Public Lands Water Rights, Cattle, Wild Horses

03 Nov

Over the past decade a significant amount of questions have developed, in the matters of Water Rights, and the actual “Rights of Private Ownership” on America’s Public Lands, by participants in the government’s Grazing Permit Programs on Public Lands, or what is refereed to as Welfare Ranchers’. Welfare Rancher’s “assume” they have, above and beyond normal “Legal” parameters, “ownership rights” to Water Wells on their Leased Public Lands. 

The situation is, they use the water available to them, from the Water Wells upon Our Public Lands. But, they use it for their own cattle, for example, then send an invoice for its use to the BLM (i.e. Bureau of Land Management), or the DOI (Department of the Interior), or the USDA Forestry. This situation amounts to several thousands of dollars per month, going directly to Welfare Ranchers, who are simply leasing grazing lands from the government, yet another obvious Lobby Group circumstance, but as we see it, forcing more corruption onto our Public Lands.

We find this activity to be illegal, and no court, State or Federal, has given the actual Water Rights to Grazing Permit Holders (as Private Ownership), yet we find the situation blossom, and within $18.6 Billion Dollars paid to Grazing Permit Holders on Public Lands, over the past 16 years.

The primary question here is ethics, the legality of using Federal or State Water Wells, then charging taxpayer’s for its use and upkeep or maintenance, when it should be their own “cost of doing business” and in reality — the other way around — paying the taxpayer’s for use of Federal or State owned Water on Public Lands.

Simply more corruption from Big Ag and forced upon Or Public Lands, then referring to it as legal, within any way, is certainly beyond doubt, a questionable circumstance, at best.

Reserved Water Rights and the Supreme Court

The doctrine of federal reserved water rights generally traces its origins to the seminal decision of Winters v. United States, 207 U.S. 564 (1908).  There, the United States Supreme Court ruled, when the United States sets aside an Indian reservation, it impliedly reserves sufficient water to fulfill the purposes of the reservation, with the priority date established as of the date of the reservation.

Over half a century later, following the passage of the McCarran Amendment, the Supreme Court had occasion to revisit – and build upon – this turn of the century decision in Arizona v. California, 373 U.S. 546 (1963).  In that case, the Court held that the reserved rights doctrine is not limited to Indian reservations, but also applies to all federally reserved public lands, such as national forests, national recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges.  This ruling affirmed the potentially significant scope and extent of federal reserved water rights.

Over the coming years, the Supreme Court had several occasions to explore the contours of the reserved water rights doctrine.  For instance, in Cappaert v. United States, 426 U.S. 128 (1976), the Court upheld an injunction against groundwater pumping that would have jeopardized one of the purposes for which the national monument at issue had been established – preservation of the desert pupfish – thereby extending the reach of the reserved rights doctrine to protect federal reserved rights both from injurious surface and groundwater diversions.

Several years later, in United States v. New Mexico, 438 U.S. 696 (1978), the Court denied the Forest Service’s instream flow claim for fish, wildlife and recreation uses.  Specifically, the Court denied the claim on the grounds that reserved water rights for National Forest lands established under the Forest Service’s Organic Act of 1897 are limited to the minimum amount of water necessary to satisfy the primary purposes of the Organic Act – conservation of favorable water flows and the production of timber – and were not available to satisfy the claimed instream flow uses.  This decision established that questions concerning the existence and quantity of reserved water rights are largely dependent upon the reservation’s authorizing legislation and the specific purposes for which the land was reserved.

“The Department of the Interior recognizes the interest in re-enforcing the state’s authority over water allocation.  The Department also recognizes that the federal government retains the right and obligation to manage federal lands under the Constitution.  This right and obligation includes’ the authority to both reserve water rights and mitigate against the impacts of the exercise of privately held water rights on public lands.  Congress, on the other hand, is charged with directing the Executive Branch’s implementation of those rights and obligations. . . [See:  United States v. Rio Grande Dam & Irrig. Co., 174 U.S. 702 (1899), United States v. Winans, 198 U.S. 371 (1905), and Winters v. United States, 207 U.S. 564 (1908).]”

In the United States there are complex legal systems for allocating water rights that vary by region. These varying systems exist for both historical and geographic reasons. Water law encompasses a broad array of subjects or categories designed to provide a framework to resolve disputes and policy issues relating to water:

  1. Public waters, including tidal waters and navigable waterways.
  2. Other surface waters—generally water that flows across non-public land from rain, floodwaters, and snow-melt before those waters reach public watercourses.
  3. Groundwater, sometimes called subterranean, percolating, or underground water
  4. Public regulation of waters, including flood control, environmental regulation—state and federal, public health regulation and regulation of fisheries
  5. Related to all of the above is interplay of public and private rights in water, which draws on aspects of eminent domain law and the federal commerce clause powers
  6. Water project law: the highly developed law regarding the formation, operation, and finance of public and quasi-public entities which operate local public works of flood control, navigation control, irrigation, and avoidance of environmental degradation.
  7. Treaty Rights of Native Americans

The Klamath River Basin Adjudication in Oregon

A major adjudication is the Klamath River Basin Adjudication (among others states) in southern Oregon, which was commenced in the mid-1990s. In early 2013, the Oregon Water Resources Department filed its findings of fact and order of determination, concluding the administrative phase of the adjudication and commencing the judicial phase in the Klamath County Circuit Court.

The Oregon Water Resources Department’s order sets forth partial orders of determination on the 734 claims filed in the adjudication. The order was largely favorable to the United States approving numerous and substantial federal reserved and state appropriative water rights for several wild and scenic rivers, Crater Lake National Park, wilderness areas, in-stream flow fire protection for national forest system lands, four national wildlife refuges, Indian reservations, and the Klamath Reclamation Project encompassing 200,000 acres in southern Oregon and northern California. The order also approved most of the United States’ claimed “Walton” (Indian successor) water rights for a national wildlife refuge, and resolved a large portion of the United States’ contests against Walton claims asserted by competing claimants by denying or significantly limiting the claimed rights.

Exceptions to the Oregon Water Resources Department’s order of determination, including the partial orders of determination on each of the 734 claims addressed by the Department’s order, were filed in March 2014. Those exceptions will be litigated individually or in groups in de novo proceedings before the circuit court. Completion of this judicial phase of the adjudication will likely take ten to twelve years.


What I have found are numerous suggestions toward lands or water well ownership, connected directly to the “Safe Use of Water” and the supply to Our Nation’s population of people, as a priority.  Situations, or industry on Public Lands, many times under the guise of confusing Federal and State Laws actually usurp, or attempt to take away, legislative priorities that influence political venues, then Special Interests become the priority.  Suddenly, and troublesome, we discover the priority turns political, rather than the priority of Public Safety and confirmation of Safe Drinking water, which turns into a negotiable, rather than firm, lower priority circumstance, when it comes to the American general population and Safe Drinking Water. Yes, corruption and pollution on Our Public Lands, as well as fraudulent activity, is never a good situation, nor does it benefit the general public; but rather, it benefits a few to profit very well, on the backs of taxpayer’s (i.e. both State and Federal) and local communities.

So the question remains:  Are Grazing Permit Holders on our Public Lands, mainly Cattle Ranching, can obtain Ownership (when ranches bought or sold), or is it legal for the State or Federal Well Water portion to become part of the property in the Sales obligation (which violates both State and Federal Law on Water Well ownership on Public Lands) – or can they buy, outright, Water Wells on Federal or State Lands, then invoice for payment the price paid for it as well as all water used in the cultivation and process of Cattle for the meat industry?

American taxpayers pay a lot for Welfare Ranching on Our Public Lands, in direct subsidies (a socialist form of government which taxpayer’s acquire no benefit at all, actually) with no returns nor discounts, nor anything in return for that tax paid money, what so ever (i.e. $586.4 Billion Dollars in the past 19 years) . . .

Should the government be paying for a Rancher to use their own water, et al.?  Or, is it legitimate, or even legal, to charge the Taxpayer’s for any segment of their process to produce the small amount of beef the Grazing Permit Programs’ responsible for (less than 1% of domestic sales per year on America’s Beef Markets, and need we not forget, the throw-away margins of 24% to 32% of domestic beef in America, due to regulatory situations — so we see right off there is no need for these Grazing Permit Programs anyway) payments of water units to private ranchers, their only qualification – ownership of a Grazing Permit for their cattle, which in truth is merely a Lease of Grazing Lands on America’s Public Lands . . . 

The fact is, and bears repetition, American Taxpayer’s already pay, in subsidies, $586.4 Billion in the past 19 years – then we see additional and corrupted situations like this . . .  Yes, we have a very corrupted Government Grazing Permit Program, that apparently makes its own laws, within each Government Agency involved – It is time to place these government Agencies back into their respective situation of managing our Public Lands responsibly, honestly, as well as rid themselves of the corruption so obvious to many.


    AWWA (1999) Waterborne pathogens: AWWA manual M48. Denver, CO, American Water Works Association.

    Bitton G (2005) Wastewater microbiology, 3rd ed.New York, NY, John Wiley & Sons.

    Chevrefils G et al. (2006) UV dose required to achieve incremental log inactivation of bacteria, protozoa and viruses. IUVA News, 8(1):38–45.

    Clasen T et al. (2006) Interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhoea (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 3. Oxford, Update Software (CD004794). [PubMed]

    Cotruvo JA, Sobsey M (2006) Point-of-use water treatment for home and travel. In: Grabow W, ed. UNESCO encyclopedia of life support systems. Paris, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (http://www​

    Dullemont YJ et al. (2006) Removal of microorganisms by slow sand filtration. In: Gimbel R, Graham NJD, Collins MR, eds. Recent progress in slow sand and alternative biofiltration processes. London, IWA Publishing, pp. 12–20.

    Feachem RG et al. (1983) Sanitation and disease: Health aspects of excreta and wastewater management. Chichester, John Wiley.

    Fewtrell L, Colford J (2004) Water, sanitation and hygiene: Interventions and diarrhoea—A systematic review and meta-analysis. Health, Nutrition, and Population Family of the World Bank Human Development Network (http:​//siteresources​​/Resources/281627-1095698140167​/Fewtrell​%26ColfordJuly2004.pdf).

    Gerba CP et al. (1996) Waterborne rotavirus: A risk assessment. Water Research, 30 (12):2929–2940.

    Haas CN, Rose JB, Gerba CP (1999) Quantitative microbial risk assessment. New York, NY, Wiley.

    Hijnen WAM, Beerendonk EF, Medema GJ (2006) Inactivation credit of UV radiation for viruses, bacteria and protozoan (oo)cysts in water: A review. Water Research, 40:3–22. [PubMed]

    Jones K, Betaieb M, Telford DR (1990) Seasonal variation of thermophilic campylobacters in sewage sludge. Journal of Applied Bacteriology, 69:185–189. [PubMed]

    Koenraad PMFJ et al. (1994) Survey of Campylobacter in sewage plants in the Netherlands. Food Microbiology, 11:65–73.

    Lodder WJ, de Roda Husman AM (2005) Presence of noroviruses and other enteric viruses in sewage and surface waters in the Netherlands. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 71(3):1453–1461. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

    Lodder WJ et al. (2010) Presence of enteric viruses in source waters for drinking water production in the Netherlands. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76(17):5965–5971. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

    Maier RM, Pepper IL, Gerba CP (2000) Environmental microbiology. New York, NY, Academic Press.

    Masini L et al. (2007) Research and characterization of pathogenic vibrios from bathing water along the Conero Riviera (central Italy). Water Research, 41(18):4031–4040. [PubMed]

    Metcalf & Eddy, Inc. (2003) Wastewater engineering: Treatment and reuse. New York, NY, McGraw Hill.

    Nath KJ, Bloomfield S, Jones M (2006) Household water storage, handling and point-of-use treatment. A review commissioned by the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (http://www​.ifh-homehygiene​.org/2003/2library​/low_res_water_paper.pdf).

    Rutjes SA et al. (2009) Detection of infectious rotavirus in naturally contaminated source waters for drinking water production. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 107(1):97–105. [PubMed]

    Schijven JF, de Roda Husman AM (2006) A survey of diving behaviour and accidental water ingestion among Dutch occupational and sport divers to assess the risk of infection with waterborne pathogenic microorganisms. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114:712–717. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

    Stampi S et al. (1992) Occurrence, removal, and seasonal variation of “thermophilic” campylobacters in a sewage treatment plant in Italy. Zentralblatt für Hygiene und Umweltmedizin, 193:199–210. [PubMed]

    Stelzer W (1988) [Detection of Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli in waste water.] Zentralblatt für Mikrobiologie, 143(1):47–54 (in German). [PubMed]

    WHO (2003) Emerging issues in water and infectious disease. Geneva, World Health Organization (http://www​​_sanitation_health​/publications/emergingissues/en/).

    WHO (2005) Preventing travellers’ diarrhoea: How to make drinking water safe. Geneva, World Health Organization (http://www​​_sanitation_health​/publications/traveldiarrh/en/).

    World Health Assembly (1991) Elimination of dracunculiasis: Resolution of the 44th World Health Assembly. Geneva, World Health Organization (Resolution No. WHA 44.5).

    Wright J, Gundry S, Conroy R (2003) Household drinking water in developing countries: A systematic review of microbiological contamination between source and point-of-use. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 9(1):106–117. [PubMed]

    APHA, AWWA, WEF (2005) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, 21st ed. Washington, DC, American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association and Water Environment Federation, pp. 7–15.

    Auvinen A et al. (2005) Radon and other natural radionuclides in drinking water and risks of stomach cancer: A case-cohort study in Finland. International Journal of Cancer, 10:109–113. [PubMed]

    Brenner D et al. (2003) Cancer risks attributable to low doses of ionizing radiation: Assessing what we really know. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(24): 13761–13766. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

    Brown J, Hammond B, Wilkins DT (2008) Handbook for assessing the impact of a radiological incident on levels of radioactivity in drinking water and risks to operatives at water treatment works: Supporting scientific report. Chilton, Oxfordshire, Health Protection Agency (HPA-RPD-041; http://www​​/research/completed-research​/reports/DWI70-2-192​_supporting.pdf).

    European Commission (2001) Commission recommendation of 20 December 2001 on the protection of the public against exposure to radon in drinking water supplies. Official Journal of the European Communities, L344:85–87 (http://eur-lex​.europa​.eu/legal-content/EN​/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ​.L_.2001.344.01.0085​.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2001:344:TOC).

    Health Canada (2009) Guidelines for Canadian drinking water quality: Guideline technical document—Radiological parameters. Ottawa, Ontario, Health Canada, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Radiation Protection Bureau (Catalogue No. H128-1/10-614E-PDF; http://www​​/ewh-semt/alt_formats​/hecs-sesc/pdf/pubs​/water-eau/radiological​_para-radiologiques​/radiological_para-radiologiques-eng.pdf).

    IAEA (2002) Safety requirements on preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency. Vienna, International Atomic Energy Agency (Safety Standards Series No. GS-R-2).

    IAEA, WHO (2005) Development of an extended framework for emergency response criteria. Vienna, International Atomic Energy Agency (TECDOC-1432).

    IAEA, WHO (2010) Criteria for use in planning response to nuclear and radiological emergencies. Vienna, International Atomic Energy Agency (Safety Guide DS44).

    ICRP (1996) Age-dependent doses to the members of the public from intake of radionuclides. Part 5. Compilation of ingestion and inhalation coefficients. ICRP Publication 72. Annals of the ICRP, 26(1). [PubMed]

    ICRP (2000) Protection of the public in situations of prolonged radiation exposure. Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. ICRP Publication 82. Annals of the ICRP, 29(1–2).

    ICRP (2008) The 2007 recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. ICRP Publication 103. Annals of the ICRP, 37(2–4). [PubMed]

    ICRP (2009a) Application of the Commission’s recommendations for the protection of people in emergency exposure situations. ICRP Publication 109. Annals of the ICRP, 39(1). [PubMed]

    ICRP (2009b) International Commission on Radiological Protection statement on radon (ICRP Ref 00/902/09; http://www​​/ICRP_Statement_on_Radon​%28November_2009%29.pdf).

    ISO (2003) Standard ISO 5667 3: Water quality—Sampling—Part 3: Guidance on the preservation and handling of water samples. Geneva, International Organization for Standardization.

    ISO (2006a) Standard ISO 5667 1: Water quality—Sampling—Part 1: Guidance on the design of sampling programmes and sampling techniques. Geneva, International Organization for Standardization.

    ISO (2006b) Standard ISO 5667-5: Water quality—Sampling—Part 5: Guidance on sampling of drinking water from treatment works and piped distribution systems. Geneva, International Organization for Standardization.

    ISO (2007) Standard ISO 9696: Water quality—Measurement of gross alpha activity in non-saline water—Thick source method. Geneva, International Organization for Standardization.

    ISO (2008) Standard ISO 9697: Water quality—Measurement of gross beta activity in non-saline water—Thick source method. Geneva, International Organization for Standardization.

    ISO (2009a) Standard ISO 5667-11: Water quality—Sampling—Part 11: Guidance on sampling of groundwaters. Geneva, International Organization for Standardization.

    ISO (2009b) Standard ISO 10704: Water quality—Measurement of gross alpha and gross beta activity in non-saline water—Thin source deposit method. Geneva, International Organization for Standardization.

    Nair RR et al. (2009) Background radiation and cancer incidence in Kerala, India—Karanagappally cohort study. Health Physics, 96(1):55–66. [PubMed]

    NAS (1999) Report on risk assessment of radon in drinking water. Washington, DC, National Research Council, National Academy Press.

    Picano E (2008) Informed consent and communication of risk from radiological and nuclear medicine examinations: How to escape from a communication inferno. British Medical Journal, 329:849–851. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

    Standards Australia, Standards New Zealand (1998) Water quality—Sampling—Guidance on the design of sampling programs, sampling techniques and the preservation and handling of samples. Homebush, Australia, and Wellington, New Zealand, Joint Australian/New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS 5667.1.1998).

    Tao Z (2000) Cancer mortality in the high background radiation areas of Yangjiang, China during the period between 1979 and 1995. Journal of Radiation Research (Tokyo), 41(Suppl.):31–41. [PubMed]

    UNSCEAR (2000) Report: Sources, effects and risks of ionizing radiation. New York, NY, United Nations, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (http://www​​/unscear/en/publications/2000_1.html).

    UNSCEAR (2008) Report: Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. Vol. I. Sources. New York, NY, United Nations, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (http://www​​/unscear/en/publications/2008_1.html).

    USEPA (2007) Communicating radiation risks. Washington, DC, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Publication 402-F-07-008).

    WHO (2002) Establishing a dialogue on risks from electromagnetic fields. Geneva, World Health Organization.

    WHO (2009) WHO handbook on indoor radon: A public health perspective. Geneva, World Health Organization.

    Ye W et al. (1998) Mortality and cancer incidence in Misasa, Japan, a spa area with elevated radon levels. Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, 89(8):789–796. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 3, 2020 in Uncategorized


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: