Federal lands in the West benefit mostly wealthy elites

Select federal lands attract wealthy elites, don’t benefit working class

 BY TIM OREN
Megan Lawson’s June 16 Guest Opinion, “Federal lands support diverse rural economies,” claimed federally-owned lands promote a diverse, Western rural economy. Contrary to Lawson’s assertions, today, the economic effect of federal lands in the West is to attract wealthy elites to exclusive resort areas, with no corresponding benefit to wage earners, entrepreneurs or the poor.

4 comments

  • Mr. Oren has penned an excellent article here, on a topic of which few in the general public have an awareness.

    From personal experience I can assure you that the federal government has zero interest in the economic condition, benefit, or social welfare of the rural people that live in proximity to the public lands they administer and ostensibly hold in public trust. In actual fact the employees of the several federal bureaucracies – Interior, BLM, Forestry, etc. etc. etc. – charged with this travesty regard the public land as their own private fiefdom.

    Having owned a ranch in the central Colorado mountains many years ago that was surrounded by federal land my contacts with ‘the Feds’ were frequent and unfriendly. My land was private property patented prior to the creation of the federal entities in question. Believe me they wanted it back. My presence in the middle of their lands was regarded by them as a thorn in the side of socialism, because I refused their agents and the public access to my land for travel to points beyond. I made them go around, a journey of many miles out of their way.

    When dealing with the feds one must keep in mind that they do not care about you at all. Beneath the smiles and glad-handing their focus is on a perception of their own bloated level of importance and rules generated back east somewhere by people who know nothing about our western lands or the people who live around them.

    The only solution to this book length topic is to remove the public lands from the jurisdiction of the feds and place it under the watchful care of the states where it is situated; only then, would these lands be administered to include those rural folk who have lived around the public land for generations.

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  • This article is still relevant today, as they used some of the same stats against Utah as we are working to size down Grand Stair Case Escalante NM.

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