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Published on October 1st, 2009 | by Gary DeMar


How Much Land Does the Federal Government Own?

Do you know how much land in the United States is owned by the Federal Government? It’s shocking:

  1. Nevada : 84.5%
  2. Alaska69.1%
  3. Utah: 57.4%
  4. Oregon53.1%
  5. Idaho50.2%
  6. Arizona: 48.1%
  7. California: 45.3%
  8. Wyoming: 42.3%
  9. New Mexico: 41.8%
  10. Colorado: 36.6%

Take at look at the map on the “Strange Maps” site.

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About the Author

Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, His most recent book is Exposing the Real Last Days Scoffers. Gary lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and four grandchildren, Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).

23 Responses to How Much Land Does the Federal Government Own?

  1. Tom says:

    Could someone please jog my memory? What exactly was America’s biblical foundation? America’s foundation, last I checked, was the constitution which makes no mention of the United States being a Christian nation. But then again that fact seems to be ignored by your average christian fundamentalist. So how about article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli which states “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…” If you still believe the United States is a christian nation you’re only lying to yourself. What is the obsession with enforcing your beliefs on the whole of a nation? You will never force the whole of the human population to follow one rigid dogmatic belief system. That’s not even desirable. This is not the “American Vision” at all. It’s the exact god damn opposite: it’s the American bigot’s vision. I thought that this website would be an interesting read with an unbiased discussion on America’s current position, but instead I find that it propagates christian myths that paint the United States and everyone who had anything to do with its founding as christian just to advance the meagre agenda of molding every American into what you think they should be.

    • Matt says:

      Sure sir. I will jog your memory.

      The Constitution was clearly and undeniably built up Christian values by men such as I have listed and quoted below. Read below before to try to argue.

      By the way, the Constitution limits CONGRESS’S ability to establish a religion. The Constitution allows Christianity to be practiced by the people without restriction and the values of Christianity enforced by law with the support of the people. A nation established upon Christianity, by the authority of the Constitution, cannot be called a non-Christian nation unless the Constitution itself is abolished. Since every elected official takes an oath to “support and defend the Constitution”, then no Congressman or President can legally remove the Christian values established by law upon this nation’s founding. To do otherwise is to commit treason, by legal definition. Congress cannot legally tell the people what to do outside of the bounds of the Constitution. The Constitution (by the People, for the People) tells Congress what to do. That was by design.

      George Washington
      1st U.S. President

      “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

      John Adams
      2nd U.S. President and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

      “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”

      Thomas Jefferson
      3rd U.S. President, Drafter and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

      “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event.”
      –Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, p. 237.

      “I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”
      –The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, p. 385.

      John Hancock
      1st Signer of the Declaration of Independence

      “Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. … Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”
      –History of the United States of America, Vol. II, p. 229.

      Benjamin Franklin
      Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Unites States Constitution

      “Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.

      “That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.

      “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see;

      “But I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequence, as probably it has, of making his doctrines more respected and more observed; especially as I do not perceive, that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in his government of the world with any peculiar marks of his displeasure.”

      • Under Duress says:

        All true. America’s foundations started before the Constitution however. Let us not forget the great Christian missionary Christopher Columbus who came to share the gospel of Jesus Christ many years before the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary war.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The federal government was not created to be the owner of the land; it was created expressly to get the “right of soil” out of the hands of a king – that is, out of the hands of government.

  3. haaaaa says:

    i did’t learn ant thing

    • Keith Gardner says:

      @haaaaa: It’s pretty clear that that’s been going on for a while.

    • Gen. says:

      learn how to spell.

      • Gen. says:

        It is public land owned by American citizens. The Government of the United States does not own anything that we don’t give them, Including the Money they spend. So “Haaaa” back to you, your an idiot.

  4. SFC says:

    The Federal Government does have a lot of land, but since I did train in the Army on quite a lot their so called land that actually belongs to the Military who is owned and operated by the Federal Government which is nothing more than a Catch-22. In kalifornia I have trained on Fort Ord, Camp Hunter-Leggit, Camp Roberts (Reserses), 29 Palms (Marine Base) Pacific Missile Test Center, China Lake (both Navy) Vandenberg Air Force and Edwards Air Force Bases. Texas, Actually New Mexico White Sands and Donna Anna Range Camp, Fort Polk LA Jungle Warfare Training (Swamp land), Camp Stewart Jungle Warfare (Swamp Land), Fort Gordon, Ga all kinds of land that is used not only for military but for fishing and hunting as well. Never really cared for state side duty. Arizona almost half the state is Government land Luke Air Force, Davis-Monthan Air Force Bases, Barry M. Goldwater Range is used for bombing exercises by the Air Force and the Marine Corps next to Mexico in Arizona, Camp Navajo, Arizona is currently the largest, most important and general base in the state Flagstaff, Fort Huachuca Tucson, Yuma Proving Ground and MCAS Yuma (Marines) Nevada Creech Air Force, Nellis Air Force Base and NAS Fallon. The Government may say they own the land but the the military keeps paying the premiums and upkeep.

    • Keith Gardner says:

      @SFC: I don’t see the Catch-22 at all. The federal government owns the land, and manages it through its various offices and divisions and branches. One of those is the Department of Defense – the “Military” – which operates a large portion, but not the largest portion of federally-owned land. You’ve got to do your homework. Most of Arizona is in fact operated by BLM, Forest Service or Indian Affairs. The Military operates a pretty small fragment of the land.

      Most importantly, however, the “Military” is not some separate entity that “keeps paying the premiums and upkeep.” It’s the U.S. Government doing it, through the office of the Department of Defense.

  5. Tobias says:

    1) The government has a huge debt.

    2) The government owns huge piles of land.

    I see a solution to the national debt.

    • gnbryan says:

      Are you suggesting the govt break-even with China and other countries by handing over land (which they took from the states in the first place)? Who else has the money to buy up all this land and settle our national debt problem? Not individuals, but foreign govts.

      • Frank says:

        There are oil and gas compnaies that have billions in cash reserves just waiting to gobble up this property. Then after the land has been purchased by these companies, not only the revenue from sales but also the revenue from property taxes will help reduce the defecit. This administration is leaning so socialist it will bankrupt our nation to further it’s cause.

      • Aaron says:

        The United States gov uses the land to maintain the armed forces as well as protect/regulate wildlife reserves and logging/mining operations. Without the regulation the land would be logged and hunted until it was a barren wasteland. If you call the gov owning land socialist then i assume having children working in factories and losing limbs is ok because its free market without regulation. if the gov doesnt own any land how are they supposed to do anything? and the land is leased out to the private sector for logging and mining. unless you want soldiers quartered in your home and trained in your neighborhood the gov has to own land, not socialism, just common sense.

  6. dave Schmidt says:

    Then who is paying the property taxes lost when the government owns it
    It is killing the local boards with the loss of revenue as I know as being on a local board

  7. Larry Gillihan says:

    The federal government owns nothing…not one stick or stone…absolutely nothing. Everything is owned by the people, not the government.

    • ferris says:

      sorta like in the old USSR huh?

      • Dan says:

        A lot of those ‘federal lands’ are things like Army bases, and more importantly huge National Parks. If you wanna privatize those lands, sell them to huge international corporations, or foreign citizens and then indirectly call someone a communist when he says we the “people” own it (not me, you or him individually), because we are the government, then I must disagree with your sentiment in its entirety.

  8. Howard Theobald says:

    As you study the Bible you will see that God used men/women to get His job done. As a Christian one must do all you can for the glory of God. We have the most powerful tool that others who don’t know Jesus as their personal savior don’t have and that is PRAYER. Clear your mind and pray 15 seconds a day. If you find time to clear your mind then pray more. In the love and joy! of Jesus. Howard

  9. B.J. Benbow says:

    With the enactment of the Omnibus land Management Act of 2009 H.R. 146, signed into law by B.O. March 30, 2009, those percentages are about to up considerably. Also, see United Nations Agenda 21 (Habitat 1 – Wilderness Areas)

  10. B.J. Benbow says:

    With the enactment of the Omnibus land Management Act of 2009 H.R. 146, signed into law by B.O. March 30, 2009, those percentages are about to up considerably. Also, see United Nations Agenda 21 (Habitat 1 – Wilderness Areas)
    We are blessed to have such "Paul Reveres" as Curt Tomlin of Christian Alert Network and Gary North to explain what is ahead.. Keep it up.. b.j. Benbow

    • Gen. says:

      Opinionated, uniformed people will be America’s downfall. Usually liberal left ignorant people that want a free hand out from the Government. Everything in Government and all the power it has= real working Americans that pay taxes.

      • Steve says:

        Either opinionated, uninformed*(<-Learn how spell, to reiterate your own comment.) people will be America's downfall, or opinionated, informed people will. Doesn't really matter though, it's coming either way.

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