Lands owned by a public authority, chiefly the federal government.
After the American Revolution, the Treaty of Paris
Until the end of the nineteenth century, it was governmental policy to transfer public lands to private ownership as soon as a paying customer could be found. In the twentieth century, policy changed, and it was believed that the public interest in such lands could best be secured by retaining them as public property. In United States v. Grimaud
Fletcher v. Peck
States’ rights and state sovereignty