The bipartisan Forest Health for Rural Stability Act would establish a federal land endowment and resolve key challenges of federal land payments to counties.
View a presentation given at the Our America’s Rural Opportunity forum about the context of public lands and the rural west.
Analysis shows raising Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) population limits for small-population counties would have increased total payments by $2 million in 2019.
States were granted trust lands by the U.S. Congress to generate revenue to fund public institutions, primarily public schools.
Overspending of state trust permanent funds reduces future school funding and incentivizes sales of trust land and nonrenewable resources.
Changing economies, new land uses, shifting social values, and political pressure create challenges for state trust land managers.
Advocates of transferring federal land to states point to the superior ability of state trust lands to generate revenue, but our analysis finds significant economic and fiscal disadvantages.
Public lands influence the economy, demographics, and fiscal policies of communities. Explore maps and county-level data for the 828 million acres of federal, state, and municipal land in the U.S.
What is the economic impact of America’s public lands and waters? How can we quantify how these remarkable resources contribute to our quality of life? And how are our valuation methods and public policies changing?
Fiscal policy reforms could substantially increase the economic benefits of public lands for states and local communities.
Comprehensive benefit cost analyses of public lands policies are needed.
A spiritual and cultural treasure and a multi-trillion-dollar asset, public land must be protected.
Natural resources are still the foundation of the Rockies region economy even as it has shifted from extraction-based activities to recreation and tourism.
Non-labor income can have an outsized effect on communities in the rural West with a large share of public lands.
To assess the value of public lands, we must analyze the full array of what matters to people and consider the activities they pursue.
Counties with public lands today tend to have larger, more diverse, and slightly older populations.
Nonmarket valuation tools have evolved over time and are now relied upon for important policy decisions and litigation.
As we work to protect wildlands, we must also ensure that amenity-led growth benefits a wide range of people and builds community.
Advances in economic valuation methods have improved public lands management.
Federally managed public lands were originally intended to provide and protect public goods and services while constraining commercial activities.