A New Rule Could Cripple Federal Land Use — And the Economy That Depends on It

“A new rule is under consideration by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to radically change federal land management in the United States. If implemented, activities such as oil and gas drilling, grazing, mining, logging and even recreation in large parts of the American West could be almost entirely halted. Not only would western states suffer significant economic losses, but cutting off federal land from public use would have economically devastating implications to the entire country.BLM proposes to elevate federal land use for conservation to the same level as land use for economic activities like mining, grazing, logging, recreation and oil and gas production. If implemented, organizations could apply to BLM for a “conservation lease,” which would function akin to the traditional leases provided for economic activities on federal land. The concept behind conservation leases is noble at heart — promoting ecosystem resilience — but in practice could easily crush the many industries that rely on access to federal lands.”


Published by markskidmore

Mark Skidmore is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University where he holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. His research focuses on topics in public finance, regional economics, and the economics of natural disasters. Mark created the Lighthouse Economics website and blog to share economic research and information relevant for navigating tumultuous times.

One thought on “A New Rule Could Cripple Federal Land Use — And the Economy That Depends on It

  1. Why not just make everything but the State of Delaware a wilderness area? The only legal activity will be sitting at desk and generating paperwork–on imported paper of course. Using power generated by windmills and solar collectors and the latest innovation bi-directional charging from electric vehicles. lol

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