The federal government is by far the largest landowner in the United States. It is somewhat of an anomaly for the federal government to hold vast acreages of land in an economy where the prevailing ideology favours private ownership. The Reagan administration’s (1981-1989) proposal to increase energy and mineral development on federal lands, to accelerate timber harvesting in national forests, and to expand the sale of federal lands generated strong and vocal opposition. Originally published in 1984, in the midst of the Reagan era, Rethinking the Federal Lands examines why the U.S. has retained federal lands and questions how ownership affects the management of federal lands and the total benefits society derives from them. This title is ideal for students interested in environmental studies and policy making.
Foreword; Acknowledgements; List of Contributors; Part I: Introduction; 1. Issues and Summary of Federal Land Tenure; Part II: The Federal Lands: Why We Kept Them—How We Use Them; 2. The Federal Lands—Why We Retained Them 3. Why Have We Retained the Federal Land? An Alternative Hypothesis 4. The Federal Lands Today—Uses and Limits 5. Uses and Limits of the Federal Lands Today—Who Cares and How Should the Current Law Work?; Part III: Retention, Disposal, and Public Interest; 6. The Claim for Retention of the Public Lands 7. Weaknesses I the Case for Retention 8. The Case for Divestiture 9. Ownership and Outcome—An Economic Analysis of the Privatization of Land Tenure on Forest and Rangeland; Part IV: Intermediate Positions and Special Problems; 10. Major Alternatives for the Future Management of the Federal Lands 11. Sharing Federal Multiple-Use Lands—Historic lessons and Speculations for the Future 12. Ideology and Public Land Policy—The Current Crisis; Index
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