The federal Bureau of Land Management’s policies of buying up land and selling it back to the public at steep premiums is damaging the economy and inhibiting growth, presidential frontrunner Donald Trump penned in a recent op-ed.

Published with little fanfare in the Reno Gazette-Journal ahead of last month’s Nevada caucus, the billionaire real estate mogul wrote the BLM’s reluctance to release land, in combination with the failure to enforce immigration laws, is “damaging the economy, lowering the standard of living and inhibiting natural economic growth.”

“The BLM controls over 85 percent of the land in Nevada. In the rural areas, those who for decades have had access to public lands for ranching, mining, logging and energy development are forced to deal with arbitrary and capricious rules that are influenced by special interests that profit from the D.C. rule-making and who fill the campaign coffers of Washington politicians,” Trump wrote. “Honest, hardworking citizens who seek freedom and economic independence must beg for deference from a federal government that is more intent on power and control than it is in serving the citizens of the nation.”

“In and around Clark County, the situation is even worse,” Trump said, referring to the swath of land which, in 2014, was the site of the famous Bundy Ranch standoff in Bunkerville, Nevada.

“Because the BLM is so reluctant to release land to local disposition in Nevada,” Trump said, “the cost of land has skyrocketed and the cost of living has become an impediment to growth.”

Trump said that in addition to rising costs of living, the economic effects of the BLM’s land grabs are being exacerbated by illegal immigration, because “jobs are filled by those who came to this country illegally.”

“Illegal immigration costs the people of Nevada over $1.2 billion a year,” Trump said, getting back to the issue that catapulted his presidential run. “Illegal immigration suppresses wages and undermines the ability of workers to organize and seek better working conditions.”

Trump went on in February to win Nevada’s caucus, with 45.9% of the popular vote, or 34,531 votes, compared to runner up Marco Rubio, who earned 23.9%.


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