The LWCF provides politicians with ample opportunity to smile for the cameras while cutting ribbons in front of brand new parks, but it does not provide money for the perpetual conservation of the lands it purchases. It is amazingly irresponsible to buy more public land when the federal estate is already a poorly-managed, environmentally-degrading contributor to the exploding national deficit (which definitely does not help create jobs, no matter what President Obama might say).
Open public recreational access sounds appealing and is an easy sell politically, but anyone who actually cares about preserving the American landscape would be wise in favoring a more privatized system. For a nominal fee, the country’s most visited national parks could be operationally self-sufficient, economically viable, and free from top-down regulatory hindrance. The billions of taxpayer dollars wasted on public land acquisition and management may seem small in the larger context of a pending fiscal meltdown, but we can little afford to leave any budgetary stone unturned.