The Federal Preserve in the West: Environmental Champion or Economic Despoiler?
This paper explores the consequences of selling federal lands in the west. The effects on the federal treasury, the local tax base, and environmental preservation are specifically treated. Land ownership and productivity, intraregional land use differences, and the impact of federal agency budgets are discussed. The author concludes that nearly 200 million acres would fail to attract private purchasers, resulting in a large amount of de facto wilderness. Also the federal treasury would be insignificantly affected by such sales.