“Carving Up the Commons” explains the dark art of Western land deals

 

To download this book for free, or to order a copy for $10 from the Western Lands Project, click on the cover art

IF YOU have ever driven the stunning reaches of the Mojave, Sonoran and Great Basin deserts and wondered who owns them, the answer is: You do. It is almost all public land.

But for how long and under what terms is by no means certain. Janine Blaeloch’s new book Carving Up the Commons: Congress & Our Public Lands explains the history of that land, the challenges we face in preserving it and the dark art of Congressional land deals that are steadily wheeling millions of acres and the region’s best resources into private hands.

Carving up the Commons is of especial interest to Westerners. While the fate of public land is decided in Washington DC, most of the land itself is in the West. The pressure to