Trust Management: Another Run at This?

Mac McConnell send a link to this in a comment to Derek; thought it might be worth a post of its own.

Trust Management: A New Approach

Triggered by the expiration of the Secure Rural Schools Act on September 30, the public land management problems discussed earlier on this website have reached critical mass.

The House Natural Resources Committee and several member of Congress are drafting legislation that could radically change the way the Nation manages its public lands and fulfills its obligation to local governments and schools whose welfare depends on these lands. A number of alternatives are being considered: too many and too rapidly changing to be discussed individually here. The linked PowerPoint on Trust Management – A New Approach is an amalgam of these ideas, modified and with added new ones, that presents one alternative for the future management for Forest Service and possibly other federally managed lands.

To view the PowerPoint, right click and open this link in a new window (first you need to go to this site).
Sharon’s note: It seems to me that this idea has been around several times in the past 40 years or so I’ve been in this business. That’s one of the things I like about our bizniz, you learn something once (say, Earth Island and CE’s for bike races) and you get to apply that knowledge again (Sequoia Forestkeepers).

6 thoughts on “Trust Management: Another Run at This?”

  1. I’ll take the bait Jim resisted. In my opinion ‘fiduciary trusts’ only work well where revenue enhancement is the main objective, and not always then. I have yet to see a case where they make sense to me for multiple use/environmental stewardship on federal lands that are already set up in trust for the American people via multiple laws. That doesn’t mean that we ought not to be afraid that this Congress might actually like the idea of trusts, or might succumb to renewed pressures to transfer the lands to the states to manage or sell or whatever.

    PS.. Utah’s Governor Herbert just signed one of the bills to transfer public lands to the state of Utah today, as highlighted in this post:

  2. The hardly “new” theme here and in Utah is that some lands are really only good for timber (or perhaps other resource) production.

    I took a look at the power point yesterday but don’t see a link today.

    Update: I found it at

    In Mac’s proposal, the trust lands would be exempt from NFMA so multiple uses would be optional. The focus would be on the “highest and best use.” I think that was a new concept about 200 years ago.

    • The concepts of “highest and best” could be differently interpreted by many. In fact, some might argue that that’s what happens through our own haphazard and somewhat random system..

      • To a real estate appraiser it would mean: “The reasonably probable and legal use of property, that is physically possible, appropriately supported, and financially feasible, and that results in the highest value.”
        Traditionally, that would not include carbon sequestration, water quality, wildlife habitat, etc.


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