There is a lot of discussion about possible changes in environmental law post-election. One area that has received some attention is public lands. The federal government owns a little less than one-third of the lands of the United States – many of those lands are ecologically valuable, and are components of our priceless national park system, and refuges for our wildlife and fish. There have been proposals for large-scale transfers of those public lands to the states or private entities. Even short of that, there may be significant changes in how our public lands are managed due to legislation or agency decisions.
Public scrutiny and involvement in this decisionmaking process is essential – these are, after all, lands for all Americans. But the technical and complex nature of public lands law and management can make it hard for outsiders to understand what is going on. So I’m leading a group of Berkeley Law students who are keeping track of major legislative and agency proposals that relate to the public lands. We’ll provide a brief summary and analysis of those proposals here on our blog, as well as links to the underlying legislation, to help advance public scrutiny and understanding of what is going on. Stay tuned.