Ever Wonder Why There Is So Much Federal Public Land In The Western United States?

Ever Wonder Why There's so Much Federal Public Land in the Western United States?

The vast majority of the federal public land in the United States is concentrated in a handful of states west of the Mississippi River. Here's why.

What do Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming all have in common? All of those states have a ton of federal public land, in excess of 50% of the total area of the state in some cases!

While this abundance of public land offers some incredible hunting and other outdoor recreation benefits to the population, there is also a great deal of confusion regarding exactly how and why the federal government manages so much land out west and whether it's constitutional or not. 

Short answer: It has to do with the history of land acquisition in the U.S., as well as the way Texas handled its finances during its time as a sovereign republic. This excellent video produced by KeepitPublic.org does a great job of visually showing why there is so much federal public land out west and explaining why it is constitutional for the government to manage all that land.

For more information on regarding the constitutionality of federal public land management and why transferring that land to the states would be a bad idea, check out the great video series Randy Newberg made on the subject (hereherehereherehere, and here).

Let's keep our public lands public#KeepItPublic

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by John McAdams on his hunting blog. Follow him on Facebook The Big Game Hunting Blog or Twitter @TheBigGameHunt.