Presentation on theme: "1.This Land Is a. your land b. my land c. the government’s land A Short and Selective History of Federal Land Law and Policy Environmental Law Fall 2008."— Presentation transcript:
1.This Land Is a. your land b. my land c. the government’s land A Short and Selective History of Federal Land Law and Policy Environmental Law Fall 2008
Columbus and the “Discovery” of the New World Columbus gets one- third of the profits from— –Gold –Silver –Wood
North American forests were vast—and valuable
Subsistence living, potash
Tar and turpentine
Charcoal (iron and steel making, gunpowder)
Shingles and other wood products for use or export
In one human lifetime, much of the settled land is deforested
How do we realize the wealth potential in the virgin forests? Remove Native American peoples Facilitate transactions by survey and recording of titles Transfer the property to private parties by bargain sale, auction, or “sweat equity” Make privatization uniform by maintaining federal control
Property Theories Aid Expropriation Labor theory of value Land used the way the Indian nations used it was unused Unused land was available for the taking Subduing the land was progress
Thomas Jefferson “Summary View of the Rights of British America of 1774” “From the nature and purpose of civil institutions, all the lands within the limits which any particular society has circumscribed around itself, are assumed by that society, and subject to their allotment only. This may be done by themselves assembled collectively, or by their legislature to whom they may have delegated sovereign authority: and if they are allotted in neither of these ways, each individual of the society may appropriate to himself such lands as he finds vacant, and occupancy will give him title.”
Federal Supremacy Constitution’s Property Clause—Congress enacts rules respecting the property of the United States 1812—General Land Office set up to survey and sell the public domain 1817—US Navy authorized to reserve from sale public domain lands with live oak and red cedar for shipbuilding
National expansion encompasses English, French and Spanish property systems
PUBLIC DOMAIN (or Common Lands) Lands belonging to the American people held by the federal government until withdrawn for some federal purpose, given to the States upon statehood or based upon Federal law, or pre-empted into private ownership. PUBLIC LANDS Lands withdrawn from the public domain and reserved to a specific public purpose (can be within state or federal jurisdiction).
With land clearing, growth in population and industrialization, demand for forest products increases
Setting aside national parks 1864—Yosemite under grant to California to be held “for public use, resort and recreation” 1872—Yellowstone reserved “as a public park or pleasuring-ground” 1916—Park Service created
Non-park reserves 1885—New York creates Adirondack Forest Preserve 1891—Forest Reserve Act: President can “set apart and reserve... any part of the public lands 1897—Organic Act: President can “improve and protect the forests within the reservation” for water flows, timber supply 1898—Pinchot becomes Chief of Forestry
Pinchot’s approach (1905) National forests should be “conservatively managed to maximize their use value while protecting the long run viability of the resources, keeping in mind that local issues should be decided locally”
What uses should be maximized? Timber harvest Water supply, watershed protection Fish and wildlife Other recreational uses “Ecosystem services” Wilderness preservation Support roadbuilding, education (land grant colleges)
Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act All of the above Forest Service decide (apart from wilderness)
Should local issues be decided locally in National Forests?
Reservations came late in the westward expansion
What interests do New Yorkers have in administration of public lands in Oregon or Nevada?