Recently, I received a letter from William E. Smith, P.E., a consulting civil engineer from the state of Montana, who had been studying the recently released report, “An Analysis of A Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah.” I asked him if he would allow me to share his insights with all of you and he generously agreed. People from all professions and walks of life are seeing the importance of turning over our public lands to the states whose borders wherein they lie. It is crucial to their preservation…and ours.
Greetings, I downloaded and began reading the report entitled “An Analysis of A Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah”, dated November 2014. As a consulting Professional Civil Engineer with years of experience working with private landowners on the health of their forests, and a trained wildfire behavior analyst, I want to reinforce several points that stand out to me from the outset.
The best approach toward reducing costs of fire suppression is to reduce the probability of devastating crown fire. This begins with proper management (logging / timber harvesting) to reduce basal area of trees. Forest management includes selective thinning (depending upon species and terrain), clear cutting and replanting to significantly reduce forest density. Reducing forest density increases the spacing between individual trees which directly reduces the occurrence of high intensity wildfires and increases the health and vitality of remaining trees. In addition, strong trees that are not required to over compete for limited resources are more resistant to invasion by insects.
The federal agencies, i.e. US Forest Service and BLM, cannot implement recognized mitigation and forest management techniques because they are too restricted by environmental organizations through the lawsuits filed in federal courts. To many people the forests have become sacrosanct. Even when the knowledgeable people on the ground see the need to log and salvage, they are frustrated by the system from being able to implement necessary solutions.
In addition, fighting large forest fires has become big business. In today’s world, the national forests have become a financial drain on resources instead of being an agricultural resource.
Changing public opinion requires changing this culture and positively influencing many people who make their living off the current situation with public lands under federal ownership. Facts raised in the report help to make a strong case toward individual states being capable of doing a much better management job with public lands than the Federal Government.
I support the efforts of western states to acquire ownership of federally owned lands within their borders. Many people need an opportunity to be presented with the benefits in state ownership of public lands. The truth and the facts play an important part in outreach.
All the Best, William E Smith, P.E. Emigrant, Montana
Please stand up and encourage your elected officials to support the Transfer of Public Lands. Many states are currently in the midst of their legislative sessions with bills that will affect the health, access and productivity of the lands within your state. Let your representatives know that this is one of the most important subjects of legislation they could deal with. And let them know that you have their back.
American Lands Council http://www.americanlandscouncil.org/
Murray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”
This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.
The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.
As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.
However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.
The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.
The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.