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What the people lose when public land is privatized.

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If federal lands were transferred to the states, then in a decade, or two decades, or three decades, there'd be nothing to stop Idaho or Arizona or Utah from every year cutting off a little corner and raising revenue that way. There's no surprise that those who are behind this transfer idea are the same people who argue for privatization - they've just switched their argument to a more subtle one that plays better. Transfer is a dangerous idea because it sounds plausible on the surface but you dig a little deep and you see it's a longer road to privatization.

Political scientist Steven Davis explores the fight over public land privatization and transfer - as the libertarian right attacks the very idea of federally-protected land, every biological, economic, and political argument calls for protecting natural spaces and holding natural resources in common, for the good of all people.

Steven is author of the book In Defense of Public Lands: The Case against Privatization and Transfer from Temple University Press.

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Steven Davis

Steven Davis is a Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at Edgewood College

 

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