Webinar: In Defense of Public Lands

This webinar features Steven Davis of Edgewood College presenting lessons from his book In Defense of Public Lands: The Case Against Privatization and Transfer (2018).

Watch the webinar, hosted by the PA Highlands Coalition, to gain a deeper understanding of the value of public lands.

Watch: “In Defense of Public Lands: Some Lessons on its Biological, Economic, and Social Value”


Biological, Economic and Social Value Evidence

Shows the cover of the book, In Defense of Public Lands: The Case against Privatization and Transfer.

This presentation comes out of the research underlying the book In Defense of Public Lands: The Case Against Privatization and Transfer (Temple University Press, 2018). Chiefly, the book makes an argument against market-oriented critiques of public land. By reviewing empirical data and theoretical arguments from biological, economic, and political perspectives, the author builds a case for why our public lands are an invaluable and irreplaceable asset. He weighs the value of public lands on three dimensions. These include biological health, economic valuation, collective social values. Additionally, he analyzes the nature and performance of bureaucratic management, as well as the role of diverse stakeholders and community decision-making. 

Join Steven Davis, author and Professor of Political Science at Edgewood College for this webinar. Specifically, Dr. Davis will help viewers understand key findings from the research that produced this book. 

Praise for the Book

In Defense of Public Lands is timely, engaging, and persuasive. Davis presents the privatizers’ perspective clearly and accurately and then exposes the illogic and folly of their arguments. The myriad data he assembles, coupled with a feisty writing style, offer a comprehensive defense of public lands. The basic argument itself is not new, but both Davis’s presentation and his refutation of the privatizers’ claims are fresh, compelling, and convincing.”

Ann O’M. Bowman, Professor and Hazel Davis and Rober Kennedy Endowed Chair, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, and co-author of Terra Incognita: Vacant Land and Urban Strategies


The Pennsylvania Highlands features quality drinking water, productive farms and forests, as well as rural community character. Additionally, the network of trails and land in the region provides outstanding opportunities to spend time outdoors. To learn more, visit pahighlands.org.