Public Lands and Private Rights: The Failure of Scientific Management

Overview

One of the leading experts on public lands and land rights issues, Robert H. Nelson here brings together a collection of his finest essays. Nelson demonstrates that the 'progressive' goal of achieving scientific management of public lands has not been realized; instead, public land management has been dominated by interest group politics and ideology.

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Overview

One of the leading experts on public lands and land rights issues, Robert H. Nelson here brings together a collection of his finest essays. Nelson demonstrates that the 'progressive' goal of achieving scientific management of public lands has not been realized; instead, public land management has been dominated by interest group politics and ideology.

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Editorial Reviews

American Journal of Agricultural Economics
Addresses some of the most relevant resource policy debates in the late 1990's. . . . As historical perspective and interpretation, this volume deserves a place on the bookshelves of those interested in western public lands and national forest management.
William E. Riebsame
Nelson's book offers more new ideas and challenges to our thinking than any other recent work on the public lands. Anyone interested in the growing debate about public lands needs to read it, and read it soon. I can't think of anyone who has challenged public lands policy in such a thoughtful and intelligent way.
Philip M. Burgess
Professor Nelson provides a powerful yet easy-to-read view of how the dark side of the Progressive Movement—centralization, professionalization, bureaucratization—evolves into the pretensions of 'scientific management' and the hubris of 'ecosystem management' to the detriment of one-third of the nation's land. Here's a useful guide for those who would reform the way we use public lands.
Donald Snow
Anyone who has struggled to make sense of the history of public lands management in the American West will want to read Robert Nelson's Public Lands and Private Rights.
Marion Clawson
An informative, interesting, and stimulating analysis of the federal lands of the United States. Whether one accepts or rejects his analysis and his conclusions, no one interested in public land management can afford to ignore this book.
Journal Of Economic Literature
Professor Nelson develops policy reforms that should make Public Lands and Private Rights must-reading for the entire Congress.
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
Nelson takes a bold approach in analyzing public lands policy and the failure of scientific management . . . he presents a solid list of policy issues and questions that must be put on the table to ensure that the public lands of this nation are protected and used wisely for future generations.
American Journal Of Agricultural Economics
Addresses some of the most relevant resource policy debates in the late 1990's. . . . As historical perspective and interpretation, this volume deserves a place on the bookshelves of those interested in western public lands and national forest management.
The Yale Law Journal
Provides an intellectual springboard for anyone looking to rethink, retool, or even dismantle the federal land management system. The proposals outlined in the book could provide ammunition for conservative reformers as they turn to public lands.
Journal Of Policy Analysis & Management
Nelson takes a bold approach in analyzing public lands policy and the failure of scientific management . . . he presents a solid list of policy issues and questions that must be put on the table to ensure that the public lands of this nation are protected and used wisely for future generations.
Journal of Economic Literature
Professor Nelson develops policy reforms that should make Public Lands and Private Rights must-reading for the entire Congress.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847680085
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/3/1995
  • Series: Political Economy Forum Series
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert H. Nelson is professor of environmental policy in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Introduction
1 Ineffective Laws and Unexpected Consequences: A Brief Review of Public Land History 5
2 Mythology Instead of Analysis: The Story of National Forest Management 43
3 Uneconomic Analysis: Scientific Management on the Public Rangelands 91
4 The Illusion of Planning: The Origins of the BLM and Forest Service Land Use Planning Systems 121
5 NRDC v. Morton: Judicial Policy Making in Public Rangeland Management 151
6 The Schizophrenic West: Why the Sagebrush Rebellion Died 167
7 Selling Other People's Property: Why the Privatization Movement Failed 183
8 Making Sense of the Sagebrush Rebellion: A Long-Term Strategy for the Public Lands 205
9 From Progressivism to Interest-group Liberalism: The Crisis of Public Land Authority 227
10 Decentralizing the National Forests 247
11 Some Economics of Public Rangelands 259
12 A New Mission for RPA: Improving Market Mechanisms on Public and Private Forests 275
13 One-third of the Nation's Coal: Planning a Market for Federal Coal Leasing 287
14 Four Good Places to Decentralize and Privatize 303
15 How to Dismantle the Interior Department 319
16 Private Rights to Government Actions: How Modern Property Rights Evolve 333
Index 365
About the Author 375
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