Federal Overreach and the Water Rights Protection Act — HR 3189 — by TJ Lovato


Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 7.14.28 PMOne would ask why the Federal Government is doing such things. However, lets not ask why for the moment and just address the fact that they are.

In recent years as well as this year,, there have been several examples where the Federal government has attempted to circumvent long established state water law in order to take privately-held water rights. By using the Federal permit, lease and land management process to extort water rights from those who hold rights pursuant to state law, the Federal government is clearly overreaching and violating private property rights.

The Forest Service argues the water rights established on the national forests should be tied to the land and that the United States should own those water rights. The agency contends federal ownership of water will protect it from being removed. That is a mighty big stretch! With federal agency priorities influenced by the flavor of the month politics, environmental group strong arming or the whims of activist courts, the best protection of the water for skiing and dispersed livestock watering is state jurisdiction and rights held in private ownership.

The Public Lands Council (PLC) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) strongly support H.R. 3189 and indicated this legislation is necessary as,

“The USFS has been notorious for violating private property rights… and repeatedly ignored established state water laws.”

Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT) joined with Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO) to introduce H.R. 3189, The Water Rights Protection Act. The proposed legislation protects privately held water rights from federal takings while underpinning long standing state sovereignty and water law.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 7.12.25 PMC.E.O. Randy Parker from the Utah Farm Bureau testified to the importance the Water Rights Protection act and stated that “H.R. 3189 precludes the Forest Service and BLM from acquiring livestock water rights as a condition of the rancher’s use of the grazing allotment and protects the holder of the livestock water right –a taking under the Constitution.” The Family Farm Alliance has called on Congress to pass the Water Rights Protection Act and proclaimed that “Federal agencies should not be able to leverage those water rights against farming and ranching families who have long depended upon federal permits and leases to support actions like grazing.”


The County Seat.


Utah Farm Bureau Federation.


Tipton statement.

http://tipton.house.gov/sites/tipton.house.gov/files/Statement of Congressman Scott Tipton 11 14 13.pdf

Western LIvestock Journal


2 thoughts on “Federal Overreach and the Water Rights Protection Act — HR 3189 — by TJ Lovato

  1. The properties that can be “owned” by the Federal government of the United States are listed in Article I Section VIII of the U.S. Constitution. “Congress shall have power – To Establish Post Offices and post roads -To exercise exclusive legislation in all case whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, be cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the seat of government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful building.” As declared by James Madison, known as the father of the Constitution, if the power is not expressly given it is withheld. This simply means that the Forest Service and the BLM are illegal and unlawful organizations. Those who violate the law are known as criminals. Can anyone expect a criminal to obey the law?

  2. what the hay ? the government cant control mother nature where the water go s is up to god and the farmers should be able to use it for free to water their cattle and horses not to move it around and make permits for tax gain this is crap what about the wild animals that relie on drinking drinking the water too are U going to let them die of thirst too ? these jerk offs need to go with out water for a few days and see how they like it leave the water alone and let mother nature take care of it

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