Increasing interest in the federally owned lands by individuals and groups representing a broad cross section of society has intensified public land management problems. Pressures for preservation, conservation, and additional non-market uses have resulted in management conflicts. Economic intelligence could contribute to improved decision making by federal agencies charged with public land management. However, inadequate past research attention related to economic problems of public lands presently precludes an optimum input from economists. Articulation of problem areas and economic issues is necessary for developing meaningful research priorities. This article identifies some elements of the problem and suggests some potentially rewarding areas for economic research.