Run Them Like Businesses

Natural Resource Agencies in an Era of Federal Limits

by Randal O'Toole

The Thoreau Institute

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Congress can save taxpayers more than $21 billion over five years and resolve numerous disputes over federal land management by running the Forest Service, Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management like businesses. This means decentralized management based on a broad range of user fees; funding of forests, parks, and BLM districts out of their net income; and trust funds to safeguard nonmarketable resources.

Currently, these agencies most closely resemble ministries of the Soviet Union, with central planning, targets, huge monetary losses, shortages, and all the other hallmarks of the system that has been discredited throughout the world. Collectively, the national forests, parks, and BLM lands cost taxpayers $4.15 billion in 1995. These losses result from a process that rewards managers for losing money and for emphasizing some land uses even when others are more valuable.

A revised budgetary process would be more like a business: rewarding managers for making money and for emphasizing the combinations of uses that are most valuable. This would encourage decentralization, bottom-up planning, production of the most valuable resources, profits for the landowners, and all the other hallmarks of the free-market system. At the same time, without imposing huge costs on taxpayers or private landowners, basic safeguards can protect those few resources that are not marketable.

Congress can produce these results with four basic changes:

1. Allow the managers of forests, parks, and BLM districts to charge fair market value for all uses, including timber, grazing, recreation, hunting, fishing, and minerals.

2. Establish and maintain a formula that funds individual forests, parks, and districts exclusively out of a fixed share of the net income they earn each year.

3. Allow federal land managers to sell conservation easements to people who want to protect special areas. Rules that require holders of federal timber, grazing, or other permits to use it or lose it must be changed to allow them to use it or conserve it. This would allow people to protect resources by purchasing such easements.

4. Dedicate a fixed share of public land receipts to biodiversity, historic, and wilderness trust funds. Boards appointed by the Secretary of Interior or elected by wilderness users would use such funds to give managers incentives to protect resources that user fees might not cover.

This paper shows how to implement these changes and the effects of doing so. It also shows that nearly everyone--taxpayers, public land users, recreationists, local counties, private landowners, and the environment--will benefit from running federal natural resource agencies like a business.

Running national forests, parks, and BLM lands like a business will save taxpayers $21.2 billion in five years, calculated by adding the current annual losses to the projected annual returns. During the first, transition year, savings are estimated to be half of the current annual losses with no returns until the second year.

The Waste of a Valuable Public Resource

Three federal agencies--the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Park Service--together manage nearly 500 million acres of federal land. These lands are conservatively valued at well over $100 billion. Yet this value is not realized by the agencies, which collectively lose nearly $4.15 billion per year managing these lands (see table one).

These lands are also beset by enormous controversies over conflicting uses and environmental disputes. Fisheries advocates conflict with cattle and sheep ranchers; recreationists conflict with miners; wildlife supporters conflict with timber cutters. Such conflicts have sometimes grown violent as people feel that their livelihoods or the resources they cherish are threatened by supporters of other land uses.

Natural resource issues are often presented as a conflict between economics and the environment. Yet in this case, the financial losses and the environmental controversies have the same cause: the federal budgetary process. For decades, we have acted as though there is no limit to either the federal budget or to the federal government's ability to do good. Today, we know that there are very real limits to both.

Both problems--the environmental conflicts and the financial losses--can be solved the same way: by running the public lands like a business. Just as public lands produce many products--timber, recreation, domestic forage, wildlife, minerals, and water--so too a business like a dairy produces many products--milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt, to name a few.

But you never see people suing a dairy for producing too much cheese and not enough yogurt. Nor do you see people picketing grocery stores for having too much ice cream and not enough milk.

What do we mean when we say run a government agency like a business? Why can a dairy produce multiple products without conflict but public land agencies cannot? The answer is in the incentives faced by public and private land managers.

Running Public Agencies Like a Business

Managers of private businesses and government agencies are alike in many ways. They are often optimistic about the returns from investments in the enterprises they manage. They also tend to be empire builders, seeking bigger budgets, more staff, and expanded operations.

Private business managers have two restraints that do not limit public agencies. First, businesses are ultimately funded out of their receipts. Receipts tie managers to consumers and give them incentives to produce things that consumers want.

Second, the owners of the business usually demand a return on their investments. This forces business managers to not just cover their costs but to produce a profit and discourages them from cross-subsidizing unprofitable activities with profitable ones. Stockholders would not support General Motors for very long if it systematically lost money selling Buicks simply because it could cover that loss with profits from Chevrolets.

Managers of most government agencies face no such restraints. Since the agencies are funded mainly out of tax dollars, not receipts, they make little effort to insure that investments are worthwhile. Their fiscal and budget offices never voluntarily compare receipts with costs.

Since no one demands that they make a profit, they tend to keep whatever receipts they can and spend them cross-subsidizing other activities. The Forest Service, for example, is allowed to keep an unlimited share of its timber receipts to spend on sale area improvements. Not surprisingly, most forests simply keep most of their receipts and forest managers openly describe funds that they return to the Treasury as losses because they lose control of them.

Vice-President Gore's National Performance Review accurately identified the basic problem with the federal government. As the review noted, Large, top-down bureaucracies don't work very well. The review also suggested sound solutions, such as decentralization and market incentives.

When it came to implementation, however, the review's most important change--a requirement that most agencies reduce personnel by 12 percent--was the same old, top-down central planning that the federal government has suffered from for decades.

The classic problem with reforming most government agencies is that, unlike private businesses, they do not produce marketable products. But this is not the problem with the Forest Service, Park Service, or Bureau of Land Management. Nearly all of the resources produced by these agencies are marketable and are actively bought and sold on private lands. The problem these agencies face is that the prices they are allowed to charge and the rewards they get for selling resources have been politically regulated.

So if Congress is serious about running natural resource agencies like a business--and it should be--then it must make two basic changes in agency budgets:

These two changes mimic the two restraints faced by private business managers. Funding out of user fees ties managers to public land users and makes them responsive to those users. Basing funding on a share of net user fees encourages managers to earn a profit and discourages cross-subsidies.

These changes will have the dramatic effect of converting three highly centralized agencies into some 500 individual forests, parks, and districts, each operated as a separate entity. This will improve land management in many ways, including:

Most public land resources are fully marketable and can be funded out of their own receipts. But a few resources are truly non-market goods. Most endangered species, for example, are endangered because they are not marketable. Some historic and prehistoric sites in national parks are closed to the public because their resources are too fragile. In addition, certain aspects of wilderness are not marketable.

Two additional steps will protect such resources:

The biodiversity, historic, and wilderness boards of trustees will operate as separate entities from the forests, parks, and districts. Each board will be allowed to use its funds to create incentives for both public and private land managers. This will allow the boards to protect endangered species, cultural resources, and wildlands using incentives rather than takings or other regulation.

Altogether, these four changes--fair market value user fees, funding out of net income, conservation easements on federal land, and trust funds for nonmarketable resources--will save taxpayers nearly $5 billion per year and eliminate most of the environmental controversies that now surround federal land management. They will also give state and private land managers new incentives and new sources of income.

Table One
Agency Acres, Land Values, Receipts, and Costs in 1995

                               Value of    Returns to     Costs to       Net
                      Acres     Assets      Treasury      Treasury     Returns
                   (millions) (billions)   (millions)    (millions)   (millions)
Forest Service         192       $100         $465         $2,399      -$1,934
BLM                    220         25          134          1,047         -913
Park Service            87         25            1          1,302       -1,301
Total                  499       $175         $600         $4,748      -$4,148
Asset values are conservative estimates based on Clawson (1976).

Returns include all revenues that go to the Treasury from sale, lease, or other use of resources whose receipts are not administered by the Minerals Management Service, but not receipts retained by the agencies in one or another trust fund or revolving fund.

Costs include all land management activities paid out of tax or deficit dollars including fire protection, construction, and payments to counties in lieu of taxes, but not land acquisition.

Making the System Work

The above four steps provide the framework for reforms of the Forest Service, Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management. Implementation of such major changes will be a little more complicated. Decisions must be made regarding:

Transition: Just Do It

Clear lessons have been learned in Britain, New Zealand, Poland, the Czech Republic, and other nations attempting to streamline their governments: Attempts to phase in such reforms over a lengthy transition period usually fail. The greatest success stories are from countries that have insisted upon rapid change.

To provide for rapid reform, Congress should give individual national forests, parks, and BLM districts seed money equal to their previous year's budget. Since as much as 60 percent of agency budgets are consumed by higher levels of the bureaucracy, this will immediately save around $2 billion. Managers should be assured that they will receive no further funding from tax dollars thereafter, which translates to a $4.15 billion savings each year after the first year. This represents an $18.7 billion reduction in federal expenses over five years.

From then on, at the end of each fiscal year, managers will be allowed to keep a fixed share of the net receipts they earned that year. All remaining receipts will go either to trust funds, county treasuries, or the U.S. Treasury. The amount that managers have to give up will be based on their total receipts minus total expenditures and will, in effect, be the rent paid by public land users to the owners of that land.

Managers will be under no obligation to immediately spend either their seed money or the share of net receipts that they earn. Instead, as private firms do, they may choose to carry over funds from particularly good years to spend during poor years.

Percentages of Net

Funding based on a percentage of net income gives managers incentives to produce the most valuable resources. But the actual percentage could be anywhere from 1 to 1,000 percent or more. The percentage must be large enough to allow managers to fund essential functions yet small enough to provide funds for trust funds and county and federal treasuries.

While managers will be allowed to carry funds over from year to year, in the long run they will spend all the funds they are allowed to keep. Since expenditure plus net equals gross income, the share of gross income that managers will keep can be estimated based on the percentage of net they are allowed to keep. If managers can keep 100 percent of net, for example, then they will keep roughly half of gross. If they can keep 200 percent of net, they will get about two-thirds of gross.

Estimates of potential receipts (below) suggest that 100 percent of net will be sufficient to operate most forests, parks, and BLM districts, although many will have to make significant budget cuts. If 20 percent of gross receipts are dedicated to trust funds for biodiversity and historic preservation, this leaves about 30 percent of gross receipts to split between counties and the U.S. Treasury.

The maximum feasible rate is no more than 200 percent. At this rate, forest, park, and district budgets will be about 50 to 60 percent greater than at the 100 percent rate. But if 10 percent of gross receipts are dedicated to trust funds for biodiversity and historic preservation, only 23 percent will be left to be split between the counties and the U.S. Treasury. This is sufficient to maintain historic payments to most counties, but a lower percentage would force Congress to either subsidize counties or to reduce payments to many counties below historic levels.

Beyond user fees, managers should be allowed to seek grants and donations and to keep all of such donations. Managers could also be allowed to borrow funds for short periods and--possibly--to sell non-government guaranteed bonds. Loans would not count as income when calculating net.

Boards of Directors

To provide public oversight of management activities on federal lands, Congress should create boards of directors for every national forest, park, and BLM district. The boards would have the authority to hire and fire the unit supervisor, approve or reject annual operating plans, and decide how much money to spend each year.

Every forest, park, and district would be affiliated with a non-profit friends association. Any U.S. citizen would be able to join a friends association by paying, perhaps, $20 per year, which would be counted among the unit's receipts. Board members would be selected by association members, who would also receive regular reports on the unit's operations and, at the discretion of the board, be eligible for discounts for certain user fees.

Trust Funds

To protect certain resources that user fees might not sufficiently protect, Congress should create several different trust funds.

The biodiversity trust fund would receive 20 percent of all gross revenues from national forests, BLM districts, and the approximately 165 natural units of the park system. The fund would be managed by a board of trustees appointed by the Secretary of the Interior for nine year terms. Trustees should all be qualified by education or experience in conservation biology or ecology.

Trust fund revenue would be $800 million per year. The trustees could use these funds in a variety of ways:

This historic trust fund would receive 20 percent of all gross revenues from the approximately 204 historic or prehistoric units of the park system. It would be managed by a board of trustees similar to the biodiversity board, which would have similar powers. Total revenues to the fund would be about $40 million per year.

Separate wilderness trust funds would be created for each state with large acreages of designated wilderness--mainly the western states and possibly Minnesota--plus two to four regional trust funds for the rest of the nation. All designated national forest and BLM wilderness acres, along with all wild and scenic rivers, would be managed by the appropriate fund. Wilderness boards of trustees would be elected by purchasers of wilderness permits in that state or region.

The fund would keep all user fees collected from wilderness and river users--estimated at about $100 million of revenue per year. After payment of administrative expenses, the boards could use remaining revenues to purchase land, conservation easements, or to otherwise expand and enhance the wilderness system. Wilderness revenues would not be diverted to the biodiversity or historic trust funds.

Takeover Process

Given the incentive, people have amazing abilities to increase revenues and decrease expenses in order to cover costs and earn a profit. But some areas still may not be able to survive on user fees alone. Most vulnerable will be a number of recently created historic sites that receive too few visitors to cover the basic costs of protection and maintenance.

For example, the Ulysses S. Grant Historic Site, in St. Louis, Missouri, has an annual budget of nearly $500,000, yet it received fewer than 3,000 visitors in 1993. If the site cuts costs by 75 percent and quadruples visitation, entrance fees would still have to be $20 per person to cover costs out of 100 percent of net. That is a lot to ask of visitors who typically stay at the site for less than two hours.

Managers of such sites can use ingenuity to raise funds from outside sources, such as local businesses. They may also be able to supplement budgets with grants from the natural or historic trust funds. But ultimately, some are likely to fail. Congress must create a formal process to allow nearby forests, parks, districts, state agencies, or non-profit organizations to take over such failures.

Former Park Service director James Ridenour notes that the parks least able to cover costs out of user fees are mostly those that he terms park barrel--created more as local economic development projects than as legitimate additions to the National Park System. House Bill 260 proposes that the Park Service submit an annual list to Congress of such sites that might be deauthorized.

A generic takeover process would eliminate the need for Congress to make the potentially controversial decision of deauthorizing sites. Under this process, a site unable to cover its costs out of its share of user fees and other income would, at the discretion of its board, be put up for bid. Eligible bidders would include other federal forests, parks, or districts; state agencies; and non-government, non-profit organizations.

The successful high bidder would hold the site in trust for the people of the United States. Their bid might include a single payment or an annual payment to the Treasury. After making such payments they could fund their programs out of all user fees and donations that they collect. However, successful bidders would have to put up a bond that would insure protection for the area should they fail.

Effects of Proposed Reforms

Applying these four steps to the Forest Service, Park Service, and BLM will:

Receipts and Costs

Management of the national forests, parks, and BLM districts currently costs taxpayers $4.1 billion more than it returns to the Treasury each year. In 1995, land management activities cost the Treasury $4.35 billion. The lands produced nearly $1.5 billion in receipts (not counting receipts collected by the Minerals Management Service), but most of the receipts were dedicated to the agencies themselves and were not retained by the Treasury.

Actual Treasury receipts totaled to $600 million. After making payments to states of nearly $400 million, the Treasury gets to keep just $200 million. With a $4.35 billion cost, the net return is minus $4.15 billion.

Allowing agencies to charge fair market value for all resources could nearly triple current receipts, from under $1.5 billion to $4.2 billion. At 100 percent of net, the agencies would get to keep $2.1 billion of this amount. While this is a substantial decrease from their current budgets, it is not much different from their on-the-ground expenditures: More than 60 percent of Forest Service, Park Service, and BLM budgets are absorbed by higher levels of their bureaucracies.

After dedicating $840 million in receipts to biodiversity and historic trust funds, the Treasury would split the remaining $1.26 billion with counties. Under the county payment formula discussed below, counties would get half of this, leaving $630 million for the U.S. Treasury. In the first five years, the Treasury would receive about $2.5 billion. When combined with the $18.7 billion reduction in expenses, this proposal represents a $21.2 billion savings over five years.

Table Two
Distribution of Projected Receipts
(millions of dollars per year)

                   Forest Service    BLM    Park Service     Total
Current Receipts        $1,000      $364        $86         $1,450
New Receipts             1,750       300        700          2,750
Total Receipts           2,750       664        786          4,200
Agency Budgets           1,375       332        393          2,100
Trust Funds                550       133        157            840
County Payments            413       100        118            630
U.S. Treasury              413       100        118            630
Current receipts are based on 1994 data. New receipts are mainly recreation fees estimated at an average of 50 cents per visitor hour. Agency budgets are 100 percent of net, estimated at 50 percent of gross. Trust funds are 20 percent of gross. County payments and Treasury receipts are each 15 percent of gross. Data may not add due to rounding.

Resource Outputs

Funding agencies out of their net income would have several effects on resource outputs. First, managers would be discouraged from losing money, possibly leading them to reduce some outputs to avoid below-cost sales. Second, managers would be encouraged to reduce costs and increase revenues, which in many cases could more than mitigate the reduction in outputs. Third, managers would emphasize the combination of resources that produces the highest net income.

These effects make it impossible to predict actual resource outputs under a user-fee system. Some areas, such as national forests near Yellowstone Park, would probably emphasize recreation and reduce timber sales, partly because timber values are low but mainly because recreation values are so much higher. Other forests with similar timber but lower recreation values might reduce costs to profitably sell more timber.

In the long run, these reforms will lead to more stable outputs of resources responsive to markets, not to political whims. While actual outputs may be unpredictable today, this stability will give resource users the ability to plan and make sensible investments.

The output targets that Congress has ocassionally used in the past for resource agencies are reminiscent of Soviet management, and produce the same results: high costs, low productivity, poor morale, and huge losses of resources that don't happen to have targets. Experience with the Forest Service has proven that soviet management doesn't work any better in the U.S. than it did in the Soviet Union.


The biggest potential gain in receipts is from recreationists. The Forest Service's 1990 RPA Program estimated that the market value of hunting and fishing on the national forests is more than $10 per hour, while the market value of other recreation is nearly $1.50 per hour. Total estimated market value of all national forest recreation in 1995 is well over $6 billion per year.

Recreation values on parks and BLM lands must be roughly comparable. Despite Congressional restrictions on user fees, several units of the National Park System already collect more than $1 per visitor hour, and about twenty collect more than 50cents per hour.

In practice, permits would not be sold per hour, of course, but on an annual, weekly, or daily basis. The price of a basic entry permit would be modest, with additional permits required for hunting, fishing, wilderness, developed areas, and use of especially popular areas. Recreation in less popular areas might cost users only pennies per day; popular or scarce forms of recreation such as hunting trophy wildlife or running well-known rivers might cost $100 per day or more. Just as the private sector does, agencies would no doubt provide discounts for children and senior citizens.

Enforcement would be easy using a visible permit such as a bumper sticker or ski-lift type tag worn on a coat or backpack. Entry booths could be used where feasible, but would not be required in all areas. No permits would be required for driving on federal, state, or local highways that happen to pass through forests, parks, or districts. Currently, national parks charge entry fees only in parks that own their own roads, such as Yellowstone, but not where roads are state- or county-owned, such as Death Valley.

Assuming that fees average 50cents per hour--a third of what the Forest Service says recreation is worth--receipts at current levels of recreation should exceed $2.7 billion per year. The average outdoor recreationist would pay between $50 and $100 per year in fees. Since user fees would give managers incentives to cater to recreationist demands, most recreationists would regard this as money well spent.

Private Landowners

Although none of the proposals directly involve private lands, private landowners would be one of the biggest beneficiaries. When public land managers begin selling recreation and other resources at market rates, private land owners will also be able to increase revenues without facing below-cost competition from the nation's largest landowner.

The biodiversity and other trust funds may also provide income to private landowners who protect wildlife habitat and other important features. The benefits from these trust funds as well as from user fees would also accrue to state parks departments and other state land agencies.

Income from recreation, trust funds, and other sources will give landowners new incentives to practice more sustainable management and to protect scenic beauty and related resources. This will reduce controversy over private land management even as it insures that landowners are compensated for protecting valuable resources.

County Revenues

At least since 1908, Congress has had a policy of paying counties in lieu of the property taxes they would collect if federal lands were privately owned. Rather than pay the equivalent in property taxes, Congress has dedicated anywhere from 5 to 75 percent of public land receipts to counties.

Differences in payment formulas combined with differences in public land receipts have led to huge inequitabilities in payments to counties. Many counties receive less than property tax equivalencies, while a few receive many times more. For example, although Oregon counties contain less than 5 percent of all Forest Service and BLM lands, they traditionally receive about half of all payments to counties out of receipts.

Another problem for counties is that most receipts are from timber sales, and timber receipts fluctuate tremendously over the business cycle. Recent restrictions on sales to protect old-growth forests has hit some Northwest counties particularly hard--though those counties have historically received the lion's share of payments.

To reduce inequities and guarantee a minimum level of payments, Congress in 1978 decided to give most counties at least 75cents per acre. Payments out of receipts are deducted from this down to a floor of 10cents per acre. Payments are also reduced in counties with low populations. In 1994, Congress decided that inflation demanded that an increase in these amounts be phased in to a maximum of $1.65 per acre in 1999. These per-acre payments are called payments in lieu of taxes (PILT), even though the payments out of receipts are also in lieu of taxes.

Ideally, reforms of the agencies would be accompanied by reforms in county payments. Such reforms should:

In terms of the reforms proposed in this paper, current payment formulas granting 50 percent of receipts or more to counties are a problem. Such payments, when combined with the share retained by the agencies, will consume all receipts, leaving none for the U.S. Treasury or trust funds. The main counties of concern here are the O&C counties in western Oregon; payments to such counties have already been disrupted by old-growth protection, so the counties may be willing to consider an alternate payment formula.

Since recreation and other market value user fees will more than double receipts on most acres, Congress can reduce the percentage returned to counties without imposing an actual reduction in payments. Payment of 15 percent of receipts, for example, would increase overall payments to counties by 40 percent. To prevent any disruption in some counties, the change could be phased in over five years, with counties receiving the greater of 15 percent of receipts or a declining percentage of historic payments.

Agency Staff and Organization

Funding agencies from the bottom up out of user fees rather than from the top down out of tax dollars would completely change the organizations. Washington, regional, and state offices would disappear unless forests, parks, or districts decided to fund such offices to provide shared services. The new funding system would decentralize three agencies into more than 500 different entities.

These changes would allow significant reductions in staff. To give individual forests, parks, and districts more freedom of operation, Congress should consider exempting them from civil service requirements. One cost not counted here would be any cost of buying out dismissed or retiring personnel under current civil service rules.

Other Agencies

The Minerals Management Service currently administers many of the subsurface mineral rights on national forests, BLM districts, and some parks. Ideally, administration of mineral rights should be transferred from the Minerals Management Service to the individual forests and districts that own the surface rights. The values of these minerals have not been considered in this paper because of a lack of available data.

Other public resource agencies manage lands and resources that could benefit from similar reforms to the ones described here. These include the Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Corps of Engineers. Again, they have not been discussed in this paper for lack of available data.

This paper also says nothing about branches of the Forest Service, Park Service, and BLM that do not deal directly with land management. Funding for Forest Service research and state & private forestry, Park Service heritage grants, and BLM responsibilities to other Department of Interior agencies is left untouched by these proposals. Yet most of these programs are best left to the states, private parties, or other federal agencies. Eliminating them would save federal taxpayers an additional $700 million per year.


Running the national forests, national parks, and Bureau of Land Management districts like businesses will benefit nearly everyone interested in the public lands.

Public land reform can produce such win-win situations simply because public land managers currently have so many incentives to be inefficient. Fifty years of increasingly centralized control of public land agencies have only proven that soviet-style management doesn't work in the U.S. any better than it did in the Soviet Union. Substituting decentralized management for central control of agency budgets will bring the Forest Service, Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management into the 1990s.

In sum, the four reforms proposed in this report will reduce both deficits and environmental controversies:

For all these reasons, policy makers and members of Congress should seriously consider these reforms.


Much of the information in this report is based on Thoreau Institute research, including analyses of the budgets and programs of every national forest and national park in the country and reviews of the timber and grazing programs on many BLM districts.

Many of the data in this report came from the 1996 budget explanatory notes for the Forest Service, Park Service, and BLM. Other important references include the following.

Marion Clawson, The Economics of National Forest Management (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins, 1976), 100 pp.
Clawson estimated the asset-value of the national forests to be about $50 billion. Considering inflation since 1976, $100 billion seems conservative today.

Karen Knudsen and Randal O'Toole, Other People's Money: The Case for Reforming the 25 Percent Fund (Oak Grove, OR: Thoreau Institute, 1992), 40 pp.
This paper shows that recreation fees can provide a significant boost to federal and county treasuries. Through such fees, Congress can eliminate public land subsidies and make payments to counties more equitable. The paper also includes a county-by-county analysis of current and potential returns from timber and recreation for every national forest county in the country.

________ and ________, Good Intentions: The Case for Repealing the Knutson-Vandenberg Act (Oak Grove, OR: Thoreau Institute, 1991), 30 pp.
This paper shows how Congress has allowed national forest managers to keep an unlimited share of timber receipts. Since this share often exceeds 75 percent of total receipts, the 25 percent county payments plus the Forest Service's share can exceed total receipts.

Randal O'Toole, Reforming the Forest Service (Covelo, CA: Island Press, 1988), 250 pp.
This book shows how the budgetary process rewards managers for losing money on environmentally destructive activities. While it applies to the Forest Service, similar problems exist on other federal lands.

________ and Karl Hess, Jr., Tarnished Jewels: The Case for Reforming the Park Service (Oak Grove, OR: Thoreau Institute, 1995), 62 pp.
Discusses problems with the national parks and how to solve them. Includes a park-by-park analysis of budgets and receipts.

________ et al., Reforming the Western Range (Oak Grove, OR: Thoreau Institute, 1994), 62 pp.
Discusses problems with Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management grazing lands and how to solve them.

U.S.D.A. Forest Service, The Forest Service Program for Forest and Rangeland Resources: A Long-Term Strategic Plan [The 1990 RPA Program] (Washington, DC: Forest Service, 1990).
Pages 6-53 and 6-54 present Forest Service estimates of the market value of recreation in 1995: $2.7 billion for fish & wildlife-recreation and $4.0 billion for other recreation.

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