Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration


Public Administration

Major Advisor

Gregory Hill, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

Nicholas (Luke) Fowler, Ph.D.


Monica L. Hubbard, Ph.D.


Rationalistic, incentive-based redevelopment objectives must comply with regulatory entitlement requirements that enmesh broader community goals. These community goals include site reclamation, environmental protection, and smart growth land use development measures. The focus of this dissertation is to better understand both the economic and community factors affecting the use of approximately 3,500,000 acres of patented lode mine (PLM) lands in the West. Study methods use a unique dataset compiled from BLM land patent documents, Idaho property assessment records, USGS mineral resource data, and GIS-derived surface estate measures to analyze effects of a set of jurisdictional, mineral estate, surface estate, and control variables. Findings provide evidence to the role economically-liberal policies have on the use of PLMs. Additionally, factors affecting other prominent PLM uses, such as active mining and neglect, are complicated by policies that create information asymmetries around PLM’s mineral estates. As such, conflicts between economic and non-market dimensions of PLM use in Idaho provide significant insights into land use choices and redevelopment across the West.