The Land Report

Rockies 2018

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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R O C K I E S 2 0 1 8 | The LandReport 33 LANDREPORT.COM T he Forest Service is the oldest of the four federal land management agencies. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Currently, the Forest Service manages approximately 193 million acres of federal lands. Not only do these forests contain some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country, but they also possess valuable resources. And they are the source of drinking water for millions of Americans. Forest Service lands are managed for multiple uses, including timber, water, recreation, conservation, livestock grazing, wildlife and fish habitat, and wilderness. Landowners interface with the Forest Service on a myriad of issues. For instance, ranchers typically have to deal with grazing rules and regulations that bear some similarity with the BLM. A private landholding that shares a fence line with a national forest enjoys many benefits ranging from scenic vistas to wide open spaces. Privacy, however, is not always guaranteed. Last year, the Forest Service welcomed an estimated 177 million visitors to our 154 national forests. These visitors hiked on 158,000 miles of trails and drove every imaginable vehicle on approximately 375,000 miles of forest roads. Another area of concern is wildfires jumping from public to private lands. According to the Colorado State Forest Service, one-fifth of that state's forestland succumbed to the mountain pine beetle. The devastating loss of 800 million trees on 3.4 million acres has a wide range of implications, including a dramatic shift in budgetary allocations by the US Forest Service. Fire suppression once took up 15 percent of the agency's budget. That amount has ballooned to 55 percent. The US Forest Service is the oldest of the four major federal land agencies. GUSTAV SCHMIEGE III FOREST SERVICE. The scenic splendor of our national forests and the range of activities available can be a double-edged sword for landowners. Last year, an estimated 177 million visited one of the country's 154 national forests where they enjoyed 158,000 miles of trails and 375,000 miles of forest roads — and some of the world's most celebrated fly fishing. One-fifth of Colorado's forestland succumbed to the mountain pine beetle. The loss of 800 million trees on 3.4 million acres has led to a dramatic shift in budgetary allocations by the Forest Service. Fire suppression once took up 15 percent of the agency's budget. That amount has ballooned to 55 percent.

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