Federally Managed Lands in the West: The Economic and Environmental Implications for the States
In the 12 continental states from Colorado west, more than 50 percent of the land is controlled by the federal government, while only 4 percent of Eastern lands are part of the federal estate, according to the new report, Federally Managed Lands in the West: The Economic and Environmental Implications for the States.
Written by Karla Jones, Director of the ALEC Task Force on International Relations and Federalism, this report provides insight into which states are burdened by federally managed lands and how states can serve as stronger environmental stewards of the lands within their borders.
During the 2015 state legislative sessions, numerous transfer of public lands bills were adopted or considered, and legislation was introduced in both houses of Congress that would give the Western states the authority to develop energy resources on the federal lands inside their boundaries. These petitions typically exempt national parks, congressionally-designated wilderness areas, tribal lands and military installations.
The report also highlights Canada as a successful case study on the transfer of public lands. Canada has begun transferring federally managed lands in their territories from national to territorial control in a process called devolution.