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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The conquering and development of natural land has in the past, been seen as a mark of human civilization. In the United States, our progress is often measured by growth and development, but should this be re-examined? There are many opinions on the subject of urban sprawl and its effects on wildlife, but one thing is for certain, we are expanding. From 1955 to 2005, urban and suburban areas grew by 300%, however, the population only increased by 75% over the same period (Ewing, Kostyack and Chen). According to NatureServe, a non-profit conservation organization, urban sprawl threatens one of every three endangered species in the United States. NatureServe’s analysis states, “rare and endangered species data shows that three-fifths (60
In addition to environmental concerns, opponents argue that government regulation is too lax and as Bahr states, “It is all too easy to mine on public lands and the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have made it extremely easy to validate claims.” Although uranium miners recognize federal obligations to reclaim operation sites Roger Clark, Grand Canyon Program
Through strictly regulated hunting we have reintroduced and repopulated various game species into areas where they were previously wiped out due to extremely excessive hunting by settlers. In the early 1900s all of Indiana’s whitetail deer were virtually extinct. By the 1930s whitetail deer were beginning to be reintroduced into Indiana. In just 20 years after initial reintroduction the population was at a sustainable level so that regulated modern hunting programs could begin. Conservationism has been a necessity to the ecology of the United States and many other countries around the world. The U.S. Forest Service by itself manages 193 million acres of public land nationwide or roughly 8% of the total land in the United States. The management of this land would not be feasible without the funding hunters provide through licenses, tags, and stamps. The 193 million acres does not include any public recreational land on the state level. There is 2,260,380 acres of public hunting land in all the states
Burns, Shirley Stewart. Bringing Down the Mountains: The Impact of Mountaintop Removal Surface Coal Mining on Southern West Virginia Communities, 1970-2004. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2007. Print.
In Appalachia laws had to be passed to keep coal companies from buying mineral rights and forcing people off of their land. If a company had the rights to the minerals under the property, they could mine without consent. It is hard to bear the thought of someone being that ruthless, but greed can drive man to do horrible things. Thankfully, laws were passed that helped the owners of the land, surface owners, to be compensated. The owner of the natural resources, mineral owners, must pay the land owner a royalty for extracting the natural resource from the property. Also, all damages done to the property were covered by the company ("Kentucky Division of Oil and Gas"). A small price to pay for multi-millionaires to increase their vast
Many companies have made money from the coal industry; however, the money has not stayed within the state. Big businesses have exploited the resources creating rich executives and leaving the Appalachian area stripped of its bounty. Currently, big businesses are involved in mountain-top removal to remove resources from our mountains. This leaves many of the beautiful mountains destroyed, pollutes the water systems and kills the wildlife and vegetation. The coal industry which once supported many families in the Appalachian area is now becoming the downfall of our tourist
The Biodiversity Treaty sanctioned that countries whose biological resources are exploited by bioprospecting companies have a right to share the financial benefits resulting from the sale of these resources (Adair, 1997). National parklands are owned by the federal government. Therefore, our national parks have the legal right to share in the financial benefits that
Coal mining is not new to the Appalachian region. Miners have been working the rich coal fields of Appalachia for generations.14, 17 The first coal mines in these states were small, local owned operations.17 This all changed, however, in the late 19th century when “agents from land companies had swept through the region buying up mineral rights, sometimes for as little as fifty cents per acre, separating the use of the surface (and tax liability) from the natural resources that might be below.”17 In legal terms, and in very fine print, these “broad form deeds often signed over the rights to ‘dump, store, and leave upon such land any and
Some argue that, economically, the mining operation will be a net gain in money for the working class and that 75 to 80 percent of the jobs in northern Minnesota will be local . However, for the project to fully go through, it requires “$200 million to $400 million in financial protections, and would overall be a financial liability for taxpayers” . So despite how many jobs the project will create, it could result in a net loss of money for the people living in that area. Another problem that PolyMet thinks they have solved is the mass amount of pollution that will surface during the mining process. They say they will “use the most advanced mining procedures to extract the materials and prevent pollution during the mines 20 year life” . Not only is this solution incredibly vague in its description, but many argue that “the pollution will be a problem long after the mine plays out and PolyMet is gone. The latest studies shows a possibility that the mine’s wastewater could flow north to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness” . The argument that advanced procedures would be used against pollution falls short of satisfactory when their description is so ill-defined.
The national parks of the United States are a part of the few remaining regions in the country where nature is relatively untouched and natural beauty can be observed. For over a century, national parks been popular vacation destinations for citizens and international tourists alike. Regulation and conservation of these areas is necessary to allow for continued visitation and enjoyment. The National Parks Service of the Department of the Interior was created with The National Park Service Organic Act (“The Organic Act”) to maintain the nation’s parks and ensure preservation of the land while encouraging use by the general public. Whether or not conservation and recreational use are independent of each has been argued within the government as well as among the general public for decades. Vague language used by The Organic Act’s authors has allowed for manipulation of the phrasing of the fundamental mission statement of the National Park Service to support or oppose a variety of decisions that will environmentally impact the parks. Personal opinions and conflicting priorities lead to much ambiguity in the long-term implementation of the National Park Service Organic Act.
The BLM”s mission is to “sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.” This organization works to protect the natural environment while preserving it for the upcoming generations. Currently the organization is primarily focused the west coast states and also Alaska. The National Conservation Lands “include 873 federally recognized areas and about 35 million acres of National Monuments, national Conservation Areas , Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas etc.” all of these lands are managed by the Bureau of Land
Parks and recreation areas have been developed at many former sites where mountain top removal mining had been in service. A little more than half of all former sites have been transformed to recreation areas. And in most of those cases the mining companies that control the property pay for those areas (Gardner). Not all of the areas have been transferred to recreational areas. Other areas have been converted to land fills, industrial plants, and, roads and bridges. It is estimated that the mountain top removal mining companies have contributed over 50 billion dollars developing these projects and cleaning the sites since 1980. In September 2010, Gregory H. Boyce, President and C.E.O. Of Peabody Energy, released a plan “to eliminate energy poverty and inequality by unlocking the power of coal to advance energy security, generate economic stimulus and create environmental solutions. (Sutton)” As long as mountain top removal mining continues, owners vow to take the proper steps to clean up and redevelop these projects these former mountain top removal mining sites for the local residents.
The Land Trust for Tennessee primarily conserves land through conservation easements which is beneficial on many counts. By not purchasing the entire fee simple title to the land, the cost of acquisition is much lower. The trust has less liability as they are not the primary landowner. The landowners still own the land and are the primary steward, reducing stewardship costs to the trust. The conservation easement also allows for certain
The Issue of National Park conservation has become a widely controversial issue today. With the National debt reaching 17 trillion dollars some politicians think it is alright to either sell off national park land to commercial foresters, miners, and even foreign nations or to just close some parks entirely to make up some of the national debt. They are completely unaware that the parks arent just a “pretty area of land for tourists”. Many cities depend on the parks for their well-being. A quote from a local newspaper in California supports this “National parks don’t boast concession stands or charge tax, but data indicates they bring in millions of dollars to local economies each year”(Tree). Supporters of cutting the parks include big CEO’s of major companies and some of them not even in this country.
The website for the national and state park systems helps to enlighten the public on the subject of impending changes in policy and regulations, as well as new developments in different parks. Due to this, the parks and recreation districts judge that individuals and families will be more agreeable to the idea of traveling to parks in different states because of the easy accessibility of directions and information about the parks. Owing to the latest rise in interest of campgrounds and recreation areas, there has been an increase in funds. This new revenue has made possible the purchase of more parkland throughout the United States. Without prevailing use of the Internet, this most likely would not have been possible. The East Bay Park District has been able to purchase 1,476 of land. This is the single largest acquisition that the Park has made in over twenty years. The York Center Park District been able to purchase and protect a 20-acre area in the last five years. This is the largest area they manage. With the acquisition of supplementary parkland, it is more likely that this land will continue in its natural condition and not be converted into an urbanized region.