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As you know, I'm generally a life, liberty, and property kind of advocate, but the RR&CC campaign makes a strong case for the invalidation of the 1864 grant. Not sure how undoing the "checkerboard" would work, but I'd love to see the case before the Supreme Court in my lifetime. On the other hand, we should ask ourselves honestly whether the USFS has managed the lands under its "public domain" any better than these private companies have done with their own. Fees? Well, NPS, USFS, DNR/WA State, Fish&Wildlife, are all in on the "pay-to-play" game now--and this on lands we the people supposedly own already! In short, this is probably one of the most complex domestic political issues that people generally don't know about.

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For example, the largest of the railroad land grants was to the Northern Pacific Railroad: 40 million acres in a 100-mile wide band running 2,000 miles from the Great Lakes to Puget Sound. A century later, much of this land is controlled by Weyerhaeuser, Plum Creek Timber, and other timber and mining corporations. Many community and environmental problems stem from the corporate abuse of the public land grants. :anger:

From railroads & clearcuts


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