Policy Options

How the federal government compensates counties for the tax-exempt status of public lands is one of the more important policy decisions affecting rural budgets, economies, and forest management. Research shows there are better alternatives than the current system to meet the urgent needs of rural counties.


Time to Create a Natural Resources Trust

— Unlike most countries and state governments, the U.S. has not created a natural resources trust which could help meet volatility and spending challenges facing local and county governments.

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county payments map

County Payments: History, Context, and Policy

— These interactive maps show how federal land payments are distributed to counties and states. Explore both the Payments History maps as well as the Policy Options maps which project what happens if SRS is not reauthorized or if PILT is reformed into a single payment to counties.

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