public lands

Western communities benefit from proximity to public lands. The enhanced quality of life associated with nearby public land recreation, wildlife and scenery gives communities a competitive advantage. Ensuring the public lands remain in public ownership is central to guaranteeing this quality of life. Proximity to public lands also brings some unique challenges, such as balancing amenity values with community wildfire protection. As residential development increases in the wildland-urban interface, communities need planning tools and partnerships with adjacent state and federal land managers to appropriately manage forests to reduce combustible fuels and enhance community defensibility.