Minn. Landowners Livid Over Mineral Contracts
Almost half of the 260 acres near Isabella owned by Brodigan and his son could be subject to drilling based on leases the state awarded last spring to companies that search for valuable minerals.
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#1 Sep 17, 2011
Thereís a moderate to high possibility - due to the history of US public lands - that Minnesota state government officials are scamming property owners under color of law regarding rights to minerals on and under private property.
The Continental Congress enacted a law for the survey and sale of land in the Northwest Territory in 1785 and for the government of the Northwest Territory in 1787. These two acts became prototypes for acts on the same topics for all future territories.
Early acts of US government, before and after 1787, are prototypes because US government must insure the equal protection of personal and property rights by uniform government throughout the US. US government officials failed time and again to provide equal protection by uniform local governments, but their obligation to provide it never diminished.
The 1785 Land Act (1785 May 20) ordered that all territorial land be divided into townships 6 miles square and each township divided into one-mile square sections. The Act reserved five sections in each township from sale; and also any land that included salt licks or mineral deposits. The US Congress revised the 1785 Land Act in 1796, leaving the reservations intact.
The principle that mineral lands belong to a national government and not a lesser government originated under monarchy; and the 1785 Land Act brings the principle forward to democracy.
The 1787 US Constitution includes a provision that gives Congress the power to dispose of public lands in states and territories; and another provision that tells state government officials that they canít interfere with the primary disposition of US soil within their states.
Congress leased mineral lands to miners for several decades. From time to time Congress sold land to private purchasers, mineral rights and all. The US Bureau of Land Management tells part of the story at http://www.blm.gov/flpma/organic.htm
The deeds that formalize the sale of public lands into private ownership are a kind of contract.
The 1787 US Constitution tells the US Congress it canít enact laws that abrogate contracts; and also tells states they canít enact laws that abrogate contracts.
Minnesota itself couldnít have enacted a law that grants Minnesota state officials the power to dispose of mineral rights on lands that the US Congress previously sold to individuals or intended to sell to individuals in future.
An 1857 congressional act allows Minnesotans to form a government with the option of accepting a grant of salt licks in the state, but doesnít mention mineral lands.(1857 Feb 26, Chap 60, Statutes At Large, Vol 11, p167)
An 1860 act allows state officials to select certain swamplands out of the public lands and drain them.(1860 Mar 12, Chap 5, Statutes At Large, Vol 12, p3)
Minnesota officials are acting under color of law to steal mineral property rights from one private entity for the benefit of another private entity if they can't prove:
(1) Minnesota received a grant of or purchased (unsold) mineral lands from the US; and
(2) Minnesota sold or re-sold mineral lands to private purchasers with a provision in the deed that reserved minerals to the state, and sufficient land to mine them.
Relevant documents can be found at the Library of Congress website:
click American Memory
click Government & Law
click U.S. Congress ~ Documents ~ 1774-1875
(American State Papers, Public Lands, are reports from administrators and congressional committees to 1837)
US statutes will reveal if and when Congress granted or sold mineral lands in a state to a state.
click Statutes at Large
click List or Index for each volume.
look for statutes re Minnesota, public lands, mineral lands
(Volume 1, Table IV, lists public land statutes to 1845)
Many documents regarding precedents in the disposition of US public lands, including mineral lands, have been copy-pasted to my website:
click counties appendix
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