Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The West & Land Management

As the region of the country where the vast majority of public lands lie, it is always crucial to examine how those lands re being managed, for the common good is not always met by how bureaucratic land managers decide to govern our public lands.

This book blurb from the Property and Environment Research Center in Montana takes a look.

Who Is Minding the Federal Estate? is for anyone interested in improving the condition of our public lands. Fretwell begins by examining the origins of the federal estate, which, though originally intended to be a temporary clearinghouse, now comprises a third of the U.S. landmass. She describes the evolution of laws governing that estate, and of the public conception of wilderness, which was once thought to be abundant and in need of taming, but is now considered to be inviolable and even sacred. In non-technical prose that draws on economic theory and empirical analysis, Fretwell investigates patterns of federal land management and mismanagement. The book closes by offering alternatives that will improve stewardship of the federal estate by freeing public land from the grasp of politicians who come and go in favor of a sustainable, long-term management ethic. These alternatives come unshackled by policies that lead to disasters such as the recent and ongoing epidemic of massive fires sweeping the forests of the West.”