By Sandra B. Zellmer & Robert L. Glicksman.
We have been here before. In 1964, Congress proclaimed that “the public land laws of the United States . . . may be inadequate to meet the current and future needs of the American people.” To address those inadequacies, Congress established a Public Land Law Review Commission to study existing statutes, regulations, policies, and practices concerning management and use of the public lands, compile data necessary to determine future demands on the public lands, and recommend modifications that would best serve the policy of managing the public lands in ways that provide “the maximum benefit for the general public.”
The Commission issued its iconic report to the President and Congress— One Third of the Nation’s Land—in 1970. On the first page of its report, the Commission referred to the American people’s “almost desperate need to determine the best purposes to which their public lands and the wealth and opportunities of those lands should be dedicated.” Full Article.