Follow the Money Project

This project traces the spatial history of payments to local communities for federal lands. In 2014, the eleven states of the Far West received $2.695 billion dollars from federal land management agencies. Why?

Few Americans are aware of these revenue-sharing programs, and fewer still understand why they exist. Almost no one knows their history and geography because they operate largely outside the consciousness of residents and politicians, yet the political economy of federal lands has always been a central concern of conservation policy. The intent of Follow the Money is to provide baseline data for scholars and the public on the spatial and temporal patterns in transfer payments. We hope an outcome of this work is greater awareness of how environmental, social, and fiscal policies are entangled in the political economy of federal lands and rural communities.

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Follow the Money Project is affiliated with the Spatial History Project.