Congressional Brief: Public Lands
The federal government owns some of the nation’s most magnificent landscapes and treasured resources, but it also owns some lands with no particularly striking characteristics or special environmental value. Unfortunately, it has managed the public’s natural resources as poorly as it has managed the federal budget. Unable to balance land use and preservation, government management of public lands has shifted between periods of exploitation or overuse and periods of "protection" or "preservation" bordering on neglect. The result has been degradation of the public lands and the wildlife that depends on them.