Federal Lands

Over 90 percent of all federally controlled land is located in the West, with roughly one out of every two acres managed by D.C. bureaucrats nearly 2,000 miles away. We are told this is to preserve the environment, benefit local economies, and protect public recreation. Instead, federal mismanagement provides us with polluted air, dying forests, decimated wildlife, depressed economies, underfunded public education, and lost recreational opportunities.

Our public lands, our wildlife, our communities, and our families deserve better. The Coalition for Self-Government in the West believes that local control and management of our public lands will provide this. Who better to care for the land and promote its beneficial uses than Westerners who live on and love it?

Quick Links

Why is it so important to demand control over our own lands? How can it be done? Can it be done? It’s all in this handy presentation.

Want to know the value of energy resources on federal lands in the Rocky Mountain West? It’s all here.

Is it legal for states to demand the federal government return some of their lands? See the opinion here.

Finally, we’ve distilled the economic value of energy resources on federal lands in several states down to short policy notes: Here’s Wyoming, Montana, and Utah.

Nevada Federal Lands Management Study

Congressional Transfer of Public Lands to the State of Nevada: A Report of the Nevada Land Management Task Force to the Nevada Interim Legislative Committee on Public Lands Pursuant to AB 227 of the 2013 Nevada Legislative Session This is the final draft of Nevada’s study looking at the issues surrounding transfer of federal public […]

Federal Lands Discussion with NM PBS

Federal Lands Discussion with NM PBS

Fred Martino of New Mexico PBS station KRWG speaks with Carl Graham, Director of the Coalition for Self-Government in the West about federal lands and federal dependence in the state. Carl Graham with New Mexico PBS KRWG’s Fred Martino

CSG-W, Rio Grande Foundation on Trinity Broadcasting

CSG-W, Rio Grande Foundation on Trinity Broadcasting

Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing and CSG-W director Carl Graham sat down in Trinity Broadcasting’s Albuquerque studios for a talk about federal lands and the risks of not knowing how federal funds are spent in New Mexico. Full 15 minute or so interview is here.

Federalist Society Public Land Controversy Teleforum

Teleforum discussing Utah’s Transfer of Public Lands Act with Rep. Ken Ivory, law Prof. Donald Kochan, CSG-W’s Carl Graham, and S. Utah Wilderness Assn’s David Garbett.

BYU Legal Review: A Case Study of Utah’s HB 148

Another arrow in the quiver for the “That’s just crazy talk” folks in talking about Transfer of Public Lands legislation. This paper in BYU Law Review by Chapman University’s Donald Kochan argues that TPLA’s legal arguments are serious and present an opportunity to clarify public lands law and the state/federal relationship regarding those lands. Here’s […]

Utah Ends Session With Package of Transfer Bills

The Utah legislature adjourned last week with a nice package of bills to support the state’s Transfer of Public Lands initiative. Since they’ve already passed a bill demanding transfer, the next step is to address what happens to the lands when that transfer occurs. Other states contemplating a TPLA-like effort can front load some of […]

Federal lands update from New Mexico

New Mexico’s legislature just adjourned from their short budget session, during which they considered but did not pass a few bills having to do with federal lands. The Rio Grande Foundation’s Paul Gessing summarized the outcome as follows: HB 102, SB 256, SM 47, and SB1 would have either studied or funded studies of efforts to restore some federally-owned […]

New Poll on Public Lands Reveals Mixed Attitudes

Carl Graham – The College of Colorado released some polling last week that I think should open some eyes. It’s easy for many of us to sit in our echo chambers and assume everybody “gets it” on public lands and self-governance issues. They don’t. The poll asked people in MT, WY, UT, CO, NM, and […]

Who’s Done What on Federal Land Transfer?

By: Carl Graham One state is an anomaly. Two states are interesting. Three states make a movement. So, do we have a movement on Western states getting some of our lands back? Not yet. But it’s moving. Here’s a quick summary of legislation in several Rocky Mountain states that either calls on or studies whether […]

A Legal Case for Utah’s Transfer of Public Lands Act

Only one-third of land in the state of Utah is locally owned. The other two-thirds is controlled from Washington, D.C. The Transfer of Public Lands Act (HB 148) puts some of those federal lands back in state hands. The act demands that the United States Congress transfer public lands within the state of Utah back to the state by Dec. […]