Should federally-owned land be transferred back to state control? That is what presidential candidate Ted Cruz believes, and that message is now louder than ever. Cruz recently made a push to advocate for state control of public land in what some observers are calling a bid to differentiate himself from Donald Trump. However, Cruz’s stance on federally-owned land, in one instance even calling it a “historical accident,” has polarized sportsmen and women.

“It’s not right, it doesn’t make sense,” Cruz said at a recent meeting in Boise State University in Idaho. “We need to transfer that land back to the states or even better, back to the people.”

Meanwhile in Nevada, Cruz ran an ad attacking Donald Trump for his support of federally-owned land last month.

“Donald Trump wants to keep big government in charge,” Cruz said in the ad. “That’s ridiculous. You the people of Nevada, not Washington bureaucrats, should be in charge of your own land.”

You can see that ad below:

However, some hunters are concerned with what will happen to that land if it is transferred to state, or even private control. Many hunting organizations, such as Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, are opposed to transferring public lands to state ownership since they say that federally-owned land, by definition, is already owned by the public. Opponents of the land transfer also argue that many states simply cannot afford to manage the vast swaths of land currently under federal control. Those states would be forced to either raise taxes or sell the land to private owners, restricting it from public use.

In Nevada though, the home state of rancher Cliven Bundy and his standoff with officials from the Bureau of Land Management two years ago, there is fierce support of reclaiming land from federal control. Political spectators expect that the issue could be one that wins Cruz supporters from Trump’s camp, especially since Trump has clarified his position as being firmly in support of federally-owned land.

“The issue is not that so much of the state is public land; it is how that land is managed,” Trump told the Reno Gazette-Journal last month. “The Department of Energy and the Department of Interior must find ways to work with state and local governments to make sure that public lands are used to the best purpose.”

Trump is the only Republican front-runner to support federally-owned land. GOP candidate Marco Rubio, seen as many as the party establishment candidate, also called for a “top-down review” of all federal land and the eventual transfer of ownership to states. The leading Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, advocated instead for strengthening public lands and increased collaboration between government agencies.





Image screenshot of video by Ted Cruz on YouTube

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42 thoughts on “Ted Cruz’s Stance on Federal Land Polarizes Sportsmen

  1. Non-hunters and non-fishermen should be worried about this too. If the states get a hold of the public land, they will sell it off to mines and for development, taking away the last of our wild places to hike and camp and for the animals to live in. The states will not make much economic gain from this as the land is nearly always sold off much cheaper than market value to friends of the political elite in the state.

    1. only if you do not manage it with some state rules etc. YOU need to be in Charge of it. AND stay alert to the issues. WE all need to stop depending on teh federal government to take care of everything for us.

    2. You have the power to decide what YOUR state will do with it. YOUR state constitution or you can pass a law to limit what your state can do. private ownership has worked well for some states.

  2. If you enjoy public land or access for hunting,fishing,camping,bike riding, ATVs, or any outdoor experience, you cannot vote for Ted Cruz.

    1. YES YOU CAN. the land owners in teh eastern states where thereis minimalk federal ownership have HUGE amounts of land open to the public. GOVERNMENT is NOT the best caretaker.. LooK how theyare now forcing out the ranchers who have used federal land for grazing and PAID for it!! do you relly think YOU won’t be the next ones kept off FEDERAL land!! The agenda 21 folks are pushing this drive to KEEP it federal and CLOSE it down!!

      1. Here in south Georgia where there is very limited public land we charge people for access. The timber companies and farmers have also followed suit so if you want to go hunting you can search out a state owned wildlife management area or pay.

  3. Sportsmen and anyone who cares for the outdoors had better take notice of the positions that all candidates express on public lands ownership. Sadly, too many of us end up being one-issue voters, and this important matter won’t be that issue, I’m afraid.

  4. The feds have a record of opposing those roads on Federal lands that provide access. Those roads are made by private users, which the public then enjoys – not by the feds. The Feds also have a record of opposing any resource extraction (logging, mining, etc.) that would provide local jobs for people other than waiters and maids.

    There is no reason that the States could not administer the lands for the benefit of all users, just like the Feds used to do before they became a tool of extreme environmentalists. It is just fear mongering to claim as others do that state control will turn public lands into private toxic dumps.

    The Federal attitude is to preserve Federal land as an inaccessible wilderness for the moral benefit of coastal elites while ignoring the economic damage done to the people who live there. “New York values”, indeed.

      1. None of the states could hack that kind of maintenance expense without carving your poor little testicles out. Talk about a MONEY GRAB, you stupid fool.

      2. My Poor Hillbilly Friend
        on Sunday after Sunday School please return to this
        forum and we might have a chance at a decent exchange of ideas !

      3. the choices aer NOT FED vs. STATE, see my posts above. We teh People is YOU and ME we need to pick up and restore the sanity? are YOU up for it? I bet you will make a huge difference if you accept the responsibility. Don’t take No for the answer. God Bless and Vote CRUZ

      4. You have to take it out of the FEDS hands if you want the choice to keep it open.. check out the already signed and implemented Agenda 21 projects- sustainable developement– to them it means NEVER any Developement and keep PEOPEL OUT OF NATURE because we always destroy it-we don’t ,but agenda 21 pits one group against another and both lose out.

      5. LaVoy Finicum’s Death has shown
        Agenda 21 to be at the bottom of
        America’s Many Problems
        I think the tragedy of Finicum’
        Murder, has helped to Wake Up
        the American People !

    1. The reason the states cannot administer the land, littlebrain, is that it costs too much. They’d have to raise taxes so much the righties would SCREAM like leetul girls. Their only other alternative would be to sell the land to private interests. You’re pretty stupid.

      1. YOU can help YOUR state out by getting rid of THEIR control of PEOPLES property. you can change your state to do what YOU think is best. Private property is nearly ALWAYS used more responsibly than GOVERNMENT owned property. WE the PEOPLE need to pick up OUR responsibility for preserving our liberty, including the use of the land.

    2. Louis_Cyphers_Attorney
      Given the oppurtunity, look at The United Nations Agenda 21.
      It openly shows what this Federal Government with great zeal is trying to accomplish,
      Most of what they are trying to accomplish is already completed.
      The people of the United States are being Herded (Like Cattle) to become
      Slaves of the Federal Government

      1. you are absolutely corrrect. WE are responsible for the LAWS IN our STATE !! GET TO WORK AND FORM A MOVEMENT TO reclaim THAT LAND- –Maybe repeal the fees, or better yet, – SPELL IT OUT–THE PURPOSES AND ACREAGE OF WHAT THE state CAN HOLD- THE REST IS TO BE SOLD AT MARKET VALUE BY ACRE PRICE. If there are numerous prospective buyers you formulate a way to decide who gets to buy what. For example: maybe everyone who wants to buy enters their name and the number of acres and then names are randomly picked until all the acreage is gone. if the first person drawn is less than the total you draw another. and another untill all is taken. Every name drawn has x number of days to pay up or forfeit their turn until all others have been considered. WE the PEOPLE are supposed to be participating in PRESERVING the constitution. We have been lazy for too long. If CRUZ is not elected, we may be too far gone after the next four years to even have this opportunity. God bless you in your desire to make the government work FOR us instead of AGAINST us.

  5. Dream on Mr. Cyphers. The states will most certainly sell it off to their buddies and not give one damn about its future use. What are you smoking? I could not possibly disagree with you more! The Feds may not be perfect, but to contemplate turning those lands over to bunch of corrupt politicians and states would be a total disaster. Any sportsman would be making a huge mistake in supporting Cruz, who is the personification of the word jerk.

    1. piseco
      When people like Harry Reid (US Senator) & Hillary Clinton (You know who)
      sell the mineral rights Under Federal Lands to China and Russia
      You will supply the Slave Labor (Free Train Rides and new Stripped Pajamas for all !)

  6. There is no reason why the Feds couldn’t turn it over to the State with stipulations such as not to be ever sold off and always for public use. It works in states that have very little Federal land, so why not in Nevada where the Feds own more land than any one else. I will still vote for Trump, or anyone except Hilary or Bernie. Worried about Marco too.

    1. Then who’s going to pay to maintain it? Has Nevada got $300 million to spare to pay for maintaining the land?

      OH, you’ll just keep sucking down taxpayer dollars like you do now, right?

      1. Dear Hillbilly
        Maybe IF You got a Job you could help Your State maintain the upkeep.
        Instead of Supporting You.
        The Federal Government takes twice as much as it gives.
        Go Back to School and Learn Something this time.

      2. that is not the only answer- private is better sell it off at market value with all residents haveing equal chance to purchase.

    2. the reaso is this : the feds and the states STILL have control to open and shut and charge or not and the expense of choosing who can harvest and who can fish-!!! PRIVATE ownership is best. are YOU going to do terrible things and destroy YOUR own property?? well neither am I . This country got great because we are mostly GOOD people. We need to stop seeing GOVERNMENT as the perpetual parent . we are responsible adults and need to know each other and then trust appropriately and then deal with conflicts and misconduct in rational ways. It is OUR responsibility to preserve liberty. Lets get doing it.
      Cruz supports you and me being free to live according to the law of the land and not be micro managed. vote CRUZ

    3. trump will sell it all or build a casino (to fail) on it. Cruz supports the land goes to the states and the states- you the people of the state- decide what to do with it. Private land for tree growth or mining or recreational use is awesomely popular in teh east . Maine has huge tracts -private owned and maintained and taxed, and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC for recreation. There are even cabins built on land leased from the owners. the only restrictions are use it wisely and when theyare ready toharvest in that area , that area is closed for the time. GREAT partnership between PEOPLE!!

  7. I live in Michigan where we have a lot of Federal and State land. BUT, a person who enjoys the outdoors, whether hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching, etc; will use the Federal land versus the State land. Federal land is better managed and taken care of..Michigan’s state land management is poor at best… Bad idea Cruz, your just looking to have it developed for your greedy lobbyists that fund you.

  8. You say there is “fierce support” for Bundy-style land grabs in Nevada. I’m here to tell you there’s more fierce opposition than support. Worth pointing out that most of the “militia” wackos who came to Bunkerville last year in the first Bundy standoff were NOT from Nevada. Here in Nevada we love and use our public land and we’re tired of our “leaders” telling us they want to give it away.

    1. Anne Macquarie
      Cry to your Socialist/Communist US Senator Harry Reid (Making Deals with the Chinese
      to Grant Land (BLM Land) for use to Develope Solar Power, so they can sell it back to the United States for a profit or have Hillary Clinton broker more deals (Mineral Rights) with the Russians so she can feather her and Bill’s Clinton Foundation.
      The Labor for these deals will be you and yours (SLAVE LABOR)
      Note:A Large Percentage of those Wackos at the Bundy Ranch were Fellow Ranchers
      (Neighbors) and an Organization Called OathKeepers. These Oathkeepers are
      individuals who over the course of their life times have
      Sworn to Uphold their Oaths to The United States Constitution (Retired/Active Duty
      Law Enforcement/Firefightes etc (NOT WACOS) Protecting not only the
      Bundy’s Constitutional Rights but All of Our Rights as well)

  9. “Ranchers” and “farmers” should stop bombing Forest Service offices, threatening BLM staff with death, and vandalizing public lands.

  10. Giving places like California total control of it’s land is essentially give Liberal Democrats, IE Audubon Society, PETA, Hollywood guilt trippers, and generally un-informed idiots total control of our wilderness areas.
    The first thing to be shut down will be 4 Wheeling Access, which will effectively reduce the number of people who can actually access the lands to zero. Next will be shut down of all hunting, which will have the consequence of uncontrolled animal populations, which will lead to crop decimation. Since we won’t be able to hunt there will be in their minds no need for people to own guns and more gun control will follow.
    Liberals always come up with great ideas to control stuff, but the never look deep enough to see what the consequences of their actions will be, and those consequences are ALWAYS negative. They never get it right and never will since the simple truth is that insanity by definition can not make correct choices They generally assume that they will be able to blame it on Republicans down the road just like they did in Flint MI where every local official is a Democrat and who’s job has been occupied by a Democrat for the last 40 years.
    The problem with Land Management is not Federal Control, the problem is Federal Control by Liberal Democrats.
    In Utah when Clinton was Pres, there was a big land grab that resulted in closure of 50 % of that state to access by the public. Instead large contracts for access were let to private Backcountry Tour Groups which eventually resulted in complete closure after they all went bust. Now nobody can use the land and the Govt. is not doing anything to maintain the land due to Budget Cuts, so the fix is to tax users. Perfect Example of Liberal Consequences.
    They never get it right, they never have, and they never will. This is not a subjective conclusion, this is an actual fact that is proven time and time again simply by looking at their track record.
    they always say,,,”but this time our policies will work cuz we are smarter than those who preceded us.!” Yeah?
    Every place where Liberal Democrats are running the show,,, is failing.
    Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, and all of the other places where Democrats are and have been in control, are ticking time bombs. Highest crime rates, lowest economic prosperity, highest taxes, most gun control.
    If you look at what the goal of the far left is IE Chaos, then why would you elect a person who’s Masters Thesis was written about Saul Alinsky.
    They are Killing this Country. They are doing it on purpose, and I submit that electing Hillary Clinton to the Presidency would result in this complete country’s demise.
    So it’s back to slavery we go. Or are you not that stupid?

    1. NOT following the constitution is the problem. Progressives are in BOTH parties , in great numbers in elected office. So it is WE the people who must run for office and get sanity back into the governing of WE the People

  11. This is a bad idea. The state of MT already charges to access public land owned by the state. In otherswords owned by the people. So the people can’t access the land they own without paying a fee or get a hefty fine. Can you imagine if the sate owned it all. A person would have to have paid a fee and carry papers with him/her to access their own land. “Papers please!”

    1. YOU are responsible for the LAWS IN your STATE !! GET TO WORK AND FORM A MOVEMENT TO reclaim THAT LAND- –Maybe repeal the fees, or better yet, – SPELL IT OUT–THE PURPOSES AND ACREAGE OF WHAT THE state CAN HOLD- THE REST IS TO BE SOLD AT MARKET VALUE BY ACRE PRICE. If there are numerous prospective buyers you formulate a way to decide who gets to buy what. For example: maybe everyone who wants to buy enters their name and the number of acres and then names are randomly picked until all the acreage is gone. if the first person drawn is less than the total you draw another. and another untill all is taken. Every name drawn has x number of days to pay up or forfeit their turn until all others have been considered. WE the PEOPLE are supposed to be participating in PRESERVING the constitution. We have been lazy for too long. If CRUZ is not elected, we may be too far gone after the next four years to even have this opportunity. God bless you in your desire to make the government work FOR us instead of AGAINST us.

  12. The opponents of the return of land to the states or private from federal government forget one thing . An administration that would give an avowed enemy of our country carte blanche to build nuclear weapons and billions to fund the program would not hesitate to turn federal lands over to enemies too . How much hunting ,fishing ,bird watching ,could you do once a foreign country deforested and strip-mined ” federal (ours , not theirs ) lands ” ? With the blessings of BIG GOVERNMENT politicians in Washington who care only for their own feeding trough . Get real ! The list of American Freedom’s enemies has been ,from our inseption , lead by an overpowering central government . THAT is why the Constitution could NOT be confirmed without the Bill of Rights . This is not an party restricted issue , there are too many big government proponents in both parties in we must guard against all of them at all times . They are as beneficial to freedom as metastatic cancer to your life .

    1. ted Cruz says GET the FEDERAL government OUT of teh LAND Holding business. States 9YOU THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE) figure out how to divide up the land!! id your state is corrupt, YOU run for office.

  13. In Maine, the PEOPLE own most of the land , and HUGE tracts are opened to hunting fishing trapping etc. the land is managed well by owners- PEOPLE are not all crooks, they have a variety of characteristics and many similarities and differences. The point is- THE founders said the FEDERAL government shouold only have a limited amount of LAND if we want them to have more it needs to be an amendment to the constitution. GOV”T is the PROBLEM!!

  14. Ted Cruz wants to turn my Idaho into Texas. I lived in Texas for over ten years, and trust me, Idaho does not want to be like Texas. Hunting and fishing on crowded reserves that you have to pay to visit is not what Idahoans want. I can drive ten minutes north of my house and have thousands of acres of desert at my disposal. I can hike, camp, hunt, fish, and feel like I am the only man on earth for free. That feeling is priceless. Yet Ted, who the majority of Idahoans just voted for, will transfer our public lands to states faster than you can put on your waders. Those states will then sell our lands to the highest bidder, because they can’t even afford to rebuild our roads or properly fund our schools, let alone manage millions of acres of public land. The short-term monetary gain from selling our public lands isn’t worth losing what makes Western America so rugged and wild. Ted doesn’t get it, but we do. Don’t let politicians and business moguls steal our public lands!

    1. Ted CRUZ had NO design on your land except theat the people and the states continue to control their own soverign territories. He is totally opposed to federal ownership except for what is called for in the CONSTITUION. If the federal government currently controls those “open lands” in idaho, they will NOT be long in putting more and more restriction on them. If we do not reverse this now we are going to be way worse off in the future. PLEASE read some of Agenda 21 analysis and look what is happening in other states- US government is NOT your FRIEND , they are an out of control mess. that needs to be put back to their constitutional duties. YOU(we) are the only one that can make this happen.

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