SALT LAKE CITY — In a part of Italy where chestnut trees are thick in the Apennine foothills, I once asked a neighbor in the little community where we lived how I might kill a wild boar. This impulse was driven by appetite, mostly — glimpses of those feral beasts on my morning runs that had me dreaming of a blood-red ragu made of local cinghiale.
The answer was, dream on. If you want to hunt in Italy, or most of Europe for that matter, you’d better belong to a private club, with access to a rich man’s estate.
It struck me then, in the kind of epiphany that takes living in another country to appreciate, that the public land endowment of the United States is one of the greatest perks of this democracy. Rich or poor, every citizen of the United States of America has title to an area almost the size of Italy.
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