Land Use Management and Planning
Nearly one million square miles (55%) of the land in the western United States is managed by the Federal Government. More than 90% of federally owned land in the U.S. is in the 13 western states. In recent years, federal land management decisions in the region have been prominent and divisive. The Western Rural Development Center’s Federal Lands Management Initiative seeks to address this issue by researching and disseminating scientifically-sound and politically-neutral information, gain an increased understanding of the views of various populations, and make available this information to its stakeholders.
Currently, the Western Rural Development Center is working with researchers at Utah State University to develop a comprehensive GIS database on all land west of the 98th meridian in the continental United States. This data will allow the Center and researchers to explore the consequences and opportunities of various land management approaches.