To the Reader
Public lands are used for countless purposes. They provide recreation to hikers, skiers, and naturalists; they provide habitat for abundant species of wildlife; and through timber and other resources they provide money and jobs for local and state economies. Not surprisingly this variety of uses has resulted in conflict over just how these lands should be used and preserved for future generations. Moving away from the traditional command-and-control management of public land may provide a solution. As Matthew Brown and Holly Lippke Fretwell advise in this booklet, a fresh approach that relies on local control and accountability can provide the incentives necessary to meet the numerous demands made on public lands, including long-term environmental protection.
Matthew Brown is a research associate at PERC (the Political Economy Research Center) and the director of PERC's project on A State-Based Environmentalism. Holly Lippke Fretwell, also a research associate at PERC, has written a series of reports on public lands and spoken extensively on public land management issues.