This report provides an overview of the public and private land and water resources of the United States. Described is use of natural and developed land as recreation resources with an emphasis on nature-based recreation. Also described is land protection through conservation organizations and public funding programs, with an emphasis on protecting private land through funding for purchase or for conservation easements. Outdoor recreation resources include land, water, snow and ice, scenery, developed sites, facilities, and user services. Protected land resources range from farm lands to remote wilderness, but mostly are the undeveloped lands in the U. S. with various forms of protection status.
The total U.S. land area is 2.43 billion acres, which contains 169 million acres of water, and consists of a diversity of land use and cover types. The United States loses about two million acres of forest, farm, and open space each year. In attempting to conserve such lands, land trusts and governments have instituted programs to obtain easements or purchase the land outright. The Federal government holds in trust about 640 million acres of land (30 percent of the country’s total land area). This includes national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and other Federal agency ownerships. These lands, along with state and local government lands are important recreation resources serving the public interest. Private lands and recreation businesses are also important recreation resources. Projections to 2060 of per capita area of public and private land and water show a steady downward trend across all regions of the United States. Full report at: http://www.srs.fs.fed.us/pubs/gtr/gtr_srs169.pdf