What We Do

THE PROBLEM

Land in its natural state has economic value. Recreation on our public lands continues to grow as an economic driver nationwide and in many places has replaced or significantly supplemented revenue from resource extraction. However, public land management policies, regulation, and legislation have not kept pace with this change and are inadequate to protect today’s recreation economy.

In the history of public land management, resource extraction has been managed with the assumption that all Americans need and value the oil, gas, coal, timber, and other resources taken from the land. Therefore, resource extraction generally dominates other land management objectives. While a variety of conservation measures have led to the protection of certain places we value in their natural state, such as National Parks and Wilderness Areas, these protected places are relatively small, often quite remote, and do not encompass the vast majority of recreation assets drive local economies across the country.

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THE SOLUTIONS

There is a growing need to protect and enhance critical recreation assets on our public lands in the following ways:

  • Improved Front-Country Land Protection
  • Effective Backcountry Land Protection:
  • Better Interaction between Resource Extraction and Recreation Assets

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THE TACTICS

Public Land Solutions (PLS) is positioned to overcome these challenges by:

  • Facilitating a Broad and Comprehensive Recreation Analysis. PLS supports the next generation of land use plans through experience-based recreation planning. By understanding and planning for diverse outdoor experiences, as opposed to simply labeling landscapes, PLS works to create viable plans that maximize recreation assets in conjunction with resource extraction and conservation goals.
  • Creating Efficient Protocols to Coordinate Stakeholders. PLS uses a comprehensive and efficient needs assessment system to coordinate stakeholders and optimize outcomes. In many cases, the current public comment system produces a vast amount of data which land managers rarely have the resources to effectively analyze. More capacity is required to synthesize stakeholder needs. PLS brings professional support to this process, resulting in cohesive land use proposals that efficiently incorporate the views of a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Providing Templates for Public-Private Partnerships These partnerships bring much needed funding and expertise to protect natural areas and outdoor experiences. For example, Dead Horse State Park is a 5,300 acre state park in Utah. In 2008, local citizens raised $20,000 from a local corporation to be combined with an additional $20,000 from Utah State Parks to build 15 miles of biking and hiking trails. Since the trails were opened, revenues for the park have steadily climbed from $494,991 in 2008 to $709,202 in 2011.
  • Working with the resource extraction industry to create recreation assets Resource extraction projects have a finite life span, and reclamation is often delineated at the projects outset. With a minimal amount of additional investment, reclamation targets could include the creation of recreation assets such as trail systems.