Real Conservation is Taking Care of What You Already Own

Thursday, August 21, 2014
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This is the first in a series of posts for The Hill by Shawn Regan, who is now a contributor to their blog. The full article is posted in The Hill's Contributors section.

The federal government's land acquisition fund is in need of reform.

Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is traveling the country this month to promote the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the government's primary source of funding for federal land acquisitions. The fund, which marks its 50th anniversary next month, devotes up to $900 million each year from offshore oil and gas revenues to acquire lands for conservation and recreation purposes.

While many are praising the fund's achievements, consider another upcoming anniversary: the National Park Service's centennial in 2016. The National Park Service — responsible for managing "crown jewels" such as Yellowstone and Yosemite — is on track to celebrate its 100th year facing an $11.5 billion backlog in deferred maintenance projects. These include deteriorating facilities, leaky wastewater systems, and deficient roads, bridges and trails.

To read the remainder of this post, click here.

Shawn Regan is a research fellow and PERC and the director of outreach and publications. He holds a M.S. in Applied Economics from Montana State University and degrees in economics and environmental science from Berry College. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Quartz, High Country News, National Review, Reason, Regulation, Grist...
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