Federal Lands and Natural Resources: Overview and Selected Issues for the 113th Congress [December 8, 2014] [open pdf - 513KB]
"The Property Clause in the U.S. Constitution (Article IV, § 3, Clause 2) grants Congress the authority to acquire, dispose of, and manage federal property. The 113th Congress is considering multiple federal land and natural resources policy and management issues. These issues are complex and often interrelated, and include how much and which land the government should own, and how lands and resources should be used and managed. These issues affect local communities, industries, ecosystems, and the nation. […]This report introduces some of the broad themes and issues Congress considers when addressing federal land policy and resource management. Federal land policy includes questions about the extent and location of the federal estate. For example, some legislation in the 113th Congress would continue funding laws that authorize the acquisition of additional lands, while other legislation proposes conveying some land out of federal ownership or management. Other issues for Congress include whether certain lands or resources should have additional protections, for example, by designating certain lands as wilderness or national monuments, or protecting endangered species and their habitat. Congress may also address questions about wildfire management on both federal and nonfederal lands, including questions of how to fund suppression efforts."
CRS Report for Congress, R43429