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Seeking a Proper Balance on our Public Lands

“Conserving Lands and Prosperity” looks at the relationship between land use and economic growth in seven states in the Rocky Mountain West —Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

The public lands in the seven states cover an area about 7.5 times larger than the state of Florida. Public tracts in the region’s 204 non-metropolitan counties are mapped using a geographic information system to overlay public lands managed for:

  • conservation/recreation
  • development of commodities, i.e. timber, oil and gas
  • a combination of the other two categories

Rural counties were chosen because they are more likely to have both public lands and natural resource-based jobs.

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