Public Lands

Western cities try to cut light pollution
Western cities try to cut light pollution
Hitting the dimmer switch on city light helps animals and skygazers, too.
The many questions of Gold Butte
The many questions of Gold Butte
Familiar questions around roads, heritage and water rights resurface as Nevadans make sense of their new monument.
Inside the fight to undo BLM’s planning overhaul
Inside the fight to undo BLM’s planning overhaul
In latest skirmish of land wars, Congress supports mining and ranching.
The Latest: Court strikes down BLM plan in Utah
The Latest: Court strikes down BLM plan in Utah
The plan failed to adequately protect archaeological sites or control off-road vehicles.
New route to end Utah's wilderness stalemate
New route to end Utah's wilderness stalemate
Can one of the West's most conservative, anti-federal lands lawmakers broker a mega-wilderness deal in the Beehive state?
Will the Badlands become the first tribal national park?
Will the Badlands become the first tribal national park?
Oglala Lakota leaders hope to transform their bombed-out Badlands and help lift the tribe out of poverty, but it won't be easy.
Is there a way through the West’s bitter wild horse wars?
Is there a way through the West’s bitter wild horse wars?
Activists push compromise as the controversial federal mustang management program reaches a breaking point, with more horses in captivity than roam the range.
Can the outdoor gear industry wield its power for conservation?
Can the outdoor gear industry wield its power for conservation?
Pioneering mountaineer Peter Metcalf built Black Diamond into a successful climbing-gear business when nobody thought it could be done. But his dream of turning the outdoor industry into a force for nature remains tantalizingly elusive.
Coal-export schemes ignite unusual opposition, from Wyoming to India
Coal-export schemes ignite unusual opposition, from Wyoming to India
Ambitious schemes to build railroads and ports to ship Powder River Basin coal abroad will bring pollution and traffic to communities along the transport path, who are rising up in protest.
Western legislatures grab for control of public lands
Western legislatures grab for control of public lands
Some Western states are rekindling the Sagebrush Rebellion and demanding ownership of federal lands -- but it's not just about local control.
Selling what's priceless is the nuttiest idea of all
Selling what's priceless is the nuttiest idea of all
Some Western legislators want to sell off our public lands -- an idea that is not only impractical, but contrary to the desires of most Westerners.
How to survive the lean times
How to survive the lean times
Her brush with homelessness gives Jane Goetze the background to offer some wry advice.
A chance to do it right in the West
A chance to do it right in the West
Hoping for a Western Interior secretary who practices the politics of collaboration.
Wilderness, schmilderness
In Nevada, local counties spooked about the prospect of wilderness within their boundaries derail public-lands bills that could actually help their communities.
Fees have become a public-lands shakedown
Ted Williams says charging fees to use public lands is worse than extortion.
Driven to fight
Retired BLM agent Lynell Schalk goes head-to-head with her former bosses over protecting southern Utah’s priceless archaeological sites from off-road vehicle traffic.
Energy illusions
A BLM report issued in late 2006 appears to show that less land is available for energy exploration now than in 2003, but a closer look shows that appearances are deceiving.
Is the great federal land debate over?
Two trends are almost as dangerous as the idea of directly selling off the public lands: land transfers done in the name of economic development, and the outsourcing of jobs in the federal land-management agencies.
The vast, unpatrolled public lands
The same solitude that attracts nature-lovers to the West’s public lands attracts lawbreakers as well – particularly a growing number of Mexican marijuana-growers
Grazing foes float a buyout
Anti-grazing groups are trying to convince Congress to buy out ranchers' grazing allotments on public land, but resistance on the part of permit holders may stop the effort.
Showdown on the Nevada range
The Sagebrush Rebellion smolders when the BLM impounds and tries to auction off cattle owned by ranchers Ben Colvin and Jack Vogt for refusing to pay for grazing allotments.
Beauty and the Beast
As the small, conservative towns bordering Utah's new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument begin to adapt to the monument they never wanted, a new vision for what gateway communities and preserved areas might be begins to slowly emerge.
1996: Clinton takes a 1.7 million-acre stand in Utah
President Bill Clinton uses the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate a new 1.7 million-acre national monument in southern Utah, and reactions range from joy to indignation and outrage.