Happy Sunday. Here’s some more maps!
Map 63 shows Federally Owned Land in the United States. This map came across my
desk couch because of the ongoing story in Oregon. An armed ‘militia’ has occupied the office of the Malheur Federal Wildlife Refuge, a Federal structure, to protest and draw attention to their belief that the government shouldn’t own land. The militia is led by Ammon Bundy and is going by the name ‘Citizens for Constitutional Freedom’. Ammon and his father, Cliven Bundy, have clashed with the Government over grazing fees and ranchers’ rights before. I’ve only read a total of three articles on the subject but from what I gather, they’re being unreasonable. The Government lets cattle graze on their land for a moderate fee that is 93% cheaper than the market rate. That means private landowners are selling grazing rights for a lot more than the government. The Government is, however, the largest landowner in twelve Western states. The militia seems to think the land technically owned and paid for by everyone’s taxes should be available for free. I don’t have cattle that need grazing and my taxes pay for that land just the same. Ranchers out West pay a small fee, in addition to their taxes, to use that land. That seems fair to me, especially considering the below-market prices. But like I said, I’m not a rancher. Maybe they know something I don’t. I’ve read three articles, they live and work there. I’m just a map guy. The map below shows all the Federal Land in the country.
The purple area includes all National Parks, Forests, Reserves, and Refuges. It also includes military bases and testing facilities. I am wholeheartedly surprised, despite their well-known independent spirit, that Texas doesn’t contain more Federal Land. It’s a very large state yet Minnesota and North Carolina have more Federal territory. Most of Nevada is government land, same with Utah and Idaho. There are a lot of military bases/facilities in Nevada and National Parks are all over the Western part of the country. It’s also interesting to see splotches on the map that have famous names, such as the Everglades in Florida or Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. I found this map on Yahoo and it appears they got it from the United States Geological Survey.
Map 64 shows what each state searched for on Google.com more than any other state. That doesn’t mean that every search below was the top search per state, just that it was searched more often relative to other states. Minnesota’s top search was ‘Black Lives Matter’. The social movement has supporters throughout the country and one of the largest bases is the Twin Cities. A few people I graduated with, both white and black, have posted support for the loose organization (I say loose because they don’t have a roster or membership dues) and/or have actually participated in Black Lives Matter protests around town. I, personally, believe that black lives do, indeed, matter, but I don’t always love their protest methods. They blocked interstates through the cities for several hours on two separate occasions. That’s both dangerous and extremely disruptive to random passersby. I have to imagine there were several supporters stuck in that massive traffic jam that just wanted to get home to their families. I think there are probably better ways to protest without resorting to something so dangerous. Actually, the same goes to those Oregon dudes.
Let’s dissect what some of the other 49 states searched for most. New Jersey was really interested in Hillary Clinton’s email. Maine discovered Amy Schumer. Oklahoma was above-average interested in Caitlyn Jenner. The Volkswagen scandal rocked California while Oregon was worried about Syria. North Dakota searched for ‘NFL Draft’, which is slightly strange considering they don’t have a pro franchise (a lot of Dakota residents are Vikings or Broncos fans). Kansas searched for the ‘World Series’ because the Kansas City Royals made it there for the first time in 30 years. Several states are concerned about their right to bear arms. Nobody is coming for your muskets, people! The second amendment doesn’t say anything about a right to assault rifles. Everybody needs to just calm down and focus on the ‘Whip Dance’ like Georgia or ‘Kaley Cuoco’ like Nebraska. It is fun to look at this map and remember some of the biggest stories of the past calendar year. It would be hard to forget some, like ISIS, Boko Haram, and Trump, but it’s still a good reminder.
I have plenty of time to Google maps as much as I want because I’m hibernating in the harsh Minnesota-Winter.
Until next time,