U.S. can no longer keep tens of millions of acres of public land locked up

Posted on May 08, 2012 by Minerals Make Life

In an opinion piece to The Arizona Republic, Robert H. Nelson, an environmental policy professor at the University of Maryland and former public-land issues expert in the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, expressed that the United States needs to rethink the value of public lands that are “locked up and out of service.”

Nelson noted that the federal government holdings include about 58 million acres in Nevada (83 percent of the state’s total land mass), 45 million acres in California (45 percent) and 34 million acres in Utah (65 percent). The author also argued that public lands have not been managed efficiently to maximize national benefits, but instead, in response to political pressure.

“It is time to end the outdated federal land policies, which are draining our country’s wealth, tying up valuable resources in red tape and bureaucracy and harming the environment,” said Nelson.

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