Finding that trail: How do Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming manage recreation on public lands?

Updated July 5 to reflect corrected data.

Outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, hunting, skiing and fishing are a way of life for most Westerners. But as population increases; new forms of outdoor recreation emerge; and access to federally managed public lands declines, the challenge of meeting growing demands for outdoor recreational access has become critical in many communities throughout the West.

In response to this and other concerns, several Western states have considered resolutions calling on the federal government to transfer much of its land holdings to state ownership. State-managed lands play a pivotal role in providing various forms of recreational access, and this responsibility would expand significantly if federal lands were transferred to state control. To better understand the possible implications of a land transfer, the Property and Environmental Research Center (PERC) conducted a study titled Access Divided: State and Recreation Management in the West. This report explores how federal and state land agencies manage recreation demands and resolve conflicts between competing land uses.

Click here to see the some key findings of the study.

Click on state names at right to see individual breakdowns for Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

Click here to download the full Access Divided report.