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Guest Thinkers

Against Federal Land Ownership

Federal land conservation efforts are a failure and large swaths of the nation’s property should be turned over to the states, say Holly Fretwell and Shawn Regan at Forbes.

In what is hardly a symbol of constrained federal power, fully 25% of the U.S. is managed by the federal government. Despite an expansive national debt, legislation pending in Congress proposes to spend nearly a billion dollars each year acquiring even more land. … Instead of acquiring more land, Congress should protect the land it already owns. This is best achieved by decentralizing management of the federal estate. Local land managers are beholden to the land’s users and beneficiaries, not D.C.-based politicians or bureaucrats. The result is better stewardship, enhanced accountability, and controlled costs.


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