This guest post by Shawn Regan is a substantive analysis of the recent proposal by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management to allow leasing of public land for conservation purposes. Regan is vice president of research at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, Mont.
Most conservation issues involve balancing competing uses of natural resources. Should a parcel of land be developed for energy production, harvested for timber, grazed by livestock, managed as wildlife habitat, or set aside as open space? In a world of scarce resources, the main question is: How do people best resolve these competing demands?