When my husband and I drove through the Western part of the country, we noticed miles and miles of fences along the highway. This made us wonder who owns all that land. Is there any unowned land left in the United States?
â€”Debbie Schneider, Wauwatosa, Wis.
No, the homesteading act was abolished in 1976, and the federal government now owns the public lands. They amount to 29% of all the territory in the U.S. The public landsâ€”mostly in the Westâ€”are dominated by Arctic tundra, mountains, forests, grasslands and deserts. You may be surprised to learn that the government owns about 85% of Nevada, 69% of Alaska, 57% of Utah, 53% of Oregon, 50% of Idaho, 48% of Arizona, 45% of California, 42% of Wyoming, 42% of New Mexico and 37% of Colorado.