All told, the federal government is by far the largest landowner in the U.S., and state and federal land ownership exceeds 30% in at least 16 states. This week on the BEEF magazine homepage, we ask, "To reduce deficits, should state and federal governments sell off selected public lands to raise revenue and stoke the tax base?" This question is hotly debated; add your two cents on this topic and share personal stories from your neck of the woods.
So far, 72% of you say, "Yes. These lands would be more productive under private ownership." Another 25% have voted: "No, these lands are for everyone." Another 1% aren’t sure. View poll results here.
What's your take on public lands? How can they best be utilized? Is there merit to the idea of selling off selected parcels as a way to raise revenue, reduce state and federal budget deficits, and cut government costs for managing them? Would some of these lands be better utilized and cared for in private hands than public hands? How do public lands impact ranchers in your area? How has the government worked with producers to best use the land?
For additional reading on this topic, you may enjoy Editor Joe Roybal’s take on the issue in the October issue of BEEF, Sell Off Government Land To Aid In Deficit Battle.