State-Owned Lands in the Eastern United States: Lessons from State Land Management in Practice

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.

 

NOTE: this article was originally published to PERC.org on March 13, 2018. It was written by Robert H. Nelson.

 

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.

 

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Ranching, wildlife management, finance, oil & gas, real estate development and management.

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