Development is booming again in the Las Vegas Valley, but developers are worried about possible new fees from the Bureau of Land Management.

The Bureau of Land Management kind of reminds me of the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield.

You see, the loveable Dangerfield played the role of an individual who received no respect and could not get a break. He had audiences all over the country laughing at his delivery which spoke of how he was the victim. Dangerfield joked that he and his wife were happy for 20 years. Then, they met.

He also said that he knew his parents hated him since his bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

One time, Dangerfield said he received a call from a girl who said “Come on over. There’s nobody home.”

Thinking he was about to capitalize on a cool situation, Dangerfield went over – and there was nobody home.

In each instance, Dangerfield couldn’t get any respect. It kind of reminded me of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, otherwise known as the big, bad BLM. The only difference is that while Dangerfield innocently found dead ends in his life, the BLM seems bound-determined and hell-bent on irritating everyone in the nation.

Just because. Funny thing is that the Nevada BLM seems to be much different from other state entities that also govern public land. In this case, some builders have put their projects on hold and in fact, anyone who purchased land from the BLM is starting to wonder about ramifications as it relates to dealing with the BLM.

The BLM has a serious image problem. Since the Great Collapse of the economy in 2009, the BLM seems determined to recover monies lost by taxing and irritating every possible land user ranging from off-road racing to homebuilders in Southern Nevada.

The latest implosion created by the BLM has everyone scratching their heads and this time, a new set of rules has people wondering what to do next.

The BLM has expanded its outreach so much so that the new rules have homebuilders, business owners, government agencies and non-profits fearful about mineral rights and who owns them. If you’re a homebuilder that purchased land from the BLM years ago, the BLM now wants everyone to know that it also owns the mineral rights should they be found sometime down the road.

If you’re a homebuilder and you need to add a drainage ditch, be sure to be ready to purchase a permit. If you don’t follow the rules, there’s a fine involved; and it isn’t a small one either.

In fact, if you have drainage ditches that need to be cleaned in your subdivision, you’re going to need an expensive permit before removing the sludge because that sludge just might have minerals in it. If any of us attempt to remove the sludge without first getting permission, we will be committing what is called a mineral trespass.

You see, the removal, processing or any construction use of any sand, gravel and other common minerals from lands subject to these mineral reservations may be considered a mineral trespass. The key is proving that what you removed of altered has lifetime BLM ownership.

That includes sand, gravel and other common minerals from lands subject to these mineral reservations may be considered a mineral trespass. Truth be known, the BLM has already started taking action against companies exporting material from sites, or in some cases, simply for grading property.

In other words, the drainage may be a breeding ground for mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus or encephalitis, but don’t touch the situation because the BLM first wants to get its cut should there be minerals in the dirt that is plugging up the drainage ditches.

As one of our neighbors said recently, “In the event of a windstorm, will these guys require a permit for us to breathe since the dust in the air during a windstorm just might contain minerals owned by the BLM?”

It appears the BLM is simply trying to catch up from the implosion of the Great Recession in 2009 that went on for several years. You see, unlike the rest of us, these folks have a very innovative way to recover funds while the rest of us are still trying to play catch-up.

With new schools being added to support the growth, will new fees be part of the equation?
With new schools being added to support the growth, will new fees be part of the equation?


I mean, if they don’t have rules, invent one that can presumably be enforced immediately just so a level of government can return to the boom years. I mean, I don’t mean to be a smart-ass, but it’s almost like the oil industry.

You know how it is. Start taxing everyone in sight when you need to balance the budget. I mean, no one has any right to dispute the move, especially considering that the Department of Interior changed is enforcement policy in April of 2014.

Now, the Southern Nevada field office can pursue enforcement actions on “unauthorized removals of mineral materials” from split-estate land with increasing frequency.
Developers, homebuilders and even the Clark County Flood Control should be worried.

If you were a fan of the late comedian George Carlin, you most certainly just imagine how he would have handled the current situation facing all of us in Southern Nevada.

Carlin would be railing about the BLM, at least in the state of Nevada where the entity seems to run roughshod. So far, the controversy that packed the North Las Vegas City Hall recently seems to be concentrating on developers but I have this feeling that we’re all going to be paying a tariff before long.

Even when we’re cleaning drainage ditches in our own neighborhoods. Hell, these guys in their very cool new BLM trucks will cruise neighborhoods watching to see if local residents are cleaning washes that should have been the responsibility of the city or the county in the first place.

To be fair, the most recent actions by the BLM will probably be challenged in court – at the cost of untold thousands of dollars.

As the late Southern Nevada developer Al Collins once said during a court battle, the only people who are going to win are the attorneys.

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