An Economic Analysis of Land Management

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Title An Economic Analysis of Land Management
Creator Anna Goodman
Subject Senior thesis; economics
Description Federal land management has, and continues to be, an issue among private, state, and federal institutions. My research uses grazing as a microcosm of how land is, and could be, managed with the goal of creating the greatest good for the greatest number. The private and public costs and benefits are weighed between current (and proposed) federal, state, and private land management. The comparisons between all institutions examine the allocation of profits and the sustainability of the programs. Federal land leases create a cheap, high-profit program for ranchers, but taxpayers and the government pay for the negative externalities. Private land leases are relatively expensive for ranchers because both profits and externalities are internalized. State land leases are competitive and create both costs and benefits the state and for the ranchers. But despite different land management strategies, none of the programs account for the most threatening externality: climate change. In order to offset methane emissions created directly by grazing, it's been estimated that 20% of rangelands must be reforested. The only probable solution would be that either 1) Federal rates are increased and the Federal government continues to manage the land in partnership with creating long-term sustainable solutions for reforestation, or 2) that land is redistributed to private owners (with the consensus that climate change is an issue and the mandate for multi-use), thus "freeing up" the federal budget to be invested into environmental sustainability. The general conclusion from my research suggests that long-term sustainability, even under the BLM mandate, is in fact quite short-term. If the BLM truly believes in its multi-use and multi-generation mandate, changes in grazing policy and environmental policy will need to be created. The current situation is not sustainable from either a federal, state, or private standpoint.
Publisher Westminster College
Date 2016-04
Type Text; Image
Language eng
Rights Management Digital copyright 2016, Westminster College. All rights Reserved.
ARK ark:/87278/s6jd84xd
Setname wc_ir
Date Created 2016-06-17
Date Modified 2016-06-17
ID 1094163
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6jd84xd
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