land? It's not just Utah. Talk about a persecution complex.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    a little Utah history lesson here...

    First of all the Mormon Pioneers did not "Steal" the land from the Native Americans who in the current state of Utah. That is what made Brigham Young unique, he went to the native Americans asked permission to settle in the Salt Lake Valley (which at the time Indians did not live there, they were more south around Utah Lake) in exchange, the Indians would receive supplies such as Beef, food, blankets etc.

    It is also one of the reasons that no wagon train ever got attacked by the Indians in the territory. Of course people being idiots, there was some trouble from time to time.

    The bottom line is that the Indians were treated better by the Mormons that the US Government.

    As for the land issue, to say that because the 13 colonies (NOT STATES) were formed before the government was created, is ludicrous, the reason Utah is owned by the FEDS is the simple reason Congress did not trust the Mormon Pioneers (which at the time included Nevada).

  • jjjdsd CENTERVILLE, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:43 p.m.

    @Onion Daze "Which statement have I made that is incorrect"?

    Here is one.

    "Indigenous Native Americans in Utah were long gone by the time of the pioneers."

    Boy that's a stretch. He never made that statement. Stick to the facts.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:27 p.m.

    So which "the Church" is the subject of prejudice in Alaska and Nevada which have higher percentages of federal land?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:00 p.m.

    Re: "Why is Utah treated so different?"

    There is actually only one reason, and it's the same reason the rest of the intermountain West was treated equally poorly -- prejudice against the Church.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 7:21 p.m.

    Congress is tasked with changing laws to meet the current needs of the country. As the best interests of the nation and the state of Utah may well be served by releasing Federal lands to the state it would be appropriate for such legislation to be considered.

    The Supreme Court likes to re-interpret the Constitution and the Justices have gone so far as to say the Constitution is an evolving document. They managed to find an unstated right to abortion and for all their education and experience they can't seem to understand something as simply worded as the Second Amendment. Maybe if they take a closer look they can find an unwritten right of the states to their internal lands.

    The Executive branch sees no problem choosing what parts of laws to enforce or ignore; consider the Dreamers and ACA - enforcement is capricious at best. Perhaps the President could direct the Department of the Interior to overlook the Utah Enabling Act and transfer the lands to Utah.

    Laws, including the Utah Enabling Act, only mean what our currently elected and appointed officials say they mean.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 7:05 p.m.

    The arrogance from Utah is just astounding.

    We are constantly playing the victim card. Don't we ever get tired of this? Just accept your lumps and move on. That's what's taught at church yet in practice...

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Aug. 19, 2014 6:24 p.m.

    I'm no expert in the Enabling Act, but Section 3 contains the following: "...the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof...."

    Sounds to me like public lands were explicitly disclaimed from state control. Perhaps we should read the whole document, not just cite the preamble.

    As to the alleged "bias" of eastern states, between national parks, Civil War battlefields, and military installations, here in Virginia there's plenty of land owned and controlled by the federal government. I don't know why ya'll think you're being singled out.

  • Onion Daze Payson, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 6:00 p.m.

    jsf asks the following:

    "Which statement have I made that is incorrect"?

    Here is one.

    "Indigenous Native Americans in Utah were long gone by the time of the pioneers."

    The population of what we call Utah now was not zero in 1846.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    @ 2 bites

    Why is Utah treated so different?

    2 reasons:

    1. Utah was added after the 13 states. Those first 13 states existed long before the United States did.
    2. We have found through experience that state owned land is always mismanaged and sold off. Thus, closing off it's benefits from the public and from future generations. We have learned from history. Unfortunately, conservatives today, haven't. They want to turn back the clock a few hundreds years.

    You can see how repubs haven't learned from history and actually want to promote policies that worsen problems.

    Things like, tax cuts for the rich, bribery being free speech, attacking unions, deregulation of Wall Street, babysitting marriage laws, and wars in the Middle East.

    These along with allowing the Feds to control and maintain lands are facts that are lost by the right.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal, Open Minded Mormon, airnaut, LDS Tree Hugger, etc,

    Re: "What is it with some Neo-Con and their disdain for Hispanics and Native Americans"...

    Call people "neo-cons" it doesn't matter. They don't necessarily have disdain for Hispanics and Native Americans... that's just YOUR stereotype for them.

    I have no problem with Hispanics or Native Americans, and I'm pretty sure you would call me names like "Neocon" or "Flaming right-winger", etc (because you already have).

    But just because you say I have disdain for them... doesn't make it true.

    And just because I think Utah is now part of the United States, and who it belonged to previously doesn't matter now... does not make me a Mexico hater, or a Native American hater, or a Spain hater, or a Fremont hater, or show disdain for ANYBODY.

    Borders change. Name one nation that's never had a border change...

    See... America (and Utah) are no different.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 19, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    @JSF..... Mormons were the "colonizers"... not the ones who were absorbed by colonization. You really believe Mormons are the indigenous people of Utah? That really takes a stretch.

    "historically belonged" generally refers to a people who have been there more than 40 years... a lot more.

    I am not sure why Utah feels this huge persecution complex. A lot of the west has lots of federal lands. Why the persecution complex? Or is that just more of the culture of Utahism... being the oppressed victim. Growing up there I don't recall the over riding sentiment of persecution. Who knows. Maybe Utahan's are more persecuted now than they were historically. When I grew up, Utahan's were proud to be Americans, and the role it played as part of this nation.... oh well....

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    @Ranch,

    Where did the Enabling Act say, "Utah's lands are the "birthright" of the Natives"?
    It said... they become part of the State of Utah. Just like when any other State was accepted into the Union.

    Did you read the article before posting?

    ==============

    Google "Why does federal government own 84% of Nevada". Good article on the subject. The same same question can be asked for Utah.

    The native people of Utah were given portions of land in Utah and other States (which to this day are governed separately from the State, their own police, courts, laws, etc). I agree they got a raw deal, but the deal was made by the US Government, not any State.

    IMO The State should govern and manage the rest of the public land in the State (not the Federal Government). The Federal Government has a role in managing the land, but it SHOULD be more an "oversight" role... not the primary or sole interest in management decisions.

    States should at LEAST be consulted... we weren't consulted or even NOTIFIED when the Feds took over a section of Utah the size of the whole State of Delaware...

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    @ jsf, it doesn't matter when any one of the tribes came to the area we now know as Utah. They were here before the Mormons came to the area. And there was no "buffer" zone. That's revisionist history.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 19, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    That “Utah Enabling Act compact of 1894” is not phrased very well, is it?

    " . . . the inhabitants of all that part of the area of the United States now constituting the Territory of Utah, as at present described, may become the State of Utah, as hereinafter provided."

    Let’s diagram the sentence, shall we? The part referring to the land is just a prepositional phrase.

    The Subject is "inhabitants"

    The verb is "may become"

    And the direct object is "State of Utah"

    " . . . the inhabitants . . . may become the state of Utah."

    That doesn't support the claim that the Federal Land in Utah belongs to the State of Utah. One can just as easily conclude from that that NO LAND belongs to the state of Utah.

    According to the statement, Utah consisted of the PEOPLE who inhabited the Territory of Utah. But they are all dead.

    I suppose the only rational conclusion is that Utah died when the last former citizen of Utah Territory died. Sorry folks, but Utah is dead and gone . . . If you INSIST on going by that statement from the Utah Enabling Act compact of 1894.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 19, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    That “Utah Enabling Act compact of 1894” is not phrased very well, is it?

    " . . . the inhabitants of all that part of the area of the United States now constituting the Territory of Utah, as at present described, may become the State of Utah, as hereinafter provided."

    Let’s diagram the sentence, shall we? The part referring to the land is just a prepositional phrase.

    The Subject is "inhabitants"

    The verb is "may become"

    And the direct object is "State of Utah"

    " . . . the inhabitants . . . may become the state of Utah."

    That doesn't support the claim that the Federal Land in Utah belongs to the State of Utah. One can just as easily conclude from that that NO LAND belongs to the state of Utah.

    According to the statement, Utah consisted of the PEOPLE who inhabited the Territory of Utah. But they are all dead.

    I suppose the only rational conclusion is that Utah died when the last former Utah Territory died. Sorry folks, but Utah is dead and gone . . . If you INSIST on going by that statement from the Utah Enabling Act compact of 1894.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    Re: "The sad thing is that many Utahns would be willing to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage."

    Actually, I think most of us would rather buy, not sell, some of our natural birthright. And, pricing it at the cost of a mess of pottage would be nice, too.

    One thing I'm sure of -- Utahns needed no help from absent, even hostile, federal landlords or their special interests to strike the necessary environmental balance that made Utah the natural wonder coveted by today's out-of-state tree-hugger control freaks, to turn her into their personal petting zoo.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    Besides --
    Utah was SPAIN before it was even Mexico.
    Utah was Fremont before it was Spain.
    Utah was Anasazi before it was Fremont.
    Utah was Clovis before it was Anasazi.
    Utah was uninhabited before it was Clovis.
    Historic facts do not make disdain for any race.
    By the international definition generally indigenous people are those that have historically belonged to a particular region or country, before its colonization or transformation into a nation state, and may have different—often unique—cultural, linguistic, traditional, and other characteristics. By an international standard Mormons could be deemed an indigenous people.
    Those Neo-Con statements are a poor attempt to denigrate those you can not discuss issues with.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    Besides --
    Utah was MEXICO before it was even a territory.

    What is it with some Neo-Con and their disdain for Hispanics and Native Americans?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    you need to get away from the pc history Esquire. The historical facts are what they are. Which statement have I made that is incorrect. When the Mormons arrived in the salt lake valley, they occupied a buffer zone between the Shoshone and Ute tribes. Difficulties did not start until they moved south into the Ute areas. Failing to recognize the encroachment by the tribes that were here when Mormons arrived is a failure to understand the migrations of peoples in the Americas. So show me where I am wrong. Show the readers these tribes existed in Utah prior to the eighteenth century. If you can't please let readers know you couldn't.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    Do you think the native Americans told us to "keep our mitts off their land"? Let's be honest a person's birthright comes from the barrel of a gun or a deep, oily checkbook.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    @ 2 bits: You wonder why Utah is treated differently than Eastern States. There is a very simple explanation for that. Eastern States were independent states in full control of their land at the time they joined the United States. Western States were formed in/from land owned by the United States government at the time they became states - land acquired by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago, in the case of Utah. Since the land already belonged to the US Government, it is not odd that they choose to keep some of it.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    The language of the Enabling Act is very clear. All the lands that made up the territory of Utah now make up the State of Utah (you will notice that there are no lands in Utah that are part of Arizona or Alaska or some as yet unnamed state).

    While Bill is focusing on the word "all," he is missing the phrase "as hereinafter provided." One of the provisions, "That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof;..."

    "All" of the land makes up the State of Utah, but some of it belongs to the Federal Government. The Utah Constitution backs this up, "The people inhabiting this State do affirm and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries hereof,..."

    Please note the word "forever" contained in both places. There is no indication in any document from Utah Statehood that "forever" means anything other than "forever."

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 19, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    "why would Utah become a moonscape? People in Utah are just like the people in every other State!"

    Ummm, because it was a moonscape before the federal government bought it, and allowed Utah petition to become a state, and that at that time the terms and conditions were well known to all that signed that agreement to gain statehood.

    Utah is a moonscape because it has little to no water. The state out west are largely in private hands because they were in private hands before there was a United States of America. My in laws have raided in North Carolina for over 100 years before there was a United States.

    Utah was not a sovereign land. It never, ever, was. The settles who moved there had no "birth right" to that land. They did have a birth right to become citizens of the United States, and the State of Utah, once there was a State of Utah. But Utah was never their land of inheritance.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    "Territory" and "state" are referring to political designations. Utah was a "territory" from 1850 to 1896. As a territory it was controlled by the US Congress. At that time, similar to today, most of the land was federally owned. All of the "Utah Territory" was then changed into the all of the "state" of Utah. You are completely misinterpreting the meaning of the clause.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    @ jsf, are you kidding me? Where did you learn history. In every case where someone above is arguing that Native Americans have no prior rights to those of white settlers, your rationalizations fail to support your position! White settlers just took the land away for their own use. In any case, Utah is a state, granted statehood by the federal government, and is subordinate to that federal government. To use the argument of the writer of the letter, there would be no right to ownership of any land in Utah by anyone other than the State of Utah because the land is located within the borders established by the federal government. It is illogical, nonsensical, and a mistaken twisting of the English language to reach a predetermined conclusion. Utah is free to manage its state lands as it deems appropriate, and the federal government may do the same with the lands it owns. It's not that hard of a concept.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    By this reasoning, all the privately owned land within the borders of Utah reverted to state ownership on Jan. 4, 1896.
    IOW, the reasoning is flawed. Being part of a political entity does not mean all the property within that sovereignty belongs to the entity. That would be, uh, communism...

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    Lightbearer stated it perfectly.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    Indigenous Native Americans in Utah were long gone by the time of the pioneers.
    They consisted of the Clovis era, who it is believed migrated from the Asian continent. Subsequent groups, the Anasazi which occupied southern Utah and the Fremont group that covered a larger area. Of course the Fremont is a reference to a cultural grouping of similar life styles and does not actually refer to a tribe or race.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    I always wonder if guys like Bill, from Hurricane, thinks these things through all the way. Even if the state of Utah got control of these lands, is he delusioned enough to think that the population centers of Utah(aka, not Hurricane) will still control these lands. Trust me, the legislator and governor wouldn't just be handing these lands to the Washington County commissioner. Would you like there choices any better than the Feds?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    #1. Utah should have the same rights as States back East. The STATE should control the land in our State (not Federal bureaucrats in the Capitol, treating us like a "District" in the Hunger Games).

    #2. Other States control their land, and they haven't become moonscapes... why would Utah become a moonscape? People in Utah are just like the people in every other State!

    Note:
    Parts of Utah are already NATURAL moonscapes (literally been used by NASA for moon mission training, and by Hollywood when filming scenes they want to look like they are on another planet.

    ===============

    Why is Utah treated differently???

    Is it still the Mormon thing? Because Utah is not predominately Mormon anymore. So I hope folks back East can get over that one.

    Is it because we use the land for agriculture (Agriculture is still the #1 industry in Utah)?

    Is it because we mine some of the land? we mine essential elements that make modern living possible. From medicine, food and shampoo, to cell phones, computers, CAT scans and hybrid electric cars, nearly everything you use today relies on materials that we produce.

    Google "States Rights", "Constitution", "10th Amendment"...

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    According to Dictionary.com birthright means:

    "any right or privilege to which a person is entitled by birth"

    So if present day Utahans are selling our land to the petroleum company Royal Dutch Shell, or oil shale developer Enefit (Estonia) aren't we giving up future generation's "birthright" to the land?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    The Navajo people did not arrive in Utah until about 1700 ad. All the tribes came from other areas. In the mid-18th century, other Uto-Aztecan tribes, including the Goshute, the Paiute, the Shoshone, and the Ute people, also settled in the region. The southern Utah region was explored by the Spanish in 1540, led by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. And the Utah pioneers arrived in the mid-19th century, only about a hundred years later.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    LDS Liberal, I don't think even the natives are even native to this continent if you go far enough back in history. They just came a lot earlier than European settlers.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    Every Indigenous Native American in Utah must be laughing out loud right now...

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    Well, Bill, it would seem to me that Utah's lands are the "birthright" of the Natives, and we white people certainly aren't the natives.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 4:44 a.m.

    So what do you want do with it; that precious land??? Drilling for oil, and mining coal and leaving it looking like moonscape for future generations should not be an option. Neither should you have free-reign to ride your noisy, polluting machine wherever you want.

    I for one appreciate what Mr. Salazar represents for the future of our Nation. I hope Utah's "leadership" continues to show America how much Utah needs protecting...from Utah's leadership and greed-driven, self-interested Utahns.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 1:28 a.m.

    Re: "These lands are Utah's birthright."

    The sad thing is that many Utahns would be willing to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage.