This essay is worth reading and discussing:
“Our Languishing Public Lands: The Economic and Environmental Benefits of Decentralization,” By Robert H. Nelson | Posted: Wed. February 1, 2012. Also published in Policy Review.
I did not find a discussion on this 2012 article elsewhere on this blog. Apologies if I missed it.
Nelson devotes much attention to economics:
“Not surprisingly, the Forest Service’s decision to abandon its historic economic objectives under multiple use management has led to corresponding declines in economic benefits achieved, as shown by the Forest Service’s own calculations. The 2001 Forest Service financial analysis described above also detailed the trends during the 1990s in the economic “present net value” (pnv) derived from all national forest outputs. As the Forest Service reported, the “all resources pnv” for the whole national forest system—covering all the forms of use—fell from more than one billion dollars in total values realized in 1991 to about $300 million in 1998. Most of this sharp economic decline was due to the precipitous drop in timber program pnv, but the abandonment of former timber sale activities did not yield any new gains in the pnv of recreation or other uses to balance things out. Ecosystem goals, however vaguely defined, increasingly were the ends in themselves—and the (lesser) economic outcome was a mere byproduct of the more important new ecological objectives.”