LAS VEGAS -- One potential barrier to economic diversification in Nevada is that the federal government owns more land in this state than anywhere else.
Of the more than 70 million acres of land in Nevada, 83 percent is federally owned. There are only four other states -- Alaska, Utah, Idaho and Oregon -- where more than half the acreage is owned by the U.S. government.
The problem for developers is that they cannot simply acquire federal land for any project that comes along. It usually requires an act of Congress or a complex series of bureaucratic decisions before federal land can be used for economic development.
Despite the federal government's high profile as a landlord in Nevada, this state is not a place where the government spends much of its money. In fiscal 2010 Nevada ranked last in federal spending per resident and in federal grants per capita.