Terry Anderson, Hannah Downey
When does more access present a "tragedy of the commons"? National Trails Day is a good time to reconsider the tradeoff between more access and resource stewardship.
Using the LWCF to acquire land—without first addressing the billions of dollars in deferred maintenance on the existing federal land—will threaten the ecological health, public accessibility and economic productivity of these precious lands.
Federal funds from the LWCF are limited to land acquisition and cannot be used for the care and maintenance of existing federal lands.
Today's Sagebrush rebels want federal lands transferred to states, while environmentalists want more federal control. Both sides should be careful what they ask for.
When environmental groups buy ranchers' permits, there's no need for the feds to start rustling up trouble.