Proposed Solutions for Problems with the Federal Government's Management of Their Land

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The Federal Government owns nearly “30 percent” of the United States land mass- almost “650 million acres of land” (Paul, 2012). National parks, National Forests, and National Wildlife Refuges comprise the federally owned and managed public areas. These areas are managed by three main entities: “The National Park Service (NPS), The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)” (Edwards, 2012). The primary goal of these three agencies is to avoid the tragedy of the commons by preserving the natural resources on these lands, while still exhibiting economic growth based on them. Although, the Cato Institute study conducted in 2009 revealed shortcomings in the current managed plan. It showed overgrazed BLM lands,…show more content…
The federal government in 1976 Congress passed an Act requiring BLM to maximize economic recovery of federal coal sources in Powder River Basin, for US use (could last nearly a century), but in recent years the government is considering exporting to Asia (decreasing the coal supply to as little as 25 years). The Basin accounts for “14 percent” of the US yearly “carbon emissions” (Tuholske, 2014). Environmentalists have been pleading with the government for decades, including the Obama administration, to consider the environmental impact of extensive mining practices, but have been ignored thus far. Privatizing the land may give the area some relief, because the results of the owners’ actions will weigh directly on them. It may keep the resources in the US and the divergence from coal growing as disapproval rates soar. Also, a large portion of the remaining coal lies under already privately owned land, so there is not really a compelling argument as to why the rest of the land should not be released (Edwards, 2012).
Another option for privatization would be to sell refuges or parks to conservation land trusts. A few land trusts include the Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited. Private land trusts have tax-exempts and benefit from a large nation-wide group of volunteers. Land trusts are also more likely to charge efficient fees for land uses, instead of artificially low rates that the government charges. However, land trusts do
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