The Buffalo Commons  NOV 13 2008

Alex Tabarrok proposes that now is a good time for the US government to form the Buffalo Commons, a huge nature preserve in the western US.

The western Great Plains are emptying of people. Some 322 of the 443 Plains counties have lost population since 1930 and a majority have lost population since 1990. Now is the time for the Federal government to sell high-priced land in the West, use some of the proceeds to deal with current problems and use some of the proceeds to buy low-priced land in the Plains creating the world's largest nature park, The Buffalo Commons.

According to this map, the US government owns more than 50% of the land in some western states (Nevada 84.5%, Utah 57.4%, Oregon 53.1%, Arizona 48.1%, California 45.3%).

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