Governance of access to public natural resources: A comparison of federal systems Academic Article uri icon


  • We present a comparison of federal systems to access to natural resources. The term "access" refers to the legal right to explore, develop, or produce natural resources in the public domain through the sale of resources or land or through lease, license, or other permissions. We can characterize an access system at two distinct levels. At the management level, decisions are made about the size of a royalty or rental, the duration of access, and whether or not an access right can be transferred, among other things. At the governance level, decisions are made about the balance of uses and interests in an area that is potentially subject to access for a specific kind of resource development. We compare access systems at the governance level, identifying both positive and negative aspects. We relate past experience to the case of access to the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for offshore aquaculture operations. (DBO)

publication date

  • June 1997