ERIC Number: ED258752
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
Ownership Patterns of Natural Resources in Rural America: Implications for Distribution of Wealth and Income. Rural Development, Poverty, and Natural Resources Workshop Paper Series, Part IV.
Beginning with definitions of land ownership and natural resources, this paper traces United States resource ownership patterns and draws conclusions for rural areas. Following the definitions, a general history of resource ownership discusses disposition of land from government to private owner, noting that the cadastral survey system still in use may have been optimal at time of disposition but can be a hurdle for land assembly today. The paper also discusses economic factors involving valuating resource land; differences between surface ownership and commercial utility; commercial use of public land by private individuals and businesses; changes in farm numbers and sizes; data regarding forest, mineral and water control; and rural development stressing poverty programs. Conclusions note the individual wealth disparity, cover the inability of the poor to effectively exploit what natural resources they may control, and caution that outside help involving natural resource gifts is ineffective without the means to use the resource. An appendix describes the collection of data for the United States Department of Agriculture study on land ownership which was based on a stratified random sample. Comments regarding the paper focus on ownership concentration and suggest investigation into the links between the structure of rural resource ownership, market power, and political power. (PM)
Descriptors: Definitions, Economic Factors, Farmers, Land Acquisition, Mining, Minority Groups, Natural Resources, Poverty, Property Appraisal, Rural Areas, Rural Farm Residents, Water Resources
National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, Resources for the Future, 1616 P Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036 (free).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Resources for the Future, Inc., Washington, DC. National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy.