public lands

Since the 1960s, the National Park Service has partnered with nonprofit organizations to provide environmental education services to the public. But a recent audit from the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of the Inspector General found that some of these Residential Environmental Learning Centers have strayed from their original mission .

After a long hiatus, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to rescind regulations on hydraulic fracturing on public lands is moving forward. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is scheduled to hear oral arguments in January after prominent conservation groups, including the Sierra Club, filed suit in 2018.

On a recent sunny afternoon, I'm loading up my Subaru before heading out to the Snowy Range Mountains in southern Wyoming to cut down a Christmas tree.

A new white paper from the non-profit Headwaters Economics says transferring public lands from the federal government to Western states would generate more revenue, but also comes with high economic costs.

Reintroduced legislation incentivizing more renewable energy projects on public lands is getting rare bipartisan support.

An Interior Department committee is recommending that the National Park Service privatize campgrounds in national parks and offer services such as WI-FI and food trucks.

The Bureau of Land Management is moving more staff and—perhaps most significantly—its headquarters to the Mountain West.

Depending on who you ask, relocating the BLM’s headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Grand Junction, Colorado will make the agency more efficient, give preferential treatment to the fossil fuel industry—or even functionally dismantle it.

Greg Shine / BLM

As the Bureau of Land Management pilots a new livestock grazing initiative on public lands in six Western states, a conservation group is suing to get the agency to release more information about the program.

This Saturday, September 28, is National Public Lands Day. It's called the largest single-day volunteer effort for America's public lands.

Electric bikes are coming to national parks and other public lands managed by the Interior Department. 

Much of the public lands leased for oil and gas in our region are acquired through a noncompetitive process with the Bureau of Land Management. A new report says that's not good for taxpayers.

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing 11,000 miles of fuel breaks throughout our region to help combat the spread of wildfires.

Across the Mountain West, the majority of our land mass is publicly owned. A new mapping project by Headwaters Economics provides county-level data that can help you understand what that means.

 


Bureau of Land Management

President Trump is touting his environmental achievements this week. But some environmental advocacy groups are not impressed. 

The Center for Western Priorities just released a new study that shows the administration has been almost unanimously approving de-regulatory policy changes requested or supported by mining and drilling groups. 

The Trump administration may soon push for more uranium mining in the Colorado Plateau, arguing the mineral is critical for national security. The potential move prompted criticism from Democrats during a hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on Tuesday. 

Creative Commons 2.0 / U.S. Department of the Interior

The Nature Conservancy just appointed Obama’s former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell as its new interim CEO.  The leadership change comes in the wake of an investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct at the organization. Several top executives were implicated and have stepped down, including the CEO and the President.

cooksr / Creative Commons 2.0

A new report shows that nearly all national parks in the U.S. have poor air quality.

The report from the National Parks Conservation Association says that 96% of our national parks have significant air pollution problems. In fact, it says, 33 of America’s most-visited national parks are as bad as our 20 largest cities.

Eric Vance / EPA

The law that governs today’s hardrock mines on public lands in the West is nearly 150 years old. New legislation this week from House Democrats would enact significant reforms. 

Michael Duniway / U.S. Geological Survey

Soil erosion in the West is getting worse. And that’s creating more dust – which isn’t good for ecosystems, human health or the economy.

The Trump administration is reducing grazing fees on public lands again. The new rate is the lowest the federal law allows.

Creative Commons Zero - CC0 / publicdomainpictures.net

National Parks and public lands in the West are having trouble with cactus poachers. But some park rangers are fighting back by micro-chipping their cacti.

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed landmark legislation Tuesday to expand recreation access and conserve public lands nationwide. Passage of the Natural Resources Act stood out not just because it tackled a big challenge — the permanent authorization of the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund — but also because of the strength of bipartisan support that propelled the omnibus package beyond the politics of division.

A group of Western lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that would give states control of oil and gas projects on federal lands.

Mike Procell / 91.5 KRCC

Conservation groups are planning to buy a ranch near Trinidad that includes the landmark Fisher's Peak. The $25.5 million acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of February with a goal of eventually allowing public access to the land.

On Thursday, Democrats take back control of the House. Among several priorities is reviving a popular bipartisan conservation program that’s been dead for months.

Joseph Wilson

A new study says when the Trump administration shrank Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah late last year, it may have endangered scores of native bee species.

Gage Skidmore, Flickr / Creative Commons 2.0

Congressman Raúl Grijalva and Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, recently locked horns in a bitter and very public war of accusations. Grijalva called on Zinke to resign in light of several ethics investigations and Zinke in turn took to Twitter to personally attack the Arizona Congressman. Grijalva is set to take over the chairmanship of the House Committee on Natural Resources, the committee that oversees Zinke’s Department and makes critical decisions about public lands, energy and the environment. And it turns out Raúl Grijalva's plans for the committee are quite different from his Republican predecessor.

Public Domain / U.S. Forest Service

Vicki Christiansen was sworn in this morning as Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. She’s only the second female to serve in this role in its 113-year history.

An important but little-known public lands fund expired this weekend. 

The midterm elections are notorious for low voter turnout. In 2014, it was the lowest since World War II. So this year, companies, celebrities and non-profit organizations are rallying behind get-out-the-vote campaigns.

Pages