State Management Of Federal Lands Would Be Costly, Study Finds

Oct 25, 2016

Credit U.S. Forest Service

A study requested by the Wyoming Legislature has found that transferring management of public lands from the federal government to the state would not be revenue positive. Those who support state management of public lands have argued it would increase revenue for the state by encouraging resource development. 

The state paid the Jackson-based Y-2 Consultants $75,000 to examine land management practices, costs and revenues. Almost half of Wyoming is federal land and resource development and recreation on that land is critical to Wyoming’s economy.

But the report says transferring management of public lands to the state, without major changes in federal law, would not substantially increase revenue for Wyoming. The report added if the legislature does decide to pursue management of federal lands, the negotiations would be complicated and the process would be "exceptionally drawn out and contentious." 

The Wyoming Legislature’s Select Federal Natural Resource Management Committee will discuss the study during its meeting November 9 in Riverton.