Who Owns the US?

I ran across this map in my readings and wanderings at an interesting blog site StrangeMaps
. Surprising, to me at least, the percentages of the western states owned by the Federal Government.

The United States government has direct ownership of almost 650 million acres of land (2.63 million square kilometers) – nearly 30% of its total territory. These federal lands are used as military bases or testing grounds, nature parks and reserves and Indian reservations, or are leased to the private sector for commercial exploitation (e.g. forestry, mining, agriculture). They are managed by different administrations, such as the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the US Department of Defense, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Bureau of Reclamation or the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Hat Tip: Marginal Revolution



  1. nyoatrader says:

    If you follow, the link, you’ll find I’ve been accused of weighing in on the wrong side.

    Not sure why saying I was surprised by a fact which was previously unknown to me puts me on the wrong side of the argument.

    Perhaps he will explain how expressing surprise = “weighing in on the wrong side”.

    There was no opinion pro or con expressed in the post, just passing along a fact I encountered.

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    You’re right — in editing, I overlooked that you didn’t endorse the view from Marginal Revolution. I’ll fix it.

  3. Frank Popper says:

    Anyone interested in the Buffalo Commons should look at my website, policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/popper. The Buffalo Commons idea originated with me and and my wife Deborah Popper, a geographer at the City University of New York/College of Staten Island and Princeton University. The idea has no particular link to the Sagebrush Rebellion idea of selling off federal landholdings from the Rockies westward. Best wishes,
    Frank Popper
    Rutgers and Princeton Universities
    fpopper@nullrci.rutgers.edu, fpopper@nullprinceton.edu

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