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Federal government has unconstitutionally stolen land

| February 13, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

When Aubyn Curtiss was H.D. 81 representative to Helena, she wrote the newspapers about federal agencies' goals for the Columbia River Project. She said, "Montana state senators and house members are … totally bypassed in the methodology used to formulate land and water use policy."

One federal agent said at a Colville, Wash., public meeting, "It doesn't matter what you say, these are our goals!"

Aubyn urged that we write our senators and congressman before it was too late. Many did, I among them until 2004.

At a public meeting in Troy with others, we were given a Pine Restoration Project map showing the local area in question, in which the Forest Service was asking permission to close various "back country" roads. The legend showed red marks for earth barriers and black marks for gates that they had already spent tax money to put in place.

Their request was a fraud. How, were there a forest fire, could anyone get past these barriers?

As my wife and I live well into the forest, above the McCormick volunteer fire house, I thought best to join them in 2006. Since then I've pressed the matter of the feds' theft of Montana's and it's citizens' forests and range lands in violation of the Constitution's Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, "All places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, dock yards, and other needful buildings"; Amendment V, "nor be deprived of … property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation"; Amendment IX, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people"; Amendment X, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the sates respectively, or to the people."

In the Lincoln County Coalition pamphlet I found not one mention by an individual, a commissioner, the governor or the Forest Service chief of the fact that the federal government has unconstitutionally stolen Montana's and its citizens'/taxpayers' forest and range lands in violation of its sovereignty, and not returned even one acre.

This the attorney general, with the backing of the governor and the legislature, can legally press in the courts as New York state did in 1993 with a Supreme Court decision of 9-0 for the Constitution's Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17.

Freeman Johnson

Troy