Public Land Policy

June 17, 1994 • Volume 4, Issue 23
Are sweeping management changes necessary?
By Tom Arrandale


The federal government owns a vast portion of the land in Western states, including national forests and rangelands that yield gold, timber and livestock forage. Westerners have always used those millions of acres of public lands, and their increasingly valuable resources, with little regulation by the government -- and for very low fees. Now many in the West are rebelling against the Clinton administration's plans to raise more revenue from public lands by hiking user fees while tightening environmental controls over mining, logging and grazing. The intensifying battle over public land resources is raising fundamental questions about the federal government's control over those vast holdings. Some economists think the nation's public lands would be better managed by private owners.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Land Resources and Property Rights