The Future of Federal Public Lands



In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Public Land Law Review Commission, the Center -- in partnership with the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment and the Consensus Building Institute -- catalyzed a multi-year effort in 2015 to identify the most salient changes that have occurred over the past 50-years; examine what is/is not working with respect to law, policy, and governance; and explore options on how to improve federal land and resources management, including the option of another comprehensive review of federal public land law, policy, and institutional arrangements.

We started in 2015 by convening a workshop of recognized experts in federal public land law, policy, and governance. The findings from that workshop (presented below) then served as the foundation for a series of interviews with about 20 additional experts. Those interviews were completed in 2017 and the results are presented in the needs assessment presented below. All of this information will be reviewed at a working session in conjunction with the 2018 annual symposium of the Stegner Center, Public Lands in a Changing West. We will post the results of that working session and clarify any next steps in April 2018.

Here are some resources that have emerged out of the conversation thus far:

Summary of Spring 2018 Working Session

The Future of Federal Public Land and Resources: A Needs Assessment (2017)

One Third of the Nation’s Lands (Revisited): The Wasatch Front Prospectus on the Future of Federal Public Lands and Resources (October 30, 2015)

Alternative Approaches to Natural Resources Study Commissions (April 10, 2015)

One Third of the Nation’s Land: A Report to the President and to the Congress by the Public Land Law Review Commission (1970)

Wallace Stegner Center 23rd Annual Symposium: Public Lands in a Changing West

For more information, please contact Matthew McKinney.