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View Diary: Millions of Acres of Land You Inherited are at Risk (64 comments)

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  •  I always find this vaguely surreal. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, jlynne, Odysseus, sockpuppet

    Federal Land is not evenly distributed amongst the states.

    Thus we get the bizarre spectacle of Utah and Alaska having to beg Congress (generally unsuccessfully) for permission to do anything with their land.

    Nevada being almost 85% federal property is mind boggling.  The state can't tax that land, it can't sell that land, and it generally can't get the proceeds from the use of that land.

    •  States do get money indirectly, however (10+ / 0-)

      If federal workers bring children into a public school, the state gets categorical money from the federal gov't.

      Rangers fill their trucks with gas, and the state gets gas tax money, I assume.

      In Nevada in particular, the federal government brings workers and their families into tiny communities; the grocery stores, gas stations, etc. get business they wouldn't have otherwise.

      I'm familiar with northeastern Nevada, and if the federal workers weren't there the tiny settlements would just blow away.

      •  Depends what the federal land is. (0+ / 0-)

        Military bases are generally a pretty decent economic boost.  Parks aren't bad either.

        Undeveloped federal land that is neither of the above isn't much of an economic benefit, though.

    •  why is that surreal? (4+ / 0-)

      Those states have relatively low populations for their size. California, and to a lesser extent Washington, are the exceptions.

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 02:51:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Population is only tangentially involved. (0+ / 0-)

        The main reason is when they entered the union and how.

        The large amounts of federal land are due to inertia (Besides a few Republicans, no one proposes selling it or transferring it to the states.)

        •  my point wasn't that population was the reason. (0+ / 0-)

          Rather I am saying there are fewer people in the state, so there is that much less need for the state to benefit from those lands.

          "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

          by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:36:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  that's why (7+ / 0-)

      we have the federal PILT program,  i.e., payments in lieu of taxes.  The uneven distribution of public lands hides the importance of PILT funds to the state and county governments that still have to provide services to citizens in those areas.  I'm very grateful that Marcy Kaptor's misguided attempt to cut PILT funding by 75% failed dramatically.

      "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

      by jlynne on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:05:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's nice and all... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but once again subject to the whims of the federal government.

        I'd prefer they transferred all the land they're not actively using to the states. Not that Congress is going to agree to that...

        •  how would such a move affect the environment? n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jlynne

          "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

          by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:32:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hard to say. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jlynne

            The environmental impacts would depend on how good a steward the state was compared to the national government.

            Presumably, the citizens of a more environmentally-conscious state than average would be less likely than the federal government to approve of development.

            •  That's great if you live in Oregon (0+ / 0-)

              but ANWR would be history, and how would you feel if we lost the Everglades, or Utah's canyon lands, or Yellowstone?  

              "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

              by jlynne on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:47:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not saying sign over the national parks. (0+ / 0-)

                There's lots of federal land that doesn't consist of national parks.

                Although it's a position definitely out of the Democratic mainstream, I've always been for ANWR development.

                •  well, I was trying to come up with (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AaronInSanDiego

                  examples  people might recognize.  30,000 acres of BLM land in the middle of nowhere doesn't have the same cache.  ;)

                  Yes, there is a lot of federal land outside the parks.   At least in my area it is under attack by energy development.  While the Feds have given up substantial ground, I also know that were it up to the State, it would all be gone - the State desperately needs both the revenue and the political capital generated by giving it up to private interests, and it has no resources to support the land without Federal help.  Those who oppose development simply don't have the ability to fight the big money.

                  "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

                  by jlynne on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 02:06:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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