The New Sagebrush Rebels

Politics will, as it always has, govern the public lands. Any change in ownership will only be accomplished politically, and the odds of political success for those seeking state or private ownership diminish with each passing day as urban populations grow and rural populations decline. The policy arguments for transferring some federal lands to state ownership are strong, and they are even stronger for the transfer of other lands to private ownership, but the politics will never allow it to happen. The only real hope, though a long shot as well, is for Congress to mandate that federal land management agencies place greater reliance on the sort of market incentives that have contributed to more effective and efficient environmental regulation.

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