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Many Americans are unaware that the federal estate constitutes a majority of the land area in Western states. Over 90 percent of all federally controlled land is located in the West, with roughly one out of every two acres managed by federal bureaucrats. We are told that this is to preserve the environment, benefit local economies, and protect public recreation. Instead, the result has been polluted air, decimated wildlife and water supplies, depressed economies, unsafe communities, and blocked recreational opportunities. Utah’s Legislature commissioned a landmark legal study on the transfer of public lands to the state that concludes there is no constitutional authority for the federal government to permanently retain these lands. A recent study by the Property & Environment Research Center discloses that the federal government loses $0.27 per dollar spent managing public lands while states gain a positive $14.51 per dollar spent managing public lands. This discussion will focus on a real solution big enough for an environmental, economic and constitutional renaissance in America – #FreeTheLands.
More About the Speakers
Ronald D. Rotunda, J.D. (Video Presentation)
Doy & Dee Henley Chair & Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University School of Law
Robert H. Nelson, Ph.D.
Professor of Environmental Policy, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
George R. Wentz, Jr.
Partner, The Davillier Law Group
Policy Analyst, Coalition for Self-Government in the West
The Honorable Gregory H. Hughes
Speaker, Utah House of Representatives
Introduced by Ken Ivory, Free the Lands Project, Federalism in Action
Director of Public Affairs, Sutherland Institute (Moderator)
Becky Norton Dunlop
Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow