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News Link • Trump Administration

What's Missing from the Public Land Conservation Debate? Property Rights

•, by Jordan McGillis

President Trump's decision last month to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by over 80 percent has elicited an impassioned reaction from environmentalists, conservationists, and recreationists.

Outdoor sportswear purveyor Patagonia, Inc., perhaps most visibly among the dissidents, launched a campaign to challenge the president's decision on both legal and moral grounds under the banner: The President Stole Your Land. Whether it is an advertising stunt or a good-faith ode to the company's values, Patagonia's effort has heightened public awareness of a topic hitherto unfamiliar to most people: federal lands policy.

Federal Ownership and Management

Though our culture mythicizes the rugged individualist ethos of the Wild West, about half of all land west of the Great Plains is actually owned by the federal government and controlled by Washington agencies. 

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