Publication Title

Land and Water Law Review

Document Type



Scanning the entire Report of the Public Land Law Review Commission (One Third of the Nation's Land: A Report to the President and to the Congress (1970) will make a back country hiker swallow twice, call his congressman to quash the Report, and head for the hinterland for one last look before the loggers, miners, golfers, farmers, and house builders arrive. Although the Report does not say so in so many words it ends up as a kind of potpourri, where everyone gets something. It attempts to say all things to all people, to suggest that everyone will be gainers-that everyone will be better off than before; but as in any major reshuffling of policy there are bound to be losers. One group of losers in this case are the people who want to preserve the federal domain in a wild state. They lose because the Report says the federal domain is to be classified, divvied up, and turned to greater profit than in the past. It's a big land pie and everyone wants a piece; the Report allows as how that is a good idea. To a back-country hiker, who needs back country and lots of it to enjoy his sport, the Report is bad; he will see more people, more roads, more trucks, more buildings, and more "civilization" than ever before. The pace of man's invasion of these lands will now step up. The invasion will, however, be more orderly, be better planned, and be more rational than ever before. And it will, in some ways, give greater and more specific attention to the needs of recreation and fish and wildlife habitat than ever before.



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