State-Owned Lands in the Eastern United States: Lessons from State Land Management in Practice
Quoting from the paper below, “Eastern states have been a source of experimentation and innovation in land policies, administrative arrangements, and management approaches — often with considerable economic and environmental success.”
These ideas would work in the West.
What – specifically – do states do differently than the feds that works so much better? They:
• actively manage land for multiple uses and revenue-raising purposes while maintaining forests and other state lands in a healthy environmental and ecological condition;
• earn more revenue from timber harvesting than timber program management costs, thus contributing funds for other state purposes;
• raise enough revenue from timber harvest sales, hunting licenses, minerals leasing, recreation use fees, federal grant programs, and other sources to cover most or all land management costs;
• create new land management methods and administrative systems such as the rapid growth of state-managed wildlife management areas;
• manage state land without hamstringing it with litigation, burdensome rules and regulations, bureaucratic formalities, and other barriers to flexible decision-making that so often afflict the federal land management system;
• avoid management by judicial decision making, which has characterized the federal land management system since the 1970s;
• manage lands as a coordinated system, as opposed to the dispersal of existing federal land management responsibilities among multiple cabinet departments and agencies operating independently to serve their own narrower constituencies.