Case Studies

Although the forests of British Columbia, Canada, are 96 percent government-owned, the management of the forests is far more market-driven than in the U.S. Forest Service, according to a new report by PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center.
The forests of North America represent enormous natural bounty. Yet, in the United States at least, the benefits of this wealth of nature are not being fully realized. Taxpayers lose money on their public forests, and the forests face severe ecological threats.
Holly Fretwell
State parks across the nation are serving more and more visitors while struggling to preserve natural and cultural resources. As demands for tax-generated revenues grow, many state legislatures are cutting appropriations to their park systems. Shrinking funds and growing usage threaten the well-being of all our state parks.
Holly Fretwell
Americans are on the fast track to land preservation as more and more federal land is set aside at an increasingly rapid pace. Now is the time to pause and ask if locking up great expanses of land provides the good stewardship that we want for our public lands.
Holly Fretwell
"If we are to protect America’s most valued lands, federal land management policies must be reformed and private conservation efforts encouraged," says PERC researcher Holly Lippke Fretwell.
Holly Fretwell
"The concern for forests today is not simply that trees will die from bugs or diseases--it is that entire forest systems are so far out of normal ecological range that virtually every element in the system is affected, and may be at risk."
Holly Fretwell
Our nation's federal land management agencies fail to meet any reasonable standard of fiscal responsibility, making the public foot the bill with hundreds of millions of tax dollars.
Todd Graham, Jeremy Gingerich
The Park Service wants another large buffalo herd in the Great Plains, which would advance the Department of the Interior’s Bison Conservation Initiative. In what may be a huge opportunity for the Oglala Sioux, a Tribal National Park is emerging in South Dakota—the first of its kind.
Reed Watson
With less than a foot of rainfall each year, the Mojave Desert is not an obvious place to look for water. Reed Watson explores an innovative proposal to pump groundwater from the Mojave and move it to nearby Southern California municipalities.
Reed Watson
In this case study, Reed Watson explores what the Scott River Water Trust is, how it works, and why others should be taking notice.
Laura Huggins
The Endangered Species Act is expensive and ineffective in its reactive approach to conservation. Laura Huggins explores an alternative system of incentives for environmental stewardship prior to regulatory listing.
Warren Meyer
Park agencies are partnering with private companies to keep parks open, well maintained, and generate a return for taxpayers.
Sierra Crane-Murdoch
In this PERC Case Study, Sierra Crane-Murdoch explores the challenges facing a tribe atop the nation’s biggest oil play. While mineral owners off the reservation have earned thousands of dollars for each acre leased, most allottees within have earned only a few hundred.
Emily Wood, Annie Beckhelling
By the employment of dogs, farmers and conservationists are reducing both livestock lost to predation and cheetahs lost to predator control.
Bruce Yandle
On Earth Day, Bruce Yandle offers a sobering proposition: The blueprints of our major air and water pollution control statutes were flawed at birth.
Discussions of renewable energy typically focus on technologies such as solar panels, wind power, and geothermal. In one state, however, a different conversation is taking shape—one that is focusing on refining an age-old source of renewable energy: wood.
Holly Fretwell
State parks often have their budgets cut when revenues are tight. Some parks are having success by hiring private companies to run the parks. They are efficient, good stewards of the resource, and customer-friendly.
Michael `t Sas-Rolfes
African white rhinos have been saved from extinctionby private owners who used property rights and market incentives to restore the South African population of 20 in 1900 to more than 20,000 today.
Brandon Scarborough, Reed Watson
In drought plagued southwestern Georgia, conservation groups paid farmers to save water for streams by employing more efficient irrigation and wireless technology to measure soil moisture.
Brandon Scarborough, Reed Watson
The Habitat Farming Enterprise Program may be able to restore three endangered and threatened fish species to the Columbia River where millions of dollars from government agencies and conservation groups have failed.
Brandon Scarborough, Reed Watson
Using a market based approach, urban areas in Colorado can buy water consumption rights from ranchers. This water banking approach is a cost-effective means to water conservation.
Brandon Scarborough, Reed Watson
Kansas farmers have adopted land management practices that improve water quality for residents of Wichita and protect fish and wildlife habitat without harming agricultural production.
Federally owned forests in the United States are facing financial and ecological problems. In this case study Alison Berry explores the pros and cons of using woody biomass to create ethanol, electricity, and heat.